Operation stores exist to raise money for charity, not for cheap fashion finds
A bold move to raise the prices of some second-hand clothes has drawn criticism from angry op-buyers after a number of charities introduced a ‘premium’ line.
Charities such as The Salvation Army have started charging more for certain items-like anything designer, rare, high quality or vintage.
The Salvos have introduced a “Street Boutique” line, where the average price of the garment is 50 to 100% higher than that of items in its regular stock, but is populated with labels such as Scotch and Soda, Obus, Elk and others.
The charity retailer is not alone: other charity stores have introduced “retro” sections and “high end” sections with higher prices. organized theme.
But the change angered buyers. Critics have lambasted the change, calling it unethical and saying it makes high-end clothing unaffordable for the very people the charity is trying to help. One reviewer described the Salvos Street store as “overpriced” and “against the whole philosophy of good business.” The same reviewer then admitted that he paid $ 9 for a tie that he said was only worth “$ 4 or even $ 2.” How can a shopper pretend a tie is 450% overpriced, but then happily pull out their credit card to spend the money? Wasn’t there just one cheaper tie available in the regular section? Could it be that the customer preferred the “overpriced” tie and believed it was worth it?
The “awake” assessment could not be further from the truth: the decision to charge more for certain clothes to thrift stores is an ethical decision–and those who criticize him miss a key point: why charities like this exist. Contrary to what popular discourse would have us believe, the function of organizations like Vinnies, Red Cross and Salvos is not to sell second-hand items to the poor at low prices but to raise funds.
Is the price low? Often, absolutely. But this price tag is usually derived from the market value of the item, not just to adhere to an arbitrary ceiling price. Are the shoes scuffed? Are the soles a little worn? It is likely that such a pair of shoes is not worth much by nature. But, at a low enough price, there’s a good chance they are worth something to someone, and for that price the charity can sell them.
The purpose of these charities is to raise funds which they can then use to help those in need, often in the form of homeless services and crisis support.
Of course, it’s in a charity’s best interest to increase its income, and an easy way to do that is to no longer underestimate yourself. This is because donors are more likely to dig deep when they think their donation will do good.–and it’s not something they can count on if the value of their donation is simply passed on to hipster buyers and dealers at extremely low prices. What proof is there that cheap designer clothes are finding their way to the needy? With the influx of “vintage” clothing dealers through online platforms such as Depop and Etsy, high-quality inventory is being sold at tiny prices, only to be resold at a much higher price.
As always happens when goods are priced below market prices, price signals fail. Simply put, the stocks will sell out quickly, returning a lower profit than they could easily have. Charging more for rare and sought-after items isn’t just good business; it’s the ethical thing to do for a charity.