As you know, I thrift shop a LOT. But, I also donate a LOT.

You have also heard me rant and rave about the obscene pricing methods of the big "charity" thrift stores. St. Vincent de Paul has completely priced themselves right out of my thirfting zone. I don't even bother going there any more. Salvation Army, with the exception of the 5 for $5 sale they have on the weekends, I don't shop there. I can't even afford their 1/2 off color sticker items any more. We don't have a Goodwill around me, so I can't really speak for them.

I have also heard from most of you stating the same objections at the high prices these stores are demanding. It seems that as soon as the economy took a header, the charity thrift stores raised their prices and continue to do so. I find this a huge injustice to the folks that HAVE to shop at these stores for items that are NEEDED. Now they just can't afford to buy 2nd hand items from them. How completely sad is that?!

And the worst part? I have been supporting these people! Yup, I have been donating to both SVDP & SA for more years than I can count. No more! I will not be a willing participant in this kind of price gouging! They should be ashamed of themselves!

So, after a recent "cleaning-a-thon" and decluttering, I have gather 3 garbage bags and 2 boxes of items to donate. What to do with them?

I have discovered several new donation options. Here is what I will be doing.

All of my clothing and the princesses clothes are going to a local abuse center for women and children.

Toys are going to a local church and daycare center.

Towels, bedding and other various linen type items are going to the local animal shelter.

And the misc. household items are going to a little thrift store near us that uses all the profits for a children's outreach program.

All of these charities are tax deductible and are going to be used by people who need them.

So, if your are disgusted with the pricing at your local charity thrift stores, I urge you to look into alternatives where items will be directly used by people/animals in need.

Okay, I am now stepping down off my soapbox and leaving it for the next person! LOL

Don't forget about.....

burglerMy month long “Steal Diann’s Thrift Finds” giveaway!


  1. A lot of the littler thrift shops have so much better pricing than Goodwill, I have found. A lot of other great ideas for donating you came up with.

  2. Great ideas for donating! I am like you I won't give to the 'for profit' (no matter what they say)thrifts! I have a couple of little thrifts around that I donate too. Good ideas Diann!!

  3. I completely agree. I understand how the operating costs may cause the need for a rise in pricing at times,but the govt also gives these places huge tax breaks. I have seen the prices on the same item vary from location to location. The closer the Goodwill is to my town the higher the pricing the closer to the inner city ...its dirt cheap. Also, if you look at the brand names like Ralph Lauren or any of those we have special racks for those items with huge prices.
    I am in a position where I don't have to thrift shop ( oh how I love to though), but my heart goes out to those that do. These places are here for the poor, needy, and the people who are on a fixed income primarily so you would think they would keep that in the forefront of their thoughts and not let the almighty dollar reign supreme in their decision making..(steps off soapbox) haha ok I'm done! I will be be donating to other places as well.

    <3 Bree

  4. Same thing has happened in my area. It is really so ridiculous! I don't know who is in charge, but they need to get a clue!! I will not pay for something at a thrift store that I can pay the same price for off the shelf at Target! Not gonna do it! Hopefully, they will wake up! Until then I am donating the same way you are!

    Lou Cinda :)

  5. Very good ideas Diann. Sometimes it's hard to take the time to separate things out, but they would be helping a greater need by donating more specifically. Thanks for the ideas.


  6. I stopped visiting the local thrift stores-prices were too high for me. I shop during the summer at garage sales and donate to my church-we have rummage sales 2-3 times a year

    tiramisu392 (at)

  7. Great post Diann! I have noticed the trend of rising prices with certain thrift stores. I do not like it and have taken them off my thrifting list and stopped donating to them. I donate to the same types of places you do as well as children's homes/orphanages.

    ~ Tracy

  8. I've been a thrifter all my life.. only discovered Goodwill about 25+ years ago..
    and was hooked..
    but like you, I feel the prices have been raised to dramatically too fast!
    I do not shop retail at all..unless it is hardware store or target.. or the grocer..
    But compared to the other "thrift" stores in my area, GW remains the lowest priced with a better selection. I do donate my items to the local abused women's shelter,
    okay, I'm done..

  9. I recently visited a GW outlet and I was shocked at what I saw. They take these huge bins of items and dump them into smaller bins to set out for sale. The whole time I was there all you hear is glass and china being broken to pieces. I donated nice china and various items from my mothers estate. It makes me sick to think these pieces may have ended up broken and thrown away. Also, the items they price so high that don't sell go to the outlet and sell for 59 cents a pound! Why not price them reasonably to start with? I love your ideas for donating.

  10. I almost stopped shopping at our
    Goodwill because they raised their prices so much. I go about once a month now when I used to go weekly.
    Like you Diane I donate a lot as well. Especially lately since we are trying to sell our house. Every time I bring something into the house I try to donate just as many to Good Will or friends or whatever.

  11. are preaching at the choir here! I too have been very discouraged by this practice and whomever advises our local thrift store of *worth* is so totally off the mark most of the time.


  12. Let me start by saying I like your alternative ideas for donating items. I can't really complain about prices where I live. Goodwill has had the same prices on clothes for the past 4 years. My only complaint is pricing stuff from the dollar store for a dollar! Then I remind myself who's doing the pricing and just walk away. Ours don't have any sales, though, like many of you mention. I only have one thrift store run by the DAV, and their prices are very reasonable.

  13. I so agree with You, as have found the same about shopping G.W...So when we downsized we took everything to our local homeless shelter...that way nothing has to be purchased it is given to those who need it most...

  14. there ARE many who need our items...heartedly agree with you...i've got a large bag of 'teddy bears' that will be going to our local police department/fire department to use in 'extreme' situations to calm local children...;)

  15. I am very fortunate as the thrift stores I shop at haven't raised prices where you might as well buy retail. I wonder when they will, though.

  16. Hmmm, I have not seen huge price increases in our area but I do see price differences from store to store. I have no problems with the GW and other thrift stores in a more affluent area having higher prices then a lesser affluent area. It is a free market and they are wise to do so IMOP. It stands to reason you are going to have people (such as many of us) who will shop these nicer stores for bargains. When you shop or donate there you are supporting the store, and their employees and perhaps even those in the less affleunt areas as well as any other charities that company supports. Even with all the tax breaks they get I am sure the overhead is still very high. Do not kid yourself about being non profit they do have to pay their employees. I do not call that price gouging, I call it smart business. If something is priced higher or even close to what I think I can pay retail I don't buy it. Each of us places our own value on the worth of an item. They are usually only asking what they perceive as fair market value. So no, I am not against the pricing practices of these organizations, because they are still supporting people. I realize it may be quite different in your area but that's the way I see it in our area. However, if I see one that is being neglectful with their donations then I really get upset. All that being said, I personally feel the best charities for our truly needy friends are the ones that GIVE them what they need. Those are the best places to donate if you are wanting your items to go to those who really need them. I personally support both. You have listed many wonderful ideas of where to give your items that need them the most. I really like how you broke it down about what type of items are best for the different charities. Great thinking!


  18. I think the thrift stores around my area have been gradually raising there prices at a rate that is outpacing regular retail stores.

    BUT I think that thrift stores that help out a community had a bare budget to begin with so that during this tight economic conditions they were forced to raise prices to keep up as they didn't have other areas of their budget to cut back. I think they are usually the last businesses to turn to lay offs as a means to cut costs.

    I do notice items donated directly from Target and other stores that the thrift store prices higher than the last clearance price.... I usually laugh when I see that.

    To help with my budget I try to shop mainly one the discounted sale days. I'll dig through racks and try to find items that have the colored tags that are 1/2 or $1 that day.

    As garage sale season dwindles here in MN I'll have to rely more on thrift stores than garage sales. I'll keep digging through.... :)

  19. I think that you have made a good decision given the price gouging you have experienced. Thanks for not giving up on giving!
    Hugs, Beth

  20. I live in a very needy, former mill town. There was a GW in town, but it closed due to the cost of their rent. GW opened another store near the largest mall in the whole state, in an old retail box store. I have a car, a job and money to spend so I can travel to shop. I feel very sorry for the poorer people in my town who have lost an inexpensive place to shop. I have also noticed that the prices are getting higher and higher as the need rises. Why do the people who have the least end up getting even less and the people who have a lot aren't impacted?
    Some great places to donate to and an interesting post.

  21. The SA has by far the lowest prices for us. The clothes are very fairly priced. GW is terrible. I have found a local thrift store for women's clothes that I donate my clothes to and buy from. I also do that for the SA. I would not donate to GW. The thing is there are long lines of people shopping at GW because they have a huge selection of goods. hugs♥olive

  22. This is a great post to help others realize there are other ways of donating clothing.

    You are right about the larger thrift stores making it impossible for those without means to purchase even from them because of rising prices.

    WE are starting a food and clothing pantry in one of the poorest towns in Colorado. The food and clothes will all be free and of course this is relying on donations for clothing especially. The food is always distributed free but we do have to pay for it so monetary donations along with canned goods etc is always welcomed. Last month was our first food box giveaway and we fed 52 families in a little town of 600!

    I strongly encourage others to check out the food and clothing pantries in your area.

    bee blessed

  23. I wandered here through several blogs, like digging deeper and deeper for that gem. I have to thand you SO MUCH for the second complete paragraph of this blog. I kept telling people the same thing, that as soon as the economy tanked, the thrift stores doubled their prices. I am sooooo glad that others noticed this. And I also appreciate the ideas for what to do with all the stuff I have to get rid of. Keep on bloggin'!

  24. Bizzare - I found you googling around for a blog I stumbled on the other day, which was Thursday. Also the same day that I took yet another car load of stuff to my own Goodwill, browsed around, and then went to a second Goodwill about three miles away.

    I live in a very small area and those two GWs are the only places I usually donate - but the second of the two is a little out of my way so I don't usually go there at all. Well, Thursday I did and I had forgotten that all of their stuff seems fairly priced. There are some designer handbags and things like wedding gowns that are high, but in general, shirts are something like 2.50, jeans are maybe 3 something, shoes are all one price and so on.

    But at the GW I shop at most, prices are all over the place!

    All of this to say, that night, I emailed the contact link at to ask about their pricing policies. The response I got made me feel like my email wasn't even really read, but whatever.

    At my local goodwill, where I have very recently donated four loads of stuff out of my Durango (and I'm talking packed full, from the back of the front seats all the way to the back of the thing!) - I noticed books I'd donated priced at four and five dollars! Paperbacks! Not new bestseller type things, either. Jeans - eight bucks! A walmart brand kids coat FIFTEEN DOLLARS. (I know you can buy a new kids coat at walmart for around 20.)

    I hit up that store usually once a week or so and it's rare that I buy anything - their prices are why. I thought maybe I was crazy but I know I'm not. The prices at my GW are sky high and I'll no longer be donating there because of it. I'll drive out of the way to the "fair price" GW or start taking stuff to the local outreach center.

  25. i agree that some of the thrift stores are charging too much. rarely do i buy anything anymore at some of them. thanks for the ideas where to turn to give items.rose


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)