Operating a Thrift Shop

Last month I was able to report to you that we opened the store again on March 12th. We are now going on our 8th week of operations and things are really clipping along! I get a lot of questions about the store, so I thought I would answer some of them in this month’s newsletter. I have learned a lot about what it takes to maintain the daily/weekly influx of items and people, by working at the store so I feel much more capable of answering inquiries than I did when I first started!

Why is the Executive Director running the store? During the COVID shut down, many plans were put on hold or changed for many people. This includes the Manager, Assistant Manager, and staff of the thrift shop. As the director it became my responsibility to make the decision to open or not, and to get in and learn and run the place with mostly volunteers in-order to recover financially. This has been difficult, but invaluable to me as the director.

Why are you only open Fridays and Saturdays? For each day open it takes a minimum of 10 volunteers to cover the 2 shifts (10am-1pm and 1pm -4pm). In addition, my goal is to process all the donations coming in each day, before the day is complete. This takes another 8-10 volunteers to sort, clean, price and re-load the store floor. Some volunteers have chosen not to return due to COVID, or have moved on to other ventures. Bringing new volunteers in is a process that takes time.

Do I still need an appointment to bring my donations to you? No. We are no longer taking donations on an appointment basis. We take them on the days that we are open. Fridays and Saturdays 10am-4pm.

Why aren’t you accepting clothing? On occasion you will see signs that say “no clothes” or unfortunately, “no donations”.  My goal by having the processing happening during the open days, is to no longer have to say “no donations” (and we haven’t since being open) but right now we still have a back log of unprocessed clothing and linens that go back a long time. We need to clear it before just adding to the top of it again. The next important step is selling the items out on the floor, or we cannot continue to put more out. You will notice if you come in, that all clothing in the older building is $2 per piece no matter what it is…coat, 3 piece-suit, or jeans…$2. This is our hope to move clothing fast (which means you get a great deal!) so we can continue to take more and put more out.

Why don’t you just hire people so you can be open more, and make more money? The store used to be open 6 days a week which takes a tremendous amount of labor and planning (and higher expenses such as PUD, water, etc.) In being open a limited number of days, we are working smarter, not harder.

Currently the store is making more revenue in 2 days than it did in 8 days. The store is a non-profit that funds a big portion of the Camano Senior Services Association so this is a very important piece of the overall puzzle. Everything we save in expenses is more that we can invest in the programs and services to our community.

How can we help? This community is amazing. I hear this question more than any other! You can help by volunteering. You can help by spreading the word about the store and the center. You can help by donating items that we can feel good about passing onto someone else. (We unfortunately have a big garbage/dump bill to dispose of items that are broken, dirty/stained, or flat-out trash.  This hurts our bottom line the most), and you can help by shopping! You will be amazed at the store and how the items are new each day and priced to sell! For every load of yucky stuff, we get 5 loads of amazing things!

Thank you to the amazing group of volunteers and staff that have put in so many hours to help me get the store open and continued to run safely and efficiently. We have a fantastic group of men and women that do such important work!

Our shopping and donating hours are Friday and Saturday, 10:00am to 4:00pm.  Masks are mandatory to enter. Thank you for shopping and donating! Come in and see us!

Bonnie Eckley,
Executive Directo
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Find Us

Camano Center
606 Arrowhead Road
Camano Island, WA 98282
(Map It)

Our Hours
Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Contact
(360) 387-0222

Thrift Shop

2nd Chance Thrift Shop
1335 State Route 532
Camano Island, WA 98282
(360) 629-6142
(Map It)

Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Donation:
Friday & Saturday
Until we are full for the day

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