Both of these Value Village stores are operated by the same owner, and our complaint about each is identical: The prices are ridiculously high. Browsing either store is always good for a laugh: Can you even imagine a bag of half-burned votive candles going for a buck? A brand-new dish drainer for $5.95 when the still-affixed discount-store price reads $3? How about a stained Fruit of the Loom T-shirt for $3.95? (Hell, you can get a clean one on sale at Wal-Mart for the same price.) But our favorite is the selection of hysterically overpriced "antique" items that are never, ever marked down. Busted, chipped, warped furniture that just happens to be old is marked at prices that might be reasonable were the items in good shape and in a fancy shop on Howard Street. Many items have been sitting there for so long they're starting to seem like old friends.
So why do we go back? Because for some reason, the Pulaski Street store gets in some amazing homemade art, which is our secret passion. But on our last two visits we have been forced to walk away heartbroken, because paintings we loved were marked $18.95-the market price used to be in the $5 neighborhood. Stupid managers with their fingers on the pulse of the thrift public noticed that thrift art is "hot" and priced it accordingly, those . . . oh, never mind. Take it from us: Just say no to overpriced thrift stores!