Working at a Volunteers of America Thrift Store

We are hiring at our Volunteers of America thrift stores! What does it mean to work here, and what can you expect? Let’s take a look into a day in the life at our thrift stores.

Working the Register

Working the register means making sure you process a person’s items in a timely, friendly, and professional manner. Prices are written on tags or sometimes written on the item itself. During busy days, like the 50% off sale, there may be two people working the registers, one bagging and one entering prices. The bagger may call out the price of each item, bag the item, remove the security tags, and give the items back to the customer. A pro tip is to focus on the customer in front of you and not be intimidated by any sort of line that has formed at the register.

Working the Floor

The racks and shelves of a thrift store can easily become messy and disorganized during the day depending on store traffic. Recovery is our term for going through the aisles looking for clothes and items on the floor or strewn over the racks. There is a constant effort to put clothes back on hangers and reorganize shelves to keep the store looking neat.

Another part of working the floor is placing items on display that have been donated and processed behind the scenes. This can involve shelving a cart full of books, hanging and organizing clothing, or placing jewelry in the display case among other tasks.

Production Crew

Did you know our store's process over 40,000 items a week? Thanks to generous donors, our stores receive thousands of items a day, and all of those items must be carefully sorted in our production area in the back of the store. 

Let’s walk through the process. Donations are placed onto skids, into tubs and boxes, to make them easier to manage. Each employee who handles an item will look for imperfections like stains, holes, tears, or anything that would make the item unfit to sell. We put those items into a pile where they are sent to be recycled. Jewelry is untangled and attached to a sales tag. Smaller pieces of jewelry are grouped together and sold in a bag in our showcase. Clothing is put into piles, hung up on hangers, and put onto a rack, then carefully priced by a manager or experienced employee.


Our store managers hold a lot of responsibility in our stores. They manage budgets, schedules, sales, and production numbers. They have goals for their stores and review them on a daily basis. The work of a manager is an important and vital role for our stores.

Interested? Our stores offer flexible schedules, a generous benefits package, and we often promote from within. If you are ready to join our Volunteers of America thrift team find a store location near you and stop in to fill out an application. You may receive an on the spot interview!