Thrift Store Employees Explain What They Wish People Would Stop Donating

Another's man's trash is not always another man's treasure.


Instead of just throwing things away, donating the stuff that you don't want anymore sounds like a generous and sustainable option. You might figure, if you had use for it then someone else must, too.

But some people's donations do more harm than good. If you're trying to get rid of something because it's now in poor quality, then it won't be good enough for someone new to use either.

Redditer u/Indianfattie asked Goodwill employees the things that they wished people wouldn't donate to the store, and thrift store workers informed everyone what items are useless and what will probably go straight into the garbage.

20. Books that lost their hype factor

"Not Goodwill, but in, Wales, a charity bookstore asked people to stop donating the Da Vinci Code because they were getting so many copies."

long_furret

19. Check the weather before you leave stuff

"USED FURNITURE DROPPED OFF IN THE RAIN"

prjindigo

18. Just throw it out yourself

"Hey, Salvation Army here. Socks that aren't new in a package go straight into the garbage. Also, don't put knives or stemware into bags of clothing. Stemware usually breaks and turns into knives. Happy meal toys are trash. Parents of young children, please throw all those cheapie toys away rather than stuffing them randomly into a bag of clothing."

NutsAndOrBerries

​17. Exotic dancer clothing is not welcome


"I volunteered as a teen. I had to sort the clothes and learned a LOT about what strippers and dancers wear. We couldn't sell any of it, and my virgin eyes were shocked every time I pulled a g-string out of a bag."

Smol_swol

16. They can't even consider selling them

"Something I haven't seen mentioned is bean/plastic pellet filled toys. If it's not stuffing, it's a choking hazard and a safety risk for young children so most op-shops/charity stores/Goodwills are required to dispose of them."

redditlafs

15. Sketchy...

"One time a guy donated 6 kidneys in the time of one month under the same name(dumbass) got arrested 3 weeks later"

Douwe1564

14. A good way to judge what you're donating

"Not a worker but I've always heard that you should only donate stuff you would feel OK giving to a friend. Nothing damaged or non functional, no clothes with holes or tears, etc."

BogBirdBingle

13. It should be obvious to not donate infested stuff

"former goodwill employee here and where do i begin?
bug-infested furniture... if you need to get rid of it then take it to a landfill and dispose of it properly! goodwill has no use for your roaches and bed bugs...
dirty clothing, when donating clothes to goodwill make sure they're clean first, goodwill doesn't wash the clothes that are donated to them.
garbage, items that are clearly broken... they're not a dump, just... throw it away
i kid you not someone once donated homework, it was graded and everything... why?"

MoonDoggos

12. I guess it can be dangerous for people with allergies

"My local Goodwill turned down our working, electric lounger because we have a dog and the hair was stuck to the bottom of the legs. So no furniture with ANY pet fur!"

hjartatjuv

11. ​11. Don't ever dump animals anywhere but an open animal shelter

Giphy

"Kittens
It's heartbreaking every time"

PuritanDaddyX

10. Watch how you store things!

"I almost had a serious injury when one donor wrapped up blades from a blender in a towel and dumped them in a bag full of clothes. Please don't do that."

GuiltyCredit

"One of the girls at the thrift store I work at had to get stitches because some jerk threw steak knives in the bottom of a trash bag of clothing."

kochanie2013

9. I hate to see vintage furniture go to waste

"Cleaning out my senior parents' place we tried to donate a very expensive built in tv stand made of oak. Turns out flat screens don't fit in them and they never get sold."

cisco54

8. Trash literature is trash

"I remember a while ago I saw a side news story covering how a bunch of charity places were asking people to stop donating book copies of Fifty Shades of Grey. I seem to recall one store had enough copies they made a book fort out of them."

SuperStrawbear

7. This isn't a dumpster

"I haven't worked there in over a decade, but: garbage. People would dump bags and bags of garbage in front of the store overnight, and I mean stuff that no reasonable person would ever consider to be anything but garbage.

Busted up concrete. Rusty metal. Basically stuff they didn't want to pay to have hauled away, and couldn't be bothered to take all the way to the dump."

TorgdortheBanninator

6. Who lied to me and told me they wash the stuff!?

Giphy

"Don't donate unwashed clothes. You know the stank that most Goodwill stores have? They don't wash donations before putting them out. They just go straight on the racks.

Don't donate any clothing that's stained or has holes in it. These items don't sell and will likely be thrown out. Don't donate used socks or underwear. Don't donate worn out shoes, smelly shoes, or solo shoes."

NotSoTinyUrl

5. Maybe a collector on eBay would want that

"Decades old encyclopedias missing a volume or two..."

lilidelapampa

4. Check the dates!

Giphy

"I volunteer with a local food pantry. Please don't donate literal garbage. Nobody wants your decade-expired dry cake mix."

Amiiboid

3. Check your pockets

"We call them charity shops in the UK, I'm guessing it's the same deal. If you're donating anything with pockets PLEASE take a second to remove your used tissues, it grosses us out. We don't want anything that's broken or doesn't work. We don't want Christmas decorations before Novemberish, we don't have a lot of storage space to keep them for 8 months. We don't want your underpants or socks"

musicmad-123

2. Pay attention to what you're donating

Folks, go through your stuff before you donate - I once found a memorial album someone had made for a woman who had died, and another time I found an old friendship book full of names and addresses. Really made me wonder what the people who worked in the charity shop were thinking.

MindingMine

1. Seriously, pay attention!

"Someone accidentally donated an urn, complete with cremated ashes."

stormborg

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