The Art and Challenge of Thrift

colorful clothing price tags will enable impact thrift stores to discount a different color tag each week or month

In the thrift business we juggle and balance… 

On the one hand, thrift is able to provide a remarkable value to shoppers who need to live within a tight budget, students, families and individuals who have limited funds to spend on necessities. Not to mention those folks who simply enjoy the thrill of the hunt for that unusual treasure.

On the other hand, thrift is an important way to raise much needed funds for charities, support the community and provide a means for folks to “recycle” by donating perfectly good but unneeded items.

Our dilemma lies in the middle.

At Impact Thrift, we are fortunate to be the recipients of large amounts of donated merchandise and we thank you for your generosity. We are constantly amazed as to the variety and quality of your donations. And yes, the vast majority are donations… free to us.  But consider the steps it takes to process that bag of donated clothing or that box of assorted items into the merchandise you see in our stores, priced and ready to buy. Each of those steps from receiving, sorting, cleaning, hanging, pricing, tagging, sometimes researching, trucking and filling the racks and shelves, requires manpower. Each step or “touch” adds to the cost  of that item.

Somewhere in the middle between donation and purchase lies the art and challenge of pricing.

At Impact Thrift Stores, our MISSION is to financially support locally based charities… our GOAL is to do so in an honest and responsible manner.  Before we are able to make those charitable donations, we must first cover our costs of doing business: rent, utilities, payroll for over 225 employees, insurance, trucking costs, and more. As with your household, many of our expenses go up every year.

We make every effort to price items fairly so that they sell quickly, covering our expenses and making room for more items.  We admit that we don’t get it right every time. We also understand the thrift shopper and your need to find that awesome item at a fabulously low price. You have elevated the use of coupons to an art form.

In the past, clothing rarely went on sale and was only discounted by use of a coupon.  We have developed a new color tag system which will allow us to offer some items at full price while others will be discounted at 25%, 50% and 97¢…. Every day!

Also, over the last year or so, we have examined our couponing campaigns, changing the availability of coupons and the amount of coupon discounts. Nevertheless, in the past year, we “gave away” over $1.2 million in coupons and discounts. As we try to achieve that perfect balance that offers you a discount but allows us to cover our costs and still increase our charitable giving, we need to make a few more tweaks.  The coupons that we distribute through our e-newsletter and our donation receipts will be 20% (up to $20) but will exclude clothing. With our new clothing discount program, clothing will be discounted with NO COUPON NECESSARY!

Through this new discounting and couponing program, we plan to continue to be good stewards of your donations, responsibly turning them into more funds for locally-based charities while providing those who shop our stores with exceptional value.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to juggle…

11 Responses to The Art and Challenge of Thrift

  1. annie laurie says:

    I think that another way to look at the coupons that you have offered, is that many thrift store shoppers choose to donate to Impact, because they know that they will receive a 25% coupon in exchange for the donation. I know it is impossible to track how many shoppers buy more because they have a 25% coupon, but I know that I often pick up 3 more cds or another bric a brac or a back up serving dish or back up answering machine, because I know that I have the coupon. Impact may have to do a bit of research to find if, when they reduce the amount of the coupon savings, if their quantity of sales diminishes.
    Just a thought. I will remain a loyal customer and will continue to send many people there.

    • Annie, thank you for your comment and your support of Impact Thrift Stores. Yes, we do find that some customers donate items in order to receive a coupon but quite a number – close to 50% of our donors – do not even accept a receipt for their donation. ~Jill

  2. Allie says:

    I have supported your stores for many years (shopping and donation) but, now that coupons can no longer be used on clothing, I will not be shopping at Impact. Your pricing on non-discounted clothing is much higher than any thrift in the area.

    • Allie, Thank you for your support over the years. I can understand your reluctance to shop our stores without a coupon but once we get our color tag system completely up and running, three quarters of the clothing department at each store will be discounted at a higher rate than a coupon would allow anyway. We do also continually check pricing against our competitors and firmly believe our pricing is in line with what you will find at other area thrift stores. Do we make sometimes make mistakes? Of course… but our new discount color tag system will bring those too high prices into a lower price range – and ultimately 97¢ which can’t be beat! ~Jill

  3. karin says:

    I own & operate a ladies consignment shop in Richboro(Pennies From Heaven Consignments Boutique). Word on the street is that IMPACT has increased their prices. So I decided to read this, & of course, it makes sense to me because I am running a business (much smaller, of course) too.

    I will try to share this with my customers. Maybe you can increase awareness of what you actually do, to increase awareness…..such as, at the point of sale: ” Thank you for supporting our charities”. It would also make the customer feel good.

    I do refer my customers to IMPACT when they look for things that I don’t have. I believe there are enough customers out there for all of us!

    • Thank you Karin. We have been going through a great deal of transition over the course of the last few months which has resulted in the impression that we’ve raised prices. We also hear that often from our customers. In reality, we do a great deal of price comparison with other thrift shops in the area and we believe our pricing is totally in line with theirs. We also do receive donations of a fair amount of vintage and higher end designer clothing. The pricing on these items will be higher as you can imagine, but can cause “sticker shock” to some. So many factors go into pricing each item. We hope that once our color tag system is completely up and running (within the next month or two), folks will again discover our excellent value and low prices. ~Jill

  4. Murray Salvatore Monastero says:

    What a great idea! I love the store in Norristown. Shopping there is one of my favorite things to do.
    Thank you everyone!
    Nice, friendly people all around!
    Murray

    • Thanks Murray! Our Norristown store is always so full of great treasures, including our staff! We know it has been difficult to get to the store with road construction closing Markley Street and appreciate the effort it takes to find the store. ~Jill

  5. CHRIS DIAMOND says:

    I HAVE SHOPPED AT IMPACT SINCE HATBORO OPENED, YES, THE PRICES HAVE GONE UP, BUT THAT IS TO BE EXPECTED AND ACCEPTED. I UNDERSTAND WHAT ALLIE IS SAYING; IF YOU GO IN TO IMPACT TODAY AND SEE A BOUTIQUE ITEM, THAT HAS THE NEWEST COLOR; IT IS 18.00 AND YOU CAN NOT USE A COUPON. LOTS OF CLOTHING ITEMS ARE NOW $9.99, SO YOU EITHER BUY IT AT FULL PRICE OR TAKE A CHANCE IT WILL BE THERE WHEN THERE IS A REDUCTION.

    YOU DO HAVE TO SIFT THRU A LOT OF OUTDATED 80’S CLOTHING ETC, LOTS OF PADDED SHOULDERS, AND CLOTHING ITEMS THAT I KNOW WILL BE 97 CENTS IN THE END, BUT YOU HAVE A BIG STORE TO FILL IN FEASTERVILLE AND I UNDERSTAND YOU WANT THE STORE TO BE FULL OF EVER CHANGING MERCHANDISE.

    I LIKE SHOPPING IMPACT ALONG WITH OTHER THRIFT STORES, IT IS MORE FUN AND AS I ALWAYS SAY I WOULD RATHER GIVE MY MONEY TO YOU THAN TO A BIG BOX STORE!!!

    THE CLOTHING IN THE FEASTERVILLE STORE IS LAID OUT VERY NICE AND LOOKS GREAT!!!

    • Thank you Chris! We have been working hard to reset our stores to make them easier to shop and make room for more of the items you and our other shoppers are looking for. Big things in store for our Hatboro store in the coming months too!

  6. LCJinRoslynPA says:

    One way to look at the prices on anything you buy is to consider it a rental. How long will you own that table/chair/bed/rug? How many times will you wear that dress/shirt/pair of pants/evening gown? Divide the price by time or wearings and it really puts it all in perspective — I find it is usually pennies on the use for clothing, and for durable goods, even less. Yes, prices have gone up everywhere. But compared with the big boxes, thrift shops cannot be beat. And knowing that the profits are going not to shareholders or a big CEO salary but to local charities is even better!

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Our Story

Heaven’s Treasures was organized in December of 2016 with a mission of operating a chain of retail stores that will allow second chance employment, financially support charities and give affordable shopping experiences to the greater community while keeping with its corporate purpose, to glorify God throughout the community and world in which we live and work. In February 2017, they acquired Impact Thrift Stores Hatboro and Bristol locations. On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Impact Thrift Stores in Feasterville, Montgomeryville and Norristown will also become Heaven’s Treasures Thrift and Value Stores!
We invite you to shop and donate while supporting charities and our community.