Check your pockets before sending clothing and household goods to Goodwill, especially if you’re in the habit of storing your life savings in the pocket of a favorite suit. An 80-year-old man in Illinois with a Depression-era mistrust of banks stashed his savings around the house. That cash was in the pocket of a suit jacket that the main claims he donated to a Goodwill thrift store. He didn’t realize what had happened until a week later. [More]
If a thrift store opened up down the street from you, what would you do? Would you say, “How convenient!” and stop by daily? Or would you lament, “There goes the neighborhood,” dreading all of the poor people sure to traipse by, looking all poor and stuff and committing crimes? That’s what the residents of an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan think is going to happen once a Value Village store opens there. But only when they get to share their thoughts anonymously. [More]
Jing tells Consumerist that
he she thought that donating some items to the Salvation Army would be satisfying and relatively simple. Unfortunately, he she hadn’t counted on the people handling pickups for his her local branch to have the sort of vague sense of time that one normally associates with cable installers or appliance repair technicians. [More]
If you like to hide large amounts of cash around your house, make sure to remember where you put it. And if you do tend to forget, make sure to check the crevices and pockets of everything before you donate it to charity or throw it away. This goes triple when cleaning out the home of an elderly relative. A 96-year-old woman in Asheville, N.C. recently donated a blanket that contained more than $5,000 in cash–and the Goodwill store managed to locate her and return the money. [More]
ShopSmart, a shopping magazine published by the same folks who publish Consumer Reports, and now, of course, Consumerist, have collected a bunch of tips for outfitting yourself in fabulous designer clothes — from secondhand stores. Don’t scoff, it’s possible. ShopSmart says they found a trendy Prada skirt and a classic Ralph Lauren jacket and pants at Immortal Uncommon Resale in Philly, and a cute necklace at Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn.
Reselling your kid’s used clothing could soon violate federal law. Come February 10, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act will prevent retailers from selling children’s products that haven’t been certified as lead free. Old hand-me-downs, of course, haven’t been certified for anything more than running around the yard. Parents are worried, petitions are being drawn up, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission isn’t doing much to clarify the law.
Mr. Brickson, of Minnesota, said a longtime donor to his store had recently showed up in tears. “She had given so much to the Salvation Army over the years,” he said. “She never thought she was going to be a recipient of the services.”
Ebay isn’t the only shopping site revamping its look: Goodwill’s online shopping website, which has been around since 1999, is about to launch a redesigned site that’s cleaner and easier to navigate. Because the only sellers on the site are member organizations of Goodwill Industries International, the selection may not be as big as eBay, but the fraud is minimal as well—and the member pool is large enough to have “posted more than 17,000 items from inventory that includes antiques, collectibles, clothing, electronics, books and musical instruments, which are arranged according to category. “
It’s hard to tell what you need to take off the shelf when you buy your product by the pound and aren’t really sure what you’re getting. That’s the problem thrift stores are facing now that so many toys have been recalled.
Store manager Jeremy Lamb said recalls are nothing new to him and his employees. They regularly receive them from their Seattle-based corporate office and they’ll handle the Mattel recall like any other: The recalled toys will be pulled from the shelves and tossed in the trash compactor, he said.