Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Not For Sale

Yesterday, I went to 4 different thrift stores to find a small hutch. The store by my house did not have any but they did have this nice display cabinet but there was a sign that said not for sale. The next thrift store I went with my sister. They had 6 hutches, 5 of them being exactly what I was looking for. (I only needed one) I looked at the first only to see a sticker saying not for sale. I moved on to the second, third, fourth, fifth and finally the last one. All of them were labeled not for sale. WTH?

As I was walking out, I asked the clerk if they ever sold any hutches. He told me no, they were told to use them to display their other merchandise. I asked how they expected to stay in business if they weren't going to sell any of their furniture. The store clearly states on the sign furniture.

I get how you want your store to look nice. However, I am not there for the atmosphere. I am there to buy something. How am I suppose to buy something if everything has a not for sale sticker? If you need a display, why not use the bulky tv stands no one ever buys? Or better yet, take yourself to the Home Depot and buy some shelving. You don't see anything at Goodwill marked "not for sale. Display only" This is one of the reasons, these mom and pop thrift stores can not stay open. You have merchandise to sell, why not sell it.

The third and fourth stores had similar stickers on some of their hutches. Is this a common practice? Does your thrift store have merchandise for display only?


  1. I am having the exact same problem looking for a curio cabinet. They're used for display in thrift stores and antique malls and they're not for sale. Grrr.

  2. Ugg that stinks. Though you really made me laugh, picturing Home Depot with "Display Only" stickers on everything.

    We don't look for furniture much, but I have noticed at the "nicer" thrift stores like, The Cancer Society or SPCA, that a lot of there furniture is listed for display only.

    Have you tried the flea market? Maybe even Craigslist? Good luck

  3. Our Goodwill stores have those big clunky shelving fixtures along the outside wall, so they are for displaying the stuff that's for sale. Thrift stores that benefit a women's shelter and animal shelters have a few fixtures that don't look industrial that aren't for sale but to display the "finer" pieces they get. It happens. Hopefully you'll find someplace that's willing to sell what you need from their store. Maybe it's time to change venues. Our Goodwill stores seem to have junk furniture that is made with pressed wood or particle board. Have you tried Habitat for Humanity? I got a china hutch off of Craigslist recently for a very good price. I was very lucky. Those kinds of bargains don't come along often! Best wishes in your search!

  4. I'm guilty of doing that in my antique mall booth. I buy certain things like interesting shelves and pretty baker's racks etc. to display items in my booth. But I ALWAYS put a price tag on them, albeit usually a very high price. I figure if someone wants it bad enough they will pay for it and then I will have enough money to buy another pretty shelf. This will change the look of the booth and for some reason, that usually spurs more sales. If it's possible, I would make an offer with your phone number. Even if they don't sell now, you've planted a nugget in the store owner's mind. One day they might need the $50, $100, etc. and now they will know exactly where they can get it.

    1. I understand the antique booth thing because you want your booth to look nice and this is usually something you have bought for yourself. These items were most likely donated. I called and talked to the owner and he said no, there was no way I could convince him to sell them to me. He also lied and said the hutches were in the shop since the store opened in 2009 and I have been to that store several times during the past 6 years and had only seen them that day. In fact, I was in there 3 months prior and they only had 2 not for sale