Value Village Brings in $1 Billion a Year, and According to AG Bob Ferguson, Gives Very Little to Charity


this has been going on for years---want to see where the money goes? Check out the owners mansion out on Mercer Island...
Value Village is neither a village nor a value. Discuss.
What if they donate anonymously?

Not that I believe they do, but the whole point of charity is supposedly that you're giving something, not buying something. If you demand to be recognized for your charity, or if someone else demands to know if you give to charity or not... well then it's not really charity anymore, it's buying "good will."

ALL charity should be required to be anonymous. Better yet, do away with the inefficiencies and overhead of multiple charitable organizations and simply have them all run through some centralized institution instead. You donate to the central institution and they dole it out on a per-need basis.
@2: I beg to disagree. There have been many finds over the years at Value Village that have delighted us for decades - not only in garnets but LPs, stemware, cheap art. Diamonds in the rough. However, I do I like Goodwill better.
"Shopping at Value Village may seem like the right thing to do. The clothes and goods are second-hand, so rather than contributing to a consumerist, throwaway system, you can rest easy knowing that your brand-new used Converse aren't contributing to the ecological disaster that is the fast fashion industry."

So, buying it second hand erased the contributions of pollution and sweat shops in your mind? Just paying less made it all go away? But, I didn't pay primium price like those rich f&%ks did, it's cool and I've made the Earth cool too.
Fine. They provide a service and keep things out of the landfill. I don’t care if they donate or not. People unload their junk to get rid of it, not out of charity.
@6, they really don't keep things out of the landfill, they may prolong something, but never prevent It.
Goodwill also gives dann little to charity.

Other than to its overly compensated CEO.

However, Goodwill is the only game in town where I live.

Got myself a new Fossil wallet, some fancy perfume and reading glasses for $24 yesterday: Christmas presents to myself.
@6 the idea is not that you have to donate. And @3, you can of course donate anonymously. Maybe they do. The point here seems to be that if you are going to advertise claiming that you donate, and/or imply that they are a not-for-profit enterprise to unsuspecting people give them free stuff because it feels like a charity, you have to actually do what you are saying you do, and be able to prove it.
Yep. They're not charitable at all... they're just your typical hucksters.
Raindrop dear, you realize that you are the Melanie Wilkes to my Scarlett O'Hara, don't you?
They don't donate to charities; they pay charities for stuff that people donated to the charities, and then they sell it. The soft goods they don't sell, they send to the Far East as rags. Buying stuff from Value Village is still better than buying it at Nordstrom's.
most "non profits" seem to make plenty of money for a few select members of their cabal...
I prefer to look for bargains at St. Vincent de Paul. Goodwill always reminded me of a Kmart. And speaking of fraud, will our good attorney general be suing Sound Transit for deceptive advertising.
@14 I am no fan of ST, but kindly please state which part of the RCW you think they broke. Their impact calculator didn't lie so much as take stupidly optimistic assumptions about vehicle status to give lowball tabs estimates. Shitty marketing, but hard to say it was criminal.
@14: whataboutism. if you're actually concerned, call up Ferguson's office and ask - I bet the answer is "don't listen to so much Dori Monson".

I would challenge your "most" characterization. You can easily look up administrator salaries and board compensation/remuneration for 501(c)3 non-profits using directories such as GuideStar to review their annual tax returns and see who's paid how much. By-definition a federally-defined "non-profit charitable organization" cannot engage in profit-sharing, either with staff or board members; any excess income generated belongs to the organization itself and cannot be redistributed to individuals. That's why it's called a "non-profit".

And BTW, neither VV nor its parent company TVI are registered non-profits, so they're not under any legal obligation to provide the public financial information, including how much, if anything, they donate to actual charitable organizations.

But, I'm sure most people, as the Attorney General's complaint posits, don't realize VV isn't in fact a charitable organization, in which case, THEY may be inadvertently violating federal tax law if they report their donations as-such, and which I presume may be part of the reason why the complaint has been brought in the first place.


While purchasing used/pre-owned goods may not "erase the contributions of pollution and sweat shops" contributed by the manufacture of said goods completely, it DOES reduce those contributions by roughly half (assuming the repurchased goods aren't in fact recycled more than once), which is a significant step in the right direction.
gawd, even an article about value village is overrun with trolls
@11: Oh Scarlett, just get me back out of burning Atlanta back to Twin Oaks. i know you can, Scarlett.

@18: Bah humbug.
@18 Ahh, but where would the slog be without trolls. Trolls keep the slog moving and hence readership to the Stranger up. Without trolls it would be like reading a socialist newsletter.

You make it sound like that would be a BAD thing...
A socialist newsletter is not necessarily a bad thing but as far as reading goes it is incredibly boring; mostly preaching to the choir. On the other hand, the Slog is a combination of the exchange of opinions and different views on a variety of issues. The slog can can also be very entertaining as well as informative. It is what keeps readers reading.

@15 I cannot quote any specific statute but to me it seems as if the AG is misusing his authority to harass a business he particularly dislikes for purely political reasons. One can also use shitty marketing to cover fraud; religions do it all the time.

There are trolls and there are the complainers about trolls. The troll complainers fail to keep in mind that complaints are not interesting, and hence the complainers become a particular kind of troll.
I will continue to give to Value Village. It enables folks to get great prices on items I no longer want or need. I don't care if they are for profit. No more yard sales for me, they are such a headache.
If you want to donate to a non-profit that gives back to the communities it’s based in donate to St. Vincent de Paul. The organization’s charitable work happens at all levels including clothing and furniture being given away to those in need in store. Help poor people and the environment since both are currently in dire need.
Sounds like the multi-billion dollar not-for-proft and non-profit healthcare industry if you ask me.…

I guess going after those folks and the progressively sad state of health and mental healthcare to which they play a large part in creating would be akin to pissing off the waiter before having your meal eventually served.