ST. LOUIS – Thrift store outlets are seeing an increase in demand. Lines form at the Downtown St. Louis Goodwill Outlet several times a day. There is a unique blend of economics and influencers bringing customers to the stores.
High inflation has prompted people to develop ways to make their money go further. Sales in resale and secondhand stores are increasing, and CNBC estimates that they will hit $53 billion by the end of this year.
People line up regularly an hour before the Goodwill Outlet on Market Street in St. Louis opens. They are open twice a day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
We spotted customers arriving Thursday for the first block of the day at 9:15 a.m. People also brought luggage into the store with them to bring home their finds.
Mark Kahrs, Executive Vice Presedent of Mers Goodwill, said that the reason why people find the location on Market Street ideal is because “That site opens for three hours twice a day, the store is different every time it opens,” Kahrs said. “Really, you just pick up everything you want, put it on the scale, and pay. Lots of people hurry in there every day, a lot of them are reselling it. They are looking for a quick find, or a treasure.”
Goodwill customers spoke with FOX 2 while waiting in line.
“This Goodwill charges by the pound, so you can get a lot of items for less than you would typically be able to,” Carissa explained. “But, rugs are $6, and sometimes you uncover treasures, like we did last time when we found a Ninja Blender that weighed about six pounds and cost $12.”
Cheryl explained, “I got a Rebel professional juicer that was worth around $160 and weighed 12 pounds, so I just paid like $24 or something like that here.”
“Well, they have containers that are about eight feet long and four feet broad. They’re full of everything,” Cheryl explained, “So you have to pick things up and search around to see what’s inside, and it’s enjoyable, like digging for treasure.”
The friend of Cheryl traveled five hours to get to this Goodwill today. These shoppers say they don’t resell the things they buy, but they’ve met other shoppers who do.
This Goodwill’s discount bins sometimes have items that you can sell for more than you could buy them online.
According to Forbes magazine, when a brand or business allows customers to resell items they previously purchased from them on their e-commerce site, it provides customers with a seamless, brand-loyal experience and allows brands and retailers to keep the fast-growing resale market within their own business.
But this is more than simply purchasing new items from a store and selling them on a social networking site such as Threadup or Poshmark. Entrepreneurs scour the bargain bins for items they can resell for a profit.
When used products are resold, they reach more individuals. More thrift shop items on social media may attract more customers to the stores.
Residents of St. Louis resell stuff. Abby Thrifts is a St. Louis area thrift shopper. She mentions thrift shopping as a part-time profession in her videos.
YouTuber “A Rural Squirrel” has been thrifting for a long time. She frequents the Goodwill Outlet, sells the items she finds, and posts it to her channel.
“Hi! I’m Kristin! I’m ‘A Rural Squirrel'”‘ and I’ve been a long time thrifter and bargain hunter. Come on thrifting adventures as we travel in our camper looking for treasures and bargains at Goodwill Outlets all over the country to give them new life and new homes. Sometimes I keep them for my family, but most of the time, I sell them. No matter what, its always an adventure,” writes Kristin on YouTube.
“One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure,” as the saying goes.