There’s a common Thrift Shop donation story that I think must be an urban legend but it goes something like this: A volunteer is sorting through donations and finds a baggie filled with something unusual accompanied by hand-written note that says “Tea bags, only used once.”
While it’s true that people will donate just about anything to a thrift shop, I’m pretty sure used tea bags would never make it onto the floor because, truly, no one would buy them. What’s interesting is what does make it onto the floor because you never know what people are looking for.
I used to say that I’d never buy underwear at a thrift shop but the truth is I have. I’ve bought boxer shorts for my guys in the past although my son just informed me that he will no longer wear used boxers. So there. I have found brand-new, store- tag- still- attached Jockeys in my size – the only underwear I’ll wear. (TMI? Sorry.)
I worked with someone at a summer camp who said he’d never buy cutlery at a thrift shop. It grossed him out because other people had eaten with it. True story. It didn’t take long to point out that he was working at a summer camp and eating with cutlery used by other people every day. I had also observed him eating at restaurants. Ya, that argument didn’t last long.
A commenter on my blog said he’d never buy used shoes, which surprised me because that’s one of the most common things I’ll buy. I used to say that I’d never buy runners at a thrift shop until I bought these like-new New Balance runners. It’s true that running shoes almost never come into a shop in mint condition but the thing is, you never know.
Bed sheets? Flower pots? Bicycles? Soccer Cleats? Greeting cards? Is there a place where you draw the line? I’ve decided to never say “never.” How about you?