05/21/2019 at 12:19 am #62155
Lately I’ve noticed that a couple thrift shops I frequent are telling customers that they can’t resell items bought from them. One has a “No reselling” sign by the register. Another prints on the receipt “No resell of marked items” (though I have no clue what “marked items” they might be referring to).
I know that some larger retailers – Target, for example – have been turning away resellers buying in bulk; I find that silly. But I find it especially amusing when thrift shops have the nerve to tell customers what they aren’t allowed to do with the things they purchase there.
Needless to say, I ignore it and have no qualms about reselling items I buy from them. Of course, I also don’t advertise my intentions. But really, would they honestly rather I and all the other resellers NOT give them all the money I/we do?
05/21/2019 at 2:03 am #62157
Went into a thrift shop yesterday to inquire about something they had in the window. Got to the counter, looked down and saw a large mechanical calculator. I said “Blimey!”, the lady serving said “Oh, we’ve waiting to get it priced; dealers pay quite a bit for that sort of thing.”
Only problem is, and it seems to be general, they knock about 10 to 20 per cent off a perceived retail price when marketing to resellers. Something’s listed on eBay (e.g. a guitar) for £80. The shop checks, and offers an example of the same model at £70, without taking into consideration the condition etc. (Rusty pickups, shop in the High Street, Ashby de la Zouch)
05/21/2019 at 7:51 am #62160JayKeymaster
- Location: Virginia
Never seen that kind if warning in a thrift store. Completely unenforceable.
I do see scavengers who openly brag about buying and reselling when shopping. Much of what they say sounds exaggerated. It can’t help anything when store workers hear these flip stories.
05/21/2019 at 11:27 am #62181
Jay, un-enforceable, yes. But if they wanted to be jerks about it I suppose they could “ban” you from shopping there, as some Walmarts and Targets have allegedly been known to do. Though that seems extreme, ridiculous and highly unlikely. Maybe they’d just give you the stink eye.
05/21/2019 at 3:28 pm #62194InglewoodParticipant
I always find it strange when stores limit what you can buy – why don’t they sell everything they can? I understand the odd door crasher that is priced lower than cost to get you in the store, but for regular priced or clearance items it makes no sense. I assume that it is just rogue employees/managers at these stores enforcing these terms.
It would be ridiculous for a retailer to do this also – don’t they buy “stuff” from wholesalers at a cheaper price to make a profit themselves?
05/21/2019 at 9:20 am #62174TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
That “no resellers” thing is so annoying, and stupid. I have seen that in a couple independent thrifts. I guess it stems from some misplaced do-gooder sentiment that their purpose is to help people with low incomes buy things for cheap. Invariably, though, they probably don’t have any low income clientele because they are charging $2.99 for things you can buy new at Dollar Tree for $1, or charging $9.99 for things that are $5 new at Dollar General.
05/21/2019 at 3:29 pm #62195InglewoodParticipant
I always love seeing dollar store items at a thrift store, still with the dollar store pricing/logo on them, for more than the dollar store charges.
I assume the thrift store employee with the pricing gun was just too lazy to change the price on the gun and just priced it to get it out of there way.
05/21/2019 at 10:00 am #62175
Come to think of it, both shops I mentioned are Lighthouse Ministries locations (in different cities). While they may have an intention of selling things to those “in need”, their main mission is to fund their homes and shelters, where they do great work for people at the end of their rope with nowhere else to go. So discouraging customers who buy a lot and buy often just seems incredibly counter-productive to their own cause.
I wonder how much of it has to do with the same mentality some yard salers have, where they feel they’re somehow being “gotten” or “made a fool of” by those who profit off of things they sell. I very rarely reveal to someone having a yard sale or flea marketing that I’m a reseller. You have to feel the situation out. Sometimes it can be to your benefit to do so, but some sellers get offended by the thought that you’ll make money off of them.
05/21/2019 at 11:35 am #62182Vintage LacyParticipant
- Location: Oregon
I agree Steve. I have seen the same thing at garage sales and even seen it in ads for garage and yard sales. NO DEALERS. How would they recognize a dealer if they saw one? It’s not like we have a secret society tattoo on our forehead or anything like that.
I take a perverse pleasure in buying from those sales, especially when they have things severely under priced. There’s a little snarky voice in my head that wants to tell them that they just sold to a dealer, but of course I never would. It’s enough to walk away with the goods, smiling to myself.
05/21/2019 at 1:16 pm #62186
It’s actually quite easy to spot a dealer. They turn pottery and furniture upside down, look at the flyleaves of books, and browse at a much faster speed than anybody else. The hardcore ones carry UV torches and jeweller’s loupes, look at pictures from a very oblique angle, run their teeth over the edges of porcelain and sniff the metalware. The antique runners (ones who buy to sell to dealers) look like Columbo on a bad hair day.
Then there’s the would-be dealers and amateurs, who have a peeved expression on their faces and are clutching a mobile phone.
05/21/2019 at 5:27 pm #62207MDC Galleries & Fine ArtParticipant
- Location: Atlanta
Right there with you AF. I have a fanny pouch around my waist. It has tape measure, several loupes, a magnet, pen and paper to create my own receipts and of course a bigger accordian slot in the middle to hold all the smaller denomination bills we carry. Usualy $250 to $300 +/- most times. A super flash charge cell phone charger, but descretly all in a pouch around my waist, but you are right, when i need to check, out the tools come,
Makes you wonder beside all the looking and checking the pro dealers do and as you said fairly quickly, what they have to think when you make a pile of 10 to 20 items with a huge difference it what the objects are and you haggle a price what they think you are going to do with all that varied and misc. stuff other than “resell it”. Same for the thirft stores. A conter full of everything under the sun, that most people don’t want and they got from others throw aways and you buy a pile of odd things. Are they dumb enough to think you are going to go home and then just line this stuff up on a shelf and stand back and admire it.
They usually know when I whip out our tax exempt certificate on them. They know then we are a business. Duuhhh!!!!
And I agree, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do with my merchandise. i burn it if I want to, gift it away outside there door for free as people come up [that would burn them up and get the cops called on me] But yes, we have spent thousands of dollars at some of our favorite shops and I don’t think they care at all what we do with it, just keep buying from them, year after year.
That goes back to my getting to know the onwers, making friends and them knowing who you are, what you buy and you will get deals. They know the drill and already know I am going to do the dance with them.
Mike at MDCGFA
05/21/2019 at 7:58 pm #62219
Yeah, “No dealers”. When I had my electronics store / repair shop, I wanted resellers and “dealers” to come in. If someone is willing to buy the entirety of some slow moving items (or just a decent quantity of merchandise in general), bring it on! The purpose of my store was to sell to anyone who would buy. And if they wanted to buy multiple items and haggle a bit, great. Get it gone so I can order fresh and make even more money.
05/22/2019 at 1:50 pm #62265Retro Treasures WVParticipant
It is definitely counter-intuitive. One of my local Goodwills used to be this way. The main lady was hateful and despised resellers. She felt like they were basically stealing! I’d engage her in conversation and blow holes in her closed minded ideas. It was fun.
Then one day I checked out and her demeanor had changed because the reality lightbulb had finally turned on for her – resellers spend a TON of money there! She thanked me and said “I was hoping you’d come in today. You always help me meet the sales quota for the day”.
Why wouldn’t you want resellers? Most of them don’t complain, pay the sticker price if it makes sense, and are polite. I get to know all the people at my local stores.
I return my carts after I unload in the car. I remove all the hangers and even put them back on the hanger rack for them. I prefold and sort all the clothes so they can easily handle them. I’m a model customer.
There are perks to being a polite, helpful, and “spendy” customer too!
There is high turnover, but occasionally I get an employee that will hook me up.
– I’ve had one store hold back huge box of high end mens shoes that were all size 16 and up. They knew I’d take them all and they wouldn’t have to take up valuable shelf space with them.
– Another store they will go in the back and quickly price things they know I would be interested so they can get them out for me to buy.
– Another store the e-commerce manager will pull out a bunch of clothing racks for me to look through.
05/22/2019 at 2:49 pm #62270AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
The hardcore ones carry UV torches and jeweller’s loupes, look at pictures from a very oblique angle, run their teeth over the edges of porcelain and sniff the metalware.
Antique Frog – I’m missing something important here. What does a UV torch do? Why look at pictures obliquely? And what do teeth and nose say about porcelain and metalware?
05/24/2019 at 11:49 am #62403TemudginParticipant
- Location: Jacksonville FL
Modern glues glow under UV light as do modern paints; post-1940-ish paper products, fabric and thread; and certain real Depression, Vaseline, and art glass objects. It’s not foolproof (and hard to use unless you’re in the dark) but if you’re looking for real antique items of the kind that are heavily reproduced (or very old furniture), the UV is indispensable. Of course, in the UK I think they’re generally more likely to run across real antiques in the wild than we are in the US.
05/23/2019 at 10:44 pm #62388Curious CuratorParticipant
- Location: Illinois
Interesting thread! I can’t say that I have ever seen a “no dealers” sign at any thrift store I have ever been to. I will be on the lookout next time. To be sure.
05/24/2019 at 4:15 am #62390
Hi Amatino. I think the UV torch is used on artwork to find areas of restoration. I know it’s used on postage stamps to show up security features (on British stamps, “phosphor bars” AFAIR) If what appears to be a contiguous area of paint shows up to have areas that glow differently then it’s been repaired.
I look at framed pictures obliquely to see if there’s any raised areas of paint- i.e. the picture’s a painting and not a print. Another use if it’s a print of an oil painting, with impressed brush strokes- you can see that the “brush strokes” don’t line up with the image. Or, say, if you’re looking at a signature in pen or pencil and it looks flat then it could be a printed signature.
The teeth thing is apparently a way of detecting repairs to pottery- the dealers on the television say the texture feels like a bar of soap. Never done it- don’t really want to stand in a shop nibbling an old cup 🙂
I took a coin into a dealer’s a couple of weeks back to check if it was silver. He smelt it. His wife explained that he can smell silver…
Many years ago I was taken to an auction by my grandmother. She told me that the dealers sprinkled pepper on their coffee. So, even in those days of gas lamps and horse-drawn aeroplanes, dealers were easy to spot.
05/24/2019 at 9:45 am #62392
There’s a guy I saw in a thrift shop scanning books and CDs with a Bluetooth bar code scanner. Every time he scanned a bar code, his phone would chime. I assume he had it set to chime with a different tone if something scanned on Amazon above a certain price ouer ranking. In his case, you could see and hear that he was a reseller. And this was at one of the stores with a “No reselling” sign at the register (but the books and media are all on the second floor, out of sight of the register).
05/24/2019 at 1:23 pm #62408Mighty BrilliantParticipant
- Location: SC
Wow, that’s pretty crazy…and a bit pretentious.
I don’t generally advertise that I’m a reseller, but I won’t lie if asked. I’ve seen some staff discussing reselling with others in a pretty positive manner, but I fear that if they start taking note of the things we buy, they may learn to mark up the prices over time.
They have no way to enforce what I do with an item after I buy it, but I certainly don’t want to run the risk of being banned from a store. That would of course be a bad business move for them. They marked an item at a price. If it sells, they should be happy.
05/24/2019 at 3:13 pm #62412AmatinoParticipant
- Location: Texas
Thanks Antique Frog.
Fabulous stuff, we learn on this forum!
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