Thrift stores support a number of worthy causes, and many of them are noticing a decline in donations lately.
Here are just a few examples, snippets from some news stories:
My local thrift store in Half Moon Bay, which supports programs for seniors, is experiencing a "stark drop-off in donations."
This report comes in from Ann Arbor, Michigan regarding the PTO Thrift Shop, a local nonprofit that supports the activities of students in the local public schools:
Susan Soth, the store’s manager, said that donations of clothes, housewares and other items are down 50% since early December, compared to a year ago. ...And this report comes from Palm Beach, Florida:
Soth believes that people who in the past donated to the thrift shop are now holding on to things, because of the rotten economy. Or instead of giving things away to charity, they’re selling the stuff on eBay to bring in extra cash. ...
At the PTO Thrift Shop, the most noticeable shortages are in the houseswares section: Dishes, pots, pans and other kitchenware. In some cases, the shelves are literally bare, though Soth said they try to spread out what they have to make it look a little less sparse. Donations of electronics are down too, she said. Same for men’s clothing.
The ailing economy may be a boon to the consignment shop business, but it's also taking a bite out of charity thrift shop inventory by discouraging donations.So if you've been hanging onto things you really don't need, consider finding out how your local thrift store is doing, and helping out with some donations.
"Based on the conditions of the market, people are not buying much new, so they're not getting rid of the old," said Cathy Olsen, director of resale operations for Hospice of Palm Beach County.