Tips For Making Your Thrift Store Donation Count

Woman holding card box with clothes inside.

Are you doing a little end-of-summer house cleaning and found some things you want to donate to a thrift store? On the surface, this seems simple. Just grab the items, drop them off at the thrift store, and go on your way. However, some things don’t sell at thrift stores, and the facility might have to pay a disposal fee for unwanted items. You can make things much easier for store employees by donating in-demand items. Find out what you shouldn’t and shouldn’t donate so you can drop off items that will sell. Also, keep in mind that each store is different, so this is just a general list of what will and won’t sell. You can get additional details by contacting a local thrift store.

Do Donate – Men’s Clothing

Because fashion trends are constantly changing, thrift stores often end up with an abundance of women’s clothing. The same isn’t true for men’s clothes, though. Most thrift stores have a small supply of men’s clothes and would like to have more. If you have a closet full of men’s clothes that you want to get rid of, load them up and drive them to a local thrift store. The employees will be pleased to get this donation.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t donate women’s clothing as well. Thrift stores are always happy to accept clothing, even when they already have a lot of it.

Don’t Donate – Dangerous Items

Thrift store employees aren’t allowed to sell items that are deemed dangerous. These include recalled items, fireworks, weapons, and anything with hazardous materials.

Also, most thrift stores can’t sell used helmets, mobility aids, and car seats. These items can become damaged and less effective over time, so they’re viewed as a safety risk.

Do Donate – Housewares

High-quality housewares are a hot commodity at thrift stores. Like men’s clothing, thrift stores have a deficiency when it comes to these items. If you have some quality housewares you aren’t using, drop them off at a local thrift store.

Don’t Donate – Large Appliances

Most thrift stores don’t have enough space to sell large appliances. Instead, consider donating appliances to another business or charity. Some manufacturers have appliance donation programs that you can use.

Do Donate – Books, Toys, and Other Media

Many people go to thrift stores looking for books, toys, and other media. If you have items that are in good condition, take them to a thrift store. They are likely to find a good home. You’ll score even higher marks if the books, toys, and media that you recently purchased. For example, if you just finished reading a book on the current bestseller’s list, it will fly off the shelf at the thrift store.

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Don’t Donate – “Gross” Items

Do you have clothing or other items that are covered in mildew or something else that makes them unsanitary? If you donate these items, they could ruin other merchandise in the store. If you can’t clean the items, throw them away instead.

Now that you have a guide, you’re ready to go through your home and find out what you want to donate. Also, you can call local thrift stores ahead of time to find out which items are in high demand at that location.