Someone posted this photo of an empty water bottle on a local Facebook group I am part of – you heard right, empty – on the shelf at a local value village here in Edmonton, priced at $3.99. Wth? Value village has almost all of it’s items for sale DONATED to them, and the prices over the years have gone up, and up, and up. I understand inflation, but I also understand greed, and a used, empty water bottle at $3.99 says what it says about it’s sellers.
Value village locations are more or less always situated along major bus routes, and close to low income housing, because they used to be all about low prices and savings for those who needed it, encouraging others to donate on behalf of our own local communities. Purchasing used items is a great way to save money – well, at least it used to be. Major gas station/convenience stores have some of the highest prices of simple items (don’t buy milk there, it is a serious rip off!) and even they sell FULL and NEW water bottles for less than Value Village now, I guess. What does that tell us?
I somewhat understand the prices of their Halloween items being on the higher side – they are brand new and the same quality as the Halloween shops, they have a good selection during that season, but they are in no way sold at any kind of discount that Value Village used to be known for. Halloween items are over priced in general, that will never change, but the high prices of their other items, and other businesses that rely on free donations from our community to operate, are getting out of hand. Someone donated all of the clothing, and other items for sale in these places, and they are paying their employees minimum wage, and selling jeans for $25-$40 per pair, selling bags for $60+, and apparently now empty water bottles for close to $4. Come on. Someone donated these thinking that others could get them at a super low price and get use out of them. Well, think again, donators!
Even the Value Village website doesn’t even have anything about savings on there at all. It only mentions that your donations won’t go to the dump – they are just getting dumped into the company’s already wealthy pockets, instead of helping the people in the communities in which they are situated. So the idea that this is a charity organization that is there to serve the people, or is in some way non-profit, is just not true. They do work with non-profit organizations, but they certainly are not one themselves, just to clarify. In this day in age with the social media access we have: the Facebook Market Place, Buy and Sell Groups, and Kijiji, if you are wanting to help someone out who actually needs it, AND you want to save yourself a trip, maybe post things you plan to donate on there, and someone who actually needs it can come pick it up and put it to use for their families, not overpay for a used water bottle, when they came in hoping to save some money.
Side note – you can buy brand new children’s clothing and adult clothing for less than the used items at thrift stores at places like: Walmart, Superstore, Ardene, and even catch sales at higher end retail shops, and you can make these purchases online, without having to drive down to the local Value Village to get ripped off. Keep your eye on the local sales pages, too! Hopefully more people will support our own communities and less will support the greed of these multi million dollar corporations disguised as community supports.
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