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5 Reasons to Shop at a Thrift Store vs. a Consignment Shop  

June 2, 2022

You’ve probably started looking into thrifting or consignment if you are like many people Googling what to do with their used clothing. We’re here to explain the difference between a thrift store and a consignment shop and why you would want to donate to a thrift store.

The terms ‘thrift’ and ‘consignment’ are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are some key differences between them. Many people assume the difference between a thrift store and a consignment store is just that thrift stores are non-profits and consignment stores are for-profits, but the differences are more complex than that. 

What’s the Difference Between a Consignment Store and a Thrift Shop?

Consignment stores differ from thrift shops in that they are usually for-profit, and thrift shops generally operate as charitable organizations. You can sell your unneeded clothing to a consignment shop or donate them to a thrift store to help out your community.

Thrift store donations are sorted by employees and sent to the floor for sale. Thrift stores accept most donations as is, so you will find a variety of items that range from brand new to antiques from your grandmother’s home.

Donations are not accepted at consignment stores. Consignment shops pay you for your goods once they sell them. You will receive a percentage of the item’s total sale price. Imagine that you take a shirt into a consignment store. The store typically offers 30%-50% of the final price. As a result, both the shop and the owner profit financially from the sale of goods.

There are usually buyers on staff at consignment stores who inspect pre-owned items to see if they’ll sell. Therefore, consignment shops are more selective than thrift stores, which typically only put a value on an item if it is in decent condition to sell.

Consignment shops usually resell only the items they think will appeal to their target audience. As a result, consignment store items tend to be of consistently better quality than those found in thrift stores. However, there are lots of benefits to thrifting rather than shopping at a consignment store!

5 Reasons to Thrift Shop

Read on for the five reasons why you should shop at a thrift store vs. a consignment shop:

1. Lower Prices

Consignment stores and thrift stores are both great options to consider depending on your preferences. A thrift store can be a great place to go if you are looking for a great deal. On the other hand, a consignment store might be the answer if you are looking for a specific item and you don’t mind spending a little more money.

For frugal shoppers, thrift stores are the way to go. Consignment stores tend to be more expensive than thrift stores. It is true that there are exceptions, of course. Generally speaking; however, thrift stores can afford to sell their merchandise at a lower price than consignment shops because they don’t pay for their items and simply take donations. 

2. It’s Easy To Donate

Donating your pre-loved items is super simple. All you have to do is gather the items you want to sell, bag them up, drive to your local Goodwill, follow the donate signs on the building, open your car’s trunk, and one of their employees will help you. Then, you can get your receipt for tax purposes and leave!

At Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we accept all sorts of donations, from clothing to household items. Whether you just want to clear out your closet or make room for clothes that fit better, it’s incredibly easy to donate with us.

3. Items You Donate Are Tax-Deductible

Be charitable, and you will reap the rewards! You might benefit financially in more ways than one if you donate to national thrift stores. The IRS allows tax deductions on money, clothing and household items donated. However, you must make sure that all donated items are in good condition. Just make sure that you keep track of your receipts with the rest of your records for tax purposes. While shops like Goodwill itemize the donations they receive, it’s essential that you have those records to get the full benefits of tax-deductible donations.

4. You’re Supporting the Local Community

Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley delivers no-cost career development, training and education services to the community through its thrift stores.

Many thrift stores do not exist to generate profits for stockholders; they exist for the benefit of others. Making a difference in your community is one of the many benefits of shopping at a thrift store driven by a mission to help others.

5. Access to a Wide Variety of Merchandise

An important aspect of thrift store shopping is the variety and selection of goods. You will find everything from designer jeans to antique collectibles to kid’s bikes and lawnmowers! The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is especially true when it comes to shopping at a thrift store. You never know what you’ll find there.

Go Thrift Shopping at Goodwill and Help Support Your Local Community

As you can see, there are all sorts of benefits to thrift shopping. If that’s something you want to explore, why not shop at your local Goodwill to discover some exciting finds? You never know what treasures you might find by choosing to thrift shop rather than shop at a consignment store.

Here at Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley, we are committed to carrying on the Goodwill legacy and are dedicated to helping people find jobs. Everything we do is focused on our mission — to empower individuals, strengthen communities and build stronger families. When you donate and shop at Goodwill, you support our no-cost career services, which are available to anyone who wants to receive the career development, training and educational resources they need to secure meaningful employment.