Value Village Pricing Complaints

If you know Firda and I then you know we like checking out the local thrift stores. Value Village is one of these stores. In general we find relatively good deals on books, clothes and occasionally the odd camera, but sometimes I don’t know what they are thinking.
We stopped in at the Value Village in Burlington, Ontario today. They had a camera in their display case. The camera was a Nishika, which is a stereo camera which can be used to make sterograms. Firda and I have one, which we bought at a garage sale for 6 dollars (including a flash, case and cleaning kit). There are plenty of them on EBay from 1 to 10 US dollars. Would you care to guess what the Burlington Value Village price was? $189.00!!!
In the past at the same Value Village they were selling an old Kodak Brownie box camera in rough shape. Once again we go to EBay and find out that the brownie box camera goes for 5 to 15 dollars. Venture a Burlington Value Village price guess? $99.00!!!!
Burlington isn’t the only Value Village store to charge outrageous prices. The store in Guelph is another fine example. An ancient video camera going for 99 dollars, which the cashier even admitted was way too high for what it was. Just this week they were attempting to see a 1 megapixel digital camera for 99 dollars.
So what did I do about this? I emailed their customer service to ask about their pricing structure on these items but I haven’t recieve a reply from them yet. I’ve included the email in the extended entry.
I don’t post this entry I’m going to boycott Value Village, I just want an explanation.

Dear Sir or Madam,
I have a question for you regarding the pricing of goods at your Value Village stores in Canada. I am a customer of several Value Villages in the Southwestern Ontario area and on several circumstances I have observed questionable prices, specifically on the items in the display cases. Just tonight I was visiting the Guelph, Ontario value village and noticed a 1 Megapixel digital camera, I wasn’t interested in this item but I did notice that the price was astonishingly high. The price observed was 99.00 dollars CDN, at this price you could likely go out and buy a new 2 or 3 megapixel digital camera.
On another occasion I noticed an old antique box camera at another store. This box camera was in rough shape, and would go for no more than 10 to 15 dollars at an antique store, but it was priced at 99 dollars.
So I ask you about your pricing schemes and who takes care of pricing these items? And why these pricing discrepencies would occur?
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve bought many items at great prices in Value Village. It’s just when I see a blatant incredibly incorrect priced item it makes me mad.

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  1. Amanda

    I came upon your post while browsing the net and I wanted to let you know that as a former employee of Value Village (I worked there for a year and a half – which is a lifetime for any value village cashier) I can sympathize with your questions about their pricing of various items. Here’s your answer: there is no rhyme or reason to any of it. Most of the people who do the pricing at VV don’t know what they’re doing…any camera that looks “old” is automatically going to be priced high, high, high. It’s like how any item of clothing with a GAP tag is automatically priced sky-high, as if the GAP is haute couture. It’s crazy. It’s also a terrible company to work for… the bottom line is, they’re greedy bastards. I hope this helps. 🙂

  2. Amanda: Thanks for your reply. I’ve been meaning to update this entry. I did recieve a call from the manager of one of the stories. He basically said that they try to be consistent in their pricing, and that any higher prices items are left for the supervisors to price. He also said that if customers see a price they don’t think is right they can talk to the acting manager and talk with them (though this course of action would likely take lots of time so I doubt I’ll ever do that).
    It was nice that they did pass on the email to someone in the area. I don’t see it making much of a difference though. Maybe with that one store.

  3. Mary

    I think that the prices are much too high considering that you can go to Ross and pay a couple dollars more and get name brands that have never been worn.