The idea of thrift stores emerges from the concept of charity. It used to happen so that retail establishments could get a chance to raise money and donate it for good causes. And with the whole world establishing its digital presence, it was expected that the thrift stores would also shift to online platforms.
So Instagram and Facebook, the most popular platforms for businesses, started seeing online thrift stores emerging. With thrift stores, what mostly happens is that the used products are obtained for free almost. Hence, they can be sold at competitive prices, which are still ‘almost’ minimal.
However, Gram’s recent trend is that these online stores emerge, but you will find the goods posted there at prices you would buy preloved goods.
What is the difference between preloved goods and thrift stores?
Preloved goods are also second hand, but the name has been allotted to make it sound less harsh. However, they are only assigned to the preloved category if they have been kept in prime condition, actually loved by the previous owner. Only then can you charge what you yourself bought for PKR 2000 at PKR 1400.
However, thrift store products should also be in good condition, but they don’t have to be almost new. And honestly, it is an act where the idea is that people give some reimbursement for anything that they would like to possess, and the buyers actually feel nice for contributing to a good cause.
But what is actually happening in the Gram stores?
Or rather, what seems like it is happening on the online thrift stores.
People are going to the thrift stores and shopping at negligible prices. Later on, they take those products and put them up on their online pages at two or three times higher than the actual cost. What someone bought for PKR 2000 and donated to the thrift stores was priced at PKR 200. Another person bought it and put it up on the gram for PKR 1200.
Here is the thing, though. Had this money been actually going to the charity proceeds, one would not mind, not really. But if someone is choosing to exploit a good cause, that is just sad. Keeping this in mind, if we were to answer the question ‘Are prices justified?’ The answer would plainly be a no.
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