I had an opportunity to interview a rep from Savers’ spokesperson:
Q. Goodwill recently started selling their jewelry exclusively online. How do you handle luxury goods?
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?
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?)
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)?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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).