Saturday, April 25, 2015

Don't Be A D*** At The Thrift: A Brief Guide To Etiquette

It's a thrift store, not Saks Fifth Avenue. Calm down. 

Like any other retail environment, where one exchanges currency for goods, thrift stores are operated by a team of paid employees and/or volunteers. And as a patron of many thrift stores, I have seen a repeated occurrence to which attention must be paid.

The occurrence being, customers are dicks. And I say that in the broadest of generalizations. I know that many of us thrift shoppers are there for bargains and treasure hunts, not to berate employees for a  personal sense of entitlement. But lately, I've seen some truly atrocious behavior. And since I have this platform, I think it's high time to talk secondhand etiquette. 

Everybody, wait your turn. 

Sometimes in life, we have to wait. I'm not sure just how the immediate gratification in the traditional shopping experience has become so prevalent in thrift stores. But I've been witness to an increasing number of impatient thrift shoppers. And that's putting it mildly. In my opinion, thrifting takes time and effort. It's not as simple as grabbing a quick gallon of milk at the 7-11. Demanding to speak to a manager THIS INSTANT to address these lines at the register----is that getting you home any faster? And if you can't devote a few extra moments to waiting patiently in line like a civilized human being, maybe it's best to stay home and calmly reflect upon what's going on in your life that has you a complete dick.

You can't always get what you want. 

It's unfortunate. But it happens. One shopper seems to have gotten to all the best stuff before you. And sometimes, that shopper is indeed a vintage re-seller. Simply give them a nod to acknowledge their thrift-hunting prowess. Maybe compliment an item or two. And just walk away. Don't go fishing in their cart while they have their backs turned. It sounds ridiculous---but I have seen it happen. And the results aren't pretty. Here's the key piece of thrift shopping etiquette to keep in mind: If it's in a cart, it's claimed. If it's discarded back to the shelf, it's yours for the thrifting. 

Emily Post may know social etiquette. But when it comes to thrift etiquette, I've got you covered. And in closing, it comes down to just a few main bullet points.

  • Don't be a dick to thrift store staff.
  • Don't be a dick to other thrift shoppers.
  • Don't be a dick while waiting your turn in line.
  • Don't be a dick. 
This has been a public service announcement from Let's Go Thrifting.
My apologies for the number of phallic references, but sometimes it just needs to be said.


Cynthia said...

Well said, and I think it is timely, as there will be many garage/yard/estate sales coming up (at least in my part of the country), not to mention more stuff being dropped off at the thrifts, and therefore more people involved. These points should be posted in the stores!

Witchcrafted Life said...

Hear, hear!!! Though, to be fair, I haven't encountered a lot of this in my many years of thrifting, those few bad apples I have encountered were poster children for the very "breed" of thrifter you're describing here. I sometimes wonder if some people think that regular shopping manners don't apply at thrift stores just because the merchandise is used (and thus in their minds not worth the same degree of respect). Who knows!

♥ Jessica

Jackie Jardine said...

I tend to agree, Cynthia. I know that from a business regard, "the customer is always right." But in reality, there are times when a few customers need to be knocked down a peg or two. Ha ha.

I was just having this discussion the other day, Jessica! That perhaps since it's a non-profit organization or the because the wares are cheap, certain jerk customers feel superior to the staff. I don't like it one bit.

<3 Jackie

Vanessa said...

OH HELL NAH I will not wait in a store to get into a thrift store. I'm spoiled being the southern ample junking culture and not a big city like that, but damn, ain't doing it :D haha. Agreed, I avoid all the dicks, I will not fight over thrifted anything. There is plenty to go around.

Anonymous said...

It's just too bad that needed to be said. Well put. I recall back when I was doing this back in the early 80s, I usually had the places to myself. ;-)

Danville, KY

Jackie Jardine said...

We're going to file this post under 'Sad But True,' Dave. I guess any time you get a group of people together in a retail environment it can get dicey. Add the the competitive edge factor and it can be just downright dangerous. Lol!

Thanks for reading!

<3Jackie @Let's Go Thrifting