***image1***Why has the Ramstein Thrift Shop, located in the commissary complex, ceased to take items on consignment for sale? The new policy of only accepting donated items has left the Thrift Shop with “cast-offs” that lack the usefulness of items that one would hope to find when checking in to a new command. Additionally, there is now no other organization by which a person can offer – for sale, in hopes of recouping some of their value – those items that can not be taken back to the States upon PCS. Many people have been heard making the same complaint, but no one seems to want to address the issue. Can changes be made to their operations to fall similarly in line with those of the Landstuhl Thrift Shop?
The Ramstein Thrift Shop is owned and operated by the Ramstein Enlisted Spouses’ Association. In May 2004, the Ramstein Thrift Shop discontinued consigned items due to the Ramstein community’s overwhelming generosity in donating their gently used items.
The Thrift Shop does purchase transformers from valid ID card holders and will also post photos of items you wish to sell on a designated bulletin board. The Ramstein Thrift Shop is run with minimal staff and for the past two years, has successfully operated primarily on the kindness of our community volunteers. Last year, with the proceeds of our donation-only Thrift Shop, the operating spouses’ association was able to give more than $45,000 back into community programs including youth activities, KMC school functions, squadron and unit events, educational scholarships, as well as morale programs including Combat Care and the Deployment Buddy Program.
This money is available to these organizations because the Ramstein community has remained, for the past two years, dedicated in donating their items so the financial gain is shared amongst the community. The Ramstein Thrift Shop also plays an extensive role in the community beyond the financial aspects. The Thrift Shop has helped families who have experienced unforeseen circumstances. Extra donations of clothing and shoes are sent to local orphanages as well as to Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq and the German Red Cross. Military uniforms are often donated to ROTC students and otherwise unusable items such as stained or torn blankets and towels are sent to Kaiserslautern’s animal shelter.
For those wishing to resell their items, both the Pulaski and Landstuhl thrift shops accept consignments. The Vogelweh and Ramstein Community Centers host regularly scheduled flea markets. If you live in base housing you have the option of rec-room sales, and local base papers are an excellent source to sell unwanted items.