Thrift stores are kind of a catch-all for all the unwanted stuff that people don't know what to do with.
This can lead to some very interesting finds for the person processing those donations.
Reddit user u/throwaway_ghast asked:
I manage a thrift store in Nor-cal that supports a cat rescue organization.
We get strange donations all the time, such as:
Adult toys (From whips to ball gags and more, more than a couple times a week)
Ashes, I've got a bag here in my office that has some guy from Florida in it. I keep him around, he wards off ghosts and angry customers.
Printed money, one time someone dropped off a backpack full of obviously copied money on big sheets of paper, secret service came out and got it and everything.
We get disgusting stuff too, here is a good one: https://i.imgur.com/5DC614F.jpg?1 Some middle age lady donated a bag of clothes from her son's room. This shirt was on top. It stank so bad I still dry heave thinking about it. It's hard to see on the picture, but those are yellow stains all over the shirt...
We recently got a set of dishes that commemorated a state university, someone bought them for $900! Didn't even know such a thing existed before we got them.
Someone donated an old Mac from the mid 90s that still worked. We fired it up and it had all sorts of personal stuff on it, we wiped it and sold it. Remember to wipe your drives people!
A few weeks ago we got a reproduction Hadafang LOTR sword. Pretty cool.
I love working here, it's always something new and interesting.
I've found a ton of weird stuff. The old ladies i worked with called stuffed animals 'stuffies' & i always thought it was strange.
Well one day we get a big box (2'x2') labeled "stuffies". They opened it up and it was full of butt plugs, handcuffs. I've never heard so much hootin and hollerin in my life. Sounded like a pack of coyotes.
Edit: i also found a vhs tape of Lost In Space when i was talking to a coworker. Pulled out the tape and $70 cash fell out.
Maybe someone forgot about their hiding place.
Finally my time has come. So many weird donations that I won't even get into because y'all won't believe me but the strangest time was when a young man donated a bag of clothes and then a small gecko hops out. We were honestly all lost at what to do about the little guy until the donor swings back about 1hr later looking kinda frantic asking if we had seen his lizard. We kindly showed him where it took up residence under the porch used for smoking and we never saw either of them again.
Another time a woman dropped off a wedding dress and an accordion with no explanation but she seemed rather upset.
What a weird job.
I managed one for three years:
Aquarium WITH WATER AND FISH IN IT
100s of pounds of bird seed.
1000s of packets of assorted flower and vegetable seeds.
365 copies of "Return from Witch Mountain"
I was a receiving and loading lead at a thrift store for a few years. We had this guy that cleaned out storage units for a living and then he'd dump whatever he couldn't flip with us for a tax slip.
He pulls up and we're going through it all. Pretty nice stuff, looked like it was an estate sale. We get it all unloaded and then we start snooping through to see what needs to get brought to where and we find this green glass vase filled with sand.
I started pouring the sand out into the trash so we could figure if the vase was worth using
"That's not sand"
Somehow we ended up with an unmarked, full urn.
Not a worker but people used to illegally dump in front of the local Salvation Army and one time I found an antique vibrator from the 1950’s it was in the box and everything. Not sure what happened to it but they were selling on eBay for $1000 last I checked 😂
I worked in donations. In the same day we got a pickled baby tiger shark and a coin purse made from a kangaroo scrotum.
Edit: for everyone wondering how I knew, it still had the original tag on it. Me and my co-workers were guessing it was an unwanted gift someone felt bad about throwing away.
It was not the same person that donated the shark.
Who knew my most upvoted comment would be about kangaroo balls?
Someone donated an entire trash bag full of dirty diapers.
Sex toys. Lots of sex toys. Some older, and more naive, workers actually priced them and put them in the sales floor.
An old electronic chessboard that was somehow worth $2000+
Some rich old lady came in and donated a ziplock bag full of gold and platinum jewelry - it was real.
Huge beanie baby collections. Guess someone finally figured out after 20 years that they weren't a solid investment. It's something you hear about but I never really saw before.
Ah something I can contribute to. In college I was one of the people that directly sorted donations.
I've seen it all, vibrators, boxes of dildos, a nunchuk collection to name a few. On more than one occasion have we found large amounts of money stashed away in hollowed out books, usually $1000+ in new bills.
The one story that sticks out the most was this middle aged man who consistently came on Saturday evenings to donate used underwear. Bags and bags of men's used underwear, for almost 3 months straight, then suddenly he just stopped.
A classmate of mine found a human skull that was donated. It still had reminents of human on it. They reported it to the police and turns out it was part of an active murder investigation 1 state over.