Savers/Value Village is one of the largest Thrift Store chains in the United States and Canada. Like many other thrift stores, Savers has been getting hip to vintage and starting to price vintage items higher than usual. What’s also weird is that Savers seems to have a very unusual pricing structure. Many thrift stores price t-shirts at one set price, unless they are on a special rack or behind the counter, but Savers individually prices every single item that hits the floor. We had the opportunity to speak with a Savers employee, who will remain anonymous, and ask him about the Savers pricing/grading process.
So how does the grading process work?
“Basically, Savers grades their items based on the quality of the item and the brand name. Savers pricing is already made up, but for example if its a Louis Vuitton shirt or a 90s basketball tee, Savers will price it higher than the determined average. For generic store brands like Target or Walmart, Savers may even price their items higher than retail just because they know people will shop there as opposed to the actual retail store.
Savers managers now purposely put people to grade the items higher which gives the item a higher price point on the rack. They actually have an app that takes pictures of the item and then it will search the web for listings to find comps. I cant remember what it was called, but it definitely wasn’t Google Photos”.
“Roughly an employee will price about 20 shirts in like 2-3 minutes and then the manager may come in and check, and if they notice something is too low then they will tell you why you have to raise the price. On the computer software, theres a set minimum price point that all t shirts have to be it. And if you price to low then it affects your standing in the business”.
“You get a packet that’s around 50 pages and you have to watch all these videos on how to grade correctly and price correctly. Even something homemade that looks shitty still has to be priced higher because it has more “effort” and its higher “quality” because it has more done to it. Quality is the main way they grade”.
“They do focus on things that are made in the USA. They classify it as vintage if its made in the USA.
If they find something good it goes on a separate rack, where the managers can look through it and see if its important or not, then it gets scanned to see if it has a higher value than the standard pricing range. Managers use things like grailed or eBay to legit check. They would even send shoes into eBay to get them legit checked if they could be valuable”.
*According to another source in the community who is a manager at Savers/Value Village, they say these policies are not company wide and are isolated to that particular store*.
What do you think about the Savers Grading process? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!