What’s The Deal?

Increased prices at thrift stores create struggle for consumers

Julia Trantham, Editor

Flicking through numerous articles of clothing, checking one price tag after another, people are finding one common problem with thrift stores: the pricing has shot up tremendously all of a sudden. 

Specifically, one thrift store that has been well-noticed for raising their prices is Goodwill. The corporation across the country has increases in pricing throughout every section of the store. Most of the increase has been in the clothing sections. 

In 2019, there was a 46% larger increase in buying at thrift stores from just two years before, with 1/3 people from Generation Z buying secondhand clothing.

The increase in pricing for a secondhand store has many people questioning if it is even worth the trip. Because of the increase, a certain amount of people are finding an alternative route for cheaper clothing.

Many people are switching from the outlet versions of Goodwill and switching to “the bins,” which are warehouses full of bins that have not been processed by any Goodwill employee. Customers sort through new donations straight from other people that have not yet made it to the outlet locations and pay for what they find by its weight in pounds.

The other reason people are having to pay more for clothing all of a sudden is due to resellers of vintage clothing. Many people have started a trend of thrifting and are trying to make extra money off of their own personal finds.

The process is simple: resellers will often visit thrift stores, sort through many racks of clothing, find what is considered “trendy” or “vintage” and then buy them to sell later at a higher price, which can be up to 200% of what they originally paid for it.

A lot of places people will resell thrifted clothing are online now, usually on sites such as Depop, Etsy or an Instagram account dedicated to selling vintage clothing.

Although the real truth on why prices keep increasing at a rapid rate in comparison to years prior, the simple truth is that thrifting is becoming almost as expensive as buying new clothing. People who rely on thrift stores for their clothing at a cheaper price will start to consider the alternative of buying new clothing, or even leaving stores empty handed.