Have you ever thought about how thrift store goods have been carefully picked over so you don’t stumble upon a repulsive donation? Thrift store workers open up about the strangest items they’ve encountered.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: The Worst Stain
A brand new thrift store volunteer was advised by the person training them they should wear gloves. They declined, citing latex making them sweat. Their tune soon changed when they began going through two garbage bags that a “flustered” elderly woman had left earlier that day.
The woman insisted she didn’t want to fill out a tax deduction form because “her husband recently passed, and she wanted to get rid of his things.” The volunteer soon realized why the woman was in a hurry. With their bare hands, they pulled out a massive, used piece of underwear boasting a huge poop stain.
2: Creepy to the Extreme
A thrift store employee remembers chatting with the woman in charge of antiques about a “creepy doll with staring glass eyes.” The even more spine-chilling part? She told them the doll had real human hair and human teeth. The antique worker informed them the doll “was from the 1800s and the teeth were likely the child’s baby teeth that had fallen out.”
3: Can It Get Any Bigger?
“An industrial-sized trash bag of unwrapped, but unused, individual tampons” was the weirdest donation one thrift store employee ever encountered. A commenter ventured that perhaps someone was smuggling goods in the tampon wrappers and boxes.
4: Oh, Ho Ho
Little did a devotee working at a church yard sale know they were in for a rude awakening that day. “Someone donated a used his and hers matching Santa & Mrs. Claus lingerie set.” Now that’s a merry Christmas.
5: Fine Wine?
A thrift store employee remembers their store received a bottle of “finely aged” pee in a wine bottle. The donation center employee was new and forgot they shouldn’t throw bodily fluids into the trash compactor. The store had “basically no airflow” and it smelled like pee for days.
6: Secure Storage
One thrift store worker remembers finding a firearm inside of a computer. Another joked they “must’ve downloaded it off the deep web.”
7: The Wrong Rattle
A commenter tells the story of their friend encountering a bottle adorned with painted twine. The man, already confused by the bottle, was surprised to hear it rattle when he moved it. What was waiting for him when he opened it, you ask? “Ashes and bone fragments.”
8: Full Figurines
One thrift store worker lists several repulsive items they encountered in donation boxes that we’ll mostly leave to your imagination. But one that stood out (or up?) among the rest was a box full of stone figurines of the male body part.
9: Digging Carefully
A former Goodwill employee remembers going through a bag of donated clothes and having a startling encounter. “I pulled out a shirt, and multiple razor blades came out with it.” Their guess was someone had done it on purpose.
10: Birthday Suit
The friend of a thrift store manager says they’ve heard many stories of weird items people donate through the years. Among their favorites? A Halloween costume designed to be the “birthday suit” of an elderly woman, complete with hair down there.
Generosity for Thought
Cat pee on clothes doesn’t fall under the “weird” category per se. However, a former thrift store worker urges people to be mindful when choosing what to donate. “If something was found with cat urine on it, the entire pile and anything near it got thrown away.”
What’s With Urns?
Many current and former thrift store workers commented on an all-too-common item in donation boxes: Urns. One church yardsale volunteer even remembered a student encountering dozens of framed pictures of an elderly woman, “commenting on how sad [that] someone must not have cared to keep pictures of their grandma. ” The next bag contained an urn full of ashes.
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