I started managing thrift stores back in 2005. I quickly found that donations were going to be the key to success in this industry. Thrift shoppers are like bloodhounds and will find you wherever you are, and we love them for it. Donors, however, will always find the most convenient place to drop off their items. As much as I would love to say a majority of our donors donate because they love our non-profit, statistics continue to tell us that is not the case.
We still tell our story in as many ways as possible, but at the end of the day, “ease of donation” wins. PickUpMyDonation.com has made great strides in making the process more convenient for pick ups. Now with priority service, increased search, and ad words, we are seeing exponential growth in donations requests. That being said I have had two clients recently cancel their service due to “too many” donations.
Really?!? I don’t know about you, but if I am truly looking at the thrift business and looking specifically at ways to make more money for the non-profit we support, I am NEVER going to cut off a supply of donations.
That being said, what are some things we can work on to help with what the logistics industry calls “throughput”? There are options out there for outsourced transportation, sales of donation flow, and ultimately (and worst case, increase waste), but never cut off a supply of donations. It is the worst thing you can do for your organization and the future of your thrift stores. So the answer is there can NEVER be enough donations in the thrift industry. If you would like to discuss ways we work through these issues we’d love to chat. Give us a call.