Tuesday, February 1, 2011

An open letter to the folks in charge of the price gun, black grease pencil and other pricing devices at the thrift store


Dear Pricing Person,

Thank you for stocking your shelves with such interesting vintage items especially since I know you put them out there just for me.  As you know, I am always a little too excited when I come across them and I appreciate that you allow me to have my moment, right there in the store aisle.

 And as long as it’s all about me, I’d like to ask a small favor.

 
Would you please consider locating the price stickers somewhere other than on the hand-painted parts?


Or the fronts?


Or directly over the manufacturer’s mark on the china?


Or maybe not written in black grease pencil which never, ever comes off completely?


Ever.

In return, I promise you if the price tag is not front and center, I will be more than happy to look for it.  

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

Yours truly,

This faithful shopper

51 comments:

  1. Pet peeve alert! Really, does it take a tiny bit of thought to put the price tag in an unobtrusive place? Or on a place that won't damage it? I can almost forgive the thrift stores (although I have struggled to read the makers mark under the sticker on numerous occasions), but I won an old game at an auction last year that had the sticker tag RIGHT ON THE (cardboard) BOX! Ugh. They should have known better.

    Ok, rant over. Thanks for letting me vent!

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  2. I am in complete agreement - totally!

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  3. Oh stop.You are cracking me up.My thrift store has taken to using Sharpie markers which actually has me wishing for the china marker again.Something I really never thought would happen.How about when they invariably price the item on the one part/section which it cannot be removed from (i.e. if it's framed art they write on the paper backing instead of the wipeable glass front?).Ugh.Oh, the skin burns I have from trying to rub this stuff off.

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  4. So true... I wish there was a "hoe to" manual for those in charge!

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  5. That is so true! Now if only someone sees this and takes your advice.

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  6. Oh, I love this! SO annoyed tonight, trying to get off labels that refuse to come off. Must try some Goo-be-gone or something. Usually I soak items in warm soapy water overnight (dishes) but not all things can be soaked!! Now, how can we get this post to go national?? Can we send copies to the major thrift store chains???? ;-)
    ~michelle~

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  7. Agree 100% precent. You should print this and offer it to the Thrift Store, hey, what have you got to lose. Maybe they will listen! Have a great week, Vicky

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  8. I so agree with this! On this side of the world, they have to put labels that translate ingredients into Arabic so you can never see a recipe or instructions that might be on a box or can because they slap a honking sticker over everything. And when you buy something that has a price tag that won't come off or that leaves a mark -- it's like, hello! THINK PEOPLE! Best wishes, Tammy

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  9. Do not get me started. What about the clear sealing tape that goes around a set of "whatever" (dishes, glasses) but the residue takes longer to get off than anything else I've found? Or putting the sticker on the antique box front so it rips the paper when removed? Maybe we should all write a letter??? Would anyone read it?? Or care???
    Annette

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  10. Amen! There are numerous thrift-tastrophies in our area too...like the time I found over 10 immaculate sets of shiny brites in their original boxes. However when you removed the lid, you found that someone had used packing tape to secure the ornaments in place. So much for that silvery finish...

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  11. Now I do hope that all sellers will read this and not only the frustrated buyers! I totally agree!

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  12. I hate that. Especially with book covers. Grrr.

    Even worse is the behaviour I spotted at a recent vintage fair where there were no prices on a bucket of silk scarves. 'How much are these scarves?' I asked. The man spluttered,
    'all different prices... which one do you want?'.

    I noticed him checking out my clothes and my husband.

    'All different' clearly meant 'I charge what I think you'll pay'.

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  13. Love it.....you are sooooo right on!

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  14. Amy...ditto. Wonderful tip I learned from my super Mom zap the hairdryer on the tag and it will release the glue. Tag slides right off. Usually on the grease pencil marks I can use an eraser to get them off but you have to be very gentle. People never learn. There is no appreciation. You should see how they label precious patterns, ACK!!!! Hope this helps, enjoy your finds. Love the dutch girl. Renee

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  15. Have you ever tried to get the grease pencil marks off a vintage book? And the price sticker on boxes? Sigh... Pet peeves of mine too for sure. Just the other day I found the coolest set of white plastic doily place mats and the price tag was stapled on.. Permanent holes!

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  16. I feel your pain. Bought a sweet Hull planter (white matte finish)...marked with grease pencil...won't budge. So frustrating!!!
    Sherry

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  17. Ooh, I think we need a form letter we can each print out and give (or anonymously mail) to our favorite thrift shops. And then we can start reporting any changes we see. :)

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  18. Oh -- I *so* agree!! I feel like I spend ages trying to remove glue from my treasures.

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  19. Wow, you said it. I've been irritated by this unfortunate violation for years, I thought it was just me and my "annoyed by the little things" attitude. Great post. I'm a new follower and I'm headed over to your Market Guide blog. What a great idea.

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  20. All of the above, plus the big staples in vintage handkerchiefs. (I even cringe as I type.) Having had this issue brought to her attention, the thrift store manager explained there was no other way to attach the price tag and "it only made a little hole."

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  21. The one that kills me is yards and yards of packing tape used to close games and puzzles. Not only can I not check inside to see if all the pieces are present, but the box is completely destroyed!

    And I'd swear they used the cheapest, nastiest packing tape--the kind that tears and leaves the adhesive behind instead of coming off cleanly. Ugh!

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  22. Oh my flippin' goodness, can I copy this note and send it to all my local thrift stores? You're SO RIGHT! the grease pencil is the absolute worst!

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  23. I completely agree with you, and yet...I am mostly just shocked and envious of the prices you're paying at your thrift store! There is nothing under $1.00 at my local store, and certainly not anything that looks remotely "antique." I'm so bitter!

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  24. I just have to throw in one more. Writing the prices on the bottoms of baby shoes. You know, those non-slipping SUEDE bottoms that suck up absolutely anything you use to write on them and never ever ever let go of it.
    How about we get t-shirts printed up with all the rules and wear them whenever we junk, sort of passive-agressive like??

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  25. I so hear you. Btw.. I have personally met the Karen you have featured. you know the one with the awesome home with the red and white kitchen. she is awesome in person and she told me about your blog. that is how I landed here. love your rant about the grease marker and the pricing at thrift stores.

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  26. LOL! I hear you, it's so frustrating!

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  27. say it sista!!!! i need you to repeat that to all thrift stores!!! that black grease pencil is the worst. they want us to pay their high prices but insist on treating us like we are at a yard sale with those inferior pricing techniques. i was told by my local t.shop that the grease pencil works because it won't wash off so someone can put a lower price on instead. answer to that one>>>>>lower your prices thrift shops!!!!
    thanks for a well appointed post.
    sue

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  28. Does this NOT just drive you crackers?! It makes me nuts and believe me, I don't need any help in that department. I never heard of the grease pencil. Thanks for posting our universal gripe amongst thrifters. We are for the most part a chipper bunch. But DON'T Mess with our treasures! - Cheers, Kathy

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  29. From the number of comments, I'd say there are a lot of vintage/thrift shoppers in agreement! I totally concur with you & would like to add, please don't use your needle/plastic tag gun (for lack of the real name) to poke through the vinyl, leather or patent leather sides of all those nice vintage purses!! It leaves a disgusting hole, & I have to point that out to potential shoppers in my shop! Thank you very much!! :)
    Great post!

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  30. Oh my Amy, you eloquently and succinctly struck a chord with this post, didn't you...... :) You about said it all. I have noticed that pricing is a 2-step process at Goodwill, first with a grease pencil in Roman numerals, and then a price sticker. So to ease my frustration, I consider the possibility that they train the employees with mental disabilities to use the price guns, staplers, and tape dispensers. Or not........:) Ciao, Maria w/Magia Mia

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  31. P.S. Also please, for the love of all that's good in this world, stop stapling your price tags to vintage linens.
    Feel free to add that to your open letter!
    It's gotten to the point that at my Goodwill, where they wrap glass things around and around and around with that clear, very sticky packing tape, I ask them at the register to pull it all off for me before I buy it. That way I can see if the tape also pulls off huge chunks of paint. There. That felt unbelievably good to get that out!

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  32. Yikes - so much passion on this topic!

    Magia - I wanted to respond to your thoughtful comment because I agree with you that many of the people doing the pricing are simply doing their jobs as they were trained to do them. In hindsight, perhaps my letter should be addressed to those who make the decisions about the pricing methods used.

    PS Everyone - I completely overlooked the sharp, pokey thing that shoots a hole in vintage linens! Those 'little holes' drive me nuts!

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  33. So many ruined treasures. Thrift Stores have lost dough from me, I won't buy it anymore if I'm not positive the damage will come off!

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  34. Mea Culpa Amy. Hope I didn't sound like I was nitpicking. :) I'm just theorizing, since I've never asked an employee if that's how it's done, so I could be totally wrong. This stuff drives me just as crazy. :)

    Van brought up what I was going to add. From a business standpoint, it would be in the thrift store's best interest to preserve the integrity of the item, since they are possibly losing a lot of revenue for their charities. Okay, now I'm done...... :) Maria w/Magia Mia

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  35. So my idea was, if it's a surface that can handle it, put a little olive oil on it, it will help loosen the adhesive and make it easier to take off without scratching. Also, hairspray works too. I'm not sure about the grease pencil though, but I bet my grandma would have an idea, she's always full of stain removing ideas. :)

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  36. I have made myself so ubiquitous to my thrift stores that I just tell them straight up..."Guys, I love you...but don't DO this!"

    I buy so much, they forgive me, I think. One store has taken to tucking stuff away for me behind the counter to give me first dibs. Of course, I also learned their names, and their dogs names, and brought them cookies at Christmas time.

    Yup, Goo gone, magic eraser, peanut butter, rubbing alcohol, sand paper (for the leather soles they mark with a sharpie)...I've done it all, and wrecked about 40 percent of it!

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  37. I agree! Did you mention the one over the damage lol? Love your blog!

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  38. I feel your pain!! I've asked many thrifts not to do this too, but it seems they just don't care! One time a man in front of me bought vintage 33 rpm records and she slapped a sold sticker right on the front of the albumn cover and he realllly freaked out! UGH! Love your blog too :) Judi

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  39. I just wish there was a good resale shop here with a $1.00 sticker on anything. Our resale starts at about $5.00 for a plastic coaster

    I agree them tags are hard to get off those cracks in a plate LOL

    Janice

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  40. This is so true. I have the hardest time with those darn stickers on dishes. And can I just say that your etsy shop is absolutely amazing!!!!??

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  41. hah! "goo gone" takes off everything, including the dreaded crayon and grease pencil. it's my best friend.

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  42. Wow this blog is right up my ally. Glad I found it. This is also a pet hate of mine. Permanant black texta in items! What are they thinking?! I came across some vintage glass measuring cups that were marked $23.oo. I thought that was way over priced as the shop was known for great buys. I turned it over and was marked $3 in texta. One of the old ladies in the shop had trouble with the pricing gun and listed more than one item as $23.00!! Got to love it. :)

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  43. Boy, you've really hit a sore spot with many of us. This happens everywhere...not just in the thrift shops. Thank goodness for "Goo-B-Gone" but sometimes that doesn't even work! I especially hate sticky, gooey price labels placed right on the glass on picture frames...couldn't they go on the back? Great post...thanks for taking up the cause for all of us vintage shoppers:-)
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Cheryl at My Sister's Cottage

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  44. Oh Amy I SO RELATE to this one....** sigh ** ....!!

    I found for ANY kind of marker that eucalyptus oil is AWESOME & Napi San is BRILLIANT also....!!

    A couple of times I've actually had to SAND the price off wooden items & then TOUCH up the sanded area....** BIGGER sigh ** ....!!

    TTFN,
    Tamarah xx

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  45. I giggled when I read this! We are on the same page! And why was the first item on the page so expensive? I have a favorite thriftstore in my town and I get so annoyed when I see things that I ♥ soooo much but can't afford--at a thrift store. Sometimes I am absolutely shocked at the prices they put on things...seriously.

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  46. Well said! It's enough to drive a thrifter insane!

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