Deals

This Store Gives Away Its Merchandise For Free

You literally pay $0.

Talk about a nonprofit. A thrift store in Worcester, Massachusetts, takes bargain shopping to a whole new level—by giving customers up to 10 items for free!

The mission of the Worcester Free Store is to help those in the community who are struggling, while taking unwanted goods off of people’s hands. They accept anything from clothes to housewares to electronics.

The store owner is 30-year-old former robotics engineer Kent Flowers, according to Real Simple. “You go into Marshalls and it’s very consumer-y, nobody is talking to each other…We want this to be a community group,” Flowers told MassLive.com.

Shoppers only have three days per week to take advantage of this unbeatable deal. Worcester Free Store is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturday for limited hours.

So how does a business that gives away all of its inventory stay afloat? According to Money, Worcester Free Store sells high-end donations like designer coats and flat-screen TVs on eBay. In fact, that fuels about 80 percent of the operation, according to MassLive.com.

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Worcester Free Store/Facebook

And just in case you want a replica of your free products, a 3-D printing service is being developed inside the store to help with costs. The owner had to get creative since the store’s model is based solely on donations—it receives no grants or other funding. He lists all expenses, donations and revenues on a public online spreadsheet each month for total transparency.

Even when you combine the sales from eBay and profits from 3-D printing, the Worcester Free Store would struggle to pay for food off the dollar menu. Real Simple reports the 1000-square-foot store takes in 50 to 75 cents per square foot each month. Compare that to the Apple Store, which generates nearly $5,000 per square foot on an annualized basis.

Luckily for Flowers—and his customers—this thrift store is all about recycling usable items, not making money.

We were not paid to write this story. The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.