So this blog is generally about how much I love thrift stores, junkin, and photos of the stuff we find. However, there are some aspects about thrifting that bug the crap out of me. You knew this was coming sooner or later. So I’ve taken the liberty of compiling a list with some examples of each. Feel free to comment or email me with any that I may have overlooked. This list is an organic and growing thing. I’ll repost an updated version in a year or so and we’ll see what’s been added. It’ll be fun. Help me out here!
1.) Drafters or “Clingons”
These are the people that use YOU as their browsing tool. This is a rare occurrence at a thrift shop but you’ve probably encountered one of these bastards at a record store or garage sale. They’ll lurk about a foot behind you in order to let you do their flipping or perusing of the rack of items. The simplest way (at least in the Midwest) is to give a courtesy glance over the shoulder just once. To let the drafter know you know what they’re doing and you don’t appreciate it. If the problem persists try a reversal technique and creep them out OR a simple “Backthefuckup” usually will get the point across. Don’t be a Clingon folks.
2.) Goo Goo Dolls (or similar) Music
This is a serious problem. I don’t hate their music, but I don’t exactly love it either. Somehow there seems to always be a Goo Goo Dolls song on in every thrift store I’ve ever patronized. That shit gets stuck in your head for hours if not days. Is there some “ALL GOO GOO DOLLS ALL THE TIME! on RADIO GOO 104!” station that I don’t know about? To all the thrift store owners – change the station, because your employees are about to revolt.
3.) Intimates or Underwear
We’ve all seen it so this one is pretty much self-explanatory. The tighty-whiteys on the wire clip hanger. I don’t know who is buying these or why stores really even bother to sell them. If they’re in the package fine, but I’m still not buying them. How much is a packet of new underwear anyways? It can’t be THAT much more expensive to rest assured knowing that your drawers didn’t touch some other persons naynay or heehee, right? CAN I GET AN AMEN!
4.) Mis-categorization of Goods
Put that stuff where it belongs – or at least try. Everything can be categorized and everything should be in the section that makes the most logical sense. You should know this unless you never had a mom.
5.) Helter-Skelter Stores
I love a good hunt as much as the next guy, but some stores are so helter-skelter that your eyes hurt after a few minutes of looking, because its so much to take in. I shouldn’t have to pass through an aisle 4-5 times just to feel like I’ve perused it comfortably enough to move one to the next one. These are usually the stores that do a ton of volume per day. Loosely clumped zones of semi-similar items works the best.
6.) Inconsistent pricing
This shit just kills me. Sometimes identical items will be side by side on the shelf and one will be insanely higher priced. It’s also why I don’t frequent certain stores as much as I’d like to. There is an upside to this in that most stores will let you have the item you want for the lower or same price should you want both. If not, just peel the tag off of something else and stick it onto the item you want. Ethical? No. But neither is paying $4.99 for a blank t-shirt because Margie hadn’t had her coffee and half a pack of Misty Slims yet.
7.) Overly Organized Stores
These stores remove all element of hunt and search, which is a major factor in why I love to thrift. If a store is too organized it gives the impression that nothing will be a bargain or mislabeled and that’s going to make me leave ASAP.
8.) People haggling for hangers, or haggling in general.
It’s a thrift store. Pretty much nothing over $10. Don’t be that guy.
9.) Fitting Rooms.
These are usually an afterthought by employees. People understandably leave garments they don’t want in there (I’m guilty of it) and sometimes they can build up. Oh yea, and Jess said she saw human poop once on the floor of one. Just sayin.
10.) Missing objects.
This one ranked high in the furious category with the ladies. Nothing worse than finding 1 great shoe with no match or a puzzle or game with a missing piece. It has to be all or nothing, no gray zone. My personal suggestion is to just have an employee dedicated to checking them as best they can. Google the game’s name and you can usually find out the instructions which list the number of pieces and stuff that’s supposed to be included in the box. Then just rubberband/tape them and assure the people that they’re all there or they can have their money back. Simple as that.