“You can’t be shopping there, dude!! Those stores are for POOR PEOPLE ONLY!!!” That’s what I freakin’ hear every time I walk into a Salvation Army or Goodwill now, ever since a friend yelled at me a good 10 years ago. Which, let me tell you SUCKS – do you know how many times I go into those stores?? ;)
I get mad at her every time I think about it, but in her weird twisted logic I can kinda see her point. Which is simply this: If you buy something out of a thrift store, you’re taking it away from someone who needs it MORE than you. And not only that, but someone else who can afford it way less than you can. You’re pretty much snatching up the bargains beneath their nose. Okay, makes sense.
Now, I like to think of it a different way: EVERY time I buy something from these stores the money I give goes BACK IN to these places and helps keep the lights on every day. Which in turn continues to provide a cheap alternative to big box shops, all the while helping the associates to get paid and making sure everyone involved is pretty happy. Plus, a deal is a deal, and should be up for anyone who happens to find it (and want it).
After reading both sides, though, I’m curious to see what YOU think. Usually I’m pretty adamant about being right in cases like these, but it occurred to me on my way into one of these stores yesterday that the only reason I THINK I’m right is because of my background. I’ve been going to yard sales and thrift stores my whole entire life, so of course I’m gonna think there’s nothing wrong with it! :)
My friend, on the other hand, comes from a VERY different culture. To put it bluntly, her family’s filthy rich. Add that to a little racism in her blood, and the idea of walking INTO a thrift store, nonetheless BUYING something from one, comes with a pretty hefty stigma. Hence, her idea that “only poor people go shopping there.” (Mix this with her impression that whites don’t belong there, and you can see where she’s going with this whole thing. And why we’re no longer friends.) I do, however, give her credit for continuously dropping off donations every year. At least she’s good at giving back.
Now that you know our different backgrounds though, I wanna hear what YOU think about shopping at these places. IS it wrong to search for bargains, when we can easily afford it from other stores? SHOULD we leave these cheaper items for the less fortunate?
Let me know what you think, and what kinda background you come from. My head is screaming No, No, No! right now, but I promise to keep an open mind ;) It’s very possible I’m not a perfect man.
(Photo by Ryan McFarland)