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YARNLADY's avatar

Did you know that not all "Thrift Stores" support charities?

Asked by YARNLADY (43432points) April 27th, 2009

Many second hand dealers are cashing in on people’s desire to support charities by buying at charity thrift stores, and using the same name. Be sure to ask what charity they support so you won’t get fooled.

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11 Answers

Mamradpivo's avatar

I would expect that most second-hand or thrift stores are privately-run, and that those run by aid organizations are the exception. At least, that’s been my experience.

Likeradar's avatar

I never thought they did… I assumed the majority were in it for a profit, just like any other business.

YARNLADY's avatar

Charity thrift stores used to be the only ones who used the name “thrift store” and the for profit ones did not. Now the name thrift store is used by most for profit stores, and the Charity Thrifts stores have resorted to naming themselves after their charity, following the one which always did, such the Salvation Army and Goodwill. The smaller ones like Purple Heart Vets, W.E.A.V.E, Humane Society and so on used to just say thrift.

seekingwolf's avatar

I assumed most were for profit as well. It’s a good business and a good way to make money, especially in hard times.

Kelly27's avatar

I assume that any thrift store is a for profit business unless it specifies otherwise.

YARNLADY's avatar

@seekingwolf I have used second hand stores suggestion for many questions from people who are trying to make a living today. One especially hard segment of the population, ex-cons, are having a worse time than usual. My brother, not only an ex-con, but Schizophrenic besides, fully supported himself by selling items on the street corners that he got “dumpster diving”

MindErrantry's avatar

I think many people buy at thrift stores not to support a charity (at least, I don’t think anyone in my family ever has, although we do give to charities); they’re just a useful place to find cheap clothing, and often some fun and off-beat stuff you won’t find in a regular store. They’re useful that way—certainly at my college, everyone hits up Goodwill because they can find costumes for parties (sometimes even fancy dress) at prices suitable to a student’s budget. Hippie-liberalism type stuff is good (especially at my school), but really, we’re on the lookout for a good bargain.

peedub's avatar

I love most thrift stores, charity supporters or not. I think it’s nice how organizations like the Salvation Army have the programs they do, but ultimately, I go to the stores with the best finds/prices. Church-owned thrift stores run by elderly ladies tend to consistently be hits. Older-style, dimly lit, large stores are also great. The Goodwill has a bit too much of a ‘corporate’ feel these days (and awful music), with typically higher prices but I still go there.

I donate my unused items to Savers because they give me a coupon for 20% off my purchases. Not a bad model for other stores to follow.

seekingwolf's avatar


Wow, that’s really interesting!

I’m glad that he can make some money for himself from the business, and others benefit by buying items for cheap that otherwise would have been thrown away. It’s really a win-win. I’ll admit, I don’t shop at thrift stores really but they definitely have their value in society.

ubersiren's avatar

I thought the only ones who supported charities were the ones named for them.

Lupin's avatar

I go to Goodwill, ABVI, Association for the Blind and Visually impaired. The cashiers are blind. You hand them a bill and they put in it a machine that speaks the amount. ABVI also employs people who appear to be recovering drug abusers to label, sort and put clothes on the racks. I can see people working and see where my money is going. That’s enough for me.
Goodwill also has a division called Goodwill Industries that employs handicapped (I know that is not pc) individuals in light manufacturing settings. They have a government contract for preparing the spice packets that go in the meals for our military.

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