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What Is Salvation Army Thinking?! (Over-Priced Items)

Salvation Army Family StoreYesterday I did one of my typical runs going to various retail and thrift stores looking for items I could resell on Amazon and eBay. About halfway through one Salvation Army store I decided their was no chance I was going to find anything profitable at the store. Not because they didn’t have any good items but because they so grotesquely over priced the items they had… both the good stuff and the crap.

In various online discussions you may have seen many resellers complaining about the prices at their local thrift stores. Some even blame Youtube resellers talking about profitable items for the rise in prices. Could their be some truth to that? Maybe. If Youtube videos (Facebook groups or any other online discussions) play a part in the pricing it would be a very small percentage of the time. I can guarantee you that Goodwill and Salvation Army does not have some program that send their employees out to watch Youtube videos so that they can better price their items, that just doesn’t make any sense.

The more likely scenario is that it has become so easy to look up the value of any item. Anyone with a smart phone or a computer can go onto eBay or Amazon and know what an item is selling for on that platform. That is something that these thrift store ARE doing. During my trip yesterday, the specific Salvation Army that I am referring to which had so many over priced items, had print outs of eBay listings next to some of the higher priced items. What I believe these stores are failing to understand is that they are in a different marketplace then eBay and Amazon. Hell even eBay and Amazon prices can vary widely for the same product. Most of the time someone goes to a thrift store just to browse items. The average customer is not looking for a very specific item, they are searching for great deals.

Its a shame to me that these thrift stores feel the need to overly price these items by so much. Especially considering they receive the items for free, these are organizations that claim to do charitable work. High prices affect me personally as a reseller but they also affect the average shopper who maybe can’t afford to buy these items new from a retail store.

I’d like to finish off this post with some pictures I took of the pricing at this particular Salvation Army Family Store.

Crosley Record Player – $32.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

Dodge Flash Light Radio Combo

Dodge Flashlight Radio Combo – $23.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

Bell & Howell Projector

Bell & Howell Projector – $39.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

Jet Dust Collector – $249.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

Unbranded Retro Bowling Ball Bag
Unbranded Bowling Ball Bag – $15.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

Tasco Binoculars Case

Tasco Binoculars Case – $29.99 (Comparable item on eBay)

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2 thoughts on “What Is Salvation Army Thinking?! (Over-Priced Items)

  1. Andrew

    So there experimenting with their pricing model. I see the point that they’re serving the less fortunate by offering items at a more reasonable price but once they see that the inventory is not turning over and donations are starting to pile up they will change their price structure. The true value of anything is what a buyer is willing to pay. If there is no buying, there is no selling and no profits.

    1. Sutro Helm

      PickingProfits (may be the Andrew above) mentioned a few years ago that a goodwill executive was subscribed to his youtube channel. Wouldn’t surprise me if they’re inspired to raise prices from videos. But obviously that SA has an idiot pricing their merchandise. Or they’re under order from an idiot regional manager!