Both thrift stores and secondhand stores have the same products but they have slight differences when it comes to their business purpose. A thrift store collects its products from various donations and it is a charity run stocked with donated goods. On the other hand, secondhand stores are a type of commercial-run shop that buy secondhand products at a low price and then sell them for profit. So, a thrift store is a non-profit shop while a secondhand store is a do-profit shop.
- In the USA, thrift stores are very common and they are known as Salvation Army or Goodwill Store
- The best part of thrift stores is, they inspect all of their products before selling to customers and ensure 100% good quality
- Thrift shops repair a broken or damaged product and then sell it at a very low price
- Products from a secondhand store might have scratches or dents, but they will work just fine like a new one
- The price of thrift stores is a bit low compared to secondhand stores because thrift stores collect the products through donations and don’t pay for labor costs
What are Thrift Stores?
In the USA, thrift stores are very common and they are known as Salvation Army or Goodwill Store. Usually, thrift stores offer a variety of products at a low price. In a thrift store, you will find almost anything to buy at a very low price. You will find various products like clothes, furniture, electronics, appliances, and many more at thrift stores. You can find good quality products at thrift stores and you don’t have to worry about the quality of the products. This is because thrift stores inspect all of their products before selling to customers and ensure 100% good quality. You will find the price of every item lower than in regular retail stores because thrift stores only sell items that are used or unwanted by other people. Nowadays, there are many online thrift stores available.
Usually, thrift stores accept donations and if the products are broken or damaged, thrift shops still accept those products. Thrift shops repair a broken or damaged product and then sell it at a very low price. For example, a thrift store might get an old chair with scratches on it, then they use some wood polish to remove the scratches and make it look new again, and sell it to the customer. The price of most of the products at a thrift store is lower than in retail stores because they are old, damaged, or used products. The best part of thrift stores is they accept both donations and returns. So, if you don’t like a product that you bought from a thrift store, you can easily return the product and get your money back.
What are Secondhand Stores?
Secondhand stores are also popular in the USA and they are also known as used or pre-owned stores. Usually, a secondhand store sells products that are in good condition but were used by other people. Products from a secondhand store might have scratches or dents, but they will work just fine like a new one. The price of secondhand products is much lower than the new products. Many people look for secondhand products to save some money. Therefore, the demand for secondhand stores is very high in the USA. Secondhand stores only sell products that are used by others, they never sell new products.
Both thrift and secondhand stores sell old and used products but the price of thrift stores is a bit low compared to secondhand stores. This is because thrift stores collect the products through donations and don’t pay for labor costs. Secondhand shops, on the other hand, have to pay the shipping and other handling fees as well as the labor costs. Moreover, secondhand stores also have to hire people in order to check out and repair their products before selling them out. Therefore, they have to sell the products after adding some extra fees.
Key Difference between a Thrift Store and a Secondhand Store
1. Different Sources for Products
One key difference between a thrift store and a secondhand store is where the inventory comes from. A thrift store usually, collects donated items. Moreover, it operates as a 501(c) 3 non-profit but it can distribute tax-deductible receipts for the donations. Thrift stores accept everything as-is and later decide whether it’s worth selling.
A secondhand store on the other hand collects products from various sources. They buy the products at a very low price and then sell them for a small profit. This type of shop is designed to provide a financial benefit to both the shop owner and the item owner. Moreover, apart from buying secondhand products, you will get various services from secondhand stores like repairing your damaged goods, etc.
2. Quality of the Products
There is a significant difference in the quality of the products of a thrift store and a secondhand store. Usually, the products of secondhand stores are more “upscale” than thrift stores because secondhand stores check every product before selling. A thrift store accepts any kind of product regardless of the condition while a secondhand store has a quality standard. A secondhand store sells products that might be used and old but remains in good condition.
3. Price of Items
The third difference between a thrift store and a secondhand store is the price of the products. In thrift stores, you will find products at a much lower price compared to a secondhand store. This is because thrift stores sell products that they receive as donations while secondhand stores buy old products from different sources and then sell them to make some profit. This is the main reason, secondhand sore’s price is much higher than the thrift stores. But, you can haggle about prices in both stores. If you are making a bulk buy then you will be able to easily negotiate a lower price at a thrift store. This might not happen for a secondhand store because there are lots of costs associated with this type of store.
I hope the above information has given you a clear idea about the difference between a thrift store and a secondhand store. If you have any further queries about this topic then feel free to leave your question in the comment section. I will get to you soon!
Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by Magalie D.
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.