I’m ready to donate some clothing! What can I do to turn my donation into the most profit for AAPS?
Most folks who donate to mission-driven thrifts have true intentions of support and a passion in seeing their items passed on in the reduce, reuse, and recycle life cycle. Thrifts accept “gently used” donations to stock their sales floor. The problem is “gently used” and “reusable” are subjective terms. While the best intentions of donors support the thrift, poorly sorted donations cause labor, storage, and disposal expenses, diminishing the dollars generated for the mission.
For a thrift shop and their donors to successfully support their mission, donated items must be more than reusable – they must be resalable. Bottom line, if it isn’t salable, it creates an unintended and an “unable to absorb” expense. We’re happy to provide the guidelines defining reusable and resalable so that donors can make decisions prior to donating! A recap can be found below.
Be ruthless when sorting your clothing items for donation. We face mountains of textiles every day, and the sorting process is intensive. At current rates, approximately 65% of all clothing donated is unsalable.
As you begin to look at the pile of clothing you plan to donate, each item needs to be harshly judged. Any clothing item with ANY damage, (rips, stains, tears, missing buttons, fading, fraying or pilling anywhere, broken zippers, pet or smoking odors, misshapen and generally worn out) is not a resalable donation. While the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop cannot sell items in poor condition, we can recycle them!
If you presort your donations into bags or containers marked and identified as “Good” and “Bad”, we will still accept the Bad stuff! After all, we will recoup a few cents a pound from the textile recycler, and we won’t have to handle each one of these items in the sorting process! Your donation has just gotten a “Golden Apple” Review!
Next up: How to make your donations of Footwear really count!
What is the difference between Reusable and Resalable?
Reusable items may have holes, stains, zippers that don’t work, missing buttons, and may be worn, frayed or torn. Old Rec & Ed shirts may have been a valued piece of clothing to your child, but won’t be to a child that didn’t play on that team.
Resalable items are clean, have no stains or holes, all zippers work, all buttons are attached, are not frayed or torn, and show minimal wear. If it looks good enough that you would buy it, then it’s probably resalable!
We will continue to refine the differences between Reusable and Resalable. Check back for updates!