My Thrift Store Days, Part II

My Thrift Store Days, Part II


  • shit-stained underwear
  • urine-stained underwear
  • blood-stained underwear 
  • clothing you painted the house in
  • used address books
  • pictures of your mullety girlfriend standing in front of your trailer, either naked or in an aqua bikini
  • dentures
  • sex toys
  • dirty diapers
  • loaded hand guns
  • microwave cook books
  • stuffed pets (STUFFED = TAXIDERMIED)
  • little kids’ art work (HAVE YOU NO HEART?)
  • used syringes
  • used Bacon Waves
  • window blinds
  • bowling bowls with initials on them
  • family photo albums
  • guest book from mother’s funeral
  • dot matrix printers
  • sofas that reek of cat piss
  • floppy disks that are actually floppy
  • VHS tapes of old episodes of Wheel of Fortune
  • VHS tapes of high school hockey tournaments 
  • tea bags from 1972
  • children’s play kitchen covered with cigarette burns
  • retainers, rubber bands, head gear or other orthodontic devices
  • used enema kit (WE DON’T KNOW YOU THAT WELL, SORRY)
*yes, these are all real examples of donations we saw and yes, they all went into the trash. Except the gun – we had the cops come pick that up.

Next up: Thrift Store Haikus


  • Carrie on May 23, 2012 Reply

    Yes, they do, and I have no idea why. Unless they are just awful people at heart. I really wonder what’s going through their minds. They also donate pants and shorts that have nastiness in the crotch area – that’s a place you learn to look when sorting clothing, in fact. Yuck, I know.

    In addition to always being bent and broken, many older window blinds are coated with toxic sealers that break down with light and age. So reusing them is problematic. Also, they never sell. Most people don’t come into a store with any inkling of the direct measurements of their windows, and you can’t really fudge that with a window blind.

    You often see barrels full of skis in some stores. Our store didn’t take them because they didn’t sell. And thrift shoppers are like shoppers everywhere – they want to see a new crop of merchandise every time they visit, not the same collection of unloved junk getting dusty. So putting stuff out that moved was very important. It was the only manner of control we had over our merchandise, of course, so we had to play up our strengths.

  • Ela on May 23, 2012 Reply

    People really donate those first few items? Actually, my friends’ son lost his passport right before he was supposed to drive to AK through Canada–he’d donated a bunch of clothes and they’d been in a pocket. “Which clothes did you donate?” his mom asked; “The dirty ones, of course,” came the reply. Boggles my mind.
    But what’s wrong with window blinds?
    And I think Phil got a lot of his xc skis from thrift stores…

  • Carrie on May 23, 2012 Reply

    G – they might take Paul as an employee (not Hobo the Dog, though). Testing electronics was an actual job at Nameless Thrift Store.

  • Carrie on May 23, 2012 Reply

    That’s highly mannered of them! I bet they sold them on their online auction site. I hate shopping at Goodwill stores – all the good stuff goes to that site and what’s left is crapola.

    Yeah, I’m snobby about used goods…

  • gretchenstahlman on May 23, 2012 Reply

    The last time I donated (really cool stuff like a working remote control car and techno fighting robots), Goodwill called to thank me and ask me if I had anything else I’d like to donate. Unfortunately, they won’t take a 22-year-old, slightly mangled video-game expert (with dog).

  • Carrie on May 23, 2012 Reply

    You are right – and some people use bowling balls as lawn art, which is even more hipstery! Actually, bowling balls are frowned upon in some thrift stores because they are very heavy and don’t sell well and hog up a lot of shelf space, both in the back of the store and the front.

    Same is true for cross-country skis.

    /thrift nerdery

  • Elizabeth Fama on May 23, 2012 Reply

    Wait, the bowling ball is a no-no just because it’s monogrammed? I feel like that makes it more hipster and desirable.

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