Here is a secret I have discovered: local business donate their previous seasons items that haven't sold in their store to second hand stores. All of Big Lots Christmas surplus is currently sitting at our local Salvation Army (oddly enough, priced higher than Big Lots final discount of 80% off). Our local Goodwill is the home of Joanne Fabrics extra Christmas surplus (again - priced higher than Joanne's final discount price of 90% off!)
The Salvation Army has also had a large stock of brand new rugs, undershirts, shoes and books - I am not sure which store any of those come from but the volume of identical, brand new items tells me they must have been donated by a store. A quick Google search told me the rugs were 50% off, the undershirts 75% off, shoes 75% off and books about 90% off.
And most recently The Salvation Army has become the new home for Catherines Plus Size Clothing Store's extra jewelry - all brand new and marked down by 80% - 95%.
I only picked up these two pairs of earrings priced at $1 and $1.25 each as I don't really need bracelets or necklaces, but I have been thrilled with this realization about brand new items being donated by local businesses. And at the same time I am realizing how important it is to know your prices. While the Christmas items are a great price they were considerably cheaper at the stores themselves. The rugs and shoes and undershirts at 50% - 75% off are only mediocre deals. You can easily find the same deals at stores like TJMax or Ross.
I am developing a great relationship with the workers at our local Thrift Store and I plan on asking them if there is a certain day or month that tends to get more business donations so I can be over there checking them out with great frequency - I wonder if coming up on tax time encourages more generous donations from businesses?