Thrift Store Prices Are Getting Less Thrifty

By: Kaydee Ambas · March 22, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

Thrifting Isn’t Thrifty

The world has gotten a lot pricer over the past few years, mainly due to the pandemic, supply chain issues, and inflation in general. Even secondhand stores like Goodwill and The Salvation Army haven’t been immune to the surge in prices — but it may be for a different reason entirely.

Some argue the price hikes have more to do with the popularity of thrift store shopping among younger consumers. In fact, thrifting is trending.

Trending Spending

Thrifting has long appealed to many shoppers. In addition to being affordable, shopping at thrift stores is a sustainable way to purchase clothing, since you’re essentially recycling older goods. This resonates with the environmentally-conscious Gen Z in particular.

But thrifting is now less of a smart way to save and more of a viral phenomenon. Shoppers will commonly share their “thrift hauls” on social media.

This is compounded by the fact that some thrifters take it a step further — buying secondhand goods not just for themselves, but to resell online at steep markups in marketplaces like Depop (ETSY) or Poshmark. This further contributes to the spike in thrift store prices.

Pricier Products

In an ironic turn, these price rises are going viral, too.

Many users have documented high thrift store prices on their TikTok feeds. These videos show particularly eye-popping examples, such as pieces of clothing from fast-fashion retailer Shein selling for higher prices at thrift stores than on the company’s website.

Many people rely on thrift stores for affordable clothing, furniture, and household items, but all this amounts to making thrifting a less viable option for budget-conscious shoppers. So be wary the next time you visit your local thrift store. It might not be as thrifty an option as you remember it being.

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