Shopping at Salvation Army Thrift Stores | Things to Know

Shopping at Salvation Army Thrift Stores | Things to Know

This post answers frequently asked questions that people have about shopping at The Salvation Army. As a part-time employee, I hope I can give you some useful information.

#1 What hours are The Salvation Army stores open?

The Salvation Army stores are open every day but Sunday. They usually open at 10:00 am but closing hours may vary for different locations. The hours are longer on Wednesday because of the 50% off clothing sale.

Below are the hours for the store that I work for, but again this might not be the exact hours for other locations.

Monday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Tuesday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Wednesday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm

Thursday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Saturday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Sunday: Store is closed, but donation centers may be open.

#2 What does The Salvation Army sell at their thrift stores?

Below is a list of common things you can buy at Salvation Army thrift stores.


#3 How much do these items cost at The Salvation Army?

The Salvation Army Donations Value Guide gives estimated costs for most of these items.

#4 How much do mattresses/boxsprings cost at The Salvation Army? *not available for every location

You have to buy mattresses and boxsprings together. All mattress sets are refurbished. Costs may vary for different locations but they will be around these prices.

Twin Mattress Set- $199.99

Full Mattress Set- $249.99

Queen Mattress Set- $299.99

King Mattress Set- $349.99

#5 What day is The Salvation Army Discount Day?

Every Wednesday is half off all clothing and accessories (not jewelry). The hours are always extended for sale days. Come in early if you want a shopping cart.

#6 What do the different color price tags mean?

The Salvation Army store that I work for has 4 colored price tags (blue, yellow, green, and white). Every week one of these colors is half off.

Each color will have a different number. Let’s say blue tags have the number 15, yellow tags have the number 16, green tags have the number 17, and white tags have the number 18. The numbers represent the week the items were put out on the floor. In this scenario, items with blue tags were put out on week 15 which means those items were on the floor longer than the other items. So items with blue tags would be 50% off for the current week because they would have had the most time to sell. After the week is over any remaining items with blue tags would be moved off the floor. Yellow tags with the number 16 would then be half off for the next week. The new items coming onto the floor would have blue tags with the number 19. The cycle would then repeat.

#7 What happens to the stuff that doesn’t sell?

The items that don’t sell within a month at The Salvation Army thrift stores are sold for repurpose.

  • If the items don’t sell in the stores they are auctioned or sold in buy by the pound sales.
  • If the items don’t sell after the buy by the pound sales they are sold overseas.
  • Clothing and other recyclable goods are also sold to textile and other recycling companies.

Sending items to landfills is the last resort.

#8 Does The Salvation Army have Holiday Sales?

Yes, on certain holidays The Salvation Army has sales. Some sales are just clothes while others could be for everything in the entire store. Discounts may vary depending on location.

Below are the holidays that these sales occur.

New Years


Presidents Day

Memorial Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Black Friday

#9 Why are the clothes organized by color, not size?

The Salvation Army organizes everything by color for visual appeal and customer satisfaction. However, some people think it would be more convenient if clothes were organized by size. I think it depends on what the customer’s motivation is. If customers are looking to put together an outfit then the color organization could be useful. But customers who want clothes for work, for casual, or for their kids probably just want to know the sizes. Resellers, I’m guessing would have no preference because their just looking for opportunities to make a profit.

#10 Does The Salvation Army have plus size clothing?

Yes, The Salvation Army receives a bunch of clothing of various sizes and styles. The women’s section has an area specifically for plus size clothing but the men’s section does not. So you just have to search through the racks to find men’s plus size clothing.

#11 Does The Salvation Army wash clothes before selling them?

No, The Salvation Army does not wash their clothes. They get large quantities of clothing every day. Washing and drying these clothes would take too much time and too many resources.

#12 Does The Salvation Army wash and sanitize furniture?

Yes, all furniture is processed and checked to make sure it is in good condition. Couches and mattresses/boxsprings are washed and sanitized. Anything that needs to be assembled is assembled beforehand to make sure all the components are together before selling. 

#13 How does buying furniture work at The Salvation Army?

When you enter a Salvation Army thrift store you will most likely see a selection of furniture. At the store that I work for customers can rip off the bottom part of a furniture tag if they want to buy a certain piece. But I would ask an employee first if you’re interested in buying a piece of furniture. When you’ve selected your desired furniture you can go to the register and pay for it. The cashier will ask if you’re ready to take the furniture now, or if you want The Salvation Army to hold it until you get a proper vehicle. If you’re ready to take your furniture an employee will move it through the store to a pickup area. You will have to drive around back to pick-up your furniture. Show your receipt to the employees and they will help you load the furniture into your vehicle. Just know that employees cannot load furniture on top of your vehicle, also they are not allowed to tie down any furniture. This is due to liability issues.

If you’re not ready to take your purchased furniture The Salvation Army can hold it for 3-5 days. If you need more time call the store to let them know. When you do come to pick-up your furniture make sure you have your receipt. If you lost your receipt, you can show a driver’s license to confirm the name that the furniture is under.

#14 What good does The Salvation Army do?

The money that The Salvation Army makes is used to help people that are in dire situations. 

  • Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC)

Much of the funding is directed towards the Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC). These centers are where people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction are given work and a sense of direction. Many individuals use The Salvation Army as a stepping stone, to kick start their careers in other felids. It’s a chance for people who have hit rock bottom to turn their lives around.

  • Assisting the Homeless

The Salvation Army Community Centers give the homeless and struggling families a temporary place to stay. Here they are served hot food and assisted in finding a more permanent housing solution. 

During the holiday season, The Salvation Army seeks to provide warm meals and a bed for every homeless person.

  • Disaster Relief

When natural disasters hit, The Salvation Army does its best to help the affected people and communities. Having locations and centers all around the world gives The Salvation Army a unique advantage in their relief efforts. They have provided shelter for victims from all over the world. Whether its hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, or diseases The Salvation Army does its best to provide support and emotional care. Another reason The Salvation Army is so effective is because of its ability to mobilize effectively. Mobile feeding units and field kitchens are able to access the most impacted areas. The Salvation Army is a sight for sore eyes for the people in those communities. I wrote a post about 10 natural disasters and how The Salvation Army helped.

The Salvation Army has other programs as well. 

If you were informed or entertained by this post fell free to check out some of my other posts.


The Salvation Army Donations Guy


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