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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Thrift stores like Value Village can be the perfect place to score barely used kid’s toys for a buck or two.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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. 🙂
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: email@example.com. 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?
Finding a deal there is a rarity now.
I wonder if it’s a marketing ploy though. Bump up prices, have more “special” days (50% off, seniors, members days etc), then sell it for what it is worth on those special days. If you want it bad enough to pay “full price”, you’ll pay it.
Thanks for confirming what I have been gripeing about for months, Kerry. I’ve noticed the very same thing and I now don’t even bother with Value Village. There are so many other options out there to waste time and money there.
I mostly shop at Goodwill because not only are their prices lower but they don’t have to charge tax as Value Village does. I won’t go to 50% off days because it’s too crowded. I also try not to donate to VV.
Totally agree about Value Village. We have a local Bibles For Missions thrift store and they just want to move their stuff out the door, so prices are much better. Plus I like where the money is going, rather than the private owner of VV.
Even if I agree with you that some of the VV prices are getting too high, thing is, prices at Walmart and others are too LOW. I do not take pride in encouraging them.
I agree V.V. has gone to crap. I think the biggest thing is the have a bunch of young teens dealing with the pricing, we all know most teens are not good with prices.
I also have tried bringing stuff there and have nothing but problems. A couch in great shape but there was a 4inch mark under the cushions they.wouldn’t take it.
I loathe giving money to WalMart so try to avoid it, even for a bargain.
I personally would rather shop in a vintage store where the owner/buyers have combed through used clothing shops across the city and pulled out the best of the best. I don’t mind paying a premium for the luxury of looking at a small rack of finds instead of a gymnasium-sized store. Also more than happy to be supporting an independent business.
How timely! I was just there over the weekend and was shocked to see that all the cute dresses were 19.99$! What?!? I’m appalled to see that they can charge so much for items they have been GIVEN for FREE. But I don’t want to support corporate giants like Wal-Mart, and I’d rather keep clothes out of the landfills. What’s the answer?
I just read the other comments…Goodwill here is twice as expensive as VV. 20$ for jeans! Pardon me, 20.02$. What’s up with their crazy palindrome pricing?
While I do agree that VV’s prices are too high, some charities receive the bulk of their funding when items/clothing are donated to VV, so the company is not all corporate greed (although it would be interesting to know if the charities $/per bag rate has gone up as well as VV’s prices).
For someone who has worked with value village for five years, the prices have gone up slightly but so has prices in every store, so for you people who complain about us marking our. Stuff too high yet you can get it from walmart and other companies for cheaper, that’s bull. I was just in a walmart right now and the cheapest baby item was a pair of newborn socks for $3.77. We price ours usually at .69 each. I love shopping at value village even before I worked there and ill still shop there after I leave the company. So to the customers who all just complain, the prices here and everywhere else aren’t going down, especially with the economy these days, so get used to it. Finally just FYI, we don’t get our stuff for free, 4% of each cart we weigh goes back to charities in each district. You may think that’s not a lot but we process over 5000 items a day so all in all it helps the community with the extra $715.00 they get from us each day. Thats why things are taxed in our store because WE DON’T GET STUFF FOR FREE!! However we PST tax isn’t included in childrens clothes, shoes and our books, there’s some good news. As a cashier hearing the same complaints about our prices, it gets old very fast so there’s some education about our company. Nothing in life comes free so stop being so negative. Sincerely vv employee:)
The value has left value village. Do go anymore.
It’s also called Value Village in some areas of the US, such as Oregon.
I think that like at any store, you need to know your prices and be prepared to walk away.
The pricing can be crazy sometimes. I’ve picked up 2 identical(cheap and cheerful) vases, one was $2 the other was $5. Huh?
I will probably pop in once in a while, but a “hunting” expedition at Value Village just isn’t fun anymore.
Can’t wait til Garage Sale Season where books are 5 for $1, not $2 each.
I live in Calgary, Canada.One of the most expensive city in Canada, and North America too.VV was a few years ago, good deal. but my husband everytime joke and sometimes,…im thought : His could be right : in VV the clothes and donations (high quality of clothes brand news…..etc…) is come from people how died.or passaway….(sorry english is not my first lenguage), so, between that, im understand how some clothes is look new…..very new, and im sad because the exploted by them bussines this. In other hand, I checked here in Calgary, they are tricky, yep! because, they overprice some brands and i found a lanvin pant (so top french and stranger designer for 4.99$) and We can think: ok! the people how put the price dont have idea how kind the designer is come from, BUT IM VERY VERY THINKING ,NOT! THIS JUST A TRAMP…..THE MAKE HAPPY FOR A DAY A FAMILY VIA FCBK OR BLOGS…..ABOUT HOW GOOD DEALS YOU CAN FIND IN VV AND THEN :CATCHIT!….PRICE MOVE UP AND UP……MAY BE WHEN THEY DONT HAVE TOO MCH STAFF!…. SO WE NEED (COSTUMER) TO BE SMART…AND NOT GET THE STUPID IDEA TO SAFE THE PLANET BY THE WAY TO BUY USED AND NASTY AND NOT TRANSPARENT BUSSINESS PEOPLE
Value Village is leading the way in price gouging….I’ve been noticing it for the past couple years. Yes, on occation, you can find a “deal”, but rarely…like Kerry mentioned, if you shop the clearance racks at retailers you can walk away with steals! However, for everyday items, the so called, value, is gone. Ironically, I was just researching this same issue and found an interesting article about how Value Village is gouging the charities it touts as supporting. These charities have had their contracts changed without consultation. Not only do they need to bring in X-amount of soft goods to fulfil their obligation, but they also need to bring in hard goods like furniture. These hard goods do not bring the charities any dough…just the soft goods. Hmmmmmm…ya, ya, costs smoshts….google “Value Village profits. ‘Nuf said, THANKS KERRY!
I’m with you Kerry, I prefer to shop new and on sale over shopping at thrift stores most of the time. True, the thrift stores can be cheaper but you can find some amazing clearance deals at the mall and at the department stores that are nearly as cheap and sometimes even cheaper than the used item as you so clearly pointed out.
unfortunately I have not choice but to shop hear but I only go in for clothing. I wear plus sizes and it is incredibly hard to find young looking clothing brand new for a reasonable price
zellars (too old), sear ($100 for a pair of jeans or too old), the bay (too old), addition-elle ($60 for jeans) or Wal-mart (really far away and rarely – I don’t drive) so sometimes I have no choice but to go to VV but I hate it. Prices have gone up. BTW know anywhere I can get clothing for cheap for a 2XL?
While I’ve never shopped at a Value Village (Goodwill is the second hand store that I tend to frequent)I completely agree that those prices seem outrageous. However, there is an argument that you may be able to find better brands and higher quality clothes, even if used, at thrift stores than at some of the chains, which are notorious for mass producing cheap and inexpensive clothing. This makes those clothes more likely to be disposed when they fall apart after a couple of wearings and end up becoming more crap in our landfills. Not sure there’s a good answer to this dilemma. Just something to think about.
A reader emailed this comment:
I so so agree about the gouging @ VV.
The thing that makes them different that people don’t know is they are a FOR PROFIT org that actually sells the stuff not sold here in the stores to other countries.
How I know this? I have complained to VV staff/ managers @ various Niagara region stores for the past two years about the outrageous prices of 2nd hand clothing. For years I donated my used clothing there as a firm believer in recycling & having grown up shopping at Amity/ thrift shops/ Goodwill in Toronto.
It is a crime when Canadians donate their used items believing they are going to help those less fortunate, when in reality they are ” retail priced” too high for low income earners to even consider – then shipped internationally! I want my donations to be available for local consumption!
My advice – start shopping as you suggest @ retail store clearance sales of new merchandise or the more realistic 2nd hand options rather than the Big Box Gouger Value Village where, quite frankly, there ain’t no value anymore. 🙁
Value Village is overpriced most definitely. I rarely ever go there, having long ago noted that buying new is more thrifty. I do, however, similar to others who have posted like to avoid buying everything new. I find I have been pretty lucky with getting clothing at .. yes, garage sales, hand me downs from friends and clothing swaps. I will though spend quite a bit of money on wool, to knit a sweater that takes hours to create. That is not savings of either time or money when you compare it to the price of a sweater from the mall. Sometimes I will buy something from an artisan that costs quite a bit too (in comparison). All of our choices laden with values that have their own unique worth, sometimes outside of the price tag.
Callie – Winners has a great selection of plus size clothing.
I shop at the same Value Village as you, and I would agree that their prices are particularly outrageous. Kelowna and Kamloops don’t seem quite as extreme, but they’re rising also. I’m lucky inasmuch as my work generally allows me to shop the half price sale days, so I when I can go, I head in early. Otherwise, forget it!
They also seem to have fewer promotions (i.e. stamp cards) and when they do, the spending/donating requirements are much higher than they used to be.
I have not shopped at Value Village for years now. Even tho they make jobs for people, mostly women. someone (many in fact) are getting rich at the top. Places like Goodwill, Salvation Army, Mennonite Central Committiee (Ontario) use their profits for overseas and local volunteer progammes. These stores do not charge taxes as they are classed as CHARITY.
VV has been over priced for quite awhile now. I read an article on the “big” business these types of places are doing based on the fact that their products are donated and it was astounding. That being said Wal-Mart isn’t really cheap when you have to buy 3 of the same items a year because of quality. I find that buying cheap can be more expensive in the long run… My personal argghhh? The can opener. Under a buck at Wal-Mart but I would go through one a month because the dang thing would always break.. Smartened up, albeit after a few months too many, and spent 10 dollars (on sale) for a well crafted name brand one and have been using it for over a year with no issues…
I don’t bother going into VV anymore…can never find anything cheap enough to justify buying used. On the other hand, I always find something (generally for my kids) at the Salvation Army close to my house. And when looking to donate items, I always take them to Sally Ann because at least more of the money earned on the items will be helping people, not lining the pockets of the CEOs of the organization.
I tried on some jeans there last week. When looking at the price tags, one pair I grabbed were $69.99!!!!! For used jeans. Unbelievable.
i stopped shopping at VV a long time ago. Their prices were outrageous for the quality of the goods. They may be supporting charities, but I’m pretty sure that these charities could fundraise in a different manner and still come out ahead. A friend went shopping for winter boots for the express purpose of just being used to play in the snow, and found a pair with completely worn-down grips and collapsed toe boxes for $29.99, that was the nail in the coffin for both us shopping at VV.
I live in California and lost faith in thrift shops long ago when I found a very used basic torchiere lamp for $14.99 at a local thrift store. I was positive that it sold new at Home Depot for that price! I still occasionally attempt thrift stores when looking for Halloween costumes or one time use items, but more often than not I leave empty handed. I get my bargains at the Dollar Store, Target and WalMart sale racks! Also, Craigslist (don’t forget to check the Free section!)
THANK YOU for this post! I followed that thread on Facebook too and weighed in. I’m glad it’s not just my imagination that their prices are TERRIBLE and I’m glad you have confirmed to me that I can buy new for less. You rock SquawkFox!
I have noticed the prices seem to be getting high. I still go there, but find myself leaving empty handed more often than not. I can’t believe some of the stuff that gets onto the floor sometimes…. but I still find a deal on the odd occasion.
Kerry, I totally agree with you. Was in VV a couple of months ago to shop for glassware for my nephew for university and was horrified at pricing! For the same price they asked for 3 scratched and tired looking glasses I was able to buy a set of 4 boxed beautiful Anchor glasses for $3 at the dollar store! While shopping , I overheard comments made by other shoppers about the unreasonable pricing so the feeling is out there.
Also years ago I found beautiful cashmere sweaters there for a reasonable price so I check in from time to time. However, given the pricing level currently, I doubt they would still be a bargain…
PRICES ARE TOO HIGH I HARDLY SHOP THERE .
I stopped shopping there long ago. I have gone in a couple of times a year looking for things and usually walk out empty handed. The little ones such as Hospital Auxilary etc are much better. I have the benefit going to visit family in the USA and there Goodwill is much better especialy on Stat holidays as then the deals are even better. Yes the dollar store is better than VV!!
We do not have a Value Village where I live in Campbell River,BC, but there is one in Courtenay. Although, we do have a Salvation Army Thrift Store, whose prices are probably higher than Value Village, especially their Christmas stuff. They price ornaments higher than what you can buy at Walmart or Can. Tire. I also prefer to donate items like womens clothing to the local Womans’ Centre where clothing is given out free. Even the Liquidation World store is cheaper.
Value Village also pays for clothing collected by the Can. Diabetes clothing drives that do scheduled Pick ups in our area. I have always found good deals at Walmart on their clearance sales.
For Halloween the kids and I popped in to V V to look for a “rock star” top for my 12 year old. She got lucky with one for $2.99. My 9 year old son, however, gave up as he just couldn’t find anything reasonable. Even the kids were saying, “they want how much for that?!?”
Then my son fell in love with a stack of Guinness World Record books to add to his treasured collection. I just about choked when they wanted $5 a piece for them! The local, hospital fundraiser thrift store sells the ones they get for $0.50 each, or $1.00 if they’re in nearly perfect shape!! I felt so bad for him because he just loves those books.
He did buy a couple of them with his allowance, but even he recognized that what he spent cut into his spending money more than he’d have liked.
I know V V supports charities and their programs by buying used items, but if less people buy at V V overall, that funding is in jeopardy then too.
I almost wrote a book in response to this post, but I’ll shorten it a bit. Yes, I still shop at VV, for the same reason as Callie–options are limited for plus-sized women. Other thrift stores don’t size their merchandise. I also shop at Wal-Mart, because really, being poor and a 2X doesn’t leave you much choice.
But if you’re really broke (or just plain cheap), why don’t you try to eliminate cash altogether? It’s not only possible to get stuff free, it’s actually easy.
Through my church friends, I’ve been given a matching couch and chair set for my living room, an almost new condition sofa bed and lamp for my office, all of a quality that I could not afford even if used. When I was really down and out and needed interview clothes, I put an ad in our church bulletin, asking for clothes in my size, and got several big bags of stuff, all of which was in excellent condition. What I couldn’t use, I donated.
Or you can do what we do now: Host a free event where people bring in new or almost new unwanted stuff. We sort the stuff, then we open the doors, and folks can take what they want or need.
A man who visited last night to pick up some of my excess guppies (given away for free), told me that he had done most of his Christmas shopping on Kijiji, which is another source of cheap or free stuff.
We used to pick up some great deals but now I only go in to get some overalls for the winter outside which I usually find for decent prices as I need good ones. On the rare occasion I find some t-shirts that are pricey and in decent condition as well. We have noticed the prices going up and up but like you we find the odd great deal or go in on a 50% off day. It’s the greed that’s going to take them down just like any other business who gets high up on their horse. What gets me going is the fact that they charge bloody tax on items that have already been taxed by the original purchaser then tax us again on the blinkin stuff that is USED… I don’t get it how Canada operates sometimes but that stinks to me! Great post SF! Mr.CBB
Hi there, and am liking the comments so far. I live in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada. Here the VV is still a value, IMHO. Yes, you can get cheaper sometimes by venturing to the new-stuff stores, but consider this: How much more time would it take to find those rare deals than to simply visit VV a few times a year during their 50%-off sales? If you are a time-challenged (and who isn’t?) but discriminating shopper, you can buy every category of stuff, of every make and style, in VV.
For my money, I’d rather find a whole whack of diverse, interesting goods that have already had the chemicals washed out and have NOT put more strain on the worldwide resources that go into manufacturing clothing (including the social justice angle on this). I suppose if you’re someone who likes to buy 6 of the same make and size clothes just in different colours, you won’t like VV (but then, how many Baby Gap bargain basement sales will have that anyway?).
From what I can see here, it might be a matter of where your particular VV is located. Mine are not jacking prices up like some of the folks here have seen, and the goods are actually high-quality in my neighbourhood (high standard of living for most, but still lots of people stretched more than ever).
And in general, all stores will have a few things that are a true rip-off. But one woman’s junk … you just have to know the value of something to you.
I love your articles – both their contents and their scrappy tone.
Michelle (aka SimplyRead)
[…] Are You Getting Gauged At Value Village? (squawkfox.com) […]
I agree that VV is becoming more expensive, and that Vernon is more expensive than Kelowna.
I don’t get all the people complaining about the greed, etc., though. Value Village is a business, and businesses are in business to make a PROFIT.
I think a more legit complaint is that so many people think VV is a charitable org, when it is not, however, if you don’t like it, don’t donate to them. I donate to the local Salvation Army and Senior Thrift Shops, as then I know the money earned stays in MY community and helps local people.
VV pays those Charities a $/lb for all the curbside, personally donated, & those charity calls asking for used clothing they collect. Also if companies such as GAP, OLD NAVY, WALMART etc have unsold overstock it is squished into a tight square & again, just like metal VV will pay them so much per lb. That is VV ‘helping local charity’. Everything else is profit after wages. They DON’T have a pricing system just a bunch of people with a price gun. You have to scan EVERY item & you just might luck out & find an adult sz jeans/pants $6.99 (my max) & adult shirts $2.99-$4.99 & did in fact find brand new mens PJ pants fleese for $2.99. My issue is Coorporate with VV & I don’t go often, never on 50% days b/c of crowd, & stick to my local thrift (but those are so limited). I have to travel 30-40mins for the closest GAP, OLD NAVY, CHILDREN’S PLACE so going ‘shopping’ would be very planned.
We don’t have a VV here but we do have a for profit thrift store called Unique. What I like to shop for great bargains are several thrift stores run by local shelters. Each shelter whether for the homeless, battered women, teenage mothers, or other type shelter has a store of it’s own to accept donations and sells at very reasonable prices. Often the people in the shelter does volunteer work in the store and gets store credit to spend when they get a home of their own. All store profits go directly to the charity running it. I often pay a price higher than I believe it should be because I know who will benefit. “For profit” thrift stores are just not my idea of shopping for bargains or giving donations.
I’m glad to see others are deciding to bypass Value Village too. I have left empty-handed the last three times I went there; I won’t be going back. Why bother when (as others have stated) better deals can be found for new items in retail stores? I am also going back to giving my gently-used items to the Salvation Army or other charity shops. You know, I just feel ‘dirty’ now after leaving Value Village…my hands feel like they need sanitizer.
Nope. I recently discovered the St. Vincent de Paul (Vinnie’s) – money goes to charity, great selection, very reasonable prices. Not going to tell you what town I’m in – it’s my little secret!
My Mother-in-law used to love that place!!! She and her sister dropped a small fortune there at the local store. I don’t have one anywhere near where I live so I shop at the Salvation Army Thrift store. It’s in town within walking distance. Our younger son used to work there P/T until the economy crashed and they had to let him go due to reduced sales. He had the least seniority so that was that. I know that the money raised there stays in town and I know that when people leave crap outside the store they have to pay to take it to the landfill. Our son hated garage sale season as people would drop off the junk that didn’t sell at the thrift store for them to haul away on Monday.
I’ve never been to Value Village, but have been told it is a great store here in St. Catharines, Ontario.
Was also told to wait till after Holloween to go there, because of the holiday’s prices.
But now after reading all this, I may not go there at all.
If any of your readers are from St. Kitts, please let me know what you think of the V V store on Ontario St.
I used to really like VV for many of the reasons already mentioned. I mean where can you get such a good selection of clothes by going into one store. But, the prices have gone crazy (I heard Winners had taken over). I only shop there on Seniors Day (Tuesday) for the 20% off. But even then it’s hard to find a bargain. My condo is doing an Out of the Cold clothing drive so I went to VV today in the hopes of picking up some cheap mitts, toques etc. to donate. I really was flabbergasted when I saw a pair of mitts that had been hand knitted – they were nothing special and were $4.99! Give me a break. Also books are a rip off too – original price $10.95+ are $4.99 – even paperbacks are originally $10.99. No wonder they have soooo many books – you’d think they’d mark them down to get rid of them.
Love your posts Kerry and I’m going to email my comments to VV too.
I live in the U.S. No V.V. near me…. However in the past, I have purchased LEVIS at great prices After your description “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.” I have decided to purchase new! LOL!
p.s. You Rock!
Vv is the greatest place on earth, I love the discounts and the costumer service. I always leave with a smile on my face. I live in oshawa, ontario and you won’t get a better deal on furniture then the v.v. In oshawa. I always donate to see the super cute redhead with glasses! Everyone should love value village!
I live in Vernon and have stopped going to VV. The prices seemed to have more than doubled in the last two years alone. About five years ago you could get some really great bargains, but honestly I agree with Kerry. I looked and looked until I was exhausted; for the price a lot of the merchandise was garbage and handsomely priced. So I turned around and went to the mall and was pleased with the garments and the price. That makes me sad, really sad for those who used to depend heavily on VV.
I now give to the Salvation Army or directly to those I know personally have needs, my stuff always looks brand new and that makes me feel glad for those who will walk away with what i have brought.
When my children and I fled from an abusive now ex it was the salvation army that provided the Christmas hamper for us. I did not know such a thing existed and my oldest son just happened to talk to the head of the army and told him our situation. He filled up a box with his own turkey, presents and treats and drove my son home . I cried for weeks from the kindness showed. So I will happily take our things there and have a look see what I might get for a good price.
I had to weigh in on this as I wrote a blog post about this about a month ago. VV has absolutely outgrown its britches! And something I’ve not seen anyone else mention is something I learned talking to another customer one day in VV. We were talking about the increase in prices and she had used to buy things for clients she had that needed things. She told me she complained to an associate & then the manager one day and was told that the thing she had in her hand was an antique! She quickly told them they aren’t an antique store! I’ve also overheard this conversation at Goodwill by associates, that they need to check the tags & markings on things before pricing. My take on this? Let them sell those things on ebay or such and put the prices back where people down on their luck can afford.
I’d also like to make a comment to Tom, who asked about the VV on Ontario St. in St. Catharines…..this is the store that the lady told me about the antique comment…but think you’ll find prices are pretty much the same across the board. Shop at Bibles for Missions or Christian Benefit Shop instead…..they just want to move merchandise.
Great investigative post. You’ve articulated what we’ve all been feeling. I havn’t been to value village in years. As soon as jeans passed the $10 mark I was done.
Ok, so I am not the only one complaining about this. I noticed this year when it came time to my my preschooler her fall wardrobe that I couldnt find anything and that my $20 wardrobe for a season was over now. Sadly something good has turned into something bad. Good article
I agree about the VV price shift, and its ‘for-profit’ slant. I prefer to shop at the Salvation Army, Goodwill and MCC thrift stores where I know profits will help others, AND I will get more bang for my buck. VV is still better than new in my books though, because I know I am not putting money directly into the hands of companies that use sweat-shops, and it’s just better all around to reduce and re-use.
Great post. I’ve been noticing prices creeping higher at vv. It seems especially cruel in small communities- where there are lots of seniors and folks who need help with the basics.
I try to give to charities who give directly to those in need, and I’ll try and shop there too, when I can. Found a fabulous vintage dress recently at a Salvation Army store. It was a sale day, and the dress ended up being $3! You can’t find stuff like that at vv anymore.
Also, to both Callie and Yeshanu – I’m a big gal, and the best place I’ve found that you can get beautiful clothing for Sizes 16+ is a store called Torrid. It’s only in the US (there’s nothing like that in Canada- trust me, I’ve looked everywhere). Shipping can be pricey- but they often do 50% off clearance sales, which offer huge bargains. I think they have a sale on now- be sure to check them out!
Goodwill is just about as bad. Their prices are way too high for used stuff that someone donated. Additionally, their hiring practices are criminal but because they are “Goodwill” they get away with it. My daughter who is mildly handicapped was hired at our local store. She was one in a long line of employees fired on her 89th day of employment because she was eligible for insurance benefits on her 90th day. Because of high unemployment people are willing to take these minimum wage jobs and be treated poorly.
This is a BIG profitable business. Their materials are free, they get tax breaks, their labor is dirt cheap with government subsidies to them for ‘hiring the handicapped’, and then they get off with paying no benefits.
Someone is getting rich here.
I used to live about two minutes walk from the Kelowna Value Village and shopped there about once a week. A huge portion of our clothing and housewares came from that store. About ten years ago, we noticed that we could buy new at the original retailer for about the same price VV wanted for used, stained and/or damaged. There were still a few bargains, but you could just as easily get taken. I now shop at other thrift shops because the last time I went into VV I saw nothing that I could not get cheaper any number of places, including the sale racks at Orchard Park. I don’t even bother to check anymore.
Firstly let me say I have found deals at Value Village but shop there seldom anymore for several reasons:
1: the ever increasing high prices for half worn out items is insulting
2: their whole business model-basically we are giving them their inventory for them to make money. that would be like all of us donating to Can. Tire or the Bay so they can resell it back to us.
They have been investigated many times for their misleading advertising that leaves people thinking they are donating to an non-profit org. or that Value Village supports charitible org thanks to your donations, When in fact they give less to charities than an a normal company.
In my view it’s a scam but it only works because we support them both with giving them their inventory then buying it back at more and more inflated prices. After awhile we have to help ourselves.
I try and boycott them as much as possible but admit that once in a blue moon I do go in for a quick look.
I do make sure all my donations and 99% of my business goes to other thrift stores.
I shop at V.V. all over southwestern Ontario, & my friends & I have noticed the increase in prices since 2010. However, as a plus-sized senior, I am still more likely to find something that fits, and that I like & can afford at V.V. than anywhere else. That’s because most, if not all, retail stores get their stock from third-world countries, and it’s mostly cr*p – if you’ll forgive my language. I am still likely to find garments that are made in Canada or the U.S. at V.V., because they were originally purchased before everything became “Made in China”!
Also, I never have to worry about anything shrinking, or the colour running, because it will already have been laundered several times before I get it. Even the cheapest price at Walmart is too much if the garment doesn’t stand up to laundering. And I’m a very competent laundress, so I know how to get the most wear out of my clothes.
I can say that this year was the first time I ever left a V.V. empty-handed. My friend thought I was ill! LOL I will still shop there, but I’ve just become more discriminating about what I’ll pay. In Life nothing ever stays the same, and thrift shopping is no exception. Adapting to change is what keeps me flexible in mind and body – and that’s a good thing, as Martha would say. 😉
Although VV is for profit it does purchase clothing that was donated to not-for-profit organizations giving them much needed $. Check their policies when donating.
And, both Goodwill and Sally Anne seem expensive too – better to shop on their sale days.
I’m frequently surprised as to how expensive Value Village has gotten. I noticed that a while ago when I went to buy some pants. I ended up spending almost $20 on them, and they weren’t even that great of a brand. I probably could have bought them brand new for only a bit more.
In defence of Value Village! I consider vv the costco of used item shopping where everything is under one roof. I have just bought a coat there after driving around to find cheaper new/on sale alternatives at better known outlets. No luck. Next, I had to get boots and the same thing again. My time is precious and where else can you get a bargain on everything from sweaters to skis? I think that not all vv stores are created equal but mine here is great, clean and spacious. You just have to look around and shop often. You also get a rebate for bringing in household items for re sale.
I agree too… their prices have definitely gone up… to the point of ridiculous for some things!!
BUT… if you have a really good eye, you can still find some bargains here and there.
They do need to get their pricing more in line with the “USED” reality, and keep the VERY USED stuff off the shelves (as many have said, to even try to sell it is insulting sometimes).
I do find some of the prices at VV too high especially when one can get the same item new at a dollar store. However, in my town I have found the Goodwill more expensive for housewares, at least e.g. $2.02 for a 1L canning jar vs. $0.69 at VV.
I do agree with some of the comments above in that I do not want to frequent Walmart because of their business practices. I also want to buy used for environmental reasons. I hope these thrift stores do some rethinking of their prices, but I will still continue to shop at them and find what I consider bargains without taxing the environment by consuming new products.
Value Village receive all their merchandise free they donate 3cents a pound to the diabetes society (so I’v been told?) and promote themselves as charitable!!I do not donate nor buy there, I used to and stopped a year ago when prices started going crazy. ornaments with broken ears,hands etc. @2.99 naked barbies with ruined hair, ink over their bodies etc. 2.99.Clothing WELL USED SOME THREADBARE AT WICKED HIGH PRICES. SHOP AT SALVATION ARMY. Salvation army gives to our communities during fires, flodds etc. they sell clothing at a fraction of value village. this is an american owned company ripping off canadians. The poor can’t afford to shop there. frenchy’s are reasonable however salvation army is still the place to donate & buy. support our own.
MARGE; I AGREE WITH ALL OF ABOVE, I USED TO BE A REGULAR SHOPPER IN SYDNEY,NOVA SCOTIA. HOWEVER IN THE PAST YEAR I HAVE NOT BEEN IN THE STORE. THEY ARE OVERPRICED SELLING DOLLAR STORE ITEMS FOR $2.00 (TAGS STILL ON BOTTOM OF ITEM SHOWING DOLLARRAMA) ORNAMENTS WITH BROKEN PARTS @2.99, CLOTHING THAT IS THREADBARE,CHEAPER TO BUY NEW AT END OF SEASON SALES. RETURN POLICY IS TERRIBLE AND MOST OF THE TIME THE STAFF ARE NOT POLITE OR FRIENDLY WHEN YOU DO RETURN. THIS IS AN AMERICAN OWNED CO. WHO GIVE VERY LITTLE TO THE DIABETES SOCIETY AND ARE GOUGING THE POOR.
GIVE TO THE SALVATION ARMY, THEY HELP THE COMMUNITY IN TIME
OF NEED. PLUS THEIR IN STORE PRICES ARE GREAT. THEY ARE THERE FOR THE NEEDY. FRENCHY’S IS GREAT TOO.
THE SMELL IN THE STORE AND THE JUNK WHICH SHOULD BE PRICED AT .25 CENTS OR THROWN IN GARBAGE IS ENOUGH TO DETER ANYONE.
MARGE CAPE BRETON NOVA SCOTIA
I have had the opposite experiences at VV for the most part. I find that the value is excellent, and may even be improving. I shop there weekly, and visit a variety of value villages across the country when I travel with business.
Just like on ebay, you can find some expensively priced crap, and some incredible bargains. The people doing the pricing almost certainly upcharge desirable brands, because it’s a surer bet for profits, and it likely doesn’t dissuade brand-conscious buyers.
Generally, I skip the Gap and Tommy Hilfiger and go straight to the upscale brands. I’ve gotten Hugo Boss suits for $15, which is probably a 98% reduction. I got a Breville capuccino machine for the same price, regularly $300. At the same time, I’ve seen BNWT J. Crew leather boots for $50, which makes them the most expensive item in the store, but is still a reasonable deal. My biggest victory was a four-point wool Hudson’s Bay blanket – no holes, no stains, immaculate condition, for $8, whereas I saw the exact same blanket at The Bay the next week for $450.
This blog’s assertions are pretty ridiculous, because valuation becomes incredibly difficult in the second-hand market. Fashions change, quality varies widely, and you can never be sure that an item’s condition is acceptable to a potential buyer. Known brands offset a lot of those quality concerns, and often hold style better over the long term.
OF COURSE you can find other, better deals if you hang around sale racks, or buy everything from the dollar store, but is EVERYTHING at the gap >70% off? Value Village shoppers know there will occasionally be shoddy electronics, stained garments, and even moldy shoes, because the people sorting and pricing aren’t experts, and can’t go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. Furthermore, broken or soiled items might not even deter the customer from buying!
If you want curated, restored, or tested second hand items, that’s what pawn shops, fripperies, and antiques dealers are for, but you pay for that curation, and often dearly.
Interesting! We moved last year, and I just chalked the prices at the new store up to being in a different part of town. I wonder if there isn’t as big a disparity as I’d assumed…
My personal experience is that I’ve several times found items that were priced higher than retail and when brought to the attention of the store, they’ve reduced the prices. But for general higher pricing, yes, I wait for the 50% days too.
I’ve noticed their hike in prices for a few years in Brampton. I bought a few NEW shirts for my son at the children’s place for around $5 each….. I go to VV and see a ratty faded children’s place shirt for $7!!!! I said to the clerk I got new shirts same brand for cheaper than what you guys are selling used ones for….he said when new ownership took over they changed their pricing guide. Brand names go for more even if the article is ratty they price it by brand. When did used kids clothes cost more than a buck a piece. A great thrift shop that still sells at thrift prices is GBF in Grimbsy. They even have $5 bag days fill a bag with anything in store for $5 and these ladies stuff the bags full! I also shop at Talize they are like VV but I find better quality and better brands for slightly cheaper than VV. days of cheap thrift shopping is over unless u find the small church or volunteer run shops.
You peaked my interest when you mentioned GBF in Grimsby as I shop there all the time. You’re right….great prices and decent merchandise. It’s one of my favourite places to buy books and they even put them together by last name of author!
I had never heard of Talize but looked it up and see there’s one in Hamilton. I’m in St. Catharines now, so don’t get up that way much anymore, like I used to but I’m definitely going to check it out. I can always find an excuse to go that way with a friend, who also appreciates great thrift stores. Thanks for the tip!
I totally agree! The prices have been creeping up and up! I *almost* bought a winter coat But at $29.99 it was at the top of my price range. Better values exist at Bibles for Missions, or Salvation Army. But, I have found better housewares at Value Village all the same. Please, if you’re going to donate, please take it to Salvation Army or Bibles for Missions~! Value Village is FOR PROFIT. The only way that they will lower their prices is if we take our stuff and cash elsewhere.
Thanks Keri for the great postings with photos! I thought I was the only one thinking that Value Village prices have hit the roof.
As Dawn points out VV is FOR PROFIT. I’m for profit but when so much is donated I expect the price points to be more reflective of this.
I rather go to local hospital thrift shops, wildlife animal thrift shop and the like. My donations go to such shops (but I really hate it when I buy my own stuff back!)
Thanks for your entertaining writing.
Not just VV but Goodwill too. Insane prices. I can do better at the mall.
Small thrift stores are still the cheapest. Kijiji is great too.
Some people just truly think value village is cheap…..it isn’t.
The Salvation Army is awesome and the money goes to noble causes.
Perhaps the terrible sticker shock at VV might be better understood of everyone realizes that yes the goods they receive are indeed donated aka free to them but that VV is an American “profit” organiztion versus a non-profit like Goodwill( and I agree GW has inflated its prices beyond belief for what are donated items).Both of these are out of touch given reality is the goods they receive to sell are free to them.
Hence in reality VV is and has always been from the day it set foot in Canada, a business that operates solely for profit ( but gets to use the rules of a charity for their operating purposes).
As a result of this knowledge I have never and never will give this outfit a single penny of my money ( and the same goes for Walmart-another disgusting American business that should be banned in our country for the havoc it wreaks on local businesses)
Its not just $49.99 wool coat (men’s small), alongside the $19.99 wool coats (men’s x-large, xx-large) it is also the absence of products. For instance gloves, umbrellas, working lamps, shoes (8 1/2–just tennis shoes and soccer cleats). Things they used to have (clocks, small boxes (wood), small storage boxes (tupper ware style, warm shirts) that are never there anymore.
I’ve watched people go through the floor lamps and buying 10-15 (and still counting when I left). One man buying 10 pairs of children’s shoes that were nearly the same size.
I’ve witnessed one of the small size semi trailers being unloaded in a VV parking lot (8:30pm in a winter night’s rain as well as during a sunny spring morning) with merchandise (furniture) being set aside and picked up by people. Picked up between the trailer and the delivery door (without going through the store). In Seattle. (No raincoats in VV Seattle. Couldn’t find a winter coat to fit me in Edmonton.)
In reading all the comments I feel that there is definently a lack of ignorance. I have been working for this company 13 years and I woulD only have to agree with one comment and that is that prices have increased over the last couple years but so has the company wages to support and pay an average of 50 to 60 employees plus benefits and what retailer hasn’t had price increases? Including groceries,gas,hydro? Value village supports over 150 charities not just 1. The only items that gets shipped over sea’s is clothing that has holes n stains n doesn’t meet the avg canadian or american standards. Sorry but homeless or less fortunate need shoes too. And the opportunities for employees are endless.what other companies out there would invest in their people? Just wanted to let you know that value village pays for items sight unsee and yes there is a lot of garbage that comes with the business that can’t be recycled-disposal cost are not free.just sayin that there is a lot of overhead that comes with a business and employees that earn a paycheck-sorry folks but groceries n gas for our vehicles have also increased in price-maybe u should boycott them!
Benefits???? It’s a thrift store-most retail stores do not pay their employees benefits. All retailers have bills, they pay for brand new and clean. VV get’s good for free or pennies a bundle. Enough with the excuses.
I have only seen framed art nice enough to warrant the prices twice, and they no doubt sold quickly. I wanted unique picture frames for some art I bought-which I could not find so looked closely at the more ‘run of mill’ frames. Closest I found was not in good shape so I ended up in Walmart-Where- Same quality frames, some exact, without the crappy outdated artwork at walmart on a promo rack-half the price of VV, brand new no scuffs no broken backs…. Come on Value Village re-think. Shoes…do you want to move these items, prices way out of proportion again for out of fashion footwear, some prices gouged just for the name, they are still old and still used.
Housewares-prices have gone wayyyy up. I returned a dinner sized decorative (blue mountain pottery)plate I bought for 19.99 because VV had placed the price sticker over a chip on the back. Next time I went back-sticker was again on the same spot-14.99. Another beautiful blue glass plate I would have bought if not for the sticker price-79.99!!!! It was on the shelf forever- Probably in a store owner or Managers house.
I used to love the thrill of finding treasures at a great price. Now I don’t dream of given VV anything. Frequenting other treasure troves.
Value village has NO value or savings for consumers. They sell rubbish at high prices; higher even than Walmart, Winners and sometimes even COSTCO.
The Salvation Army on the other hand, sells at better prices and the money supports life saving charitable works – shelters, food banks, drug rehab, etc…
There are NO treasures at VV, just worn out and used trash.
“In reading all the comments I feel that there is definently a lack of ignorance. ”
You are correct. Everyone seems to understand exactly what they mean.
Value Village must be doing something right. There are stores everywhere throughout the GTA and more and more new stores being added every year. Every time I go to shop there, the stores are usually quite busy and the checkout lines are often long (one of my few gripes).
I think people are missing out – by thinking the only benefit of such a store are low prices. But it’s more like a giant garage sale, open all year round and 12 hours a day. There are items there you just can’t buy anywhere else besides thrift stores. Old VHS tapes, records, vintage clothing (I once found a Montreal Expos t-shirt for 5.00) and other obscure goodies.
Some of the problems with the store are not their fault. For example, the toy section has a lot of broken toys but that’s mainly because they seem to have no problem allowing little kids to play with them unsupervised.
Beth…I am sure you meant there is a lot of ignorance. Otherwise you proved the whole point of post.
Ace says “Some of the problems with the store are not their fault. ”
The comment above is the reason why as a hardworking consumer, I am so ticked off with this store. Its their negative attitude towards their customers that stinks. They take no responsibility for the items they sell.
Ace says the reason they sell shoddy and broken toys is because customers allow THEIR children to break them!
Oh, give ME a break! Value Village sells many dirty, shoddy and broken toys because it can; I have also seen on sale many items that have been on recall lists for years including children’s jewelry recalled for lead content and recalled electrical appliances.
If I sound harsh, I mean to! They are taking billions of dollars in from customers that believe they are being eco-friendly and price conscious. They owe their consumers some respect.
As a matter of fact I think I will make a project out of documenting the issues I have with this chain of stores and why shopping there may be hazardous to ones health.
When I shop at thrift shops is is normally for the reduced prices. And like everything and anything else I go with a budget. But my main reason for going is to reduce. reuse and recycle. Frugal living is (for me) is about cutting cost buying what I need but most of all reduce my environmental footprint of my little space called earth!
I agree with you wholeheartedly! Most of what we buy, we use only a few times anyway so why not reuse someones gently used item. But I have found a few “used” things I am still using years later such as a solid teak coffee table I found for 30$.
I collected all my pottery/dishes over a period of about ten years – now I have a beautiful collection of hand-painted Denby (pieces from 1930-2000) which I use everyday. All of these things were “thrown out” as single pieces, but together they make a beautiful collection that I and others have found new value in.
Maybe my attitude towards shopping “used” is negative to manufacturing and the economy, but if companies like Walmart produced more sustainable products made to last or even paid the producers of such goods a living wage, maybe I would buy new goods instead of recycling.
But for now, I will take advantage of the tremendous amount of discarded, unwanted and ultimately quality items available and donated knowing that perhaps my money will support a good charitable endeavor.
Happy New Year to everyone!
I am going to have to disagree with the vast majority here…
While there are overpriced items at Value Village, they still have loads of great deals, and you can find much faster than at a Goodwill. Like any store, it is buyer beware.
On a recent trip to a VV in Toronto, I bought the following items, all like new –
A Nanette Lepore dress for $15 – these usually are $300-400.
A 100% silk Sandra Angellozzi blouse for $12 – these usually start at $100
A wool Banana Republic skirt for $10 – these usually are $80
A Banana Republic blazer for $12 – usually $100
PLUS I had 30% off coupon! I was there for only an hour to find these amazing deals. I spend the equivalent time at Goodwill or Salvation Army and come back empty handed.
Also – I think it IS better to spend $15 on a pair of gently used Gap jeans than $15 on a new pair. Recycle! Its better for the planet.
Also – on the “crotch” comment in the blog post – you realize that people try on new jeans at the Gap right? Your crotch isn’t the first and only crotch to inhabit even a new pair of jeans?
I do shop at VV alot, and have seen prices rise sometimes way out of line but what really gets my goat is finding jeans (St Jacobs) and wool blankets (Aberfoyle flea market) that I have been told come at least in part from VV!! What’s going on?? The amounts of these goods seem to indicate an organized effort, sort of sad when the goods have been donated in good faith.
I’m in the US. Savers is actually my favorite thrift store. Like any other thrift store, you need to watch. A lot of times things are cheaper new.
Basically what I am saying is that I don’t think that your observations are unique to Value Village. It is a widespread problem, at least at the thrift stores that I shop at.
“It’s Just Laura” likes Savers. But she should know that Savers is a for profit corporation as is Value Village and the same businesses practices apply. Kerry’s observations are the same as I have observed at Savers. Mostly way too high prices with the occasional goody. The last…and final…time I was there they had dirty glassware (complete with dried on milk) identical to the glassware at the dollar store but twice as much. I don’t support them any more as there are good alternative thrift shops in every town run by local not for profit organizations. I donate to them, give things away on Freecycle, sometimes just give to friends, and occasionally sell the really good stuff online. And the really ratty clothes become cleaning rags. Remember those?
Aside from their ridiculous prices, Value Village is deceiving the public as according to the Webster Dictionary, the definition of the word ‘donate’ is: “to make a gift of; especially : to contribute to a public or charitable cause.”
So how can a for-profit business like Value Village blatanly use the word ‘donate’ in their advertising and signage, to solicit ‘donations’ and mislead consumers to think they are helping a local charity? That ain’t right. Not only does it hurt actual charities who rely heavly on local donations, VV does nothing for needy individuals or support local community help programs.
Value Village (Savers) is a very secretive, intensly private, for-profit business that uses a charity like Canadian Diabetes Association here, as shield to hide the truth. The real story is disturbing. They are takers, not givers. Why haven’t Consumer Affairs and the Advertising Standards associations investigated this deception? And why does CDA spend more on their donation pickup program, than on diabetes research? Where is Geraldo when we need him?…. Hello CBC Marketplace? 20/20? Nightline? Anyone?
I am not a big fan of Value Village but their stuff is not cheap. I prefer to buy new clothing and have found stuff on the back racks of stores to be cheaper. Or I buy when its on sale. I think its ridiculous that a place like this charges such high prices and takes advantage of other people’s good will. In my area I prefer Salvation Army as they seem to have alot more stuff and their prices seem to be better. And for stuff that is used! Another indication that our world is ever so messed up.
Value village charges way too
much for their baseball caps
Where is Geraldo when we need him?…
I hope you do not mean Geraldo of Rivera fame ! The great R******* money saver…
What does that man have to say about the real lives of women and how they manage to take care of themselves and their families??
Its so hard to meet the needs of a growing family today that these shops exist in the first place. But it was not long ago that it was shameful to use or wear “someone elses” possessions even if you had very little. My mother would never have gone into a church charity shop for instance (1950’s-1960’s). Thus used goods stayed really cheap back then.
But today it seen as unforgivable to waste perfectly good stuff. This change in attitude is very appealing to marketers. They know we need them, and they have started
to take advantage of good people.
When will it end?
Thanks for posting this! I was disgusted when I went to buy kids clothing for my daughter. Instead I buy kids clothes from a locally run consignment shop (in much better shape and for a way better price). We donate our used clothes to the homeless shelter and to the Society of Services which runs a local thrift shop with great prices (aka: the needy can actually afford to shop there, and the money they make goes back into the community… a double-win!) I think it’s important that people know WHO they are donating to. We specifically avoid religious groups, and anyone who makes a profit on someone’s poverty.
Yeah, I haven’t shopped at VV since I moved out of my crappy college apartment, where the only shopping I could reach was the VV at the end of the block.
Now I prefer to donate and buy from Goodwill. There are several outlets and donations centres here in Edmonton and for my needs they’re perfect. There’s a dedicated book store for when I want to expand my library, and I can regularly find a few pairs of brand new quality slacks for under $8.
Now, if only busty girls like me would start donating their cute tops…
I still find good things at VV (I’m in Oakville, ON). I originally went there for clothes for my son – in the GTA there are NO boys clothes on clearance racks at Gap/Old Navy.. and for me, a size 2, no sizes left once things are super cheap. On Sunday I went to VV’s 50% off (LOVE that they open it up on Sundays now) and got an amazing vintage lamp (working!) for $4.99 (not part of the sale), 3 tops for my son each under $3 and jeans for him for $4 that look brand new. I buy things for him when I see them even if they are larger sizes than he needs at the moment. Also LOVE the toy prices! I often take my son there when I want to treat him and he’s 4 so doesn’t care about the toys being used. I find most stuff is dirty but I clean the items and magic eraser marks off stuff and it looks brand new. I think the prices range greatly and I just stick to what I am willing to pay.
I used to work at value village in 2003 or so. Honestly one of the best jobs in terms of nice coworkers and decent managers. The prices were quite reasonable and with an employee discount they were downright insane. Pay was low but I needed a job.
I agree the prices now are just not realistic at all. Before we’d be busy as hell and people would come because they knew they’d find a few cool things at a good price. Even retro shop owners would come buy stuff to resell. Maybe Savers management saw that and thought, “shit, why don’t we charge the same price?”. The issue is you’ve now lost about 80% of your demographic. Considering the cloths are donated your cost is sorting and stocking. Anything left over after about 6 weeks was compressed into a bale and headed off for the developing world. Overall, it was something were I think everyone came away with something. These days I’d rather deal with goodwill.
I haven’t shopped at VV in a long time but went in recently looking for scrapbooking odds and ends that usually come bunched up in plastic bags. I ended up leaving without anything since they packaged bits of lace, which i did want, with sewing machine stuff that I did not want. the prices are way too high. I then went to MCC only to find that as soon as they dressed up the store, the prices also got dressed up. Don’t go there much anymore. UGM is still pretty good.
Mm Stop and think a minute, now take a deep slow breath, and realize that these “thirft stores” are acquiring this stuff for FREE! Now when I thought in these terms I want to blow my top! Sorry but I can’t shop there! For there is NO value. Don’t be buffalo!
OMG busines is business if you don’t like value village don’t go and stop your whining. Wait for your once a year sales at the big box stores. If enough people stop going maybe they will bend and lower prices.
I totally agree this past year in Vancouver and Burnaby, BC they just keep raising their prices. I went there yesterday to find a new belt for work. I found a black plastic belt, (the kind you get for free with a dress) was $6.99! It wasn’t leather or anything even had a tear in the stretch material on the back. I thought VV was to help people who were low income how can these people afford it? And I stopped dropping off my used clothing to them after I heard they only give a very small percent to helping people the rest goes to the corporation.
So glad I found your experiment article!! You are completely right, prices are out of control!!! I often see many items for 75% more than their original home @ Dollarama!!! What was a buck there, is 2-20 AT VV. We do not shop there anymore as a result of their crazy prices and the fact that they are, as Slim Pickens mentions, “…. a very secretive, intensly private, for-profit business that uses a charity like Canadian Diabetes Association here, as shield to hide the truth.” My husband used to get so wound up and almost ‘rage filled’ after leaving VV the last few times and his negative energy was contagious. What should be a pleasant experience, or so we thought, turns out to be followed by, a ..”What the heck is wrong with these people?!!!” rant all the way home and continues on from there….I too could write a book after reading this!!! Just glad to know we are not being over exaggeratedly unappreciative people. I will confess though, we have made it a sort of ‘outing’ in the cold winter months and gone to VV to simply let our toddler run around the isles and sometimes, straight to the toy section (antibacterial hand wipes in pocket)!!!!! We will buy something, if it catches our eye while observing our toddler, and even then, that is pretty rare. Sometimes, while I observe my toddler and interact with her or walk briskly down isles with her, my husband will start up conversations with others about the prices and educate them about the fact that VV is private and for profit, and then mentions all the places he knows that are non profit places to shop and find things they may need. Sometimes, he stops people right at the drop off depot area and does the same. No point in emailing them. I feel confident that they already know about their prices and it would be a waste of time. Some big wigs got to go there and do a consumer program special or something. We all know that there is a plethora of information to do so. Anyway, thank you so much for this article, I am posting URL re facebook right now!!!!
P.S Hope you enjoyed your green overalls!!!
My favourite…those silver hexagon tea light lanterns with glass sides, commonly $3.00 @vv. Also sell new, without rust @ IKEA for, wait for it….$ 2.99. I got mine for free on a promotional deal @ IKEA many years ago.
The Edmonds VV has a flour sifter for 4.99, it’s a piece if crap made in China not worth 2 bucks, but the best part is…it’s broken! It’s been on the shelf for over two weeks, I think they believe it’s vintage cause it’s styled after a vintage design. Nope not vintage, just garbage!
Clothes @ Sears liquidation are half what the are at VV & no one has worn them out for you.
That Gap vest you mentioned, got mine @ Orphan Aid on Edmonds for $5.00, down filled.
VV is complete rip off yet it’s still packed with people, what gives?
Who ever prices this company’s books and records and puts them behind the “special area” is an idiot. Scratched Beatles records for 19.99! Books that are book club edition for hundreds of dollars! Yes some book club editions are nice, but 250 bucks for a book that sells on ebay for 100!?!??!?? Get your act together Value Village and stop ripping people off.
I agree with the comments about not shopping at Walmart. Giving your business to the big W is like encouraging worker manipulation in North America as well as the rest of the world. Walmart is responsible for the bankruptcy of so many mom n pop small businesses.
There is a lot of hype around the new Target stores in Canada. I wonder if they will be any better than W-mart ( I hope so)
We have been shocked by the prices at Value Village too. We wander through from time to time, more than half expecting to not get anything because of those ridiculous prices.
Sometimes, though, like with your cute green kiddo overalls, we do find a bargain. I rescue Barbie dolls, some for my own collection, some for my little granddaughter who is just starting hers, other to clean up and give away…but the thing is even at Value Village’s odd pricing, to find the older dolls at all is great! And at anything under $20 is all the better. I once found a #2 Barbie for $3.99! Granted she was in need of clothes, but some of these particular dolls go for hundreds of dollars!
My roomie is into manga and anime, or the Japanese books like Naruto, Black Butler, Samurai Champloo. These can sometimes be found for the price of children’s books, while they retail at $10.99 or more. And many of them are no longer available.
There is the “thrill of the hunt”…but Savers/Value Village needs to keep in mind they ARE a thrift store!
Thanks for the well done article!
Value Village does nothing more then gouge customers. They do not give anything to Diabetes Association. The truth is they BUY the product from them. So its tit for tat. How are they donating anything. They are not. i have found a GREAT thrift store in Oshawa. Star Thrift store. Rumor has it that an ex value village executive started it. he got sick of Value Village and its attitude. Terrible customer service. Its located at 200 John st W in Midtown mall beside the dollarama. Lower prices, quality items, doesn’t stink like most thrift stores and the employees are kind and thoughtful. I suggest you check it out. They are in need of your donations and they support the CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY. 905-728-8365
Absolutely excellent article and comments.
Now, I know my local Value Village employees kids and probably lots of first timers in the work force. And I do still find the odd deal on a book or hobby item.
But donating to Value Village: NO WAY!
The thing that so sticks in my craw … Tom Ellison, owner, bought this waterfront mansion:
“This landmark compound, “Harmony,” sold in 2012 for $21.6 million. This was the most expensive LW Map of the Stars® waterfront sale in 2012. It was listed at $26.9 million … From the listing: “Resting gently on 2.93 acres, Harmony commands an extraordinary 324 feet of Lake Washington waterfront and sets its vista on the Seattle skyline and Mount Rainier . . . Waves roll gently up on the beach as the sun shines down on two private docks. . . [nearly 20,000 square feet in 4 buildings]. . living wing plays host to the grotto, saline pool and exercise areas. Upstairs two guest suites each with their own bath and walk-in closets . . . private outdoor spa . . . A world like no other.” The listing was featured in a 3/20/11 Seattle Mansions Blog. The seller was Marsha Stroum Sloan Glazer. The buyer was THOMAS ELLISON, the principal owner of the Value-Village/Savers chain of stores.”
You have to be kidding me.
The man is making a killing on other peoples’ ignorance.
Its literally highway robbery.
Mind, I need the exercise, so I’ll still walk there, especially in the winter, for a warm pit stop.
Again, great site, article and posts.
Pretty sure you mean “gouged”, not gsuged?
I agree, btw. VV is mostly overpriced.
I agree that the prices are terrible! This seems to be consistent with other big name thrift stores like Salvation Army and Goodwill (Have to wonder how they get away with making money SO MUCH MONEY off of merchandise that is donated AND delivered for free!)
The prices are generally high but there are things you just have to stop and laugh at. I think this is partially because employees are sifting through so many items that they can’t pay enough attention to properly price merchandise. Pieces are grouped into general categories and priced accordingly. For example, the other day I found a pair of 7 for all mankind jeans for $9.99 (Retail $200+) beside a pair of George jeans for the same price (Retail $14.99).
Having said that, I am still a huge thrift store advocate and have been able to consistently find good deals. I would, however, like to mention that there are plenty of amazing thrift stores that are 100% charity centered and have amazing prices, if you live in the brampton/georgetown area, you should check out the UCHS thrift store located in Moore Park plaza – Georgetown. Fantastic items, dirt cheap prices and friendly staff. Pet friendly!
It’s not just the prices, either. The customer service at ours is terrible. When I told a cashier that I didn’t understand the cards they gave out and thought they were a waste, she got very snarky with me. Not that she was friendly before. LOL
Hi everyone I complained to Value Village on their FB page and posted pics as evidence of their overpricing on some items and they blocked me and deleted all of my posts. For the VV employee who responded here I just want to say, its not that we don’t understand that the cost of business goes up and did go up but when an item is so obviously ridiculously priced, it just seems that something smells rotten!!! Yeah, we’ve all heard how generous VV is by giving to charities but they will get tax deductions on these charitable donations, that still doesn’t mean that they need to suck every conceivable penny out of your wallet…too many examples are out there for all to see…used children’s bikes $149.99 (?), it was probably only $89.00 new so who does that research and comes up with that price? If it’s deemed a collectible they jack the price up to even more ridiculousness, why? They do this because someone with authority said “Make them pay!” THAT is at the heart of the pricing issue, the obvious gouging of their customers. Now don’t get me wrong, there is still good deals to be had on used items in VV but the ridiculous pricing is overshadowing any good pricing.
Its clear that they are looking for someone to fall for it, or when they have their ‘sale’ they make sure that they get every penny they can. The less people shop there they will lose their support and will either have to change their ways or close.
Clearly that are also not a ‘value’ store, just as greedy as other retailers. Except that they are re selling donations and used items! They should be embarrassed but I guess when something really happens then they will have no choice but to pay attention.
Hahaha, I used to work at that exact Value Village, Kerry, and let me tell you, it’s the bosses who make the prices too high. And when the stuff doesn’t sell on the floor, it’s packed up and SOLD to third world people for them to resell.
I have enjoyed reading the comments re VV. Completely agree. I shop at Bibles for Missions. Their prices are amazing and quality very high. All staff are volunteer and every article is inspected for stains rips tears etc. Volunteers repair, replace buttons, zippers etc. If stained it will be laundered and only be offered for sale if clean. Staff are extremely pleasant and helpful. My family depends on being able to dress well and furnish our home within our very limited budget thanks to this store. While everyday prices are low ($3.00 for jeans, slacks, skirts, $2.00 for t shirts) on the first Mon of the month they have 50% off household items and clothing is $5.00 a bag. All this and the money goes to a wonderful cause. Not as previously stated re VV for buying mansions here on earth. Try it, you’ll be amazed!
My sister ran a business right next door to Value Village (Edmonton) and they had a garbage dumpster (huge) that was full of good items. Brand new hiking boots (looked like never worn), Betty Crocker cookbook (never opened), pocket books, luggage (just like new), shelves, children’s toys, children’s bike, wall pictures, clothes. They might not have sold quickly, which is hard to believe so they tossed them in the garbage dumpster (huge), that was picked up every week. Did I tell you the dumpster was huge… at least 6 feet deep and 10 feet long… huge. She was caught taking perfectly good items out and they told her they would call the police and report her. This was garbage so how is she stealing. This went on week, after week, after week. The stuff they THREW OUT was overwhelming – this made no sense. So if you give them something, you might just find it in their dumpster, that was huge…..
[…] I used to shop at Value Village, until I discovered I could get some items they sell for less money brand new at places like Costco and Wal-Mart. Not to mention the unwanted extras that might come with used clothing, like ringworm. This is a case where it pays to shop, and not assume that a thrift store is really going to be thrifty. This was recently covered at another frugal web site I enjoy reading, Squawkfox (click here to read). […]
The prices at Value Village are criminal. Every once in a while I’ll find something that’s escaped their price-gouging, but most of the prices are comparable with brand new items. For example, faded and worn tops from Walmart that probably cost more than they did new.
Recently I found a pair of Silver Jeans where the top of the jeans fit, but several inches of the bottom were destroyed (not in a fashionable or deliberate way!). They were asking $14.99, so I asked if it would be possible to get a discount because I was going to have to make them into shorts. The “supervisor” condescendingly explained that they were Silver jeans and that they were worth $120. I laughed because I happened to be wearing a pair of Silvers that I bought brand new from Bootlegger for half that much. There’s no reason to pay full retail price when there are frequent sales.
I am very happy to see that most of the comments here are exactly what I would have written. I have been a long time supporter of thrift stores, and basically could not have clothed my 4 kids without them. The past two years have seen a steady increase in prices that range from ridiculous to laughable… I refuse to buy clothing at VV, or anything electronic…I avoid bedding, and curtains, and my one time favorite, vintage ART…all now hugely overpriced. I now frequent the new local used book store and other thrift shops where bargains are the norm, not the exception… Frenchies, Louies, Sally Ann,…But the best place to find bargains if you are quick is Kijiji…buying from real people in your community is a great way to recycle and help support others. Don’t donate anything to these “corporations”. Post notices in grocery stores/post office/community centers or online to sell locally. The trend these days is to minimize anyway… lets all buy only quality used goods from reputable sources. Sell or give away your gently used goods to friends or donate to genuine charities for re-sale. Maybe these greedy corporations will get the message. We are not as dumb as you think! Great post!
Lots of great comments here; loved reading them. I fall somewhere in the middle. Certainly the prices at VV have gone up (in some cases to ridiculous levels) but I still am able to find great deals with careful shopping. I’m in the camp with those who would rather buy a lightly used quality brand than purchase poor quality new items at Walmart. The local VV stores around Puget Sound WA area like to price name brand jeans between $15-18 which is usually more than I like to pay but since when can you find Levis anywhere for $15? I picked up a like new Columbia fleece vest a couple weeks ago for $6, I’ve not seen that on any clearance rack (and I do shop clearance). I would like to see VV reduce the everyday price on their merchandise rather than focusing on the holiday half off days to make it easier to find bargains all the time. Happy Hunting Everyone
Value Village in Ontario has skyrocket prices, honestly, $25 for used pair of shoes, whereas some people mentioned getting new at Payless! However, I did managed on their 50 off sale to buy a pair of good quality safety shoes for $15.
Other than their 50% sales, no one even shops there. In Kensington Market – Spadina, Chinese shops are selling plain t shirts at 6@$10! And brand new pants at around $10 each.
Value Village use to be cheap when they first came out, but honestly, why go there when you can hit the yard sales? As for the Good Will, they are also quite pricey, I see nobody in there. Church thrift stores are your best bet – unless you are in Dawson City, Yukon, where they let a local run the place and see increased the prices by 80%, course no one shops there anymore, it’s all about greed – and I am sure, they really don’t donate much to the Diabetes Foundation.
If you notice on the VV Value Village web site (or Value Pillage, as I like to call it, they say that they pay the charities for every pound of “soft goods.” Unsold “soft goods” are re-sold overseas. They pay the charities nothing for the furniture, electronics, books, the unsold go to landfill; housewares, the unsold goes to landfill; or jewelry. I’m not sure where the unsold overpriced jewelry goes but I heard a sales manager gloating about a $12,000 watch that had been donated. And not only that but they get the charities to collect it all. It makes me so mad that an American company comes and provides a great second hand shopping box store experience, as a contrast to “the dirty smelly thrift shops” (they spray Febreeze from dispensers on posts near the ceiling) driving most of them out of business. Value Pillage is the Walmart of the thrift shop, and has basically cornered the market on what Canadians give to charity, as they have done since the beginning of Canada. Now Canadians are no longer “giving to charity” except by the barest stretch of the definition. And the prices! If they would only price housewares so that a poor person setting up an apartment – maybe they got it through the John Howard Society – could buy some pots and pans etc. like how about a dinner plate from China for .50$ instead of $1.99 . So people go to the dollar stores and buy new trash, which ends up unsold at Value Village. Where’s the re-cycling in that? I find this wildly unethical and perfectly legal. Give us back our thrift shops.
Sorry to go on so long, but you’ve struck a nerve with this one. I think the blog is great, and I look forward to reading through the posts. Thanks for your time, and the space on the page.
Suggest to your friends to donate their soft goods to VV if they wish, and to donate other items elsewhere if they can.
Oh, I agree with MEG 100%!!
I am so mad about the deception and harm done by this company – but also with Goodwill Industries, who are just as guilty for their working conditions and false charitable claims. I could go on and on (and with apologies to everyone, I sometimes do…)
There are folks who want to recycle, there are folks who need affordable goods and there are folks who want to help charities and their communities. And there are folks who want to realize all of these goals. There is simply very little oversight by the federal agencies who are purported to regulate these charities.
lord knows how many lobbyists are in Ottawa on behalf of these billion dollar enterprises.
Honestly, last time I went to VV I got my boyfriend a nice suit, and I got myself 3 lovely (and barely used) skirts, as well as 3 tops. For $40.
The suit was from Tip Top Tailors, so it likely wasn’t cheap. It had both pants and jacket. Black, and clean. Not a stitch out of place on any of the items I bought.
So that’s $40 for 8 items, essentially.
And your prices from Wal-Mart? I have NEVER seen baby clothes for fewer than $10 at Wal-Mart. And that’s for a hat. Not a shirt, or pants, which cost considerably more. A freaking baby hat was $10 and Wal-Mart. I found the same one at VV for $1.
I’ve gone to Salvation Army recently. Do you know how much they wanted for a shredded leather jacket? $30. It had holes in it. Large holes. And I’m pretty sure that crusty stuff inside, surrounding some of the smaller round holes was blood. Which would mean it wasn’t cleaned.
Frankly, I’m going to stick with my shopping at VV. So far, it’s been more than reasonable for me.
I agree that Walmart is not cheap. Some items are definitely comparable but most are regular prices. And while some of their clothing is okay, some of it is cheaply made. Not to mention that Walmart is generally a boring place to shop, certainly nothing original about it!
The VV in my area is not cheap, either. So I shop around elsewhere.
Sounds like the Value Village stores in Canada are different from the ones here in Oregon. I have always found the prices to be average thrift store prices, and every week they have had a half-price tag color. Now they have expanded that to three colors a week, for 25%, 50%, and 75% off! That’s what our local St Vinnie’s used to do before they closed their local store. I enjoy finding overlooked things at the super discount. The people who work there are polite and helpful, and the store smells like, wait for it, a thrift store. What do you expect? And anybody who buys clothing or textiles at a thrift store and does not plan to wash it when they get it home is a real gambler!
I have never seen prices here like some of you folks have posted. I have bought plenty of kid and grandkid clothes, sewing patterns, and textile items to be made into something else. It’s true, some of the baggies of stuff combine unlikely items, but it’s often the case that it’s still a good deal. I agree with some of you that it’s better to avoid Wal-Mart and keep a smaller carbon footprint. When I donate things it’s usually to either Goodwill or one of the local shelters, because I am aware of Value Village’s for-profit status, but I shop there often.
Value Village can be a great place to shop IF you know your prices. My best deals so far:
Le Creuset pot 18.99 (new would be 200-300)
Banana Republic Trench Coat 24.99
I’ve also got some cool paintings, great china, wooden bowls, handmade pottery etc. I collect 70s style stuff and I’ve scored a good deal of it at VV.
Biggest ripoffs: anything GAP, Old Navy, Tommy Hilfiger etc. they seem to think these are worth a fortune.
I’m a hardcore addict!!! I go often but will only buy when I find something really worthwhile. The quality you find can be hugely different depending in which neighbourhood the store is located.
If you are tired of VV prices and live in the oshawa ontario area… try Star Thrift Store at 200 John St.. Midtown mall. The prices are about 1/3 what you pay at VV and they always have tag colour sales as well as frequent 50% storewide sales. Even big brand names are cheap. Got guess jeans there.. looked brand new. Tag was 5.99! Can’t find better deals.. I’ve looked. Check them out starthriftstores.com and they support Canadian Cancer Society.
I totally agree with this, BUT I wish I would have been there to buy those barbies at that price. LOL I am a vintage barbie collector and those lovely old girls would have been well worth it =)
So glad to read all the comments from others about V.V.
Like everyone else, I no longer shop or donate goods to V.V.
I personally hope V.V. goes out of business soon.
I don’t take them anything anymore and I don’t don their doors any more either. Not when they are selling a George shirt for $10 and I could buy it NEW at Wal Mart.
I instead make the trip to Goodwill and Sally Ann instead. I bought a great pair of nearly new toddler 7 Buster Brown dress shoes for DS for $.99 at Sally Ann, and a Tommy dress shirt for $2 in the same trip. Plus once a month they have a 50% off sale, which would have made those shoes $.50 if I had hit the right day. And I know the funds are going to the soup kitchen and various shelters and family services here in town.
I also go to Once Upon a Child. They are super to deal with and if you have stuff to unload they will buy it as long as it is in good condition. Everything in there is much better condition then VV because they are picky and about the same price or less then VV. That way I don’t have to dig through CRAP to find the ONE good item…they did that for me when buying the items.
i am a book collector (just collect, don’t sell). stopped in the other day and saw a “special” book they had sealed in a bag priced at $5.97. I was interested and they allowed me to open it. Not only was it a used school book (but vintage) but it had the back page torn out which essentially renders it valueless. If they don’t know the fine points of pricing books why do they even attempt to classify some as “special” and thus price them higher than a “normal” one?
We used to love going to the Village back in the day, but honestly I wouldn’t step foot in one now. I stick to Goodwill or the Sally Ann.
I found this on the local kijiji under free clothes that VV posted – disgraceful (I flagged it as mis-categorized and complained about it being there)
VV has a FB fan page and people are always leaving negative comments about the ridiculous pricing, VV’s canned response is to “bring the matter up to the store mgr”…well my hubby was in a VV in Richmond, BC yesterday looking at an item that was overpriced (a dish that was lidless but originally had a lid)I suggested to him, over the phone, to see if they could do better on the price because the dish was missing it’s lid. He wanted to talk to the mgr oh, but guess what!!! The Mgr didn’t even BOTHER to come up front to speak with him. Nice Customer service there VV!!! So “speak to the mgr” is just a lot of talk and no action. Shame on you VV and your mgr’s!!!
I think you need to be a bit more adventurous when shopping at thrift stores. My husband and a friend of his have a running contest at vv. they purchase valuable damage stuff with lifetime warranties and return them to the manufacturer. New Patagonia jacket , headlamp, stereo system…just a few items they have had replaced….craptastic fun!
Value Village is a large FOR PROFIT CORPORATION. It is no different than a regular retail corporation.
I helped write an article on Wikipedia but it was stripped by the marketing maffia of Value village
Village village is owned by a millionaire…its a corporation making money on false advertising and and information of Canadians and Americans
It lines it self up and pretends its like Goodwill and Salvation Army…which it is not.
Value Village is a FOR PROFIT COMPANY. Please take your used items to these non profit organizations a much as you can. Avoid giving your used items to Value village if at all possible
Be aware of the comments by worker of vv
That person is an employee of Value Village
Probably a marketing drone/ robot. Value
village actually goes to protect against people who complain against them. The actually do it all the time. This is a corporation and they have to protect it
Ohhh goodness……….. Ive read the first 20 or so posts…. AND get this people.. Value Village in Canada is owned by WAL MART…. the first V.V. to open in my home town was about 20 years ago… prices were OK about same as other Charity shops. Saint Vincents..Salvation Army Thrift Store… BUT the store was smelly (sewage smell) which found out later that this particular store had problems with sewage back up…. Worse yet was the condition of the cloth put out on hangers….. Skid marks….. blood stains , crusted unidentified masses on cloths…. so wrinkled that a wash and iron probably wouldnt smooth out the creases of the item…. SO…… Been there maybe 3 times in my life and was always disappointed with item or prices…. I turn my FRUGAL NOSE TO YOU VV and WALMART
So, I’ve noticed over the past few years VV prices were starting to go up to some crazy limits!! Because of this over the past year and a bit I shop there for my kids and myself ONLY on their 50% off sales. Tonight my kids and I went there (Victoria, BC store) to see if we could find a winter’s coat for my daughter and dress shoes for my son. Daughter didn’t have any luck..not much selection..and prices were mostly $15-50. A couple cheaper but not her style. So we moved on over to the shoe section for my son. OMG!!! Cheapest pair was $15. Most were $25-$25. There was one pair there for $30 marked AS IS. Are you kidding me?? You expect people to pay $30 for USED products that obviously as a flaw (otherwise it wouldn’t be marked as is). Outrageous!! We promptly turned around and left the store. Oh and on our way in we saw a shawl exactly like one my daughter had awhile back that we had purchased at Dollarama for $2. VV had it priced for $10. What a rip job!! I will continue to support other (much more worthy) thrift stores in my town, as I don’t believe in filling the pockets of a rich guy who owns his own island off the coast of Australia..would rather support the charities around here and all the great programs they have! VV used to be such a fun, reasonably priced store. Not anymore!Shame on you VV!!
Just wanted to say “hear here” to MiffedExVV’er’s comment…..you’d think you’d get over the aggravation we all seem to have with VV, but each time I see another comment on the outrage of their prices, I vow all over again that I won’t support them any longer, in any way.
Anyone else noticing equally egregious price-hiking at other so-called thrift stores? Or is it just alaska? Every second-hand shop here seems to think they’re selling gold fucking bullion.
omg , I do have a problem in VV ,but do not expected find that many nagatives comments about that store, I leave in Ontario , VV in Stoney Creek was one of my favorite stores ,for over 15 yor 17 years, then i got sick , do not shop for over 3 years when last fall i go back to my shoping expirience i have a bog surprice ,what and when something happen to that store, the prices are high some items cost more then some new items in walmart, winners ,gap ,west 49 I even faound pair of sgorts from sears cost more in VV then I see in Sears, dont know what to make out of this , for a while i though is only in that specific store, but checking othet VV stores in not much diffret ,those little smaller still keep eyes on their prices,but i am guessing they have to fallow some orders to , for those from Ontario ,is a small VV store in Burlington, so farmine favorite, you still can find there a chai or a COUCH AT A decrnt price, the clothes the prices are similiar to other Vv stor but at list they do not put on the floor stain or ripr items ,all emplee are nice great you with a smile you still can find a scarf for 2.99 the same other vv will charge 7.99
I have been a thrift store shopper for years and love it. I cant afford brand name stuff for my kids so i pick it up cheaper where I can. Its true VV has gone up but so has all the other thrift stores. I am a busy mom who really doesn’t have time to shop so I cant be at the mall every sale to check out what’s cheap, i go when i need something. I tend to go more often to the thrift stores that support the local community (salvation army, bible thrift stores, even hospital ones). i checked on line and found one of the Goodwill stores i went to had it charity license revoked because of false claims so these smaller ones donate to your local hospital and churches even shelters and community programs. It’s worth looking in to.
Goodwill has the same problem here in the US. It’s ridiculous how much they’re trying to get off stuff they got for free.
I’ve noticed it quite a bit lately. I dot even bother to shop for myself, I only go on 50% off dayto get my hubby enough jeans to last a couple months for work.
I work at a Savers in New England and I know that our prices are quite fair, we usually do 75% off retail. Then there are also $3 off 10 dollar purchase coupons that are given with each donation, 30% off coupons given by specials, special sale days for club card holders, 20% off senior days 50% off sale days, and stamp cards where you get a stamp for every $5 spent or thing donated that is the size of a brown paper shopping bag (15 stamps fills the card). We also have to pay for utilities and supplies and property/maintenance fees and to pay all the (near 50) employees. We also pay the charities we partner with for donations taken in. I don’t think people understand that the items we get for “free” pays for a lot of things…though our customers are also quite rude and make huge messes so we have to over staff to compensate having to clean up the mess people make which some times pushes people into overtime for the week, not that I mind getting paid overtime (and time and a half on Sundays) but it takes away from the money we can actually give to the charities. Places like Good Will and Salvation Army actually allow volunteers I believe but anyone that works in Savers has to be paid.
an example is the Gap 1969 jeans that say wtf savers. Those jeans retail for $80 and are being sold for less than 20% retail. We can’t take into consideration when things could be sold at an amazing discount be a second hand vendor to begin with, that’d be like saying you saw someone sell an XBOX 360 for $1 at a yard sale so we should sell it for .25 cents. A yard sale doesn’t have the same overhead, nor does it give any of the proceeds to charity.
Yes, VV is price-gouging to reward its owners and shareholders. Yes, they get huge returns on items donated through the good will of people who intend to help charities.
What’s harder to take are the sanctimonious announcements played in the stores about how the chain is helping charities right in that community. True, they are. At an unbelievable rate of profit to the American owners. Nice to be able to price-gouge and give oneself a pat on the back while doing so.
Would suggest the following amendment to the in-store announcements: “Value Village profits several hundred times over from whatever you, in your well-meaning innocence, choose to donate to community charities via those charities’ pick-ups. Thus, VV has no need to invest in trucks, drivers or transportation! The merchandise, and then the money, just come rolling in! And by the way, we’d be glad to tell you what that shade of sea foam does for your eyes.”
While I have got many deals at VV particularly in the electronics area I do find their prices trending upwards.
I have looked for clothing but refuse to pay more than $10-15 for any shorts or pants.
I have been to the Salvation Army and goodwill by me as well and I find VV has the better items in their stores.
I wonder why that is?
If people only knew how much profit or charity these stores get or give then people would be able to make better choices when donating their goods..
The problem with Value Village in most areas is that it’s not catering to low-income shoppers anymore, it’s catering to hipsters; and jacking up the prices accordingly.
Yeah, it’s hard to find something good. But occasionally the store just doesn’t know what they have! Got a pair of 200$ winter riding pants for 8$. Awesome. I worked there once and I quit. I was working in the book section and someone seemed to have donating someones collection! There was a copy of peter rabbit worth easily 50$. Tossed in the garbage.
It’s been years since I noticed any good furniture/household items have been skimmed by employees/owners and only the junk is being put on the floors of Village des Valeurs (Value Village in the rest of Canada). I suspect they take anything good and resell to flea markets/antique dealers and the like. Their prices are laughable now as you can always buy cheaper new somewhere else. It’s a shame for the people who really need these stores though as surely they can no longer afford it. I’m thinking Salvation Army, Renaissance do the same thing but at least their prices make more sense.
Hi used to be a VV customer until I discovered retail sales. Reitmans is especially good for this sort of thing and they also sell petites and plus sizes. Another good store is Rickis which is a very expensive store but I have bought brand new skirts for work at their sales for $9.99, $4.99 and also for $1!!
You have to be savvy and figure out where to go for what you want.
I was recently in VV to look for a costume. I tried on a Danier leather coat that was for sale for $59! Seriously, I can go to the Danier outlet in Cambridge and buy a brand new leather coat for just $20 more.
Which brings me to another point. When I first started shopping VV in the 1990’s it was possible get some truly beautiful clothing there – in fact designer stuff that had never been worn because it had the original tags on it. This stopped being possible around 2008 when all of that clothing was likely directed to high end second hand shops where it can earn more money. I still have some of the beautiful evening wear pieces I bought from back then, very classic, and black. Cannot be found today in VV.
Finally, I remember once returning something I purchased at VV because it had a huge tear in it that somehow I never saw – it was a sweater I think. They took it back and a week later when I went into the store I found it back on the rack. 🙁
They also stopped their return policy too – it became ridiculous.
Hey Kerri I’m from montreal and you should hear what happend to me…I was 9 mths pregnant when they had those stamp cards for 30%off. The lady in front of me in line handed cashire a card and she put it under her cash. I handed cashier my card and she said I stole the one she put down in her opened cash. However mildly insulting I would think a thief would have grabbed the cash! Anyhow I told her no this ones mine then she got obnoxiously loud and wouldn’t let me leave store she even grabbed my credit card to hold me there. I told her i had 6 cards in my wallet and they expire in 3 days I wouldnt be able to use the ones I had. She got manager I showed him my cards and explained I had to leave now without the baby clothes as I was being charged now 5$ per min late at daycare.The whole store was looking to see what was going on,I almost cried due to my hormones,I was mortified. They pulled up the video footage and saw she misplaced it UNDER her cash. I am a single mom and I just went back,yes I went back cuz I have no choice but to shop there and they wanted 90$for a fall jacket for my son,they said cuz it was Columbia. I told her new it costs 129 and managers response was yea so you save 30$….ok and if I get it on clearance or at WINNERS it will be 90 but *NEW*middle class and the rich that want trends but not at full price can afford to shop there not a single mother of 2,which is what it’s there for. We can afford the things that are worn and dirty which yes they ship the bulk off to africa. So the poor can get only have the scrap and have to save up to buy it. when I was working I donated everything there for free,I wanted the poor to be able to have their needs met in tight situations and great if they were able to find that treasure and their son or daughter could wear it and fit in.Or some little toys no one is playing with anymore to put some play in a childs life whos parents cant afford them.My son needs a jacket and I can’t afford it. its going to snow soon,hes wearing two fall jackets I don’t know what I’m going to do. The poor have no resources and that’s what stores like that were there for before they turned into all profit. The Grinch of Value Village who Stole Christmas.
I have to politely disagree with the majority of the posters on this one…at least partly. Yes SOME prices at VV are completely out of sync with what items are worth, this is mostly true for those items that originate at discount stores (i.e. walmart, target, joe fresh in Canada etc). For those items you might only be paying slightly less (and sometimes the same or more) than you would at the original store. Generally not worth it. Where the value comes in is getting those items that are of high quality (and I don’t just mean names, but looking at construction, materials, and fit which is much more important) for a fraction of what you would pay new. As an example I bought a beautiful wool and cashmere designer fall coat in a very classic style with the tags still on for $20 — the original price was $565. Some recent purchases have been a wool blend pencil skirt for $6 (retail about $70), a pair of high quality designer boys jeans for $4 (normally $40), a boys sweater for $4 (retail $30), a pair of $200 Citizens of Humanity jeans for $9, a brand new wrapped $60 board game that was on my wish list for $3, a silk dress for $20 (retail about $200) among many many others.
You have to be choosy, but there are still lots of good deals to be had. Especially when you consider that I purchased most of these items with 30% off coupons or on 505% days (which I did not reflect in the prices listed above, so I paid even less)
Not only are your savings from what you would pay over retail higher on the better quality clothing at VV, but with good quality clothing in great condition, most items last longer, so your cost per wear ends up being very low.
There are a couple of other reasons why I do most of my thrift shopping at VV over other thrift shops (although I do go to other thrift stores as well as yard sales and swap meets). Firstly, I’m a very small size and there are less items that fit me, having to go through racks upon racks to find the few items in my sizing is generally not worth my time, and time is also money. Also, I have had terrible luck with Good Will, although I know many people who swear by the stores. The two nearest me are not only completely disorganized and have surly staff, they are both utterly filthy. Like really really gross. Even if I’m shopping on a budget, I still don’t want it to be a decidedly unpleasant experience.
Also, as far as shopping at discount racks at regular stores, I do that but I find a couple of negatives which puts me in favour of VV as my number one clothing source. Firstly again is sizing. If you are a Medium or Large then there’s usually lots of choice, XS or a larger size pickings can be slim. Also, the styles that are left over and end up on the clearance rack can sometimes (although) not always, leave something to be desired. For instance, sometimes items are there because of a fit or design oversightand often the styles may not be what I’m looking for. However the biggest issue, is that regularly shopping these stores, means that I have to be going regularly. Often I go to VV and pick up a dozen or more items at once. I would have to go many many times to the clearance racks to get the same number of desirable items and I find that just takes too much time.
Anyhow, that’s my two cents. But if anyone knows of some great thrift stores in Toronto, I’d be totally open to broadening my horizons!
VV should be shut down, frm my tell all girls!! 1 yes one Pennie from we know Pennie is no longer with us !! So sad but biszzzzzz is boss’ right VV?!?! Only I only 1 Pennie frm each dalllllar u spend goes to there charity?? Rarely false but is this second hand help community doing more?’ cough , sorry
I have a deaf child , single income . So what u say? Ok that’s all I can afford, buy a toy for a hearing impaired child that was broken and missing pieces.. Tryed to return, but because it was opened and no old school 190O’s receipt I was told or was not there product. Now my 2 yr old has been diagnosed with dwarfism syndrome, I bought clothes for her bday that were too big, stained, missing zippers, buttons, holes in arm Pitts. but sold each at 9.99?? My deaf child won’t try clothes on if a tag is on, so I bring plastic torn tag bk, price tag, receipt , bank statement papers for proof of purchasing? I can’t get money bk? I’ve been treated like a lier??
Well I worked on retail for 26 yrs, worked for Holt Renfrew, never treated my clientele this way! My clients would sneeze at the smell of the Red Deer Store!! I still do!!
You think I asked my children to be born special needs?
You think I choose a single income? You punish a mom who wants hand me downs for her kids that are inspected complete, clean, and at the same time gives to kids and families in need? Those who need, we do give back! How dare you take frm me!!
Your company I hope fails. You failed my children, all I wanted was a place that cared for those in need but those in need that needed you, and came to you to help out children believe all toys worked, paints weren’t dryed out, paper wasn’t ripped, wheels weren’t broken, dollies eyes opened and closed, puzzles for first speaking words for a deaf child were all threre!! Mistakes for mother on a size?
I’ve managed Holt Renfrew Vancouver, Club Monaco. Vancouver,
I never judged, just loved clothes and people. I was and am good at what Ive done and do!! My children are now my life?
You don’t help those with or without!
Greed I hope others see.
I’m not sorry to say your a sad sagging sinking ship selfishly sucking shallow Money hungry org!
Hope you read and delete those of us that FEEL to write, but you feel the power of DELETE!! But you still read it!!!!
You never respond which I wouldn’t expect
My Children I respond to because they matter, and didn’t buy or give me something out of generosity to put a price tag on!!
I give to your donation door out of generosity free things that you think you can price? How dare you put a price on our donations? your making money off our donations?
Get a flat bed Truck, travel our province and get your own chit to sell!
Your cheaters of the giving!
Hope your kids and , family bdays and Xmas morning are full of what you all wanted and got up unwrap, you didn’t and don’t help those who can’t.
Close your eyes and be proud of your valueless venue.
Communities will stop supporting you and families in need won’t need you.
We will find a better cause to take your valueless space in our cities and towns ,
We don’t want your stores here
After several years, I returned recently to Value Village looking for a pair of jeans. I really noticed a big price increase. I used to pay 5.00 for jeans…they were now between 10 and 15 dollars. that is a 2X-3X price increase. The store was filled with a lot of junk. There was not much to choose from…slim pickings at high prices. Instead I went to Marks work warehouse, and found new jeans with nice styles and cuts, and the prices were very reasonable, like 20.00. I bought them, and have been very happy with the style and fit. I will not be returning to VV ever again. come on value village..your selling stuff people throw out, so get real. sheesh.
I’m a little late to the party, but this article has the effect of getting people to respond.
There was a post by VV worker that stated that this company doesn’t get their products for resale for free. They pay 4% or approximately $751/day to local charities.
The unstated other side of the equation is that the company gets the remaining 96% – to quantify, that is $17,160/day or approximately $6,263,400/year. That is their gross revenue – however, they have no cost of goods – zero, zilch, nada. That means that unlike most retailers that operate in Canada where they DO incur a cost of goods of at least 50% of the selling price, V.V. is that much further ahead of all other Canadian retailers. Yes, they are for profit, and I am sure they manage to find ways to reduce their profit(they would need to), but they manage to enjoy a pretty exclusive niche in the retail market.
Notice how all the other retailers are experiencing financial difficulties and bankruptcies and V.V. keeps managing to expand???
I completely agree! A fact that very few people are aware of………WALMART OWNS VALUE VILLAGE AND SAVERS…….
That is the answer for why the prices have sky-rocketed!
How much is actually given to the charities???? We will never know. The Salvation Thrift stores are 100% a non-profit charity. I take all my goods there now. SHAME ON WALMART!!!
Value gillage disgusts me, I was in there today shopping for an hour and the cashier would not sell me a pair of pants because the size on the pants was a size bigger then the tag. There clothes were donated who cares, she also inspected all my clothes and made price checks rediculous these are donated items. I also came across a ripped hand bag priced 69.99
what is that all about? everything in this store should be 3 or 4 dollars.
Dear VV: I am breaking up with you.
I have enjoyed thrifting with you at many locations over the years, most recently with my son in law in the prairie stores in Canada. I used to work as a buyer for film and TV and also collect certain vintage items. I do not shop for everyday items with you because you are extremely overpriced, but I am still able to find some treasures that your pricers miss in their Google searches because of their limited knowledge of these items and their focus on recognizable N. American brands.
But here is why we must part ways …
I have a friend who likes Lu Lu Lemon. She cannot afford it new so I keep an eye out for it when I’m thrifting in your stores. This brand rarely shows up in decent condition and still you overprice it @ 29 for hoodies/19 for yoga pants – pilled and faded fabric and all.
I was in just before Christmas and had a cart full. On the way to the till I spotted a vintage-y light weight nylon Lu Lu Lemon zip-up misplaced on a rack at the end of the fabric section. It was in decent shape and only 4.99 because it wasn’t immediately recognizable as Lu Lu. The Omega symbol was hidden under the collar and the pricer missed it and other features of this brand.
Yay for me for spotting it!!!
Yeah, but …
When I got to the till, I was not ‘allowed’ to buy it.
Because when the cashier asked me how I did, I told her, “Look! Lu Lu Lemon for $4.99!”
Instead of her saying, “Yay for you!!!”, she seized the jacket and called her supervisor who told me the item had been mis-priced and would have to go back to production for re-pricing.
Say what, now?
(Note to self: from now on, be the Ikea lady and don’t celebrate till you get to the car.)
When I pushed, I was told that many people switch tags or ‘pop’ tags and that this jacket was likely popped.
Okay, sure. But why was it still on the racks? If someone changed the price s/he would either be wearing the jacket as we speak or the cashier would have caught it and pulled it, no? I asked the supervisor to review the tag for sizing and production to verify that the tag was correct for the garment and she said it was, but it was underpriced.
There is something very insidious about this practice.
I spend hours combing through certain sections of your stores and it behooves me greatly to know that if a cashier believes an item to be ‘underpriced’, she can take it and I don’t get to buy it. Nor do I get first right after somebody in the back has looked it over and re-priced it – of course, at a higher price because it has been flagged for that very thing!
I was told that the production line prices an INCREDIBLE amount of items per hour. And things get overlooked- just like this – not-immediately recognizable brand of – Lu Lu sweater. When this happens it is great for people like me who know branding: it gives us the opportunity to get a deal. But this other policy negates the nature of your business and only works in your favour.
It’s ridiculous, actually.
So, VV … we’ve had some good times since 1986 or 7 when you first opened on Hastings in East Van. I have found some awesome shit over the years and I have come to love my little hobby. But it’s time to let you go. You price above retail in many case; more and more of your community partners are starting to open their own shops rather than sell their donations bulk to you. I have started to thrift elsewhere and have found some wicked deals recently from these vendors on the items we collect.
So adieu, old friend.
And yes … it’s totally you.
If you ever get some help for your issues let me know and maybe we can try it again,
A. Thrifty Consumer
I will not be saying anything new to this discussion as I fully agree regarding the outrageous prices coming from donated pieces at VV. But, the worst part is having to point out to their so called “store managers” that they are selling higher priced items that are either damaged or missing parts??? A $25.00 priced fountain at VV was missing the motor, the wings to the fairy and still had the tags with a pic from Costco and a price for $19.99 brand new??????? After pointing all this out he changed the price to $4.99…I said are you serious, throw that junk out! I said in the future pointing out the obvious because I’m sure they still wouldn’t get it; do one of 2 things correctly for your stores credibility – find someone to price it right the first time or have enough common sense to take the tags off that shows the item complete with the actual cost, I mean seriously!
Now my wife and I joke because when we see an item that is so common and well used, we guess at the pricing and almost always predict the cost will be $5.99 for crap??? and $9.99 and up for broken or missing items. HMMM sure is a trend towards ripping people off…I also made a mistake once and bought a DVD I really wanted to see but didn’t check if it contained the dvd..DUH! so I went back 3 days later to see if they had it at the front and forgot to include it…the Manager said nope all DVD’s have the discs in them and actually hinted that perhaps I was trying to trick him…I couldn’t believe that he said NO REFUND! I said first off, did I ask you for a refund? he said NO, please explain to me what I asked you? Then he came out with well if you would have come back right away i would have let you exchange it…i told him, if the $2.99 is making you sweat and worked up like this, keep the case and put it back on the shelf for the next unsuspecting dumb dumb like myself for not checking…i also mentioned to him that just 2 weeks ago i had donated over 100 books and 2 carloads with several other items which the other Manager confirmed. Needless to say, it will be the last time I donate to a “for Profit” place.
I’m also done with VV. I needed to find a last minute dress for New Years Eve, decided to check out my local VV (Richmond, BC) and spotted a cute red dress priced at $19.99, went to try it on and noticed the hem was coming undone, seams were coming apart in places. Promptly put that back on the rack and hit the Forever 21 at the mall and found a gorgeous red lace and satin dress for $24!! I’m also a custom doll artist and usually hit thrift stores for my supply of dolls, VV sells beat up used Barbie dolls for more than the same new doll at Target, Walmart, and Toys-R-Us, $14.99 at VV, $8.99 to $9.99 new. I used to donate to VV thinking I’m doing good,never again.
Just visited Value Village last night where I seen a pair of “sevens” jeans priced at 99.99.
Value village does give back to the community. For every pound they donate a dollar to a charity. So, looking at the facts Value Village did pay at least 3 to for cents for those jeans before pricing them at 99.99.
It really depends on location and part of the city. Some parts you get great (new or almost new) high quality merchandise (Harry Rosen, Harrods, Marks & Spencer) for very good price (well $20-$30 if you find a good $200-$300 classic fashion piece is pretty good deal I consider). Other parts of town is exactly as you describe, mould, months, mice, stench, cockroaches, dust, stuff is around for ages, price tags hilarious and everything is in a worn-out with yellow stains of sweat. Usually area codes with high incomes or trendy areas with thrift stores are good areas to get good finds.
Ruined the experience way too go ! Do more for me I will shop sales
Found EIGHT pairs of seven for all mankind jeans for $7.99 or less……I think you guys just need to search a little harder. Remember VV doesn’t look at the make of the jeans.
They have MOUNDS of stuff to sort through and jeans just get bucketed into a certain price group (3.99 – 9.99) for example. You guys are acting like they have time to go through each pair of jeans and and see what they are going for and if they are on sale somewhere. Lets be realistic here and cut them some slack.
In responce to Frankie, you got lucky and more than likely they did not recognize the name brand. I’ve seen True Religion (knock offs) priced at 49.99. And to confirm this they price a pair of American eagle jeans at 12.99 and just found a pair of Rock & Republic jeans for 19.99. I’m always in search for designer clothing and will have to agree with the originator of this board. I’ve had a few negative run-ins with managers at local VV and have been accused of “popping” tags or the best one was a pair of kitchen aid trivets……Yeah apparently 2.99 was priced wrong, so I guess you say what happened? Well unlike other retailers they did not honor the price…..it went back in to production and maybe I could find it the next time I’m in. Unfortunately for me I love designer but can’t afford it so VV is still a place to find stuff but disgruntled most of the time.
Hun, there are bigger things to be reporting about then value village pricing…just saying
Who owns Value Village? Is it listed?The mafiosa always know a good thing when they see it, You know, like the funeral home business and garbage.
In this day and age, most stores have to keep up with inflation. it’s 2014 not 1989 ( hence price increases ). Value Village is designed for those who shop frugally. Fashionably speaking Value Village’s clothing selection has an “air” of retro to it. However you can find some current and fashionably up to date items. It is impossable to go into Value Village and find anything in 20 minutes. Anyone who goes into VV needs to spend on average a good solid hour. I LOVE Value Village and support their causes. On almost every occasion I will donate items to them. Lets be real and understand that prices everywhere will increase……. not just at Value Village………………. That’s All
All the items that VV sells are DONATED as in FREE!! Every dollar they make is profit, I dont want to hear about cost of doing business going up as a reason to mark up items that cost them nothing to obtain. It’s a farce and a cowardly excuse to hide behind. What they are saying is that we have to pay our employees a little more so lets raise the prices instead of taking a hit…bunch of a-holes posing as a charity.
This is a topic that we (as a family) debate all the time and as someone in the process of going through the long process of opening a good thrift store, I can tell you that Value Village has several bad practices.
I live Calgary Canada where depending on the area, you can find a number of thrift and consignment stores within blocks of each other. In 2 such areas, Value Village is one of those that are lumped into the mix.
I agree that Value Village is overly expensive even compared to other for profit stores. The operations are clearly not what they should be as it is common to find items that are sub standard, even by thrift store standards, but that are still priced ridiculously high. To comment on one post above that indicated they don’t have the time to go through every item. Certainly not to research they but they should be spending the time to ensure that items are in good condition…no rips, tears, stains, chips, cracks or breaks just to name a few. These things should not even make it to the sales floor.
I have already done a break even analysis as it is required for a business plan and I can confidently tell you that there is no reason AT ALL for Value Villages prices to be as high as they are.
Yes, they have to purchase the inventory they sell. It is cheap! Soft items such as clothing, are purchased by the pound while housewares and furniture are kicked in at no cost to them. Yes, the costs associated with running a store that size are high but if it is operated and managed properly, there could still be a decent profit margin without the enormous prices.
Many people believe that by supporting a for profit with donations, means that a store owner is filling his/her pockets and do nothing for the community. If fact, more private owners do more for the community than those that claim to be not for profit. Small privately owned stores have more to loose. Their life savings for example so rely heavily on the members of the community to patronize the establishment where large chains like Salvation Army, Goodwill and others, get tax breaks, government forgiveness and several other perks just because they give 10% to some organization or another. Because of this heavy reliance, store owners, not all, go out of their way to help in troubled times. It may not seem like much at first but when it is weighed against what the so called charitable chains are doing, it is quickly identified that the little private store, with no taxable deductions or government assistance, is doing more just on a smaller scale.
Finally, they next time you go to one of these “charitable centers” ask yourself how likely is it that someone with very little income could afford to shop here after they pay living expenses? In many cases, they can’t!!!
Just some food for thought.
Yes I agree- their pricing is out of control- there should a boycott -I addressed this with head office and was told that – if I was not satisfied with my purchases they had an exchange policy-I collect rare books and when I told them that at Chapters when they have a sale (new books)the prices are lower at Value Village
– I was simply told ” since books cannot be refunded or exchanged – Value Village charges a set rate -of 30-40% of the retail value of the book”- I believe – Value Village should be brought down -let’s make room for the legitimate thrift shops – clearly they are not a true Thrift Shop- and should not be able to claim all the breaks that are to given to such organizations
Hi I was just at value village in owensound on. And i have to disssgree. While Yes the shoe and dress prices are too much, there r plenty cheap clothes. I got a carters skirt for My daughter for 1.99 that would normally be 15 dollars in store. I also got two bluenote shirts for 3.99 each that would normaly be around 12 dollars each in store. Is say there lots of savings at vv. I also got a tonka truck for 4.99 that is metal!! They don’t make them like that anymore.
What I dont undrstand is the fact that vv has no overhead like say…walmart, or any store for that matter, so with everything being donated, why the high prices? It doesnt even make sense…ive put items down many times due to high price, like eg. Cups are sold at dollar store for $1 but vv wants $2.99.. how does that make sense??im gonna stick up at the dollarstore, not vv! But general speaking, their clothes are overpriced, weights are $1/lb and yet the stores all sell at that price BUT THEY HAVE THE OVERHEAD, so it makes sense…uuugghhh…its so stupid!
I am so happy I found this. I was at “Value Village” in the dress section and the dresses were $17.99 to $24.99!!!! For a freely donated item?!? As if! If I wanted to spend over $10 I would buy new! Let’s all call and complain.
saw some barbie collectibles on value village but omg the price is stinks thinking that the box is dented and broken grrrr…..
Value Village and Goodwill both are rip off, not only their pricing policies of used donated items is inflated, but also in many cases they sell things which should be sent to the recycle bin. Some electronics are not working, many items are expired. It is cheaper to buy things at Walmart than to buy it from the goodwill or Value village. Now, Goodwil has started an auction every Saturday for items considered in good condition, and items in shabby in condition are left to the consumers.
Can you imagine the money they’re making at VV? They get that stuff FOR FREE! F-R-E-E! What kind of profit margin is that!? I would really like to know how much they bring in per year.
When they call for donations, they don’t say this is VV.I forget now what they say. Maybe charity for the blind? I’m sure they do give some money to charity. But they are a for profit company!
Yes, I can get alot of that stuff cheaper brand new. I’m such a cheapskate, I can’t bear to pay their prices even thought i see things I want.
The very first time I was in a Value Village store was the one they built in Peterborough Ontario Canada a few years ago.
I had heard that they were a cheap store to shop in .I went to the Men’s pants section Low & behold there were about 10 pairs of men’s jeans that had been donated by Walmart size 38 to 40
My size is 38 so I thought I hit the jackpot
Why even the Wal-Mart price tag was still on them Wal-Mart price $9.99 Value Village price $22.00 YES $22.00 They didn’t even hide the Wal-Mart tags I found a manager pointed out that Wal-Mart was selling them brand new at $9.99 ( the $9.99 was NOT SALE price but regular price for these blue jeans )The manager looked at all the jeans ripped off the $9.99 price tags and said there we go Thank You for your help I was astounded I said you cannot do that these blue jeans are only $9.99 BRAND NEW & you now want over twice what the new price was All she said was That’s Correct Thank You for your help .I told her that was down right Thievery You cannot price them higher than brand new .She said why not some one will buy them I just shook my head and walked out
I was in the Silver Springs (Calgary) Value Village location today. From the locked-up showcase, this thrift outlet was selling a old signals component – worth about $5 to $10 – attached to a price-tag of $125.00. The manager – who had difficulty speaking the English language – admitted that he had “no idea what the component actually was or did.” He then stated that “experts” working for Value Village had priced the item correctly because of their expertise and vast knowledge, of all things ever used by mankind since the world began. I told the manager that he was full of B.S.; this component he was selling was actually only part of a dated communication system – worthless without the other components – that I recognized from my service in the Army Signal Corps. It is an insult to see see a group of amateurs price an item “through the roof” when they have no idea what they are selling, and then to be lied to by a “new arrival” to this continent. Buyer beware, if you frequent Value Village.
so I found this site by looking for value village experiences on blogs etc. I recently got a deal on something (a giant minion plush that was unused for 10 bucks) but I normally come in here to look at ties and belts. and noticed prices had gone up noticeably (to the point where buying new on sale somewhere else would be the same price).
one thing i want to point out to people is: value village does NOT receive the items for free. they buy items from charities. even when you donate the item directly to VV they are required to ‘buy it’ from a charity. The price they buy it from the charity for is a set amount per cubic foot (i.e. they pay the same amount whether its a walmart item or a holt renfrew item).
that being said. They then decide on the amount to sell it for – and they are clearly attempting to gouge stupid customers. they are still abunch of money grubbign corporate shills trying to sell themselves as a charity when they really aren’t.
[…] Are You Getting Gauged At Value Village? (squawkfox.com) […]
I so agree with you, VV sucks!. I refuse to give any donations to this store. I use to buy all my granddaughters clothes from here but now I would rather go else where.
In the UK they have wonderful car boot sales every week-end. I would rather go and sell all my gently used clothes at something like this. Not only is it fun to sniff out “that bargain” but you make a little bit of money on the side.
If you are all about the charity bit then you could donate all monies that you make to your favorite charity.
Maybe doing this VV will think twice before they start gouging us. Shame on you VV!!!!
I’ve only been there a few times BUT can you read this and then chat??? Buy at vv or the gap? You tell me. From a selfish perspective maybe the gap. From a community perspective? Vv and the likes of them. Here’s their about us page to read perhaps. http://www.valuevillage.com/thrift-store-cycle.aspx
I have worked with several of this “thrift” operations
You will all go back. I know it and you know it. We all know it. Every last one of you will go back to VV and you will buy. Thats how we stay in business. You gripe but you are all talk.
Whether its bibles, goodwill, Salvation, or VV … its about the money. And that’s all its about. Charity? All give a small portion to charity. Very small. Management makes a killing and staff costs are high. Real estate is acquired with the $. Notice all the brand new Goodwills for instance? Where do you think the $ comes from? That land is solid wealth which can be disposed of later and pocketed.
Salvation Army owns large lots in the center of cities everywhere. Prime!
How do we do it? Because you – the so called little people always shop with us. You complain but I know you will give me money again. You cant help yourself. Some people feel they haven’t the right to shop anywhere else. The rest … cannot resist a possible bargain. You will be back and find something and then you’ll buy it. All this other BS is just that. Thats why Thrifts are popping up everywhere, renos being done .. its a war right now and even in this war prices have been higher. Thanks to you people. You like paying as sales are way up.
You are the same people that complain about your wages, taxes etc. YOu do nothing about that either. Because you just show up and take whats given to you. YOu couls make your own life and forge your own path but never do. Just whine with your $ out. Thank you!
I just wanted to weigh in here with my slant on it all. I agree that VV prices are sometimes a bit on the high side. That said, I was in my local VV just last week and bought a lovely summer dress for under $10, and a Big Bang Theory T-shirt for my son for $3. I was very happy with those prices, honestly.
But my slant is that I would generally rather buy second hand (provided it’s in decent condition, of course), than buying new, because:
a) it’s better for the environment to reuse something that’s perfectly good, than supporting the production of new things all the time, and encouraging our throw-away culture
b) I don’t like to support the use of cheap labour by constantly buying new clothes at unrealistically low prices. Sure, a store may be selling a new dress for $10. But if that dress has been produced by a Bangladeshi worker who only gets paid $25 a month and works in horrific and unsafe conditions (remember that factory that collapsed in Spring 2013?), then I’m not sure I want it so much.
I don’t think I care if VV makes money out of their stores. Don’t get me wrong, I want to see charities benefit. But I get a lot of personal satisfaction out of seeing perfectly good things being reused.
As for the wiggling crotches… well I don’t know about you, but I have a washing machine. If you’re creeped out by the idea of someone else having worn an item, why the heck would you be in a thrift store in the first place?
I also love a bargain, of course. And my attitude to the pricing is this – if something seems overpriced, either because it’s not a very good quality item in the first place, or because it’s worn or damaged, then I don’t buy it. If it’s worn out, then I get a bit annoyed that they’re filling their store with something that no one is likely to want to buy. But I have enough sense to know whether it’s worth buying or not. It’s about the worth of it TO ME really, rather than relative to anything else.
And if you feel that prices are too high, in VV or anywhere, then you do what has been done – let the store know.
High-Value Village priced based on brands. If somebody donate a true religion jeans they will automatically put a high price around $49.99. “THATS INSANE”!!! Electronics stuff is so expensive aswell “(are you competing with bestbuy or future shop and feels like open box item?)”
A old Yamaha cd player cost $24.99 without returns? Scarry eh?
I rather go with Kijiji.ca or Varagesale where you can buy whenever you want. Thats all folks.. remember it is not Value Village, it is now called HIGH-VALUE VILLAGE!!!!
I agree that the prices are kind of high overall, but what I find to be the problem most of the time is the inconsistency. I always look at the dresses but with their general pricing is the same for all of them… half the dresses I see are worth that much NEW. I’d pay $15.99 for something nice but they want the same price for a cheap sundress from Giant Tiger? No.
And when you find a pair of socks obviously from the dollar store priced at $1.99… I once saw a bag of plastic steamer trays from those ‘healthy choice’ TV dinners? Somebody actually donated that. And VV put them in a bag and wanted $2.99 for it.
Though once my boyfriend and I were there and they had an exercise bike they wanted $19.99 for. This couple was walking around and I guess they must’ve been employees of some kind because they asked what we thought of the pricing on some of the items, and if we wanted anything for cheaper than what was priced. We asked if the bike could go any cheaper (it was a pretty basic bike) and they gave it to us for $1.99. Haven’t seen them around since, sadly.
Also every time I’m there I want to scream to the public “STOP DONATING THINGS THAT DON’T WORK” because it’s not VV’s job to hook DVD players up to TVs and play movies on them, or make smoothies in every blender they get… people donate broken shit because it’s “more environmentally friendly” than throwing it out and then you can’t buy used electronics or kitchen appliances because there’s a 50/50 chance it’s broken, and if it doesn’t work you can’t take it back. This makes me so angry! (Though it applies to all thrift stores, not just VV.)
I recently went into the store in Peterborough Ontario Canada Thought I would look around see if there was anything I could buy
.I came across 6 pairs of New jeans from Wal-Mart that still had there $9.99 NORMAL price tag on each of them .
Now this was NOT a sale price but NORMAL PRICE
Value Village had put a price of $25.00 EACH on them ?
I went and got a manager and pointed out how VV had priced $9.99 Jeans at $25.00
I said it must be a mistake.
The lady said your right sir and REMOVED ALL the $9.99 price tags and left the $25.00 tags on them.
and started walking away I stopped her and said why did you remove All the $9.99 tags and leave
the $25.00 tags on them she said because people will pay thaty much for them .
I commented but that is a rip off She shrugged her shoulders and walked away
This is just pure rip off tactics
IF WE STOP GOING IT WOULD PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS OR CORRECT PRICING
Here’s my dilemma. You see, I can by it new from joe fresh for the same price, knowing that it seriously abuses workers in India to make me my cheap clothing. Or I can by it from VV, or goodwill, or salvation army which at least tries to put the money back to the community and it’s workers. So yep, my bet is on buying it from a thrift store, anyone of them.
A corporate shill would smile and say they care about the community while they get someone to do all the dirty work for them. That to me is a definition of h & m, Nike, or anyone of the corporate whores who takes advantage of workers in another country. Not make you work for $11 hr with breaks, but for pennies a day, no breaks, in a building that is unsafe and may potentially kill you by collapsing. (ie joe fresh).
I did skim through the breakdown of what is fishy about their prices, and you know what, I am not going to complain until I see someone who is seriously reaping the benefits while someone else is existing at an extreme disadvantage.
If VV is doing something akin to what Joe Fresh has done to it’s workers, then by all means there is an injustice. If the clothes are worn but are still relatively cheap, or if you are like me, and buy stuff cheap to refurbish with a sewing machine, then it’s not a huge deal (and I don’t resell anything). If the prices are raised to go to charity and support the gainful employment of others, then so what.
Remember, it’s not all about you when you buy your clothes, it’s who your helping in the long run. If only people thought like this before they purchased anything.
And I’ve bought pants brand new for $8 from vv recently. Pants that normally aren’t sold at Walmart, or that were originally cheap for that matter.
Funny that I came across this article which dates back quite some time (2-3years) and there are still current replies to it. Nonetheless I will give my opinion as I feel like the comments have been quite negative and all for the wrong reasons. I honestly feel that most customers are very ignorant when they speak of increased pricing and all. The reason I say this is because it is as if the building VV operates in was donated, people all work as volunteers, and clothing just crawls out of bags jumps on hangers and walks its way out to the sales floor. They pay lumps of money to lease and operate in the buildings, minimum wage has jumped to $11. Ignorant people see prices go up but do not see expenses go up. I’ve recently been to the Vaughan VV at Weston Rd. and Hwy7, and they are one of the nicer VV I have been to. I’ve witnessed customers shopping through the racks like they were animals, pulling things off their hangers and throwing them on the floor leaving the store a complete mess, not something you see at a typical retailer. Do you think the store just cleans itself, maybe if they didn’t have to bring as many people in to clean the store the expenses wouldn’t be so high that they need to inflate their prices. Don’t get me wrong but I don’t agree that they always price things correctly, but if the price is not right simply don’t buy it. Then again, why are people going to VV to shop George, Joe Fresh, and all the other low end brands? I shop for the higher end stuff I don’t want to pay full price for like Bench ($80+ zip ups for $24.99), Mexx ($30-50 Shirts for $9.99-14.99) etc. if you honestly feel you can get the same item for less simply just go there to buy it.
I actually went by the same store this past Monday and the amount of “Donations” people drop off was astonishing, there were badly stained mattresses, and totally ripped and stained couches just to name a few. As I was curious, I went to ask the staff what they do with that stuff, they told me unfortunately it has to go into the trash as this is clearly somebody’s garbage they left behind and the reason why they said clearly was because they left it at the back of the building where no one will ever see. If people actually had good intentions and stopped throwing their garbage at VV there wouldn’t be as much labour involved and once again will cut down expenses.
We always only see prices rise but in the end who is to blame for all these inflated prices? A business is a business and if a business has higher expenses the only way to balance out is to have higher revenues aka higher prices. Maybe because I take business management and see things differently it has me understand the root cause of these things. I hear people compare a full out retail store with staff members and all to a garage sale, really?
Finally the most ignorant thing I’ve seen/heard… WHY PRICE THINGS YOU GET “FREE” SO HIGH, last time I checked VV helps CDA, OFCP and many other charities in the community. As for the price VV pays these charities it is really none of our business, it really is a business contract negotiated between the two parties. No one is forcing CDA to bring their stuff to VV, they are only doing it because they are mutually benefitting from the situation. Enough of me ranting on, but I felt as though VV is judged unfairly and they get nailed for all the wrong reasons.
As I stated many years ago when this thread started, people need to investigate the so called ” help” VV gives to Canadian charities- there is a VERY beneficial reason VV does this as an American outfit operating in Canada and it is NOT because they are giving back so to speak rather it IS they are not having to give( in terms of Canada and taxes) Upshot as always is NO American comes up here unless they stand to make a tidy profit.
I volunteer at my local clothing thrift shop in a small town in Alberta. We also have a household thrift shop in town. Both shops are run by local churches, but you don’t have to be members to volunteer there. The items donated run from absolute garbage all the way to brand new tags still on, high end designer items, leather/fur coats and even wedding dresses. Even after paying rent, utilities, etc. the two shops are still able to donate/put back into our community over $100,000 a year. Yet both our prices are still incredibly cheap compared to VV, loved the Value Pillage nickname BTW 😉 Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Folks, search out these small GEMS in your communities, they are out there…. 🙂
I saw a pair of women’s boots for 49.95 at VV. I almost plotzed! They were used and dirty! I could go to Sears or the Bay and get the same boots, brand new on sale for 24.99. There are MANY dollar store things (USED, mind you!) for 1.99 or even 2.99! earrings so old and worn that there’s no shine left– 3.99! Occasionally you find a deal but only because those people attaching prices don’t know what they have. I go to Salvation Army, Bible Mission or yard sales.
I can understand why many thrift stores are continually raising their prices. I have not been to value village/savers because the closest one is very far. I live in SoCal and popular thrift stores like Out of the Closet and St Vincent de Paul have been raising their prices because hipsters pick through the clothing and take it to their own stores and sell it for much much higher (I estimate about 900% increase). In one way they’re getting smarter about it. At out of the closet I will never be able to find deals but st Vincent I would (depending) I prefer locally owned thrift stores or the like. Another thrift store I frequent has nearly all the shoes ranging from 1-5$ some of the clothes can get expensive but they don’t charge tax. Also if I wanted to buy more than reasonably priced clothing I would go to buffalo exchange or Crossroads where they buy actually lightly used clothing directly from people (some brand) but I would only buy staple wardrobe pieces
I am a frequent Value Village shopper and I have spent hundreds there in the past two year’s but recently I have noticed prices rising on very unworthy items. Example, last week I bought two Tiffany & co bracelets at the jewellers counter I paid 50.00 for each of them, They both are fake I now realize after researching online, the are not returnable. A lot of people spend their hard earned money purchasing item’s from your store, in Canada and the USA and many of those same people donate their belonging’s to “Value” Village for free. I am one of those people, and I don’t appreciate being charged large amounts of money on item’s that are genuinely worth little to nothing.
This entire situation has left me really frustrated, how many other people is this happening to? I would like to make sure this stop’s because it is really turning into a fraudulent misrepresentation of designer item’s at their jewellery counter. I realize those who work in your store do not know how to authenticate item’s, thus how can they price item’s accordingly without knowing how to authenticate? I do not think they can so it is not ethical for them to be pricing item’s ridiculously high since both in Canada & the USA it is illegal to sell counterfeit item’s.
I am in a bind and i must say when i first moved to kamloops, i gave so many donations to value village not knowing they sold them, I thought they gave stuff away to the the unfortunate, well i sure learned fast how wrong i was.I recently have become one that now needs help myself, i went into value village and I couldn’t believe my eyes when i seen their prices, I was speachless. I bought all new clothes last year and stored them in my shed. well I had to go away and take care of my daughter as she is very sick and has 2 kids which she sometimes can’t look after due to her lenghthy illness.I came home to get my clothes out and when i went to grab them mice popped out and were hitting me in the face, just all over, hundreds of them. nests and nests of babies. needless to say i have nothing. I have no money. If anyone happens to be donating any XL clothes of all kinds, Could you please get ahold of me. I have cried for days. Just don’t know what i’m gonna do. I need a winter coat even. I had such nice clothes. It’s devastating. I WILL NEVER EVER GIVE ANYTHING TO VALUE VILLAGE AGAIN AS LONG AS I LIVE. VERY VERY DISGUSTED IN THEM.
I’m sorry this is lynne again, I should have said, the clothes i had stored in my shed. I since have collected some of those plastic bins with lids but i hope to collect a bunch more so this never happens again.I am a very, very super clean person. my home is beautiful. I actually lost my home to a fire in 2003 and had to replace it. …. so now I know to store EVERYTHING in plastic bins with lids.I still have nightmares of them popping out jumping all over me. yuckkkk !!
There used to be a Goodwill in my town. Now there isn’t. Don’t know why–but I did notice a rise in prices there that didn’t seem justified. They employed a lot of people who were disabled in some way so it was a shame they closed. I think the people who took it over were more interested in maximizing profit than helping people. The customers thinned out (who did they think were shopping there?) and the store had to close. They had a HUGE space in an under-leased strip mall. Salvation Army, Bible Mission store. That’s where I go and I get GREAT bargains. I am replacing all my furniture with flea market, yard sale and thrift store finds. You just keep an open mind–How can I make this old thing “sing”? LOL I’m soon to retire so I can’t afford new–which is usually a picture of wood over particle board anyway.
I’m personally quite grateful for VV’s pricing. I used to shop there regularly and never once did I come out of there empty handed. So I appreciate their pricing…it has saved me a ton, since I don’t buy anything there any more.
Uh, these prices in 2014, especially on clothes and shoes are way higher now. These Thrift Stores are selling our free donated items for more than regular stores on some things. I use to be a regular shopper and buy a cart full, now I go in there seldom, and often walk out with nothing, it’s just too expensive for me. I now wait for Mall sales and get my stuff brand new for equal the price or cheaper. Let me tell you, it’s not only VV that has these ridiculous prices, most Thrift Stores are following suit, There is no excuse for this, they get it free and they profit big time.
Yes, I too am feeling the pain of high prices at VV. I spent 2hrs mulling over various items and only came out with a brand new $2 pair of socks. BTW I’m curious as how VV can afford to get socks made using VV brand name. The socks were made in China by Gold Medal International located in NY and in Greensboro, NC. LOL. I checked the website it sounds pretty fishy to me. Anyway, I’ll be donating my gently used clothing to local women’s shelters, clothing boxes at food banks and to community support groups. To heck with VV.
I was in there the day before their members’ 50% off day, just to have a look to see what potential ‘deals’ I could score the next day, and it was ALL THE SAME CRAP THEY’VE HAD FOR THE LAST MONTH! Yes, I go often enough but I would normally expect any company trying to make money to put newly donated stock out but they DON’T! Their tactic is to keep all the shitty stuff out as long as possible, then have their sale day, then the NEXT DAY they put out their new stuff, which dummy people buy because there won’t be another sale day for quite a while. I used to work there a few years ago, as a cashier and remember the sale days being ridiculous, putting $5000 through my register alone and people buying so much we ran out of large bags and started using garbage bags to bag their items. The racks of clothing were also so packed tight, you had to wonder where all the clothing came from. Now, no one is buying anything because the prices are so high, the racks are half empty, and sale days seem to be seldom events. Connection much? Put 2&2 together VV, your losing sales because your prices are so freaking high for USED clothing, no matter if it’s Lululemon, Bench, or Gap, that shouldn’t matter! Your a USED clothing re-seller! If you want people to buy more, stock your racks like you used to, and lower the prices. Simple as that.
Value village is my favorite place to shop. I go there every week and never go home empty handed. I always find something for each member in my family. Sometimes they are high priced, but only on the expensive brand names. I recently brought a gently used Roots hoody that goes for $75 at the Roots store and I brought it at vv for $12.99, which is reasonable. Sure, I would be happier if it was under $10, but it’s still better than $75. I also found a beautiful fleece columbia sweater with the price tag still attached for $65 and vv priced it for $12.99 as well. I love to collect American eagle jeans, vv has helped me expand my collection at $ 7.99 – 9.99 per jean, better than $55 at american eagle stores! So, to sum it up, Im happy with vv! I avoid their shoes though, moldy and overpriced:( that’s the only negative thing i have to say about vv. The Dartmouth vv store, it’s a great place to spend a little money:)
I am an avid thrifter and love the deal we USED to get at Value Village. When I was last In Toronto I stopped at a few only to find out that they NOW cross reference items they have against eBay sales and projected sales. Then price them way out of reach for the average person. Not only that but some items they do not even check to see if A it is all there(complete) & B if it broken. I looked at 2 items they priced and both were damaged. Worth perhaps a 10th of the asking price. I agree with the clothing comments above, we can buy brand new unworn clothes from brand name stores.
I was just in one yesterday and every bag of toys is now 3.99, and every game and puzzle is roughly the same or more.
Goodwill’s around here are OK but the selection can be a lot weaker than other thrift or second hand stores.
SO IN THE END Can Not Wait for the summer to arrive again for Garage Sales, as these seem to be the best.
Myself and many friends both donate and make purchases at Bibles For Missions Thrift Stores but we are constantly frustrated and annoyed at the way we are constantly taken advantage of by being taxed on items that have been donated for free. The Salvation Army Thrift Stores do not charge tax on their “sale” of donated items so why should Bibles For Missions or are they in the same category as Value Village ?
Since we don’t get any tax credit on what we donate, why should we or our friends have to be “taxed” on the conversion of free donations to cash so that the recipients can make better use of it ?
I rarely shop at VV or Sally Ann Thrift Shops, both are getting too expensive! I can get cheaper at Giant Tiger! They both started out as charities, but are getting too big & much of their profits from donations are now going to maintain their own payroll! Plus a girlfriend of mine, who has worked at our Sally Anne for 10 years (the last 2 or 3 as a manager) was just dismissed unjustly right before Christmas… Merry Christmas to her! She has talked to the Labour Board & is now hiring a lawyer! It seems, someone wanted her job… so she lost it! I will never go there again! Very unprofessional!
I’m a VV convert and buy most shirts, skirts, scarfs, purses, jackets and coats there. Sometimes there isn’t a good deal to be found and other times I’ll spend $50 and walk away with two bags full of goodies! I’ve noticed brands such as Gap, Old Navy, Forever 21, etc. are very overpriced and mostly worn out—so I avoid them. I also buy some clothing at consignment shops. The small remaining minority I splurge on at retail stores (including all jeans – I buy in bulk during final sales and use vinegar to preserve the dark color, cold water only plus air drying). I constantly find great stuff (lost several sizes a year ago and had to build a new wardrobe from nothing). Notable buys are a burgundy velvet blazer for $7, Cole Haan purses for $11 and $12, two Kate Spade purses $7 each, four wool skirts for a total of $30 (J Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor)and four pairs of wool blend pants from the same brands, none costing more than $7. I’ve also bought 4 pairs of riding boots, each pair cost under $10 and recently found an adorable pair of Jimmy Choo barely worn sandals for $7. Bought a pair of Tod’s shoes for $8 that were in pristine condition. Also found in pristine condition and costing less than $10 a pair: Frye kitten heels, a bunch of Cole Haan shoes, Tory Burch shoes, two pairs of Bally shoes, several pairs of Donald Pliner shoes. Jackets and coats: a vintage leather trench in almost perfect condition for $20, leather jacket for $12, heavy wool coat for $14, casual wool blend coat for $11. Scarfs: several 100% cashmere scarfs, each for less than $5. It is difficult enough to find a 100% cashmere scarf, let alone one that is under $100! Sweaters: 100% merino wool and 100% cashmere from: Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and J Crew-all less than $12. Anthropologie blend sweaters-all less than $8, Tory Burch cardigan and tunic shirt-both under $10. Picked up an insanely nice cashmere blend tweed Ralph Lauren Black Label blazer for $7! I could go on and on!
Yea! I wonder how much out of every dollar goes to charity?
I have noticed many negative comment re:Value Village, on this site. My experience has been dramatically different. In my closet I have a Roberto Cavalli and Ermenegildo Zenga sports coats, and a pair of Galizio Torreso hand made Italian Shoes. The total cost of these items was less than thirty five dollars. I can not imagine their cost at any of the fashionable shops on Bloor Street. I recentlt purchased a 72 piece set of Irish Noritake bone china for seventy dollars. That’s five dollars a place setting for bone china.
If Value Village is a rip off, I hope I continue to be ripped off.
I believe the merchants and wanna be collectors are ruining Value Village. They are in there every day pricing everything on Ebay before they buy and bragging about how much they sold something for. I’m sure clerks are aware of this, and I have a feeling VV is now using Ebay as a reference for their own prices. I’ve seen NBA jerseys priced at $80. LEGO sets as high as $150. Somebody is buying these high priced items, maybe us thrifters are also to blame.
i work in social services and we refrain from telling our client to go to value village because as social workers we can’t even afford let alone justify the cost of things.
i have spoke to VV employees and have been told that their pricing scheme is based on prices for the same or similar items on the internet in particular on ebay. so you go donate your items to them for free and they charge you prices that people who are trying to profit from the sale of items are. (ebay sellers)
its sad that the people who need who have to shop at VV (as opposed to choosing to shop there because 2nd hand is in and trendy) are the very people who can’t afford to.
i was in jodhphur india and stopped at a roadside stall that was selling clothes that had VV tags on them.
VV needs to re-price their items fairly.
If someone takes an item to a ‘buy and sell’ type store, they expect to get some money for the item, since the buyer is going to sell the item for profit, which is why i won’t donate to Value Village, since they are making profit from my items, i believe i should get a cut.
The Salvation Army is non profit, and they give me a $10 off coupon when i donate items…. they also have 50% sales every week.
The Salvation Army thrift store is much more organized than value village also. I recommend people to stop donating to a private company like Value Village and give their items to a charity like The Salvation Army.
Thanks for this great article Kerry, and your hours of research! I totally agree. I stopped shopping VV years ago when they lowered their standards and brought in crappy, worn, ripped and expensive clothing. I now support local, “real” charitable thrift stores who are a lot cheaper and I know my money stays in the community. Support your local community people! You will save money and feel good too 🙂
I gave up shopping at any 2nd hand store after having a bought of bed bugs. Doing research on that subject they said never to buy used furniture or clothing or books if you don’t absolutely have to. These are where BB’s hide.
I could never get past the smell at V.V. anyway. I would have to hold my nose all the way through the store. I went with my daughter sometimes. She doesn’t go any more either.
I’m really thankful at this point in time that I don’t need those stores and I feel bad for anyone who does, especially if they are being ripped off like this.
“Great topic, I believe the merchants and wanna be collectors are ruining Value Village. They are in there every day pricing everything on Ebay before they buy and bragging about how much they sold something for.”
I am one of those people who make a living going to thrift stores and re-selling on Ebay and Amazon. Let me say that we are NOT the reason for high prices at thrift stores. It’s simple math really. Only about 5% (that’s probably generous) of items found at a Value Village are suitable for reselling. There’s a reason why they call us “pickers”.
That being said, I also agree that Value Village should get out of the “picking business”. of course, part of the reason why I feel this way is for my own self-interest, but lets take a look at all the way Value Village shoots itself in the foot.
1) It’s a head’s up to the average person that their used goods have value! The last thing VV wants is for people to know their used donations have a value and expect to get paid for them instead of donating them.
2) It takes up a lot of space, for the glass case and an employee’s time to open up the case and bring out the items. Time and space are money. That space could be used to sell other items, more cheaply priced and with a higher turnover.
3) It’s simply tacky and gives people a bad impression as evidenced by all the complaints on this thread.
Hey everyone.me and my mom sometimes go to value village in calgary.we also noticed many things overpriced or incorrectly priced.sometimes i dont know how people price things.an item from walmart will be like 14.99 while an item from banana republic or guess will be 9.99 both items in same shape..one thing u could try if u really like at item and thinks its outrages price.rip of the tag and bring to cashier.99% of times they will put a way more reasonable price.. 🙂 p.s. also i try shop only on 50% off days that way u actually pay what u should for the items
I visited VV for the first time today. I am in a Facebook group that shares their finds from thrift stores, and a lot of ladies have gotten great deals at VV. I usually shop Goodwill or church thrift shops if I can find them. Goodwill is slowly increasing their base prices. But, some stores (not all) have ‘special price’ items. The special prices are usually for high end, like new items and usually aren’t too bad for what you get. However, we recently visited a GW store near Atlanta where there were a lot of ‘special price’ items and some weren’t brand names or in great shape. I was interested in a pair of boots. They were like new, but not brand name. The price tag was $40!!! From a thrift store? I don’t think so. The prices at VV weren’t horrible. Some higher than Goodwill, some cheaper. It makes me wonder about their pricing system. Or lack of. I looked at extremely similar items and there were $2-$5 differences between some of them. I’ve also heard about their ‘sales’ though I’ve never been to one. And the Goodwill I frequent never has sales. Not even color of the day sales. I’m ready for yard sale season! THOSE are the best deals!!
Value Village is not a quick shop. With the Seniors day, and 30% discount, sales things priced better, but what about the younger people who have not a lot of money…I can Pay 49.99 for a new well known jacket or 29.99 at Value Village. So guess what, I now have an extra 20 to spend on something else.. BUT… Why to set up a rack of ALL Major Brand names.. for example: $14.99 to ? All good brands in excellent shape or never worn. That way you know before you even start looking, you are expecting higher pricing. This is for clothes only…..
I am just checking back in since my last post in reply to someone else’s post of finding a “score” of Lulu nylon jacket….lol I hope all have learned their lesson, when you find a ridiculous deal like that, keep quiet! I laughed out loud at the Ikea Lady reference too 🙂 Anyways, I found a bunch of Lulu stuff, and some was way overpriced while a couple items were missed and cheaply priced. One pair of LLL pants were 19.99 and another pair was 7.99, despite some piling, while a LLL jacket was brand new and marked at $49.99. In comparison, a near new Columbia nylon jacket was priced at $12.99…so to the person that says they don’t check name brands, well I hate to break it to ya, but yes, they DO check the brand and they DO cross-reference against ebay prices. So, why is one brand so highly priced compared to another? They should (but they never will) adopt the pricing system of St. Vincent de Paul….a jacket is a jacket is a jacket, and is the same price for all jackets across the board regardless of its brand name. The VV pricing system really doesn’t allow those in need to buy clothing at a reduced price. Please people, STOP donating stuff to VV, and bring it to a real charity like St. Vincent de Paul or another local church foundation so those who are in need get your previously loved items. Also, don’t fall for VV’s ‘donate a full bag and get a free hot dog’ campaign….what a load of crap, and to see the suckers donate for a hot-dog is hilarious! And before anyone says anything, yes, I scout items at VV, but I personally donate to my local church. I spend lots of time scouring VV for deals for my family (I’m retired, I’ll do whatever the hell I want LOL)
Be very careful shopping at the Kelowna Value Village. They sell items in the display case but the product inside the box is switched out and replaced with older similar product. I got scammed twice because of falsely advertised product. I also must admit that the prices have skyrocketed since new management took over. They ask almost full price for the majority of items they sell. It’s a complete joke now.
What about online thrift store where everything has been thoroughly checked for flaws like at Changeroo.ca? The prices there are better than at VV. It’s addictive and well worth checkout out.
Do you guys even know what they do for the community ??? Do you expect to get it all for 1.99 ? Really you shouldn’t judge till you actually know what your talking about ok ! Mabey next time you shop there you should ask , what they do with the community and what they do to recycle ? And last you Complain about VV but you all still shop there , stop shopping there then tired of seeing you complain !
The prices at value village are reduced based on the use of the clothes. It may be more expensive than buying from the brand directly creating them, but the price is only a single piece of the story. Consider this: the price of the product is only the first step in deciding whether to buy. By only considering something’s price a neglect of the entire chain of events to put it before you is being maintained. The materials that go into the product, how they are sourced, the amount of land, water, and energy they require to be procured in a state able to be processed, the energy required for the factories to run at which the products are manufactured, the worker salaries and working conditions, transportation to get the products from where they are manufactured to the store you can buy them in are only a selection of the considerations that an intellectually honest individual embraces when making an informed decision. It is evidenced in many accounts (here is at least one great resource to find the ethical sourcing of products http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/clothing.aspx which gives a great breakdown of the producer and their status on human and animal rights, sustainable source material production, workers’ rights and conditions, and many others) that retail produces have a range of ethical practices. By researching which brands to buy from and support before you go to any store, we become empowered and informed consumers. Because we have the capacity and ability to do this research and the working conditions, livelihoods, and dignity of those who depend on this trade depend on our knowledge of what we are electing to participate in through literally voting with our dollars, it is our responsibility to investigate this fully considering all aspects in and beyond price. Supporting your local value village supports local charities and ends the cycle of potential worker and animal abuse and environmental degradation endemic in the fashion industries.
Value village is so overpriced and under serviced . They make you wait in long lines for long time when there is staff available . They treat you like homeless people as if they are doing you a favor . The company is not a charity . It is a big business that gouges people who can least afford it . Often you can find things cheaper if you buy them new . They charge $4.99 for dollar store items . Just do not shop there .
Hello, I am a frequent shopper of the Value Village located in Timmins, Ontario, and other locations when we are going out of town. I was in the Timmins store yesterday, and only just five feet away, a woman hid her large purse in the active wear pants section to hide her actions of shoving a shirt in there. I watched her the whole time, that’s how I new what she was doing. As she was walking out of the store, I went up to a cashier whom I assume was an MOD, or whatever they are called, and told her. She says, “Some people eh?!” and then continues to go back to counting her bank run change. I was DISGUSTED! As that attitude portrayed a carelessness to shoplifters, and uncaring attitude towards donators and shoppers. So what, she doesn’t care if people steal, yet the prices are already jacked up so high, we might as well go spend our money on the new item at Walmart or Winners?
I recall another situation where a girl entered the change room with so much stuff, I wondered how she could move in the change room. She had a large duffle bag with her too, which when she emerged from the change room, her duffle bag was full, and there were no clothes remaining in the change room. I alerted the manager as to what this girl was doing and received the same type of careless answer. APPALLING! Please, find a way to deter shoplifters! I know the staff is not supposed to approach someone who is stealing for safety reasons, but do SOMETHING! Call the police! If that behavior is not acceptable anywhere else, why should it be accepted at Value Village, ESPECIALLY when good people donate their articles thinking it’s going to be purchased by someone who really needs it? Give a care dammit, and DO something!
Do you have any idea what you’re actually talking about? Maybe if you pulled your head out of 1950 where everything is $1 you’d look around and see what good we do for the world. Please I beg you to go to Oshkosh or Walmart and show me a onsie for less than $1.99. We don’t receive anything for free with paying our non profit partners or the Canadian diabetes association upwards of $10 a pound of donation they bring us.our prices are fair and reasonable and if there is a huge problem we’re more than happy to fix it. In 2014 alone we donated more than $200 million to our non profits and 90% of tthe stuff we don’t sell is shipped overseas to help stimulate stimulate he economy in developing countries. Also the company is American based, so here’s an idea, do some fucking research before you run your mouth. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about.
I agree. Value Village has some ridiculously high prices! It aggravates me because so much of what they have was donated for FREE. There’s NO need whatsoever to be so greedy. I shop there maybe once a year and ONLY during a 50% off sale. Even then, some prices are still too high! You really have to scrounge for good deals, they’re rare but can happen. I regularly frequent smaller thrift stores in my town because I do believe in recycle, reduce and reuse.
I agree with the author – Value Village (Savers and Unique Thrift in the US) has steadily increased their prices over the past several years and, IN MANY INSTANCES PRICES FOR NEW STILL-IN-STYLE ITEMS CAN BE FOUND AT DEPARTMENT STORES. As a FOR-PROFIT organization, pricing strategy is their prerogative (albeit greedy and bad for people who really need to be able to find affordable merchandise). What burns me is that Value Village / Savers REALLY focus on how much they donate / help local charities (as seen in the message above from “Value Village Employee” who’s been drinking too much of the Value Village / Savers kool aid) while being VERY careful to not mention their FOR-PROFIT status (which isn’t misleading but is “not exactly upfront” and, to some people is a deal-breaker). In summary, these days EVERYONE (sellers and buyers) are either out to make a “fast buck” or are out for a “deal” and EVERYONE (sellers and buyers) have to be aware of that fact and act accordingly. Aside from public media, the best way for customers to show their dissatisfaction with something a seller is doing is to vote with their feet and with their money – patronize preferred sellers and don’t give non-preferred sellers any business.
To Value Village Employee May 1st, 2015
Its people like you that make Value Village look even worse.. You want to swear and lie about how much a pound of clothing is paid for. I have never received a dime for what I have donated and that’s my choice. I don’t donate there anymore. But to say up to 10 dollars a pound? Do your research
As for your selection Yea its way over priced from what it use to be.. I understand that a lot of things donated to you are garbage and that you have to pay a fee but the stuff you get is donated don’t go off and compare Wall Mart to Value Village. The George Jeans NEW at Wal Mart are 9.00 at Value Village in Windsor Ontario are 12.99 for the same size.
Your potty mouth attitude and reply are just the standard greeting you get at Your store now.
They have someone standing there counting your items before you go into the changing room. They are worse then the police.
As for the clothing. The store needs to try the zippers on their products. They need to check for holes in the cloths as well. They need to try an electric item before selling it. You cant ASSume it works.
My wife goes there and I don’t care for the place anymore. I prefer Goodwill over Value Village anyday. Your store use to be enjoyable with fair and even great prices but now your making a killing tricking people into thinking they are paying a fair price.
There are stores popping up all over the place for a reason. Because the stores are making a killing selling their DONATED stuff for a lot of money.
As for your donations to local charities I get it they thank you but do they have someone standing there watching what you bring into the store or does the store say hey Charity here is a donation of $1000.00 bucks Out of the 25,000 we just made in profit Hey look Canada see were donating.
I wasn’t going to reply but YOUR potty mouth and arrogance and ignorance left me no other option.
As for the rest of the people.. Im with you Value Village USE TO BE a great place to shop. USE TO BE.
To the Value Village employee – you need to do your research also.
Value Village is owned by someone in the states who does not disclose his assets, and I’m sure they are a lot. Value Village was a great place at one time for people who didn’t have a lot of money, and of course now because of the way things are going – middle class disappearing and many people in debt there are a lot more poor people. Value Village gets free stuff all the time and that $10 dollar a pound might have a 3 or 4 20 dollar pair of jeans. And it so nice that they sell all the unwanted stuff to other countries – do some research on that – it might shock you. Some small clothing businesses in these countries have gone out of business because of the free shit the western world sends (we are always patting our self on the back, but we don’t think of the results) You do your research, and I totally agree with this article. What about people who can’t even afford to shop in Walmart, oh I guess it doesn’t matter – poor people just need to wear rags. And by the way some of those lower income people might be ecstatic to get a job at Value Village – good for you for having a job and being able to buy stuff. Do more research on this privately owned business and find out how much the owner makes, and find out how much is donated there – they get plenty of free stuff! People have a right to their opinion and Ryan – a bit of wind bagging there.
I made an error in my last post – Value Village gives their unwanted rags to other countries not sell them- whoopy doo!
Value village is a great thrift store! You will find no better place. I don’t understand people’s complaints about the pricing. As far as I’m concerned the prices are excellent and I’ve never had any problems with VV. I go to the Value Village in St. Catharines. I will shop at Value Village until the day I die.
Prices are a little high. These places are here to help those that live on a low income, and now the prices have gone up since the other thrift store moved. I don’t think that’s fair.
Back in the day, I was able to walk out of Value Village with 2 bags of clothes for my kids for $20 or less…now…that will only get 1 or 2 items. I used to love that store. The prices really are out of this world now considering everything is donated to them by the public. I now avoid Value Village at all cost. SOMETIMES I will go in as a last resort when seeking off the wall stuff. I don’t know how long they will be in business now that there are MANY other thrift stores, dollar stores, consignment stores and FB pages dedicated to people buying and selling. I would encourage people to use these other sources….not only cheaper but more quality control and not supporting this greed.
I have been a seasoned Value Village shopper for years, but, lately, I am disgusted at the rise in prices on almost all merchandise, including women’s clothes. I am finding I can buy cheaper for something brand new at certain sales. You need to review your prices and not become greedy. I am not going to shop as frequently as I have been due to your price increases. Not a good thing to do if you want to stay in business long term Thrift store merchandise is used merchandise and you should not be at the prices you are at, especially on used clothing and shoes, etc. My friends and I are definitely going to pull back on our shopping at your stores until you lower your prices and are not greedy.
I think it all depends on the province and the manager. I have the feeling that the management in Vernon should retire. The staff turn over seems daily. I think its terrible when you move here and start asking hiw it is to work there and half the city has an opinion on how bad the work conditions have become in the last couple of years. Perhaps a change of manager could get the work conditions and the prices adjusted. Things are not always as they appear. Has anyone ever confronted the manager about the prices they feel are not reasonable? Just some food for thought, since so many peop,e say they wont shop there Im sure that may result in loss of sales and ultimately unemployment. What happens if that stores prices keep being unreasonable , people stop going there and due to poor management the store closes? Shopping seems limited in Vernon as it is. Perhaps we need to ask management to start managing and call for new management instead of a potential store closure. Im new here but I think there is way more to this story than some high prices. By the way I agree the store does smell and the prices are crazy on some items. I spoted a suitcase I had donated and there is niw a tear in it and the price is higher than the price I paid for it new. But just as we hold those accountable that manage our country why arent we holding management accountable in this case?
I too am a used to be VV shopper. The store in Guelph Ont. is a total rip off. When I was a regular shopper there a while back they were trying to sell a sofa that smelled of cat pee. Get into reality. I rarely go in any more, and most times leave empty handed and disgusted. Yes there are pickers there. They know when the new stock is to be rolled out and hope to grab an item that someone has misspriced. Sadly most of the second hand stores in town have followed suit with outrageous pricing. So I have found some more reasonable prices elsewhere. The only items I will donate to VV are items that I wouldn’t dream of donating anything else. There are several more worthly places in my area that I spend my dollars and donate my quality items. It has become very camp to shop used. Witness the use of items from VV used on the show called “The Social” on TV. People who cannot afford these outrageous prices no double wait for the 50% sale or find some place more reasonable. Wake up people these are donated goods. You cannot tell me that they are not. V V has people standing outside at drive thru location waiting to help people unload their unwanted items. I havent seen any money change hands there. Enough said. Sad state of affairs when stores set up to help those less fortunate have reduced themselves to this level.
I do not doubt that many items at Value Village are in poor condition or over priced. However there are unbelievable bargains. I recently purchased a Danier leather briefcase for five dollars. A similar briefcase sells for $200.00. A British made trench coat was ten dollars. The same brand at Harry Rosen was more than a thousand dollars. I often read complaints of ebay sellers driving the prices up. If a person can purchase an item and sell it foe a profit on ebay, it is difficult to argue that it is over priced. I have also read comments of working conditions. It is unfortunate that service workers are often underpaid. This is not unique to Value Village. The percentage of money going to charities is a negotiation between Value Village and the charity. The charities must be reasonably satisfied or they would not enter into an agreement.
I agree totally. The prices are ridiculous. I could kind of tolerate it if the “village” didn’t mostly attract to people who can’t afford to buy new — ripping off those who can’t afford stuff at retail outlets. And one of the worst things about VV is there’s hardly any “good stuff” there. All that high end, brand name clothing that is virtually unworn is probably sold to other high end Used clothing stores. Nah, Value Village stinks.
You are absolutely correct, Kerry! I used to shop at VV in Brampton all the time but when I went there about 2 years ago, I was appalled! The prices had more than tripled and when I asked “What the heck?” I was told “Oh – it’s because we are now under new management”. So I asked what gave them the right to gouge people who are trying to clothe their families while keeping food on the table and a roof over their heads! Diabetes runs in our family so I always called “The Clothesline” to donate any used items as the proceeds were supposed to be sent to the Canadian Diabetes Foundation. After they are picked up from your house, they are sent to Value Village for resale. I know this because my cousin (who wears a rare ladies size 11-1/2 shoe) found her exact pair of shoes at the VV selling for $15.00! Only a small portion of the proceeds actually make it to the charity. You are better off giving them an annual donation of $10 or $20. It works out to about the same!
As for the Goodwill, I was looking at a 3 piece dresser set there. It was WELL used with scratches and a few chips out the side but it was a solid piece of furniture. There wasn’t a price tag on it so I enquired and was told they were $300. I thought that’s not too bad – $100 bucks a piece but no, they were $300 EACH! You call that a bargain? It’s supposed to be a thrift store!
So far the only Thrift Shop I’ve found worth looking in is Talize! They have awesome prices and the items they sell all seem to be in really good condition. Thank you Talize!
I agree…..total rip off……its suppose to help people in need who cant afford new items..hey had a used blanket for 49.99…wth…..should be nothing over $10
Value Village has been a fucking rip off for years. I stopped going years ago. People who donate to Value Village are Suckers. Why on earth would you help out a company that is owned by Wallmart? Is Wallmart in need of donations? Pleassssse! Value Village says it gives to charity but it’s very, very little, in terms of what the company makes per year. They make millions and millions of dollars per year, give nothing to charity and pay their employees nothing and treat them like snot. Next time donate used goods to the Sally Ann or Goodwill at least your used goods goes to help people. You can however donate your cat piss stained mattresses and bags of dog shit to Value Village.
I live in anchorage, AK. To all those who are praising VV, AKA: value pillage, you are a bunch of liars. They brag about donating but it’s not enough to worth mentioning. I found fecal matter on worn out boots for $30. Used fishing boots for the same price when I bought the same brand for $20 at a sporting goods store. Broken toys sells there for new prices, used undergarments, used baby toys, items that normally sell as a set in regular stores, broken down and sold separately, ie: fishing poles, children play sets, such as mini-kitchens or toy appliances. I’ve seen a collection of sports cards come in as one set to only be broken down in several mismatched sets of 20 cards with a sticker price of $4.99. Heck no! Value Pillage has got to go! They also take from the community, shut down smaller stores, and any surviving thrift stores are forced to raise their prices, due to lack of donations or sister up with them as the salvation army did.
This might be unethical, but so, too, is price gouging under the guise of charity: my ex brother-in-law – bless his scuzzbag criminal heart – would swap a high price tag on an item for a lower one. The cashiers couldn’t care less about the accuracy of pricing. Nobody ever (to my knowledge) caught him or questioned him.
It’s hypocritical for Value Village to claim they help people in need, yet pay their front-line employees minimum wage and set their prices so high the low-income families they purport to help can’t afford their goods. Fu%^ them. I’m glad my ex-B.I.L. cut very slightly into their profit margins.
If you do ever, by some miracle find something at a real bargain, never mention your deal at the checkout. Because if you do, that will change pretty quickly. The only time you get a real bargain is if VV doesn’t realize what they have. Don’t tell them!
Mind you, I don’t go often anymore. But I get curious. More often than not, I’ve left empty handed. Not so with Salvation Army–or Bible Mission I always manage to find something I like.
Value village were cheap in the early 90’s but now are priced so high I get clothes at the same price new and I don’t have to worry so much about bedbugs and body lice, I go in there once in a while for other items other than bedding and clothing I found 2 time that cookies come in that were musical and the tin turns around as it’s playing the music my sister loved it she collects music boxes, some say value village pays for the stuff I know for a fact this is not true I was with my friend twice when she donated the only time u get anything is when they have their card that gives u 30% off or something once you get so many stamps she got 5 stamps once otherwise she got nothing so she donates to other places now that give away the donated stuff, someone also said the staff don’t get paid their all volunteers I know they do get paid but are awful to their workers my one friend worked there until last year she got paid min wage and my other friend still works there she also gets paid
I can’t believe there are people still defending VV. The only logic I can find with people being ok with what they are doing and have done with the good name of VV…is that the people defending and shopping there are all under 30. They don’t know what the store/organization was about at it’s roots. They don’t know that the new owners of the NOW CORPORATE FOR PROFIT yet advertising as thrift…have a absolutely abused the VV name, trust, public view and understanding of their workings. I really will be happy to see VV either get back to the way they were (impossible…obviously in the hands now of greedy people) or just go away. Unfortunately they always have new generations coming up that will fall for their lies and think they are getting a deal because the sign says so….Time to close the books VV. You are a disgusting example of corporate greed. Those of you who THINK you are getting a deal when you walk into VV….Go visit your local consignment store. At least they are absolutely straight up about their process….a process that people have come to know and understand. anyway…consignment stores are now cheaper than VV and waaay better stuff. Clean, in tact and funky. LOL Pricing is very standard and few surprises… Now you might start seeing what a deal looks like if you are for whatever reason, under the impression that you get a deal at VV. I now won’t even go there sometimes. I would rather support a big box corporation like wal mart than greedy cheaters like VV. They think they have pulled the wool over the public eyes……well VV, I think it’s only the under 30’s you’re getting …. hoping they will smarten up soon and walk away from you the way hundreds of thousands have already done now. Good for you….Turned people who have been loyal to you for years and years and years against you….lmao Not only greedy but stupid to think the public is so stupid to believe what is being shoveled.
I agree that Value Village can be expensive for certain things, but like a lot of things, you need to know your prices. If you can get the same thing for cheaper somewhere else, by all means do so, but don’t complain about how much it costs here. I have the perspective of volunteering for a thrift store for many years, and I know that many of them have to pay expensive disposal fees for garbage that people give them that they cannot sell. This often amounts to thousands of dollars a year, and I imagine Value Village has this problem too, so that may contribute to the jump in prices. Also, some people donate to them because they like the fact that Value Village isn’t aligned with a religious or political organization that doesn’t match their beliefs (like the Salvation Army, for instance, which has a long history of intolerance towards LGBT people). Whether this is a for-profit company or not is irrelevant in this regard.
I have found some deals before ($200 like new Fossil purse for $8 was a good one – I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it and people are shocked when I tell them where I got it), but I agree that the pricing seems really inconsistent, even to someone like me with an understanding of their pricing structure. Ultimately though, it’s just buyer beware.
V V is raking in billions of dollars each year and nobody who works in the stores seems to know where that money goes. When asked how much they give to charity the reply is that “VV buys every item in the store and the money goes to charity”. When asked how much percentage, not one person working there seems to know that answer. There is no information about this in any of their literature either.
I’m sure they don’t get paid much to work there. Their managers would probably scream if they knew how much the owners were making off of their backs (by the employees’ hard work!)
Upon doing some checking, it appears that they give about 3 percent to charity. It’s the only business I know of that doesn’t pay anything for the items donated (except for this 3 percent) and yet overcharge and continue to increase their prices.
Several years ago, before this price hike, news reports stated they made over 6 billion dollars in profit. That’s six thousand million dollars folks. Out of that, about 200 million went to local charities. And yet they have the nerve to advertise online, in their stores and over the intercom about how good they are to local charities when we donate! And their “timeline” shows their owners and states how those guys’ hearts are so big to have created VV stores??
OMG LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT THAT ONE!!!!
They created it to MAKE MONEY! And they don’t have to hire buyers, or put out any money in inventory!!
So who is really getting the best deal out of Value Village???
They also have return policies that suck big time! For totally donated items, you would think they could be more kind to the people who provide them with way over 6 thousand billion dollars worth of goods to resell??
Who knows how much more than 6 thousand million dollars they are making now that their prices have soared! I’m guessing it’s more than triple that now, as that’s what has happened to their prices.
For me its discouraging. I hardly ever find a bargain there anymore. The only things I can get are things that are so out of the ordinary that the sales people don’t know what they are, so they underprice them. Otherwise, I can’t see shopping there for items they are “in the know” about.
I did a little bit of checking around to see how they are coming up with prices. For items which you can easily check their value online on websites like eBay, it seems Value Village is now training people to do this when pricing items. The problem is, they are not checking final auction prices, they are setting their prices to what eBay stores are charging (or “buy it now” prices). The only way to solve this, is to boycott V V. If we all stop shopping there, how long before they’d have no choice but to smarten up?
And, I say every time you go into a V V store, mention to the manager and employees that the owners are only donating 3 percent, and that those guys are raking in over 6 thousand million dollars a year from donated goods, and watch their faces. Then ask them how much of that are they taking home in their paycheck each week. They might just revolt the system without any help from us LOL!
Those signs at the door about working for VV and getting good benefits? What a farce. Knowledge is real power.
Over priced shit hole. Thrift stores used to be the place to get things for cheaper if you’re on a budget. Now with their on par retail prices, I just buy new.
Zero incentive to donate, or shop. Every thrift store in Victoria BC is price gouging. Everything is 400-500X more expensive then it should be. Everything. This really should be considered fraudulent behavior.
I was introduced to VV in Toronto 25 years ago. I could not believe the bargains. Well as everybody knows there are no bargains anymore. They get everything for free so they can’t use the excuses many retailers use, ( Things cost more so I have to raise my prices) Their cost is zero X zero X zero. One more thing I saw that I could not believe in Toronto Queen Street outlet was this. An elderly homeless man maybe 80 years of age who was bare foot put a pair of shoes on and tried to leave the store without paying. 2 big bullies from the store wrestled the old man to the floor, then dragged him to the back room while I assumed they waited for the police. This man was way beyond poor, and looked like he hadn’t seen water since he was baptized.
Now I know there will be people who say stealing is stealing but, come on. Your getting everything for free. Why not do something nice and completely dress the old gu from head to toe, then you could be reading a story of how wonderful VV is. I will bet you the owners of this business are all multi millionaires. I live in Nova Scotia now and the VV here is selling worn out shoes for $20.00 too. I no longer shop at Value Village because they are just too expensive for the free junk they sell. If a poor person went to goodwill or the Salvation Army stores they would be treated like they are human. I also continue to see times for sale over $100.00 which is just robbery.
I will no longer shop at V.V. (vomit Vomit)
“Under new management” is what happened to my local thrift store (not VV). Suddenly they were stocking other people’s trash and charging outrageous prices for dirty, well-used garbage. They drove what had been a nice place for bargains and people who need them to a dump. Within 6 months the store closed. It think they kept all the good stuff and sold it on-line. I heard of one manager who did a pretty good business out the back door.
I have a comment running already second from the bottom. There is a typo in my comment. I wrote head to tow, instead of head to toe. I don’t see a way to edit it maybe you can help me. It just reads very dumb the way it is.
insane prices. damaged jeans for 15.99$? you’re out of your mind. used pants shouldn’t be more than ten dollars ever
There’s no need to write a essay about it. Vote with your wallet and this will clear up on its own. Do you think these items are being priced high so that they don’t sell? That is not a very sustainable model, is it? Prices are set at the maximum amount at which someone will buy the item. To wit, maximize profit. If you see a price on an item, it’s because someone is willing to buy it at said price. And if no one is, wait and it will go down, everything must be sold, value village is certainly not returning any stock. Supply? Demand? This is all pretty basic stuff here.
you need to pick and choose there and you must know what you’re looking at. Another scam there that i see VERY often now is multiples of the same cheap item, brand new, at higher than market price. i.e. the item was BOUGHT at discount and put on the shelves. I’m also seeing many unused counterfeit items still with fake tags on them and i suspect these were bought online and put into the locked glass case to dupe unsuspecting buyer. (examples i’ve seen are $150 fake montblanc pen set, $30-40 for fake Persol and Rayban sunglasses) Not only could you be overpaying for common items, it’s now also a case of buyer beware with frequently stocked counterfeits.
On the other hand, i’ve walked out with steals like $1000 and $1500 watches. $3-5 for genuine/authentic, glass lens sunglasses. They had 2 similar fishing reels, both priced at $160. One was a $120 reel the other was a $700 reel. I took the $700 reel and left the other. You can make it work out but you need to educate yourself.
forgot to mention the MANY counterfeit Northface goretex jackets. Be careful, you could be paying $40-50 for a fake jacket that isn’t goretex, isn’t waterproof, falls apart and can be bought new online for $30.
Goodwill went out of business In Toronto. Soon enough Value Village put up all their prices, almost double and in some cases triple prior to Goodwill going out of business. I saw 2 pair of used jeans for almost 30 bucks each! THIRTY BUCKS FOR USED JEANS! All their shirts have doubled in price. Pair of running shoes used, 25.99 USED!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL their prices on everything have gone up exorbitantly. It stinks! Went there today and left for the first time ever without anything. I had a few items in my basket, but the more I thought about what they’re doing the more sickened I felt so I left my basket on the floor and walked out. I’m not going there again. No VALUE there. None. I’m done. It’s sickening what their doing. OH the last straw, a Joe Fresh USED short sleeve shirt, was priced higher than a NEW Joe Fresh shirt in their stores. cya
VV prices are fast becoming like Holt Renfrew!
The new corporate pricing strategy is obviously working because they haven’t changed it back. The people that you see in the store buying mega volumes of clothes all at one time to either re-sell or ship back home to a third world country keep the corporate officers in the company laughing all the way to the bank. If all of us keep putting up with high prices the company won’t change, its the nature of the beast. Corporations don’t have a face nor a conscience, they are simply profit motivated. They might donate a meager portion of sales so as to use this for a good PR campaign or a equal tax write off…but in the end it balances out the donation.
Employees, yes employees need to silently revolt on behalf of their fellow working class countrymen. We are all struggling with the same economic plight as all low income workers. The problem is that some employees act as though they are shareholders in the company when pricing items. Some even take it personally and become defensive when you point out the item is clearly overpriced.
My father who was a well known union leader here in Canada before he died used to tell me “Son the working mans worst enemy is his fellow working man”. Give an ordinary person in an ordinary job and a measly $0.50 hr increase to become a “supervisor” and they’ll trade their families quality time and friendly workmates in for only that. They’ll even cross a picket line because they consider themselves “management”. He,he,he!
Employees working in the store should understand that if a person is shopping for used clothing i.e including shoes and even underwear…they obviously need some serious help and compassion! Life is not a straight line…as most of you reading this well know. Intelligent, good-hearted people from decent families have been brought down financially by unforeseen personal calamities not of their doing. Have a couple or more of these devastating events in your life and you’ve become very challenged in many ways for the rest of your life…through no fault of your own. Our profit based society is very callous and unforgiving with respect to such misfortunes.
The Salvation Army understands this as so many posting have mentioned so I suggest make all your donations to them and instead shop there rather than a corporate VV. Encourage others to do the same. Take advantage of the sales in the malls where you can buy the same clothing unused and fresh smelling for less or the same price.
I hope someone connected to VV is reading all of these negative posts and will in good conscience take their own personal action however small to extend a hand compassion to help their fellow man. Corporations are ruthless as we have seen in how many species are being depleted by the hundreds all over the world every year…so don’t expect them to change. Only we acting collectively and making sacrifices can force change.
I think all people should know that Value Village always pay the minimum donation to big bros. That is 5% of net profit. That is a pittance for them. The top brass make more per year than a lot of people make in a lifetime. What a bunch of rip offs. Stop donating to them, the smaller good will stores and where you should go.
You have to know your prices and ultimately they only hear us with their wallets you can find good deals in there but it’s getting harder every-time.
Don’t complain about prices. After paying salaries and overhead expenses, there has to be some left over for charities. We think of their prices as fair rather than bargains. We donate our used items knowing that we are giving not to bargain hunters, but to persons in much greater need.
208-4038 Quadra St
I used to come into value village every Tuesday to look at the toy section. I used to buy bags of 4 hot wheel cars for $1.99.now you are trying to sell one hot wheel for $3.99. You can buy a brand new hot wheel in the package in perfect condition for $1.25. You go check that out. Two weeks ago I handed one of your cars to the man hanging these cars and said “you want $3.99 for this car and it doesn’t even have any wheels” walmart sells all those cars for $1.25 the cars you have will never leave the shelves because no body will pay your price. Okay with me because now Isave $20.00 every Tues. And you lose it.come back down to earth. You are a used item store act like it.
The Value Village should no longer be allowed to advertise or say they are a non profit organization since SAVE INC net profit at the end of last year was 2.2 billion dollars. This is now a rip off the poor people organization just there to make big profit and a very little donation to charity
so… here’s the thing… i understand that “Value Village” gives money to charity and that is wonderful! but! “Value Village” being a “second hand store” is meant also to help out people that can not afford to buy things new, my self being one of those people. the prices use to be very reasonable but in the last few years I’ve noticed they have become rather greedy and trying to make a fortune on these donated & used items and quite a few of the items like clothing for example have rips and holes, stains and faded colours, i’m not one to normally complain but today i was shopping around in Value Village and saw something that really made me shake my head…they had a pair of ladies shoes for $100 just because they were by Paula Abdul the same exact shoes are online for $29.99 brand new, so my question is why are they allowed to sell these used shoes for $100.. kind of redicules
Things are looking alittle bit better. You got rid of your rediculous two hot wheels for $5.99 (worse price yet) and want $1.99 for two. Now maybe you will sell some and not lose them to sticky fingers. Stay down to earth and realize you are nothing without the donations of your customers. You give alittle you gain more. You get full of yourselves and act like a high class department store. Maybe your contents came from high class stores the first time but now they just come from you.
Value Village can be a good source for unique things, but if you are just looking for regular, contemporary clothes, the clearance rack at Winners is cheaper. I prefer to shop used anyway, because regardless of the for/non profit argument, at least the sweatshop and environmental damage is already done by the time the items are donated. Yes, Value Village prices are VERY high for a thrift shop, but I find (at least in Toronto) that they don’t put a lot of stained crap out on the floor, whereas at Salvation Army you’ll spend five times as long searching for something it is dignified to wear. You have to value your time at something too. I read a lot of speculation about where the money goes, but in the end Value Village is an employer, with overhead. The non-profit agencies they purchase from (when items are not donated directly to the store) do not have the resources to establish and manage storefronts. Value Village bails unsellable textiles for recycling into new fibres and fabrics. I think that despite them being corporate, they still do more good than harm. For those on an extremely restrictive budget there are often local churches who give stuff away, and places (like playgroups) where you can swap stuff in one-for-one as your child grows. Half an hour on the internet at your local library will be well spent locating them. If ideology is an issue, nod, smile, and clothe your kids anyway. I bet you’re resilient enough. As for bedbugs, I suggest washing and drying everything on hot before putting it anywhere in your home, and keeping it in the freezer until you can do so (in clean garbage bags). For stuff that can’t be laundered this way, two weeks in the freezer will kill everything. Note that putting things on your balcony when it is cold out may not suffice, as below-freezing temperatures must be sustained consistently for the entire duration. I actually bought a second hand apartment size deep freezer on Kijiji just for clothes. I figured that fifty bucks would save me hundreds in new furniture if the worst case scenario occurred.
My husband and I shop at Value Village for things other than clothing and I have to say their prices have risen way too much over the last couple of years. I do feel badly for people who need to shop at discount places, they sure aren’t getting much of a deal here. Had a really bad experience today at a brand new Value Village (Ancaster, Ontario)….we wanted to buy an old box set of four books (that was published in 1965)….there was no price on it…when the employee finally came back they said 19.95 (seriously?? Keep in mind the set was probably $10 or UNDER in 1965 and the outer “box” was damaged)….the cashier, who claimed to be the manager was not willing to lower the price….I pointed out that they don’t pay a dime for their merchandise, didn’t matter….I’m quite sure we won’t be going back to that location, I am the customer after all ( I also pointed out to her that we donate A LOT to Value Village)…..bad customer service, bad pricing, dishonest (3% to the Canadian Diabetes Association ) is basically nothing…….not good at all.
I totally agree with the blog about Value Village..I thought I was the only one who felt this way!! The best is when you can go to the Dollar store and buy the same thing new for less…that should be their logo..lol…thanks for the blog 😂
I have worked at value village and yes even I am astonished at some of the prices, but I have to day that the people pricing the items have to go through so many a day that they may miss something in the item if so there’s nothing stopping you from showing a supervisor and them adjusting the price for you, but that item then becomes non-exchangeable. One of the most annoying things working at value village is how many people complain to the cashier who has no control over the prices what so ever!!!! I once had a lady come through my tI’ll buying one thing telling me that she could buy it for brand new at that price and all I could think was well then why don’t you then? I do have to agree through on the prices of books it’s sad when I have to charge someone $4.99 for a book, I’ve had so many people roll there eyes at me when they ask me what the price is ( we have to look for cover prices on the book and if we can’t find one we have to call a supervisor because we are not allowed to price them which just makes it annoying). Personally I never really shoped at value village before I worked there unless it was a %50 off day. Although working there I do see many items that are priced way lower then what they’re worth for the condition and the brand. If you have the time to look around you can find some great deals, but it’s understandable if you can’t, I myself can’t even look through everything. I have found some amazing brands for a steal such as bench, Adidas, Nike, and calvin klein to name a few ( there was a calvin klein bag for $24.99 which is a steal because many brand new are $150 and up). I just wish people would go to the right people when they complain or want more detailed information about the company because the cashiers do not have all the information or any control to do anything about the price problem and I personally don’t care about the pricing complaints anymore they’ve become so old and if someone does complain about the price of something I just get a supervisor because the can do something about it where as I can’t.
Bible for mission thrift stores have better prices and the money doesn’t just go for religious purposes. They actually care about their customers having (I quote an employee here) a thrift store experience with dignity and our local store reaches out to the refugee community extensively.
6 bucks for an old book at rip off village is just that, a rip off…,
I have noticed a increase in prices this past year. I saw a pair of used Adidas original shoes and they were asking 65.99, for used shoes.. Ridiculous. Flower pots and vases used to be a steal, what they used to charge 0.99-1.99 for is now marked 3.99+, sometimes 9.99 now. I do notice when dollar store items wind up on the shelves, that’s fine…what isn’t is when they charge more than the dollar store did and they put their tag right beside the original. Come on who would pay 2.99-4.99 for something that cost 1.25-2 brand new. No thank you.
Hi Kerry, I commented above and didn’t realize my last name would show. Could you remove it before posting please and thank you.
Hi Beckie! Done! Cheers, Kerry
Was there in the Calgary, Midnapore location last week.
Every shirt I liked was $8.49. If it had been a great name brand, I could somewhat justify.
However I found a T-shirt from Aeropostale for $8.49. A) Aeropostale is closed in Canada and therefore NOT a top brand. B) I had just come back from the US and had visited a Aeropostale store. The T-shirts were $4.94 BRAND NEW!!
I found GAP jeans at VV that were $14.99 where as the a visit about 4 month ago I found the SAME pair for $8.49.
It went on and on.
My friend and I usually have a cart of of things to try on and then have to decide which not to buy because we love it all for the simple prices.
This last visit I bought one T-Shirt and she bought nothing.
Our weekly VV visits are also being reconsidered.
Superstores Joe has brand new clothing and the clearance section is LESS expensive then used at VV.
I mentioned to the cashier about the ridiculous prices. I mentioned I am into name brands and I am aware of cost and that VV is charging high amounts for brands that typically go on clearance AND are cheaper new then VV prices. She simply said “well maybe we are getting better quality items. I don’t know, I don’t do the pricing”.
I understand that is not her department but how about recommending to talk to a manager? The lady in front of us also complained and she got a eye roll with one worker walking away saying “well thats life!!”
Very disgusting VV!!!!
Was in your midnapore, Calgary store last week with a friend. We usually love going to value village and getting great deals. Lately your store has been jacking up the prices a lot. You can’t get a descent top for under 8 dollars anymore. People donate their clothes for free to you so people that can’t afford to shop in retail stores can come to your store. It’s appauling what value village is doing. It used to be fun to go and get great deals. But now I’m rethinking my vv trips. When most people complain too they just get the eye roll.
Another disappointed customer
I used to shop at VV ALL the time. For books and shirts. I had a really tough time finding shirts that I liked elsewhere, so would just go to VV (this was 8-10 years ago) and buy like a dozen at a time. Their prices were reasonable then and made it worth my while. In the intervening time, their prices have just gone thru the roof. For everything! These days I can buy brand new clothing from Walmart and Winners and not have to contend with the VV. They’ve even priced used books out of the park – $5.99 for anything vaguely newish when the local libraries sell used books for $2-3 a piece and at least that money is going to a worthwhile cause.
VV needs to get its act together and realise who they *should* be catering too. I won’t be donating to them anymore.
had a friend who spent every Tuesday which was the designated “Seniors Day” at value village driving around the city to every value village to get the discount bargains He spent a full tank of gas What a Shmendrick
What is left to say? VV is just a rip off. The problem is, thanks to them, many other thrift stores have jacked their prices also. We visited a St Vincent de Paul thrift shop and their prices were ridiculous! These places are supposed to be for people who can’t afford to shop at retail stores. It’s actually pretty sickening. But, that’s the world we live in. Greed rules.
Value Village is now ADDING TAXES to used items- when I said something about it they said it all goes to charity. ABSOLUTE LIARS. They should come under gov’t checking with this,.. isn’t it enough to get most of the stuff in the store for FREE? Not to mention how they’ve hiked their prices for these worn out items? I will no longer support them and give anything to them anymore. Goodwill, Salvation Army- whoever- will get it all now.
Ripped off Yes. They are now charging taxes for used items- which DO NOT EXIST. Another way to steal more money- other than gouging prices put on items they got for free. I will never give them anything again. They are NOT giving much of anything to any charity. It is the biggest con game of all.
As far as I know, they have always charged taxes, at least where I live. The only thrift store chain in Canada that doesn’t do this is Salvation Army.
Base prices (taxed or not) are pretty much the same across all stores/chains right now [=higher than they theoretically should be – because thrifting is not a dirty word anymore and they’re exactly not aiming to sell to the poor, but to the middle class that is a) feeling the pinch, b) trying to ‘save the planet’ (and a few bucks), or c) feeding a shopping addiction].. but when deciding where to donate or shop for used goods, for me personally it comes down to principles.
Here’s a lovely article that talks about where donated clothing actually ends up:
I’ve had a couple of instances where I went to the cashier and they refused to sell me an item because the price was too low. According to them “someone” may have swapped stickers which was basically an accusation against me. Embarrassing and shady. I spoken to some employees and they all complain they’re overworked so I dunno why they would fight on behalf of corporate.
Definitely prefer Salvation Army but all their store fronts are tiny. I get they’re non-profit but why not set aside a larger chunk of their profits toward the location?
Value Village: yes the price increase on all donated items, is far out of range.
I found items that were cheaper at the Dollar Stores throughout.
I also found items over priced just because they were with a designer label. I.D. vases, clothes, books.
I refuse to go to shop at Value Villages, they forget that people donate their stuff, even if given a small discount card, keep the discount cards. Also, I think all Value Village Stores should coordinate their senior days so that every store uses the same day of the week to get senior discount.
I liked the old way, point system, and you feel you are getting a discount based on your contribution.
So, yes, it feels like Value Village is charging more for less.
I will not be shopping at Value Village again…….
My biggest pet peeve, I will collect items to donate so that I can have an immediate discount card. With that discount I buy clothes for one of my friends who is house poor and another single mom with 2 kids. This year those poor kids had no back to school clothes and I couldn’t afford VV.
Donations discount cards come to you time stamped, so if you don’t use it before the date of expiry too bad. The donations I made to them should be treated like a gift card. They make money and you save some…guess not so much anymore. Last year they put you on a points system, the more you donated the more points you got and that was based on the size of the boxes and the quantity of them.
I no longer donate to any ‘for profit’ thrift store.
Value Village has scammed many of its shoppers/donors into thinking that their generous contribution helps support local charities. Value Village is just a shady $1 billion dollar (annual revenue) business that misleads both donors and shopper into thinking that their donations help charities when in fact Value Village donates only a small portion to their affiliated charity groups. It don’t seem fair when donors are supplying Value Village with free merchandise and they rarely receive any discounts in return. In the past, regardless what you donated, Value Village showed their appreciation with a 50% coupon. But now you have to donate a lot more bags and items just to receive a stamp on a 30% off stamp card.
I no longer donate my clothing, shoes etc… I make use of Facebook Marketplace to sell my gently used items. So far this years, I have sold over $3500.00 in used soft goods. Why should I donate my items to Value Village, the largest ‘for profit’ thrift store when I can use the sales of my old items to help ‘non-profit’ animal rescues.
Furthermore, have you noticed just a few days before a 50% off sale, Value Village employees will search through each item of clothing on the rack and pull out all the good quality brand named items or newly donated items and store them in their back room until the 50% sale is over. The shopper is no longer getting a wide variety selection of good quality items on big sale days. Value Village does this so their shoppers will buy old items that have been on the rack for weeks to make room for new over price goods. On every prize tag, there is a colour code that states how long that item has been sitting on the rack. So all the new items get pulled and with all highstreet labels. Good luck if you find Micheal Kors, Banana Republic or Coach items on their sale days. Instead, you’ll find American Eagle, Old Navy, Joe Fresh and George brands. But if your lucky and you find a Micheal Kors or Louis Vuitton, the quality is most likely very poor with stains or missing buttons. If you want that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you donate….Do your homework first.
yes I still shop at Value Village a friend of mine collects baseball caps so i’m always looking for him
I looked at the salvation army thrift store and when then wanted 4 bucks for one cap I left and didn’t buy one value village sells their caps for 99 cents to 1.99 so I bought them for him there
There are deals to be found at Value Village but it is becoming harder to find quality items for a decent price, considering that it is used goods and not brand new. I noticed they price items according to what it sells for on eBay for the most part, which shouldn’t be how they price their items. Value Village is a store with used inventory that they paid $0 for; sellers on eBay paid money for their goods, therefore they should not compare their inventory to these prices. People go to Value Village, Thrift, Salvation Army, etc. because they need to due to economic hardship or they want to try and find quality for a cheap price. Value Village is not eBay and they need to come down to reality and price items to sell easily and affordably, as a free inventory used store should be.
I like Value Village in Ottawa for jewelry components and a lot of other jewelry designers do as well. Prices have gone up but are still mostly affordable. My only gripe is that the selection has diminished by about 80%. I.guess too many people felt the same. I would like to try Vinnies’s.
Should be a shame for VV how much they ask for items in very, very bad used condition, So if you find one in a decent shape, hold yourself because you can pass out. They do not care all is based on donations. I am not donating to VV anymore I do to Salvation Army instead. F! value greedy village.
I just recently found this article, and it just confirms what I have been thinking and saying for awhile now.I noticed the prices of housewares too have jumped like crazy.Vases for 19.99$.or Starbucks mugs for 8$,Japan porcelain dog 14.99$, a blanket 69.99$….WHAT! I have written them an email, but no response from them.
I even saw a winter coat from Gap for 60.99$ hell you can get a brand new one from the Gap for that price.It is disturbing that they are profiting from the needy, and FROM DONATIONS.AND THEY CHARGE TAX!
Just go for the unique finds ! Friends & I frequent our local VV & have found some cool things. Know your labels & you can score pieces that arent just a copy of what eceryone else bought at the local mall..I wear a mix of classics & bohemian. .I found a Chanel skirt for $12.99, really cool & unique tops & skirts. A gorgeous blue slim fit suit jacket in the mens section for $16,, a beautiful Indian scarf..$6. Many things are overpriced (& theyve started separating suit sets & global fashion sets so they can charge more ) but theres still some great finds if you have time to look
These VV stores have become dens of thieves. Almost all of electronic things I bought there are not working correctly and I had to repair them (when it’s possible), and they also sell new but deffective items like lamp bulbs still sealed in their original packaging but not working, and they don’t accept any return. I have been stealed both my money and hundred of hours of my precious time. In Canada they ask us to pay tax but it’s illegal as in Canada their is no tax for second-hand merchandise. I don’t understand how it is possible that VV can continue to operate in such a way to cheat on poor people buying in their dens of thieves. Is there no quality and price controls here in North America? Try to do that kind of commerce in some other countries and you go to jail!
Value Village claims, there doing all this good for our environment, creating jobs, providing opportunities for people with low income, to afford the things they need etc.
The only thing that makes any of this posible, is the pricing of their items.
It is the foundation of the business and without a proper foundation, everything caves!
So, the minute it becomes cheaper to shop new, is the minute all their claims become BS!
Clearly, People don’t take kindly to greed, or lies.
I used to work at the store here in Kamloops, British Columbia a few years back, and they treat their staff like crap as well. I have diabetes, a dangerous case of epilepsy, and anxiety and depression that actually causes seizures and high and low blood sugars from the previous conditions I mentioned – which they all knew of when they hired me.
They overwork their staff, expect your whole life to be dedicated to them, are always angry with you, no praise, and what was the tipping point for me was their lack of care for you. The to best examples for me were when I was mentioning suicide, they sent me home in a police car. On the outside, it made them seem all good and responsible, but in reality, we all know the district manager who worked there – I think she runs the BC devision too? – sent me home cause it would “soil their impression name.” The other was when I mentioned (one of the many times I had to cause I have medical conditions) that I needed to go home cause I felt a seizure coming on, and I didn’t want to crack my head open on their floors. I got called into that same office by that same lady above, and she says, “Cole, I don’t care if it’s a medical condition or not, the next time it’s on you.”
I quit that day.
Do not ever shop here at Value Village. They abuse their employees and don’t care about their safety at all, medically, mentally, and from people who worked in the back there I talked to, physically at all.
Please do not donate any non-functioning electronics. There is no return or exchange on electronics. It is unfair for a buyer that try to support Value Village and then cannot return or exchange it. It saves a lot of heataches for the buyer. Donors be considerate. If your electornics are not working, you can always recycles these but please do not donate them.
Value Village in Pickering and Ajax Ontario has Managers calling up acquaintances to pick up any and all valuable items. Often these items are priced a lot lower and are handed directly to them before checkout. These people then put them up for extravagant prices on Kijiji or FB marketplace. Take a look at any Kijiji seller that has 1600+ items for sale there and these are the people that are there at 9am lining to get in by 10am. There used to be a time when you get off work at 3pm and find nice things there but now Managers are skimming through the best items and passing them to people they know shortly after opening.