Savers. Good Deeds. Great Deals. + 50% Off Today Only!

First (and most importantly):
Today only (August 15th), Savers Club Members (sign up for free here or sign up in stores – still free) who spend $50 on clothing, shoes, accessories and bed & bath will get 50% off those items (you read that right, 50%!)
I was invited to attend a VIP Grand Opening event at the new Savers in Shawnee, KS.  Of course, it appeared that the rest of the KC Metro area received the same invitation (which severely deflated my blogger ego, haha.)  There were thrifters of every size, shape, age and character.  There were gift card giveaways.  And for the first time ever, I didn’t need to bring my own food and drink to go thrifting…….

I had an opportunity to interview a rep from Savers’ spokesperson:

Q.  Are the store’s contents from area donations, or do you have a distribution method to disperse donated items between your stores?

Every item in our stores comes from community donations – whether given directly to our nonprofit partners or at the Community Donation Centers located at our stores. So, what is donated in your community, stays in your community.

Q.  Goodwill recently started selling their jewelry exclusively online.  How do you handle luxury goods?

Savers does not sell goods online, so it is absolutely possible to find high value and designer items at Savers stores!  Each of our stores stock an ever-changing selection of about 100,000 items on the sales floor, and around 10,000 quality pieces are added daily. We frequently hear from shoppers that they’ve found pieces like a vintage Chanel scarf, designer jeans or an awesome Coach purse. You can always look for valuable jewelry in the case at the front of the store too.

Q.  How do you determine the value of donated goods?  Do you have a specialist (even in each department) in each store that determines the value of the items?

Our team members are trained on how to sort, select, value and price items, as well as keep abreast of new market value for the items we receive.  It is our goal to provide great value for our customers, and we typically price merchandise placed on our sales floors between 10% and 30% of an item’s original price. The average price of an item sold at Savers is around $4.

Q.  Does Savers merchandise its’ stores according to the Retail Industry’s standards (i.e. fall items merchandised in July, Winter in August/September?  Resortwear in November?)

We maintain a full stock of items throughout the year. Unlike traditional retailers, you can find a winter coat in the middle of the summer or a spring dress in the dead of winter. However, we do merchandise our sales floor to be seasonally relevant, so during the winter you will find more coats, and during the spring/summer, you will find more short-sleeved shirts and dresses.

Q.  I personally have volunteered at my local Salvation Army shelters (providing food and beds.)  I know what the Salvation Army does in the community.  I have no idea what Savers does.  What does Savers do and how can I become more aware of their presence in the community (it seems that all the advertisements in the store are for coupons, sales and rewards cards)?   

We’re glad you asked! Savers is proud to work with more than 150 nonprofit organizations. Every Savers store chooses to purchase its merchandise from at least one nonprofit in its community and every item sold in our stores comes from community donations. In Shawnee, we partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City. We’ve partnered with this terrific organization for nearly 15 years.

All year round, each store pays its nonprofit partner for donated items, which include clothing, housewares, furniture and more. Our partners are paid for donations collected by their home pick-up services, or dropped off at the Community Donation Centers located at Savers stores. These partnerships turn otherwise unused goods into sustainable funding that supports their vital programs and services.

Last year alone, we purchased more than $150 million of goods from our partners and have paid more than $1.5 billion to nonprofit organizations over the past 10 years. This structure allows our partners to depend on a predictable, unrestricted source of revenue for their important work.

Q.  The comment I hear most often about Savers is that it is a “bit pricey.”  I shop at the Goodwill across the street from a Savers.  There is definitely a huge price difference (between like items.)  However, the selection is usually better at Savers.  How do you feel you achieve this better selection advantage, and does it affect how you choose your pricing?

We’re happy that you have found a great selection at Savers. We have a long-standing commitment to providing our customers with high-quality merchandise and have developed an effective quality control system to ensure that only the best products reach our sales floors.

Q.   What do you offer people to donate their items to Savers?   What is one difference or way that Savers stands out, that might convince a person to donate their items to Savers, rather than the Goodwill across the street?

We find that people choose to donate at Savers to make a difference in their own community; their goods are given a second life while also helping to support a deserving local nonprofit.

Simply put, the more people who donate at the Community Donation Center located on-site at Savers or though Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City’s home pick-up service, those they serve benefit. As mentioned on their website, revenue earned through Big Brothers Big Sisters’ partnership with Savers contributes to approximately one-third of their annual budget. In the current economy where many aren’t able to give funds or their time, donating is a simple, convenient, yet valuable way residents in the area can support their mission.



More broadly, Savers also works very hard to keep all donated items out of local landfills; items not suitable for store shelves are shipped to developing countries for resale and to material wholesalers to be recycled into new materials such as mixed rags, car insulation and much more. In fact, Savers is one of the largest recyclers of used clothing in the world.

Q.  Lastly, what tips can you offer my thrifting readers (i.e. best time of day to shop, best day of the week, contacts, etc.?)
Great question— the number one piece of advice we have is: have fun! We put together the below list of tips which are useful for people who are curious about shopping thrift but might be intimidated by not knowing where to start, as well as the most frequent second-hand shoppers.  
1.       Go often. With thousands of new items added daily (every hour), you never know what treasures you will find.

2.       Give yourself enough time to shop the store.

3.       It’s important to touch the clothes and feel the quality and craftsmanship. Be on the lookout for timeless and luxurious materials like silk and cashmere.

4.       Try everything on and don’t limit yourself to size. Interesting fashions can easily be found by taking something in a larger size and adding a belt, or transforming a beautiful skirt into a dress.

5.       Have fun with shopping second-hand. Bring friends and make it a treasure-hunt adventure!

 

And, to get the most from your Savers shopping experience, sign up for the club card (http://www.savers.com/Super-Savers-Club.aspx) to get great deals, and follow us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/savers) and Twitter (@SaversVVillage). 

Happy Thrifting!

Comments

  1. That Savers is here in my neck 'o the woods, and I plan on visiting soon! I love Annelise's tips for thrifters!

  2. When I moved I had the local Saver's community organization come pick up a TON of stuff from us. So it's interesting to learn more about the Saver's philosophy. I'm horrible at thrift shopping myself, though.

  3. Menachem Grossman says:

    I love the daily deals. These deals give us a chance to get our needed item in a very small amount of price.

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