How do thrift stores get free mechandise from such places as Target to resale?
People donate their clothing that come from many stores but I have never been in a thrift store that didn't smell like old moldy clothes and I think at the price they charge they should be forced to wash everything before it is put on the floor to sell, it does not seem safe to me and I prefer yard sales where I find new clothing and I still wash it but it doesn't stink and at least you are looking at the people who wore these clothes and can use your educated decision.
Most thrift stores (especially non-profit thrift stores such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul or locally run stores like the one I manage) get their merchandise via donations from individuals. The store I manage gets donations from individual community members who are cleaning out their closets and bring us a few bags of clothing. We also work with Church, synagogue or other groups which are having tag sales to receive items remaining from the sale, and we will frequently work with family members who are cleaning out an estate and have larger items such as furniture, lamps, housewares etc. Some other sources include - landlords/apartment complex managers who bring in items left behind by past renters, colleges cleaning out dorms at the end of the semester, left over items at consignment shops that the consignee does not want back after their consignment term etc.
Our store is small so we do not really work directly with companies such as Target, but I think some larger thrift stores may occasionally do this. Some stores have policies that ban them from putting returned merchandise back onto the sales floor, so if the local shop has a generous manager they sometimes donate.
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