Behind-the-Scenes: How do our thrift stores sort their donations?

From driveway to sales floor

Thanks to generous donors like you, we receive thousands of donated items. We carefully sort through all of them in our production area, in the back of the store. A team of 10-15 hardworking employees, in a very organized atmosphere, works in a carefully designed assembly line. This results in over 40,000 items being put out for sale each week. We want to share with you about how your donations go from the donation center drop-off to out onto the sales floor.

  1. Donations come from our donation drop off centers, home pickups, and our thrift stores.

  2. We corral the donations onto skids, tubs, and boxes to make them easier to manage.

3. A glove-wearing employee will lay out the donations onto a large table to see the contents.

4. 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.

5. Our staff will sort through the donations and organize items by category

a. Linens

b. Clothing

c. Shoes

d. Brick-a-Brac (This is what we call miscellaneous items)

e. Furniture

f. Jewelry

6. Linens and furniture are cleaned and sanitized.

7. Jewelry is untangled and attached to a sales tag. Smaller pieces of jewelry are grouped together and sold in a bag in our showcase.

8. Clothing is sorted, hung up on hangers, and put onto a rack.

9. Each item of clothing is given a colored tag. Each week, clothes are given a certain colored tag. No item stays on the sales floor longer than eight weeks. Items that have been on the floor for six weeks are marked down 25%, seven weeks is 50% and 8 weeks is 75% off.

10. Clothes are carefully priced by a manager or experienced employee, based on the condition and brand of the clothing.

Giving each clothing item a tag

11. The store manager will review the racks of clothes to determine which items can be moved to the Betters racks, based on if they still have their tags or are from a high-end clothing brand.

12. Items are moved out on to the sales floor to be shelved and ready to be purchased.

Thrift Tip: If you want to get the best items at the thrift store, you need to stop by as often as you can because we are continually filling the sales floor with new items.

Proceeds from our thrift stores support programs all across Ohio that help families, individuals, veterans, the homeless, and ex-offenders. We are proud to be one of Ohio’s largest non-profit thrift stores.

We are always in need of donations and welcome you to donate your unwanted clothes, shoes, and items at any of our thrift stores.

You can schedule a donation right on your computer by requesting a home pick-up using our handy online form. We'll then give you a call to schedule the perfect pick-up time.

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