When I worked at Value Village my parents were dismayed to find out that the store does not wash anything before it’s put out on the floor for sale.
“How come it all smells the same, then?” Asked my dad. Because when your stink mixes with thousands of different people’s stink, it all becomes one general stink. And the air ‘fresheners’ that are strategically placed throughout the store also have an effect on the smell.
When I say that it was the worst job I have ever had, I am not kidding. I worked in production, pricing clothing, first womens, then mens and kids. I was on my feet for the entire shift (yeah, I know, boo hoo, but at first it really was a whole lot of boo hoo, I’d come home and cry my feet hurt so bad) and each person that works there is expected to fulfill their quota, each shirt, pair of pants, sheet, china lamb is counted and accounted for. Tallied. Yes, people pad (fudge, aka stealing) their tally sheets, especially after being threatened with losing their job. I was constantly being told that I was in line for a managerial position, just learn this, do that, do all this extra work and it will be yours…some day. I quit well before some day ever came.
Anyway, part of pricing clothing is deciding if it the pair of jeans is even worth putting a price tag on and hanging it out to sell. What makes something unsellable, you ask? Stains. Rips. Crotch rot (lots of that, hoo boy!). Bally sweaters. Hand altered anything. Deodorant streaks. Stink. Mold. You get the idea. In summer time when people are busy donating sweaters that no one wants to buy because it’s 120 in the shade, you can be even pickier on each sweater that comes down the line.
So what’s the deal at the Value Village that is (almost) right next door to me? I really have to wonder. I know pricing techniques have changed since I was employed there (we had to staple the tags onto the garment and then hand write the price in grease pencil and they have those plastic hanger tags now) and maybe that has something to do with it, but for real, the clothes there are horrific. I can honestly say that I have never, EVER found anything even remotely worth buying and wearing. Even the time I went before we went cob house building so I could get grotty work pants, I came home empty handed. Both pairs that I found that would fit me had someone’s left over yeast infection inside. No thanks.
Today I took a few pictures just to show that I’m not just talking out of my ass.
#1 Sheet with glorious white ‘mystery’ stain. It’s so obvious, it’s right at the fold of fabric that is on top of the hanger. How could the person pricing this MISS THIS STAIN?!?!
So you can see, it’s not a small stain either. It’s a lot of stain.
I just shivered and felt a little like puking.
#2 Jeans with hole.
and how much are they charging for ripped jeans these days?
Plus tax, people. To be fair, these were Diesel jeans. But they were also Diesel jeans from at least 10 years ago. If I’d gotten these on my line when I worked at VV I would have ragged them off. Or, if we were desperate for jeans, I might have put them out for 99 cents. No, I take that back. I would have ragged them off.
#3 World’s prettiest dress. This dress is home made. It’s easy to tell, the seams are 2″ wide and all the edges are just pinked. It’s really badly made and it’s an extremely ugly pattern. Even the fabric isn’t worth salvaging for anything, it’s cheap and (not really) cheerful.
It’s so gruesome that not even a hipster, desperate for attention and validation would buy it. Can you guess the price on it? I know, you’re thinking “free” right? Well, you’re close:
That’s right. It’s also $7.99, same as the ripped jeans! Maybe that pricer’s pricing doo-dad was stuck on that number? Again, this is the type of dress I would have priced for 99 cents and it still wouldn’t sell. Just for the tally.
#3 and #4 Filthy jeans. All I did was walk down one aisle of womens jeans and these were blatantly just hanging there for anyone (like management!) to see. This is a common ailment of jeans and pants, the hems all ripped, dirty and stepped on. I’d have ragged these off without a second glance.
And I didn’t even have to look for any of these in the store, they were all out in the open. Not smashed into a rack, not covertly folded to hide the problem. And it certainly isn’t like there’s a lack of jeans in this particular store, there’s rows of them, all jammed in. Imagine what I couldn’t see.
And so? If you find problems like this at your local Value Village (or equivalent type store), you really ought to point them out to the manager on duty, and preferably to the Production Manager. That is the person in charge of the people who do the pricing. I’ve done this before, at this very store, but I guess they don’t care because it’s in a pretty ghetto area of Toronto.
All I ask is that you remember, before you wear it, to WASH EVERYTHING YOU BUY SECONDHAND. Especially anything that will come in direct contact with your skin. And happy hunting!