A popular spot for thrifting with stores across Toronto, Value Village, is getting pushback for increasing prices.
A petition launched recently says prices have increased “significantly” over the last few years. The petition acknowledges Value Village is a private company, but says that the retailer is pricing items higher than what they would be new.
One person who signed the petition asks why they are charging $7.99 for a tank top when they can get the same one at Urban Planet for $4.99.
“Poverty exists… and people can afford second hand items over $7. When I was a kid all we could afford was VV.. now I can’t even afford it,” one person wrote.
The petition asks people to support smaller, not-for-profit thrift stores instead.
There are similar comments on VV’s Facebook page.
“Prices have soared… not really thrift anymore then is it?” one person wrote.
“Jeans cost more at Value Village than they do at Costco,” another said.
A Tiktok video from B.C. got thousands of views after remarking that Value Village is “out of control.”
But the same thing is happening closer to home. Over the past several months, shoppers have noticed a sharp increase in prices, a CityNews story found.
“The prices have increased to the point where sometimes it’s cheaper for me to buy something brand new than it is for me to buy something second-hand, which defeats the purpose of thrifting,” vintage reseller Jodi Lai, owner of Moonshine Vintage told CityNews.
Toronto residents seem to agree.
“Last week they were selling a pair of used Ardene shoes. Horrible condition for $15. Ardene sells them brand new for $12,” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Can often find kids clothes cheaper or the same in Walmart,” another person said.
In a response for a request for comment, Value Village spokesperson Sara Gaugl told blogTO their team members put thousands of items on sales floors every day. They aim to provide shoppers with “the opportunity to buy necessities and one-of-a-kind items each time they visit our stores.”
“Value Village takes customer feedback and customer satisfaction very seriously, and we appreciate this being brought to our attention,” Gaugl said.
The company states at the top of their website that they are “a for-profit company that champions reuse.”
Unlike the Salvation Army or other thrift stores that support charities, shopping at Value Village doesn’t support any particular non-profit organization, the company states.
But there is a benefit to donating items, it adds.
“We pay nonprofits for your stuff, helping them fund programs in our communities,” Value Village says.