With this crappy economy, prices on the rise for EVERYTHING, senior's on a fixed income that have to decide between eating or medicine, middle income families getting priced out of Seattle and everyone's concerns over the environment and waste, you would think places like the Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army etc...would look at LOWERING their prices and getting the goods to the people that need them the most, while at the same time, reducing the amount of stuff that doesn't sell because it is overpriced, sits on the shelf and gets broken and goes in the trash...plain waste. After all, they are a charity (at least Goodwill and Salvation Army...NOT VALUE VILLAGE...they ARE A FOR PROFIT COMPANY) who gets(most of) their items FOR FREE.
But NO..they are raising their prices !!!! Trying to compete with Ebay??? Corporate goons getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year salary, while the "peons" working the stores make minimum wage and get treated like crap ?
I have personally sat down and spoken with the Vice President of retail operations, Cindy Forslund, about their pricing, and even offered to help them with a more appropriate and easy system for their employees to learn (especially for clothing) she wrote me off with the excuse that 1) It was too difficult to get and train employees 2) That eventually, if it didn't' sell for their asking price, it would go on sale for 99 cents, and then go to the "outlet" store.
If these "thrift stores" would lower their prices, the turnover on the merchandise would be faster, people could afford to "impulse buy", less things would be sitting on the shelf getting broken, there would be less waste, there would be less labor going into maintaining the store, they would sell more which would mean more profit for the companies, the lower, middle and fixed income families would be more satisfied...it would be a WIN-WIN situation.
What family has the time to go to the SODO district and sit for hours picking out of the outlet bins ? I don't....you would have thought that the point of having community thrift stores was so the community had a close and affordable way to shop...not a special trip through downtown to sit all day and get the rejects of the rejects.
I really got the feeling that they are out to BE A FOR PROFIT COMPANY...definitely not to profit their store employees (as they make minimum wage) but to profit the wallets of the "upper management" and corporate goons...see this article (http://www.ncrp.org/AR-122005-Oregonian-GoodwillChief.asp) and other "not for profit" companies are now getting looked at for the same thing.
Its sad to see that these companies that probably started out as a good thing, a win-win situation...employing and training the underprivileged to get them off with a good start, providing people with middle, low and fixed incomes with prices that are LESS THAN BUYING NEW and encouraging people to buy used to reduce waste.
I have been researching new retail outlet stores as well as sale ads and comparing prices between new and Goodwill (and other stores of the like). I can say, at some stores, unfortunately, you can get a better deal buying new...how is THAT reducing waste ?? Its not !
I do have a "plan" of sorts...but I need people...not a whole lot of work, but a little bit of time maybe. And it would be fun. I would love to protest in front of their stores and encourage people who go to donate to the REAL people who need it.
If you would like more info, feel free to contact me :)
Until then, put a quick ad up on Craigslist and give your stuff away for free to people that actually need and appreciate it, not to "GOODWILL" or thrift stores of the like.