What is a good thrift store to donate used items to

It seems that just about any thrift store, even the “charity” ones are not perfect.

So I go with the one that has the best prices. Makes me think that my items are going to save the next owner a bit of money.

There is a local woman who does sales out of her barn once a month in the summer. Every penny goes toward a cat shelter and their various programs.

We donate stuff, and have purchased things as well.

True. Many have some issues. SA is among those.

Donated stuff hat they can’t sell, either because there is no market for it or because it is in too bad shape, costs them money. So, I don’t blame them.
I donate to local charities, but since I don’t donate many clothes I donate to places with good stocks of the things I have to give them. I figure it will sell faster and make them more money.

Every ReStore is different. Mine is basically furniture, appliances, and household goods only, and they also have a durable medical goods division, which appears to be unique. It’s always a good idea to call if you have any doubts.

There’s a DAV store in my town, and things I have either go there, or the Salvation Army store, or, if I go to the other side of town, a store that finances a local missing-persons organization that was founded by a local man after his son disappeared and was later found dead.

I give no-longer-wearable clothing to the animal shelter, for them to use as cleaning rags or whatever they want.

I often find myself splitting up piles of stuff to donate to different sources. My mom and I did a huge purges in 2021 and took furniture, doorknobs, ceiling fixtures and a range hood to ReStore (definitely call or check out the website like @nearwildheaven suggests. There’s a few in my region and they are all different). Linens and lightly-used dog toys went to the local animal shelter. My nicer clothing & shoes went to a thrift store that serves trans and non-binary people. Books went to the Friends of the Library. Some smaller electronics and household stuff went to a thrift store that gives its profits to the local animal shelter. If I hadn’t taken the stuff down to that thrift store, I would have left it out for whichever charity sends me a postcard to leave stuff outside on a specific day for pickup. They ask for similar stuff as the animal charity thrift store, and specify they don’t take anything that one person can’t carry by themselves. There’s also a clothing donation drop-off box at a home in my area that I have dropped clothes at. If there’s electronics I have that aren’t really sell-able (either broken, or outdated such as computer stuff) I take them to a local metal recycler that takes weird stuff.

What I’m saying is that you should make the effort to know what kind of stuff the thrift store or donation place needs or sells. Anything smaller than Goodwill doesn’t have the resources to go through your crap and store & dispose of the stuff they can’t sell. If you can, try to get the best stuff to the right places.

Goodwill themselves does have the resources to deal with your crap though (although I guess maybe not @Gatopescado 's). I think it was @Munch who convinced me on some previous thread to give up on the bad rumors about Goodwill. I believe his explanation. I also watched a documentary about the used textile industry (sorry, can’t remember what it was) and it showed in part about how Goodwill manages to keep clothing out of landfills and get it to people who want it for whatever reason. Here’s an article from the Seattle Times about the Goodwill operation.

Anyway, if you can put some research, thought and effort into donating your items please do that. Spread it around. You’ll have to look up local charities and donation spots and split up your stuff. I don’t know if the SDMB can give you any info on national resources beyond Goodwill, Salvation Army and ReStore.

If you don’t want to put effort into it, and have a mound of trash mixed with treasure, Goodwill is your best bet for actually keeping the stuff out of a landfill and hopefully finding it a new home.

Around here, there are quite a few run by various churches and church-affiliated programs. We’ve got some that use the items (if they’re good and useful) for their programs, and the proceeds from their thrift stores as well.

For example we’ve got White Rock Center of Hope, whose mission is to help families in crisis, through things like providing a clothes closet, financial assistance, food pantry, and I believe if there are big-ticket items that are donated like a crib or furniture, they may turn those around for needy families. We’ve also got the Genesis Women’s Shelter, which is a shelter for battered women and their children. They do the same- they run a thrift store, and either use/sell the donated items to fulfill their mission.

There’s always the Salvation Army and Goodwill as well- sometimes they’re easier to find.

Years ago, I watched a show in an actual Emergency Department, as they followed staff and gave somewhat of a backstory to the patients.

One man was homeless. In treating him, the staff had to cut off his shirt, and he was quite despondent because it was all he had.

One very gentle, very kind nurse said she would look through their Clothes Closet of donated items, to see what she could find for him. She brought back a pullover sweater that was very soft, and he was thrilled. She said it brought out his eyes, and he blossomed with the compliment.

Fast forward a few years. My daddy died, and as we cleaned out his closet, I remembered that program. It took a lot of research, but I stuck it out. Yes, that hospital where he died (and he had come by ambulance wearing only his boxers and socks) did have a “Clothes Closet.” The hospital is a designated trauma center, and is close to two major freeways. There is often a need for clothing, because patients should not be discharged in a hospital gown.

Daddy’s clothes weren’t fashionable, for they had to accommodate the tastes of a little old man. I know he would be pleased if anyone was able to preserve their dignity by leaving the hospital decently dressed.

That’s my suggestion for donating clothes.


Salvation Army. In my area they pick up practically any donations whereas other charities seem to be more picky and expect strictly “drop offs”.

You’d be surprised how much trading and sharing goes on between independent thrift stores, too.

Our local Salvation Army has a central warehouse where they keep things until needed; for instance, one store might have plenty of books and furniture, but really needs baby clothes, so they can ship some extra baby clothes to that store. The higher-end thrift stores also send things they can’t use to SA, DAV, Goodwill, and others.

This made me tear up. You know that man hadn’t gotten a compliment in a long time, if ever.

While you may donate your old clothing to charity, the truth is, even then, a whopping 84 percent of our clothing ends up in landfills and incinerators, according to the EPA.

What Happens to Your Used Clothing Donations | Reader's Digest.

We as a culture need to stop producing/buying so much clothes. Every month the clothing stores have new stuff while the old stuff goes to the landfills :frowning:


I cried, too.

And that’s why I worked so hard to donate Daddy’s clothes to the hospital. I doubt anyone would get compliments wearing Daddy’s clothes, but the idea they could be desperately needed compelled me to do it.

Major kudos to that nurse. She’s definitely in the right job!


Goodwill gives me bad vibes. The other major charity places in town are kind and accept almost anything without hassle, so they get my stuff.

Once I brought some tools, sheet music, assorted odds and ends, and maybe some books to Goodwill. The guy sneered at my stuff as he told me they couldn’t take the tools, didn’t care about sheet music, and among all of the odds and ends he plucked one thing and said “we can take this.”
I saw a big dumpster and asked if I could put some of the rejected stuff there and he almost barked at me telling me how much trouble I would be in if I even thought of putting something in there.

Another time my wife sent me with some carefully chosen stuff and some quality Christmas decorations–in January. That time the guy (a different guy) looked at me and laughed in my face: “Christmas was last month! Who wants Christmas decorations?”

I don’t mind that they don’t want to have to sift through people’s junk or warehouse it, but both encounters would have been just fine had the workers dispensed with the snotty attitude. For example, the Christmas guy could have said “Sorry, but we just don’t have the space to store Christmas decorations throughout the year. Why not bring them back in November?”

These days, I put whatever I don’t need in front of my house on the busy street and people who want it pick it up within an hour or two.

When we have things suitable for donation (i.e. unstained and undamaged clothing that isn’t forty years out of style or good undamaged furniture) we take them to the Salvation Army and they simply take whatever we give them with absolutely zero attitude.

Note that Goodwill hires a lot of people with disabilities and people who might otherwise be unemployable because of prison time, felonies, bad work history, etc.

You have the right to not want to deal with what you perceive to be snotty attitudes and choose not to go to Goodwill because of it. But just remember the people you’re dealing with there might likely have an Autism Spectrum Disorder or just plain bad training and could use a little grace.

Their manager could also use a heads-up about it if you have a chance to send the store a note (the store should have a regional website with contact info). You might end up contacting them and find out that the rude folks at the store are in fact the managers and you’re totally justified in avoiding their shitty rude store :slight_smile:

Things that ARE, as you put it, 40 years out of style, and still wearable, may be usable by the community theater.

The local ReStore we occasionally donate to has had a lot of problems with people dumping stuff they can’t use off when they are closed. It’s so bad they had to install cameras along the outsides of the store.

They also have so many problems with theft that they ask people to leave their backpacks at the front of the store while they shop.