A reader pointed us to what he thinks is a bit of gouging in the thrift store world. The Salvation Army on Atlantic Avenue is selling DVDs for $5 a pop — more expensive than the typical $3 DVD prices at Housing Works and Goodwill, which the reader (who asked to be identified by the initials B.I.C.) is used to paying. He went so far as to email Salvation Army’s corporate HQ to ask that they review prices “to see if they are consistent with the general market prices and demand.” But here’s the thing: Those thrift store sales go to help raise money for the Salvation Army’s adult rehab centers and other things. So should we share B.I.C.’s concerns about market inequality or just suck it up and pay the thing?
B.I.C. says he’s a frequent thrift store DVD shopper, looking for non-scratched DVDs with cover art. He’s found that CDs and DVDs are in abundance these days since people in the city have limited storage space and often rip their discs onto a hard drive.
“The days of having DVDs as a ‘trophy’ on, your bookcase are over don’t you think?” he wrote in an email.
We are all adamant Salvation Army shoppers, and have never gone so far as to haggle over a price. Yet B.I.C.’s point is that charity or not, there are market standards for products.
So what say you: price gouging shenanigans or innocent charitable fundraising?