How to Get 50 Percent Off Full-Priced Items at Thrift Stores (I Literally Just Did This)
Let me tell you a story. I was at the thrift store the other day, and I went with my good friend Vinnie. We went out to Savers, and we were there hanging out. I was looking through some clothing and the books. Vinnie is a really successful toy seller. He sells a bunch of vintage and used toys. So he was looking through the toys. On a whim I decided to amble on over to the board game section. There were four boxes of Legos inside the board game section, and they were all brand new.
I was thinking, “Wait a second. Weren’t these in the glass case a week ago?”
Indeed, they had been. They had been priced at $69.99 each. The thing was the boxes were bashed up. The Legos were new in the box, but all the boxes were in bad shape. So taking that into consideration, they were way overpriced. They might have been priced at what they would sell for on eBay, but there definitely wasn’t enough room to make a profit.
So clearly these had been sitting at the thrift store for a long time. They were in the glass case originally, and then they moved them onto the floor. That is a big sign to pay attention to. It’s a sign that they can’t sell the items.
It Pays to Ask
In this case, they hadn’t dropped the price. I thought that was kind of weird. None of the boxes had sold, they were on the floor now, and they were still all beat up. So what I did—and what I suggest you do if you find yourself in this situation—was ask the manager, “Hey, would you be willing to take a discount on these?”
And then I explained my reasoning. That’s very important. I said, “I noticed that these Legos were in the glass case for a couple weeks and never sold, and I just saw them on the floor over there in the board game section. I noticed they’re the same price. They’ve been sitting out for a while, and they’re all bashed up. Would you consider dropping the price? I might be interested in purchasing them, but they’re just priced too high right now considering the condition.”
He responded, “Yeah, sure, no problem.”
Now, I know this guy. I’m not great friends with him, but I have taken the time to get to know him a little bit. And really, anybody can do that.
He took the boxes of Legos to the side. I could see him looking them up on the phone. I
was getting a little worried that he was going to offer me a discount of only 5 percent or maybe 10 percent.
He actually discounted the boxes 50 percent. He took 50 percent off those Legos. It still wasn’t the best deal for all of them, but we did buy one of the boxes that could potentially sell for $80 or $90, and we got it for $20.
You Just Never Know
The moral here is that you just never know. Maybe there are some items that are sitting at your thrift store that have been collecting dust. Maybe an item started in a glass case and then was moved onto the floor, but it still isn’t selling. Don’t be scared to ask about a discount. The worst thing that’s going to happen is they’re going to say no.
Don’t Go Overboard
Just be polite, be cool about it, and don’t show too much interest. Don’t go overboard when you ask: “Oh my God, I really, really want this item. Is there any way you could discount it? I really, really want it. Please, it’s bashed up. It’s not going to sell.” That’s too desperate.
Just say, “Hey, you know, I saw that this item has been sitting for a while, and it’s a little damaged. If you could discount it, that would be cool—if not, no big deal. Just priced way too high…don’t know if it’s going to sell.”
Go ahead and put your own spin on how you ask, but do keep this tip in mind as you visit the thrift stores.
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