Vinnies customer rages at $75 jacket: 'Highway robbery'

The charity has responded to complaints about unfair pricing.

A Vinnes op-shop has come under fire after a customer discovered the store selling an item of used clothing for $75. However the charity says the price is justified.

"Whatever happened to paying cheap prices at second-hand shops?" a disgruntled Reddit user posted alongside a pic of a Roxy ski jacket for sale at Vinnies in Mayfield, Newcastle. "I realise it's a brand but still who's going to pay this for a second-hand item?"

The Roxy ski jacket at the centre of the Vinnies controversy
A Roxy jacket was being sold for $75 at a Vinnies store in Newcastle. Source: Reddit

Prices at op-shops are 'disappointing'

Captioned "Highway robbery", the post struck a nerve with many shoppers, who agreed that the price is unacceptable for a second-hand store.

"They just used to be affordable for those who can't buy things at the full price. It's disappointing to see inflation has really taken over," one person commented. "Vinnies is legit the most expensive op-shop," added someone else.

Another Redditor accused Vinnies of unfairly inflating prices, stating, "Yesterday we were at Vinnies and they had a jumper that still had a price tag on it from Kmart for $12, but Vinnies' price tag said $25," they fumed. "Every jumper they had was $12 and above. I want to support charities but not at a cost of being ripped off."

Some defend Vinnies' prices

However, some people came to the organisation's defence, citing the original price of the item in question. "It's a ski jacket. They typically sell for about $500 or more, so this is extremely reasonable," one person wrote. Another simply added, "You can choose not to buy it".

"Don't they sell clothes so that profits go to their charity? Why would this be an issue?" another shopper asked, suggesting money raised through Vinnies is used by the St Vincent de Paul Society to fund various charitable services.

Vinnies reveals pricing structure

In a statement provided to Yahoo News, a Vinnies spokesperson shared the reasoning behind their in-store prices.

"Pricing in Vinnies Shops is determined by affordability for customers as well as the quality of the goods on sale. Our shops use a simple pricing guide based on research on value in the general second-hand marketplace and the quality of the garment," the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also confirmed that profits are directed to community services. "The principal purpose of Vinnies Shops is to raise much-needed funds for the St Vincent de Paul Society's many services for people experiencing disadvantage," they added.

These include homelessness services, domestic and family violence shelters, health services, disability services, and the work of our members in communities by supplying food, clothes, and everyday essentials to people in need.

"Vinnies Shops account for 40 per cent of organisational revenue and this is critical to the funding of programs and services. This is especially important at a time when the cost of living is rising which is leading to a decline in general fundraising capacity just as there is an increase in the number of people seeking assistance."

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