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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:10 PM

This is pathetic. Don't know where to post but I'm really upset.

I work 2 days a week at a charity thrift shop. The proceeds of the shop go to local food pantries.
I am, like everyone else there, a volunteer.

These past two weeks have been awful. We are all upset and can only do so much watching. The theft rate is unbelievable. The items we have for sale are donations. We get some nice things and also a lot of junk that we have to pay to have trucked away.

People seem to think that anything they give is worth selling. Most of what we receive goes to recycle bins. That point aside, the theft rate is rising to the point that we are all ready to scream. All our hard work to inspect, price and get items to the selling floor seems to be an exercise in futility.

How can people steal from a charity? I know this goes on in regular retail stores but for a charity? Disgusting.

We ask people not to open packages of brand new merchandise, they do it anyway. Then they come to the sales desk, they demand the price on the regular 'used' goods we sell.

Things that have just been put on the selling floor are gone. Nobody at the sales desk sold the goods. They walked.

It is hard not to get angry about this situation. Much of the goods we have set aside for Christmas sales have disappeared. Packages opened and parts gone. Today was the worst ever. Many, many empty boxes of new goods. Where did they go?
Out the door without paying!

This stinks. How much money for the food pantries has gone on it's merry way.
Sometimes it is hard not to get angry but today is not one of those days. I'm really ticked off.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply This is pathetic. Don't know where to post but I'm really upset. (Original post)
Paper Roses Nov 2012 OP
onethatcares Nov 2012 #1
demosincebirth Nov 2012 #2
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #3
renate Nov 2012 #4
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #7
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #5
FSogol Nov 2012 #6
bluedigger Nov 2012 #8
ret5hd Nov 2012 #9
Politicalboi Nov 2012 #10
riderinthestorm Nov 2012 #11

Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:15 PM

1. thank for doing what you can

maybe a sign on the door saying, "all proceeds from the sale of these goods goes to the food bank" might help.

I don't know though, and I'm at a loss to offer any other solution.

thanks for what you're doing though. you have a heart.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:25 PM

2. Many people, I hate to say, don't consider items sold at charitable thrift stores charity as long as

it's being sold... no matter where the profit goes. To some, it's just like shoplifting at Target.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:27 PM

3. All for re-sale on e-Bay. Where is the check-out relative to the Exit? Can the door be "blocked"?

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:37 PM

4. ditto the suggestion above to put up a sign

I hope that at least the things being stolen are going to people who are truly needy enough that they couldn't buy them.

Of course, I have no idea whether you're talking about essentials like clothes, or whether you mean lamps, paintings, etc. There's no excuse for stealing nonessential items--none that I can think of, anyway.

It must also be really discouraging to get donations of crap that you have to deal with. I'm not talking about things that people might really believe are sellable but aren't--but I bet you get a lot of busted appliances, shoes with holes, etc.

You're doing a wonderful thing. Thank you for the work you do.

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Response to renate (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:43 PM

7. You will be surprised.

I recently had an opportunity to help a friend sort items after a charity drive. Most of the stuff donated was junk. People used the charity drive to throw away stuff. Seeing that was hurtful. I previously thought that people donated top quality stuff that they simply didn't want anymore, like an expensive winter coat that has a button missing - something of real value that if it does need repair still has enormous value.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:38 PM

5. Why don't you make and post , around the store, signs with the largest possible language,

signs that point out the money from the sale of items in the store goes to food banks for the hungry and that the staff are unpaid volunteers. The signs may be enough to cause a few people to rethink.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:40 PM

6. Add some mirrors around the store. n/t

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:45 PM

8. Sounds like you are being targeted.

They'll keep taking until you make it not worth their while.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:48 PM

9. First place to look: Your co-workers.

hate to say it, but...

just sayin'.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:49 PM

10. Put up signs

Make others aware of what goes on around them. Put up shoplifting signs. I used to work at retail warehouse and we would get items that were open or a little damaged, and they would send them charity. And they would also send unopened food that wasn't expired or damaged. I would pack some of the boxes with the food, knowing they were going to shelters, so I would also put random toys that were supposed to go into the other boxes. A few Barbies, Batman car, or games. They also gave away dog and cat food and supplies that were open or dented to a lady out here that ran a shelter.

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Response to Paper Roses (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:59 PM

11. Where is your check out? Maybe situate it so its next to the door for more eyes on the exit

2. You may have to resort to a person standing at the door. They greet everyone, even offer to put their coat on a rack, and give hard eyes along with their good bye when customers leave. Make sure no large bags or other tote type bags go into the store - they need to be checked.

3. Signs informing customers that this is a charity and that they are stealing from poor people may work but honestly, most theft is occurring by the staff. Unfortunately you may have to get someone to track when the worst of its happening - it may correlate with one or two of the staff.

Sounds really bad. Unfortunately until you change the layout, the staffing arrangements, and the procedures its going to continue.



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