Something smelled foul at Value Village. No, it wasn’t the scent of grandma’s 50-year-old fur wrapped in decade long mothballs. Nope. But the smell was indeed stank and it seemed to stink up every corner of the popular Canadian thrift store, which is called ‘Savers’ in the United States.

value village

After careful inspection and a few frugal laps around the so-called ‘village of value’, I found the odorous source. THE PRICES! Have you smelled the prices at Value Village lately? They STINK! Well, at least they seemed a little rank under my schnoz for savings.

Being a person of curiosity before accusation, I left Value Village empty handed for the first time ever, and went online to see if fellow thrifters smelled something stinky too. Turns out a lot of former villagers are turning up their noses at the higher prices and flaring their nostrils on Value Village’s Facebook page. Check it out these comments:

value village complaints

Were these disgruntled bargain shoppers right? Could you really buy brand new clothing at retail for less than the price of used at Value Village? With my squawky senses tingling, I launched my blue Smart Car in search of savings, and even examples of price gouging at Value Village. This is what I found.


First of all, Value Village still sells some tacky-a$$ed s$it. This maybe-wooden windmill ‘decoration’ will give your friends hundreds of reasons to mock you for only $14.99.


Buy this dusty puffball thing with garish googly eyes for $4.99 and I’ll personally teach you about The Trouble With Tribbles. Don’t make me do it.

After a little fun, I got down to some serious money-crunching journalistic-like work. Since I know a lot about jeans *cough*, I decided to hit up Value Village’s denim racks first. And the prices boggled my blue pant lovin’ brain.

thrift store gap jeans

Are you freaking kidding me? Paying $14.99 for a pair of used Gap jeans may seem a steal, but I’ve found them for far less new by sleuthing the sales. Check out my brand new pair of Gap 1969 boot cuts for $4.97. I squawk you not.

gap jeans sale

The best part about not shopping Value Village’s denim rack? No one’s crotch has ever worn, wiggled in, or worn out my brand new pants. Crotch-free shopping for less, people. I’m into it.

Now onto winter wear, ’cause I live in Canada and it’s cold outside.

thrift store snow pants

Behold the $49.99 pair of USED snow pants. U.S.E.D. As in frolicked in the f-cking snow a few too many times for a dollar shy of fifty bucks. You know who’s a dollar shy of a Canadian loonie? Value Village for pricing this sad pair of padded pants for $50. I bought my winter wonderland pants for $29 at Costco last year. That’s right, no one has dangled their winter woobie in my snowies AND I saved $20 over Value Village by shopping brand new.

value village thrift store

Invest $17.99 in this very used Gap vest at Value Village and cry in the cold when this badboy gets discounted for around $25 in Gap stores across North American in late November. That’s how much I paid for mine.

Wanna go dancing?

thrift store shoes

You’ll be trippin’ the light fantastic in these moldy heels for $9.99. I called Payless, Winners (called T.J.Maxx in the States), and Walmart for a price comparison on these stellar shoes. Payless, Winners, and Walmart wouldn’t sell me moldy shoes at any price. Sorry.

Speaking of Walmart shoes, check out these ‘Wizard of Oz’ type kiddie kicks for $4.99.

red shoes

If you want a real deal, I suggest you follow the yellow brick road right back to their home at Walmart where you can buy this pair for $5 on sale. The savings will make the Tin Man squeak.

Time to play with some toys.

savers thrift stores

Thrift stores like Value Village can be the perfect place to score barely used kid’s toys for a buck or two.

value village toys

But this $4 baggie of used teething toys is very well-chewed, and kinda gross. I’d rather spend $2 more at Walmart and come home with something fresh for my baby to drool over. I’ll chew on the peace of mind, thank you.

Speaking of chewing…

red dragon

Would you pay nearly $4 for this red dragon thing to growl at you? The dollar store sells dinosaur figures like this for under $2, brand new.


Behold two naked Barbie dolls in a bag for the price of $3.99. These double gal pals are a fair price, but they’re naked. And every little girl knows that Barbie needs clothes! So you’re still on the hook for a dress or two. Unless your Barbie is a stripper — then she’s perfect straight outta the plastic baggie. Kudos.

thrift store

Kids grow fast and need clothing to keep up with their lengthening limbs. Thrift stores can be a great place to replenish their clothing for less. Maybe.

I’ve purchased hats, onesie bodysuits, and t-shirts brand new for $1.99 or less at Walmart, Carter’s, OshKosh, and Old Navy. Why would I buy this stuff used (and shrunken) for the same price? Pass.

While you won’t find many savings on kiddlet tops at Value Village, the pants can be a steal. But you have to hunt! Bottoms up…

green overalls

I couldn’t resist this $2.99 pair of Baby Gap overalls. They’re green! Heaven. These retail for over $25 new, and it’s nearly impossible to find a set of crazy green Gap pants for under $3. Sold.

oshkosh overalls

The ‘Genuine Baby’ line of clothing are by OshKosh and sell at Target. A similar pair is currently on sale for $11.90. I prefer this used set for $2.99. Sold.

Two pairs of overalls — that’s all I bought during my trip to Value Village.

Value Village: So where am I going with this?

The prices at Value Village currently stink. The company has addressed people’s “concerns”, which are really hundreds of negative comments pointing out the price increases on Value Village’s Facebook Page. Value Village welcomes your feedback. 🙂

value village

If you’re feeling miffed and a little stiffed by shopping thrift, I suggest you take your business elsewhere and email your customer complaint to Value Village here: Companies only listen when people like you speak up.

Sure, I’ll still peek into Value Village during their big 50% off sales and maybe find something rare and awesome (like green overalls), but as a savvy shopper who price checks everything, I’ll likely stick to the department store sales to find great deals on new items since they often cost the same used at Value Village.

I’m curious about your thoughts.

Do you still shop at Value Village? Are the prices fair, or are they way too high for used goods?