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Transcript 1

Lauren(only girl) Tim(in black hoodie) Bill( wearing hat) Kevin(wearing white)
Moderator: The description of the focus group is, as the sponsors of the research we
want to know how you guys get rid of your used stuff. So, um just a few of the things
we’re going to ask are: what kind of potentially useful stuff do you throw away?
Does any ne live at an apartment here?
All Persons: Yeah, basically.
Moderator: And everyone throws things away, right?
All Persons: Yeah.
Moderator: So, um how do you decided what to throw away and what to give away,
and how do you get rid of it. Things like that we will ask. Right now if everyone can
introduce each other to the other 3, and we will Put Lauren on the spot.
Lauren: Hi, I’m Lauren.
Tim: I’m Tim.
Bill: I’m Bill.
Kevin: Kevin.
Moderator: OK, Kevin, Tim, Bill, Lauren, gotcha. So, we are going to tape this so we
can go back to the film and use it for data and stuff like that. Everybody signed the
sheet and is fine with that?
All: Yes.
Moderator: All right sounds good. For some warm up discussion, Jillian is going to
write on the board for us. What things, that might be useful to other people, do you
regularly throw away? And we will start with Kevin.
Kevin: Um, last year I threw away a chair I think. And some one picked it up. I don’t
know if that counts.
Moderator: Well yeah, if you threw it away that counts. And why did you get rid of
the chair, what was the reason behind that?
Kevin: I didn’t feel like dealing with moving it anywhere.
Moderator: So are we talking like Lazy Boy?
Kevin: Yeah similar to that, just like a comfy chair.
Bill: I throw away old shoes that don’t fit anymore.
Tim: Same, shoes that are all torn up, or clothes that are torn up. That I don’t think
someone would want.
Moderator: So old things that you think no one would want?
Tim: Right.
Moderator: Ok. Lauren, what about you?
Lauren: I was going to say maybe like a TV, or furniture you’re not going to use
when you’re moving out of the dorm. If something doesn’t fit in the car, you can just
leave it.
Moderator: All right so um, does everyone have roommates here? Have you seen
your roommates throw away things and you wonder why? Have you noticed
anything they throw away, or is it mostly the same stuff.
Bill: I don’t know what they throw away.
Moderator: No, no one notices what they throw away, ok? Well, at the end of the
semester specifically, what are the kinds of things that you guys throw away?
Tim: When I was moving out of the dorms I saw people left like refrigerators, futons,
bags of clothes.
Moderator: They were in the garbage?
Tim: Or just left in the hallway.
Kevin: Yeah, same thing as they said I guess. Mainly things I didn’t feel like moving.
 Moderator: What about you Lauren?
Lauren: I went a different direction. I threw away like Kool-Aid, and food. Not like
half a bag of chips, but like boxes of mac and cheese that I never ate. Stuff like that
Moderator: Ok. What are some of the more surprising things that you’ve thrown
away or have seen other people throw away? Like if you were walking down the
hall, and noticed like a nice pair of shoes, why are they throwing those away, and
stuff like that?
Tim: I would say the refrigerator again. Saw a couple of those just sitting around.

Segment 2 (minutes 5-10)
Lauren(only girl) Tim(in black hoodie) Bill( wearing hat) Kevin(wearing

Bill- I’ve seen those around a few times.

Kevin- I don’t know, a pretty good printer and something like that before. Stuff like
that I guess, electronics that you don’t use anymore

Lauren- Hmm, same kind of stuff.

Moderator- How much potentially useful stuff do you throw away during the
semester? So, I mean, I guess you all kind of seem like you’re in the same boat,
where if you see something that is still useful you’re going to keep, but is there
anything that is still useful that you’re saying, “the heck with it?”

All-Nothing really

Moderator- How do you decide what to throw away and what to give away? So, a
bag of clothes, you said that those are stuff you’d give away?

Tim-Whether or not I have friends that could use them, or little brothers or sisters.

Bill-if they’re still useful, give it to Goodwill or something.

Kevin-If I know someone I know who needs it, or if it’s easy to give to someone, then
I ll give it to someone then I’ll give it to someone. I’m not going to make it a big
Lauren-Normally I go through my closet and I look at the clothes I never wear, and
the clothes I give away will normally go to Goodwill or some place like that.

Moderator- So you think about that before, if a friend says “I’m looking for a jacket”
then you’d give it to them first? You’d give it away before you throw it away?

Lauren- Yeah.

Moderator- What about you guys? Would you give it away first or throw it away?

Tim- Depends on the kind of value its got. If its just like, torn up, got a hole in it, I’d
toss it. But if its give wearable, I’d donate it.

Kevin- I think if theyre give awayable, I’d donate.

Moderator 2- Do you guys ever go to a clothing exchange, or a Plato’s Closet, or a
place thatd give you money before?

Kevin- I have before.
Moderator- So if theres an incentive for you, would you be more likely to do it?

All- Yeah.

Moderator 2- Is it convenient for you?

All- Yeah.

Moderator- So you may have already answered this already, but types of things do
you or others you know give to thrift shops? Specifically you said clothes already.

Lauren- Well, we just moved. And we just brought two families together, so theres a
lot of kitchen some stuff, like tables and things you could give to Goodwill and they’d
take it.
You’d take it to the drop zone and they’ll take it.

Tim- Besides clothes, you could go down there and see things like kid’s toys and
other things a child might need.

Bill- Things you’d see from a kitchen.

Kevin- Yeah, I mean, pots and pans getting thrown away at the end of the semester,
you just don’t feel like lugging them around, so it feels easier to throw away.

Moderator-What kinds of things would you never give to a thrift shop? Things you’d
never imagine you’d throw away?
Bill-An iPod or something really expensive like that.

Tim-Same thing, if I ever had something like that I’d just sell it on eBay.

Moderator- Cause then there’d be no incentive for you, right?

Lauren- Yeah. The more expensive the thing is, the harder it is to get rid of it.

Kevin- Or even if you say “I spent a lot on this, I don’t want to give it away” you just
hold onto it in case you ever want it again?

Moderator- What do you think makes people throw away the things you were
talking about earlier? The clothes, refrigerators, futons.

Tim- The hassle.


Lauren- It’s more convenient to throw it out then to give it away?

Moderator- How do you get rid of stuff? Like the stuff you don’t want anymore, how
do you get rid of it?

Tim- I call my parents. They’ll come help me out and pick it up, then they’ll bring it
to Goodwill.

Bill- I usually collect stuff, put it in bags and bring it to Goodwill.

Kevin- I do the exact same thing.

Lauren-There are people who will drive by, and if you leave something outside, they
will come and pick it up off the street.

Segment 3 (Minutes 10-15)
Lauren(Only girl) Tim(In Black hoodie) Bill(Wearing hat) Kevin(Wearing
white) Bill(Navy blue jacket)

Moderator: What are some of the things you throw away?

Bill (blue jacket): Old clothes, pretty much just old stuff.

Moderator: What are things you give away to thrift shops?

Tim: Shoes, old clothes, and what not.
Bill (blue jacket: Same.

Moderator: Alright, we’ll pick up where we left off. Why do you get rid of stuff that
way? You say you put it in bags and put it in the hall. Why do you do that? Why do
you get rid of things the way that you do?

Lauren: I feel better with myself if I donate it rather than throwing it away. At least
someone will be getting use out of it rather than nobody.

Kevin: If I can get money for it I’ll take it somewhere else and you can try and get
money for it and someone else can still use it.

Bill (blue jacket): I feel better about myself if I donate it, but if there’s value for it I’ll
probably try to pawn it.

Moderator: What types of problems do you guys face when you’re trying to get of
your stuff.

Tim: It’s never been an inconvenience because of my parents helping. I didn’t have
many problems last year in the dorms. They had the boxes set up in the halls so you
could just put whatever you didn’t want in the boxes, which made it convenient.

Kevin: If I cant fit it in my car then it’s going in the garbage. Or if it takes two people
to carry something and I’m the only one there I say just leave it.

Bill (blue jacket): I had this big screen TV at my house that I put on the curb because
I didn’t want to deal with trying to move it anywhere.

Moderator: If someone would have come up and picked it up for you, would you
have given it away rather than throwing it away?

Bill (blue jacket): Yeah.

Moderator: What about you Lauren?

Lauren: I have a small car so if I have something big I have to move then I have to
find someone with a bigger car, then get it on the car, and then driving it to
wherever it needs to get dropped off at is kind of a hassle.

Moderator: So it’s pretty hard to get rid of stuff at the end of the semester. Does
everyone agree that it’s tougher to get rid of things at the end of the semester?

All: Yeah.
Moderator: What keeps you from donating more things to thrift stores? For
example, Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Bill (hat): I don’t give away all of my stuff to just anyone.

Moderator: Knowing someone is going to take good care of your things rather than
just giving your things to anyone. Is there sometimes a sentimental value?

Bill (hat): Yeah

Kevin: Whatever’s easiest. If it’s something small and it’s not going to Goodwill, I’ll
probably just throw it away.

Bill (blue jacket): If it’s something big like furniture you’ll probably ask around
before just putting it out on the curb.

Lauren: If the thrift stores came to you to get some of the things.

Moderator: What are the benefits of donating your things to thrift stores?

Lauren: With Goodwill, you donate it and people buy it and the money they make off
of it they give to people who need it.

Bill (blue jacket): That’s exactly what I was going to say.

Kevin, Bill, and Tim: Yea I agree.

Joe asks- Imagine the thrift store as a person what would their personality be like

Bill-Frugal. Second hand stuff kind of homeless. They would have a cost sensitive
Kevin- not well kempt, raggedy. Not as happy as someone with a lot of money.
Bill- More humility, wouldn’t be as judging. Not stuck up that’s for sure

Joe- Where would you go with this person?

Bill- play pool
Lauren- go out to eat
Bill- Bowling

Joe- Why do people shop at thrift stores? Describe someone that would shop there?

Responses from people-
Kevin-Someone who had a minimum wage and had to support a family would shop
Bill -Need money. A college student who wanted to shop there for a theme party
-People to save money would shop at a thrift store.
Lauren -A mom with a lot of kids would shop there
-Someone may shop there to get a bed for college that they will only use for a few
Joe- What is everyone’s here’s knowledge of local thrift stores?
     - One by the hospital
     - Bromines
     - One on veteran’s
     - Goodwill by the pool store in Bloomington
     - There’s a pawn store
Participants: Bill (no hat), Kevin (all white clothes), Bill (with hat), and Tim
(sat at the head of the table), Lauren
Bill: (Brings up Monster Pawn)
Moderator: is that more expensive things?
Bill: I don’t know if it is cheaper.
Moderator: is it similar to Goodwill?
Kevin: I don’t think so.
Moderator: Basically, the message we would like to communicate to the sponsor of
this research is that they operate thrift stores in Bloomington and the surrounding
area and they are called Mission Mart. Home Sweet Home Industries is the head and
Mission Mart is the name of their thrift store. They use the profit from these thrift
stores to support needy people from the area and they are trying to get more
donations from ISU students and attract ISU students to come to their thrift stores.
(Hands out information sheet and explains confidentiality.)
Moderator: is this the first time everyone has heard of Mission Mart?
Tim: Yeah.
Bill (hat): Yeah.
Moderator: Was the survey that bad?
Tim: No.
Jillian: Would you do it again?
Tim: Sure.
Kevin: Asks if “on campus” refers to on campus apartments or dorms.
Moderator: Dorms.
Bill (blue jacket): Asks about dollar amount of items.
Moderator: Explains that Mission Mart is considerably cheaper than a normal
Tim: Is the survey talking about items we have donated in the Bloomington area?
Moderator: No, it’s talking about anywhere.
Moderator: Thank You.
Transcript 2

                                 Focus Group Transcript
What we’re looking to find out is what ISU students throw away, what motivates their
choice to throw out, and what motivates their choice to ?, how do you get rid of your
stuff, what problems do you have with getting rid of your stuff, if you (are aware) of
Mission Mart, and what (are your conceptions) about thrift stores.
Ok so what are some things you regularly see students throwing away?
     Food

Like in the cafeteria?
    Mhm

How about in the dorm rooms?
   Like boxes, empty boxes.

Is there food that they didn’t eat?
     Half eaten food people just throw away.

What about food that doesn’t spoil or unused products?
   Yeah, school supplies like notebooks or folders.

Would you say you throw away a lot of potentially useful stuff? Stuff that you could
see other people using when you’re done with it?
     Yes, not every day, but there are some things.

Is there anything that you guys would be able to donate to thrift stores? Things that
you throw away, would you donate them if you were able to get to a thrift store on
     I usually donate old clothes when I’m back at home.

So you don’t donate clothes here at school?
    No

Is there anything other than clothes that you donate at home?
     Furniture. But at school we don’t have a lot of furniture to donate.
     If I lived in an apartment and had my own furniture, I might get rid of something
       that I don’t want for the next year.

If there were thrift stores available on campus would you follow through with that
offer? Or how else would you get rid of it?
     First I would see if any of my friends wanted it.

So do you think there’s a need for things that students can pass down?
    Yes (collectively).
Would you guys ever buy furniture from a thrift store?
   Yes.
   Yeah, I already have.

Was there a wide selection?
   No, I had to go back a few times to see if there was anything new.

Have any of you been to a thrift store before?
   Yes (collectively).

During the period of a year how many times have you been to a thrift store?
   2-3 times.

When you go to thrift stores what do you get there?
   Clothes, cheap clothes.

Are you looking for every day clothes, professional clothes?
    Just clothes in general, anything that is cheap and looks alright.

So you would say when you do get clothes you get them from the thrift store?
    Yeah

Anyone else?
   I usually go there for themed stuff, like clothes for a party that I wouldn’t wear on
     a regular basis.

So when you donate clothes to a thrift store, are those the type of clothes you buy
when you go there?
    No not really

So as students do you think there are ways that would make you more motivated to
donate items to a thrift store? Are there any particular reasons why you don’t?
    Usually when I donate stuff it just goes to Salvation Army at home, its mostly just
       more convenient then not against thrift stores.

What do you usually get rid of the end of the year? I’ve gone down into Hewitt and
seen TV’s being thrown away and sometimes even textbooks. Have you seen any
surprising things being thrown away?
    I’ve seen half used spirals, some clothes, stuff like that.

Do you think it’s all a matter of convenience?
    I think so, if you wanted to donate it to a thrift store you actually have to get up
      and go take it somewhere, or you could just throw it on the side of the road.

So you think if there was somewhere on campus students would donate more?
      I think they would yeah.
      Yeah if there was an easier process.

Do you know of any thrift stores in the area?
    (Shaking heads no)
    I think there is a thrift store in uptown normal, like it’s a record store and they
      have old clothes.

(New person walks in)
(Telling new person about purpose of the focus group) Have you ever been to a
thrift store?
     We do not have the information from our program; we are not from here and are
        not familiar with places to donate things. (They’re doing study abroad at ISU)

Where do you usually buy things?
   We usually go to a regular store. I do not need to buy a lot of things because I
     share a lot in the dorms and we don’t have information about thrift stores.

If you had more knowledge where to take things you don’t use anymore would you
     Yeah, but right now we don’t know anything about here.

(Looking at new person) Are you in the same program as well?
    No, we are not in the same program but they are similar.

Do you live off campus?
    Yes and my friends tell me that there are places to donate but they are far from
      my apartment and I don’t have a car here.
    Sometimes if we want to donate furniture we can’t because we don’t have a car so
      it’s difficult.

Is it everyone’s feeling that you would be more likely to go donate than purchase, if
you could?
      At school I feel more need to buy things because I leave a lot of stuff at home,
        and because donating at home is easier.

Just for fun, if a thrift store had a personality, how would you describe it?
(Another person walks in)
We were talking about how a thrift store would look if it were an actually person.
How would you describe it?
    I don’t mean to be rude, but when I think about a thrift store I think of something
       dingy, old, or used.

What if the thrift store had a personality?
   Outgoing
      Unique
      Humble

When you go to a thrift store do you think you can find stuff that you can’t find at
other places?
                                                                                              Y
                                                                                              Y
       eah that’s why I go there.

If you were to describe a thrift store as a person, what would it looks like? For me if
I were to describe a Marshall Fields I would think of a rich classy lady, If I were to
think about Wal-Mart I would think of a really price conscious person.

      I think of a big couple, kind of like big, fat, and cute.
      Grateful and happy and humble kind of and very giving
      As far as appearance lanky with shaggy hair with flannel

Where would you go with the person you described, where would you want to take
them, and what type of experience would that be? Do you find a difference between
people who donate and people who buy from thrift stores?

      Go and listen to music with them, go to a concert with them find them to be more
       artsy. People who donate do not have any need for it, whereas people who buy do
       not care so much for their image, it is not important to them.
      From what I have experienced people who go to thrift stores are people in need of
       clothes and also there’s people who don’t need it but they like the style of it. This
       has two different ends to it. People who donate are being nice.

Would you describe the person that shops from a thrift store different from a
person who donates to a thrift store?
    People who donate generally are buying new clothes and getting rid of old
      clothes. They can afford new clothes and are dressed in nicer clothes. People who
      are shopping at the thrift stores probably have used clothes on, and are in need of

So are most of you familiar with Salvation Army? They provide a service to the
community as well. Would it be harder to donate to Mission Mart instead of
Salvation Army knowing both serve the community? Are the goals of mission
mart motivating enough to go out of your way to donate to them over
competing thrift stores?
    People would do whichever is most convenient
    It’s all the same cause so it’s all a matter of convenience
Any other helpful comments on familiarizing students with mission mart? I
should ask knowing that students here want to help mission mart, do you
think there needs to be a change of perception among students towards
donating/buying to/from mission mart?
    Donating is one thing but buying is another. If donation is more readily
       available with even an advertisement in the paper more people would be
       willing to donate
    Yea I don’t even know where the thrift store is.

Knowing that what you donate helps people when they buy it from you what
would you be willing to give? I know we walked about clothes and a little bit
about furniture and things but would there be anything else you would be
willing to donate?
    Posters or something that we wouldn’t be using.

Student to student donations would be more likely?
    Yea

Would you donate textbooks?
   Yea, I would donate textbooks there because there are some textbooks that
     you can’t sell for a high resale value. Otherwise if you’re not going to use it,
     not going to look at it, you might as well donate it.

Would you be more likely to donate it to Mission Mart than say put it up on
   Eh, I feel I’d do that I feel like Amazon is a big hassle
                                                                                       Y
     ea (Everyone agrees)
Transcript 3

                                      Group 11: Data
Demographic Information:

Juniors: 2

Seniors: 1

Sophomores: 2

Other: 1

Males: 5

Females: 1

Birth Years of Participants:

1989: 1

1990: 2

1991: 2

Social Fraternities or Sororities participants belong to:

Sigma Phi Epsilon: 2

Number of times participants visited Thrift Store last semester: 0

Approximate dollar amount of the donations made to thrift stores last semester: $0.00

Live On-Campus: 6

Familiarity with Mission Mart: 0

Common Trends:

       All of the participants in the focus group were Illinois State University students.

None of them had previously heard of Mission Mart. Therefore, one of Mission Mart’s

main objectives should be to build brand awareness. We also believe that timing is a big

factor in the pick-up of donated items. In general, students will take the easiest way to get
rid of their unwanted items. Most students said that the main reason they do not donate

items to charity is that it is not convenient. When they are finished with finals and

moving out for the semester, leaving quickly is their main objective. Students are not

willing to take the time or effort to drop off unwanted goods. Another reason why

students do not donate is the difficulty in brining donations or large items to drop-off

locations. Numerous students do not have their own car on campus, and if they do it is

not large enough to transport large items such as furniture. In general, participants in the

focus group believe that if students were more aware of Mission Mart they would be

more willing to donate.


What things, that might be useful to other people, do you regularly throw away?
Have you seen others throw things that might be useful away?

Shoes. Notebook. Paper. Clothes. CDs.

What types of things do you or others throw away at the end of the semester?

Old notes. Boxes. Books. T.V. Electronics. Mattresses. Magazines. Paper print

What are some of the most surprising things that you’ve thrown away or seen others
throw away?

Televisions. Electronics.

How much potentially useful stuff do you throw away during a semester?

Paper, Pens, Paper Clips, Old books, Old Notes

How do you decide what to throw away and what to give away?

Convenience factor

What types of things do you, or others you know, give to a thrift shop?
Outdated clothes. Couches. Tables. Old appliances.

What types of things would you never give to a thrift shop?

Underwear. Stuff less than 25 dollars. Computers with personal information on it.

What do you think makes people throw away those things you listed earlier

Easiest option.

How do you get rid of stuff?

Dumpster. Trash shoot. Donate some items. Sold stuff. Someone comes and picks up
the items.

How do you get rid of stuff that might be useful to others?

Give it away. Sell it. Throw it away

Why do you get rid of stuff that way?

Convenient. Not worth the effort.

What problems do you have in getting rid of stuff?

Think you might need it later. Size of object. Throw something away and find out you
need it.

How hard is it to get rid of stuff at the end of the semester?

Easy. Trash cans around.

What keeps you from donating more stuff to thrift shops?

Convenience. Easy to trash it. Weight. Size

What are the benefits of donating stuff to a thrift shop for you?

Extrinsic value. Tax write off.

What are the benefits of you donating your stuff to a thrift shop for the thrift shop?

Gives them quality items. Helps out community.
When the semester ends this spring, what will be your main goal at that time?

Get out of school

When do you usually go home after finals are over?

Day or two after finals. After you get done packing. Done by
Thursday at the latest.

Why is it hard to give away old stuff?

Someone won't take it. Lack of quality.

What are your perceptions of thrift stores?

Beneficial to lower class. Depends on thrift stores. Have small cheap furniture.

Imagine a thrift store as a person. Describe that person? What would they look
like? What would their personality be like?

Short fatter. Homeless guy from the army. Dirty looking person. Quirky

Where would you go with this person?

Aldi. Garage sale.

Why do people shop at thrift stores?

Cheap. Get lucky and find something worth value to you.

Describe someone that shops at a thrift store?

Look for deals. Financial problems. Someone from a antique shop. Pack rats.
Family with a lot of kids.

What are some local thrift stores?

Bromen. Cross roads. Salvation army.

What message would you like to communicate to the sponsor of this research, Home
Sweet Home Ministries?

Get their name out there. Use school paper. Conduct events. Donation boxes. Let
kids know before they come. Pass out flyers towards the end of school. Let kids
know it's going to a good cause. Have drop off points
When and how would be the best way for them to pick up donations?

End of semester or Wednesday or Thursday of finals week. Find a bus to fill up
objects. Donation boxes in dorms. Target Resident Assistant’s for telling students.
Transcript 4

                                    Buyertastic Transcript
Brad: First start off by writing your names on that blue piece of paper we gave you, so we
know your name when we talk about stuff. Next, we’re going to start out by asking a few
general questions and ill write them on the board so you guys have a chance to think
about stuff. First let’s go around the room and introduce yourself. Get familiar with each
other a little bit.

Trent: My name’s Trent. I’m a junior here and my major is athletic training.

Brad: First name’s only. And everything you say is confidential.

Kevin: I’m Kevin. I’m a junior here and I’m an entrepreneurship major.

Chris: I’m Chris. I’m majoring in finance and insurance. I’m a senior.

Rachel: I’m Rachel, I’m a junior, and an El Ed major.

Terra: I’m Terra. I’m a junior and I’m a nursing major.

Kayla: I’m Kayla. I’m a junior and accounting major.

Lauren: I’m Lauren, a senior and a cosmetology major.

Kelsey: I’m Kelsey, I’m a junior and a Business Teacher Education major.

Brad: Alright nice little mix of you all. So I guess first of all, what type of potential stuff,
like moving out or switching places, do you guys typically throw out of your apartment.
Like putting in the dumpster or stuff that can be reused?

Chris: Couches

Brad: Couches

Chris: Futon, lights

Brad: Anything else?

Lauren: Clothing

Kelsey: Shoes as well.

Brad: Anything else?

Chris: music
Brad: How do you decide what to throw away and what to give away? Like to charity or
salvation army or anything?

Kelsey: If it’s in good condition I’ll give it to someone or donate it to good will.

Brad: So condition? Anything else? Alright, how do you get rid of your stuff? Do you
throw it out? Or give it away or what? Put it in a trash bag and have a garbage man get it?
Or put it in dumpsters? What do you guys do?

Chris: Dumpsters

Brad: Do you put it on the side of the road? No? Just dumpsters?

Kelsey: We’ll leave stuff on the side of the road for the trash man to pick up. Does that

Brad: Like spring cleaning?

Kelsey: Like stuff we’re throwing away. Yea.

Brad: And typically at the end of the semester, is that the time most trash is thrown away?

Kelsey: Ya, they come pick it up.

Trent: Or breaks.

Brad: Sorry I write so small. What determines how you get rid of it? Is it just convience
or what?

Kayla: If you don’t need it anymore.

Brad: No use for it?

Kayla: Yea.

Lauren: If there’s no room for it in your next apartment.

Brad: What do you guys think the overall perception of thrift stores is?

Kayla: Junk. Cheap.

Brad: K. Anything else other than junk and cheap?

Chris: Poor people

Lauren: out of style
Brad: So we got some pretty negative things.

Kelsey: Cheap can be positive or negative.

Brad: anything else you want to say?

Rachel: Stuff that’s old and has been used.

Brad: So used stuff mainly?

Terra: Out of style

Brad: So why do you think these perceptions kind of exist in thrift stores? Because
people buy from them?

Chris: I think kind of like a lifestyle choice.

Kevin: People who don’t have money go to a thrift store more.

Kayla: I think it’s just the point of view. I mean the only reason we go there is to get ugly

Brad: Like Christmas sweaters.

Brad: So we have things written down of what we think of thrift stores and what we
would donate to thrift stores so I guess we’ll go on now. What type of things do you see
people throwing away? Like on street corners and stuff?

Kevin: Mattresses

Chris: Appliances and stuff like that

Brad: What is the most surprising thing you’ve seen people throw away?

Brad: Anything?

Trent: Probably nice TV’s.

Brad: Nice TV’s?

Chris: Does it have to be here at college or?

Brad: No I mean anthing.

Chris: I’ve seen kitchen stuff like one time. A few dressers
Brad: so decent stuff sometimes? Anything else you can think of?

Brad: No?

Brad: How much potentially useful stuff do you throw away during a semester typically?
At the end of the semester how many items do you throw away that could be useful to
other people?

Chris: Probably not to many, just cause it’s college.

Kelsey: Right, you don’t really have money to burn. (everyone laughs).

Trent: Usually you just either give stuff away or throw it out.

Brad: So how do you decide mainly what to give away and what to throw away? We
kinda covered it up there, but what kinda things do you do or others you know give to
thrift stores I guess? Just in general.

Brad: Clothes usually?

Chris: Goodwill stores are going up like crazy at my house, so my dad is always dropping
stuff off there. Like old computer stuff too.

Brad: And also you think like Christmas time and that type of season people are more
inclined to give to thrift stores and stuff like that?

Kelsey: Maybe even after the holidays you can like get a new thing and then clean out
and make room in your closet.

Terra: Spring Cleaning

Brad: So I guess we already said how doyou decide what to give away and throw away.
       The condition of stuff is basically the only thing that determines it?

Kevin: Or if you want to replace it.

Brad: What problem do you guys have getting rid of stuff?

Trent: Memories maybe, memories towards it.

Kelsey: Transportation. If I want to get rid of my dresser, but I don’t have a truck, there’s
no way for me to get rid of it.

Brad: So you think if a goodwill store had access to transportation or something that’d
Kelsey: Right. Ya I’d give away TV’s that I don’t need anymore, but

Brad: Ya. Is there anything else? Terra Rachel, Nothing:
(Group laughs)

Brad: Alright… let’s see. How do you get rid of stuff that might be useful to others? Like
I mean stuff that I mean is actually used, not just junk. What do you think would be the
best way to get people to give stuff?

Kayla: Are you asking how we’d find out someone else wants it or?

Brad: well that and just getting people, like as a thrift store to give and to get people to
give you useful things rather than just old mattresses or ratty clothes and stuff like that.
Stuff that’s actually useful.

Kayla: Ask what they need. Like oh we really need this or that and people will be like oh
I have that to give away.

Brad: And then any ideas of how they, I mean on a college campus how they could get
people to know about it to like donate and stuff or?

Lauren: facebook.

Kelsey: Like you said, if there was some sort of truck or transportation service or if
people could say, you know I have a futon that’s falling apart or could be fixed or I don’t
have room for it, you could donate it and there would be a truck that would come around.
That would be convenient for us.

Chris: Or like an incentive or something like that. Like from subway or something like
that, a free meal. Something that would be useful.

Brad: So something like donate 10 items and get 1 free item?

Chris: Yea something like that.

Brad: A punch card maybe?
*everyone laughs)

Brad: so you get rid of stuff basically for the convenience of it. Um. At the end of the
semester do you really have a hard time finding places to dump it? Or do you just throw it

Kelsey: mmhm.

Brad: So it’s pretty convenient and easy. Do you think there would be a benefit of good
will stores getting in contact with apartment complexes?
Terra: Oh ya

Brad: But how do you think the best way is to get people to actually do it? Door to door
stuff or fliers or?

Rachel: I mean maybe put fliers under your door and then like out by the dumpster area
or where people use stuff and then like have a certain spot where the thrift store is for like
dropping off the stuff.

Kelsey: Like a donation bin.

Rachel: Yea, maybe like have a donation bin or a truck that you could put it in.

Chris: Or leave some kinda flag on there ya know what I’m saying? So it’s not like out of
peoples way to donate it. Like some kinda sheet of paper to put on it or something.

Terra: If they put it by the apartments I think that’d be easier because I don’t even know
where the goodwill store is around here. Like I do at home, but at the end of the semester
I throw a lot of stuff out cause I don’t know where to go around here.

Kelsey: There are a lot of people that won’t take things home because they can’t fit them
in their car. I knew someone who threw out a perfectly good TV this year because he
moved himself home and he couldn’t fit everything so he was just giving things away,
like “you guys can have this, I’m heading home.”

Brad: What day of the week during finals week is the best day of the week to catch
somebody leaving typically?

Terra: I think the week before because people are so busy during finals week and people
leave at different times. I usually go through my stuff the week before finals.

Brad: So the week before? I mean usually by Thursday or Friday people are gone right?

Kelsey: Yea, usually the weekend before or a couple days before.

Brad: So I mean, what keeps you guys from donating more stuff to thrift stores? I mean
location I guess is what it is. Is there anything else? Personal attachments maybe?

Rachel: That or like I have a little sister so if she needs it or I’ll give to people that I
know could use it before I’ll give it to a thrift store.

Brad: And you think of extending some help then. And what are the benefits personally if
you donate to a thrift store?
(everyone): you feel good.

Brad: so helping others? So that’s kind of an incentive to go.
Kayla: But I feel like I’d rather help my friends than strangers I guess. You know what I
mean? If someone I know can make use of it then I’d rather let them have it.

Brad: And everybody else, it pretty much makes you feel good donating? What are the
benefits of the thrift shop, I guess for you donating stuff? What do you think the thrift
store gets out of it?

Trent: They can then take money and go out and buy stuff.
Chris: And Goodwill stores are like real nice inside. You know modern. They’re not run
down looking.

Brad: So you think it’s important to keep the feel up? Like not like what we have written
on the board, like junk, cheap used, poor people, out of style that kind of stuff?

Chris: Yea, if you make it like a junk store you’re not gonna get a lot of money for that?

Brad: What do you think some suggestions are that present a nice looking thrift store?
Make it look like the buckle or something or what?

Chris: having a good reputation you know. Making a good name for yourself.

Brad: Anything inside you could do you think?

Lauren: I think some of them smell awful! Like old junky like. Maybe the appearance
and stuff.

Brad: Cleaning?

Lauren: Yea cleaning and maintenance.

Brad: Yea that’s probably an important thing too. Is there anything else you can think

Rachel: Maybe just set up more like a normal store. I feel like some of them there is lines,
its all lined up and not in order.

Kelsey: I feel like you could mix them in with other shops that you’d shop at. You know
what I mean? The one here in town is kind of on the corner all by itself. You’d have no
reason to go into Goodwill.

Brad: Are you talking about the Salvation Army?

Kelsey: um. The good will in Bloomington is kinda by Walmart. Kinda on the corner. I
mean there would be no way you’d ever walk by and just go in. You know that’s
Goodwill and you either go there or you don’t.
Brad: Yea, and there’s not much advertising for Goodwill stores I guess. Um, I guess
when the semester ends in the spring, what’s you guy’s main goal at that time?

Terra: Get the heck out of here.

Brad: So get ready and just go? So it’s probably hard to get you guy’s attention focused
on going into the thrift stores I take it then?

Group: agrees.

Brad: why is it hard to give away old stuff?

Terra: I think transportation like I re did my room at home last semester and everything
and even though we had a truck it’s hard to make trips back and forth. So the last dresser
I just put out by the curb for the garbage instead of going back and forth.

Brad: If you can imagine a thrift store as a person, what kind of person would a thrift
store be? You know what I mean? Rich, poor? Cute, ugly?

Kayla: I think they’d be unique!

Brad: So tye-dye and holy jeans I guess? What would there personality be like?

Rachel: Boring.

Chris: Old school.

Brad: Boring and old school? Where would you go with this person? So basically would
you like someone to know that you shop at thrift store really?

Terra: I mean people are embarrassed to go there. That’s why location is important
because it it’s buy itself then people know you shop there. I think people have a hard time
if they don’t have a lot of money or whatever if they have to shop there I think it’s an
embarrassment just to go in there to shop if you’re not donating.

Kelsey: I also think there are people that shop at thrift stores that you’d absolutely never

Brad: Ya that’s true.

Kelsey: There are a couple people that I know that just personally that are like I got these
shoes for $12. You would have never known. One was just a single mom and was just
shopping for her kids and found a couple things for herself and bought them.

Brad: Have you ever heard of someone finding good things at thrift stores?
Kayla: Oh ya, one of my friends found an $8 Lacoste polo.

Brad; Really?

Kayla: Yep. Found it a Goodwill.

Brad: Yea there is stuff like that there I guess.

Chris: They mainly just have a bad reputation.

Brad: I mean I’m trying to get stuff out of you guys, but but I mean what is the best way
of improving the reputation to make people shop/ donate?

Lauren: Like Kayla was saying, like a good t-shirt. Like plato’s closet. They emphasize
name brand things. Which all thrift stores can’t be like that but it could enhance their

Brad: What’s plato’s closet I’m not from the Chicago area?

Lauren: You can take Abercrombie and Hollister things like that get some money for it.

Brad: so maybe if Goodwill stores did that more?.

Kayla: Doesn’t goodwill take anything and everything? I mean plato’s closet is very

Brad: why do people shop at thrift stores generally? Mainly to find unique stuff?

Kelsey: Yea or hoping they’ll find something different.

Brad: Anything else?

Lauren: Maybe the possibility you’ll find something you’re looking for?

Brad: Finding something outdated maybe? Who do you think in general would shop at a
thrift store?

Kelsey: In my situation I just know a single Mom who has a 2 year old and kindergartner.

Brad: Poor people?

Terra: Being on a budget though. Like not wanting to go in a high end store and spend
$400 on a pair of jeans. If you’re on a budget and your conscious of it that might be the
easier thing
 Kelsey: Some people fashion isn’t a priority when you’re dealing with clothes. Some
people don’t care what the label is.

Brad: So basically, Do you know of any local thrift stores around Bloomington Normal?

Rachel: Bromenn

Kelsey: Bromenn thriftshop and Goodwill.

Brad: What about back home? What are some? Is there any? Any Ideas?

Terra: We have a lot of Goodwill stores back home.

Chris: I feel like they’re always building one like everywhere you go.

Kevin: I think it’s like a Bloomington Normal there’s quite a few.

Terra: I don’t know if theres a thrift store, but I know there’s a lot of Goodwills.

Brad: How many of you have actually donate to a thrift store
(4 hands raise)

Brad: when you guys have garage sales is that good place?

Chris: yea anything you don’t sell on the garage sale you can just take to Goodwill.

Brad: What do you think would be the best way for Goodwill to look for garage sales?
Advertise in the paper?

Rachel: Craigslist. I know if there’s a larger garage sale they’ll put it on craigslist. Then
the people come, but if no one comes the thrift store could come.

Brad: Do you think people are ready to give stuff away for free after a garage sale?
Group: Yea.

Brad: would you guys personally buy something from a thrift store to wear on a day to
day basis?

Trent: yea.

Chris: I know when we were dropping off a ton of stuff we went there and they had nice
stuff. And not just clothes, like an x box 360.

Trent: And they have movies and

Chris: stuff like that it doesn’t matter if you buy it used or not.
Brad: I mean you never think of electronics. Its not something we have on the board.
What could a thrift store do to expand the array the products they offer.

Kayla: People aren’t just willing to give away electronics. You can get money for that so.

Brad: That’s true. You guys probably don’t even think to give them away.

Brad: So basically I’m gonna go around to each person and kinda sum up good ideas for
a thrift store to get more business or activity. Ways to improve an overall thrift store after
what we’ve discussed. I’ll just start with Kelsey.

Kelsey: I would say just maybe advertising in general. I know the classified section
people list their garage sales. That would be a good area for a thrift store to saythey’re
looking for certain things.

Brad: And if you guys have any comments on the overall perspective don’t be afraid to
say anything.

Lauren: I like the idea of putting fliers at the apartment complexes. People may then
donate rather than throwing it away.

Kayla: Going off of that if there way especially at the major complexes if there was a
separate dumpster it would still get it off your hands and out of the way.

Terra: I agree with that and going along with the transportation again, if there was
advertisements I definitely would give away more rather than throwing away at the end
of the semester. For the bigger things if they set up times at the end of the semester they
could make trips all day and then maybe along a designated route once a week or
whatever to pick things up I would definitely work around that.

Rachel: well how we talked about with finals and how we want to get out of here. Maybe
if they had predetermined days at the beginning of the year they could have
predetermined days or around the time they’re leaving people might put it aside until the
day comes.

Chris: I think the biggest reason they get a bad name because the way people clean and
the advertising. If they get better recognition of the name more people would want to go

Brad: Has anyone had a bad experience at a thrift store? With stuff that’s dirty or bed
bugs or mites?

Chris: remember 3 years ago I went to one in downtown west Chicago and it was
downstairs in a basement and real sketchy. I didn’t like being there.

Brad: Anything to ad:
Kevin: One way to advertise would be in the school paper. Like a wanted ad. They could
put a number to call and if you wanted to get rid of something there could be a number
you could call and they’ll just come to you.

Brad: So something like the Vidette that college kids might see. I don’t know if you guys
agree, but I think college kids would be a good target more so that someone that’s settled
down more.

Trent: I think with the college whole thing, sending out emails. More kids would read
that than the newspaper.

Brad: what would be a good way to go about contacting people.

Rachel: I think that when people write on the boards in class if class is really boring I
would read it and let my friends know about it.

Kayla: I know through Sammie atleast if they have an important notice you can’t go to
any websites until you acknowledge the message. It could be something as simple as that.

Kelsey: even when signing a lease they give you paperwork about when you can resign
and the complex could include the flier right there.

Brad: We’re about ready to wrap up I promise, I know this is all fun for you guys, but
we’ll go around the room again and tell me something you’d find interesting at a thrift

Kelsey: I had to furnish an entire house by myself so I’d take coffee tables, end tables,
bookshelves any type of furniture I’d be happy to purchase

Brad: when you’re getting that stuff what are you looking for? Cleanliness?

Kelsey: yea good condition, cleanliness, even if it’s something I have to repaint I’m
willing to do that if it’s still useable.

Lauren: I like to decorate so usually like old glass things in good condition.

Kayla: I don’t think I’ve ever went into a thrift store looking for something specific so
mostly just fun things you can find. So just like uniqueness and stuff.

Brad: right

Terra: I might specifically look for an ugly sweat party for like a Christmas sweater, but
then I’ll come across something really cool I like. I don’t know. Just random things.
Rachel: I went over the summer to find random things I didn’t think about to decorate my
room. I mean going into target is one thing but then going to find a bunch of random
decorations you can incorporate.

Chris: I’m gonna go with electronics. I don’t know speakers, stuff like that. Stuff you can
get used that’s a lot cheaper.

 Kevin: I’m in the culinary industry. So I usually go in there looking for things like
utensils that would be $25 at the garlic press, but people don’t know what they are so
they’ll be like $3 there.

Trent: I’d say electronics too like movies, DVD players, Tv’s.

Brad: so you guys agree it seems like everyone can find something they want in thrift
store the main concern is just getting people in it and showing cleanliness and just
changing the perception overall.
Transcript 5

Focus Group Transcript - January 25, 2011

Moderator: All right guys, first thanks for coming. I know it is kind of hard [for
everyone to be here with everyone’s schedules and all.] Okay, basically what this is all
about is that we want to know how you get rid of all your used stuff. Like, what kind of
useful stuff do you throw away? How do you get rid of it, and stuff like that. So first off
(counts group members and writes on board), this is just the consensual form to say that
we are videotaping this and we are not sharing the information with anyone it is basically
being used for our own research purposes. You’re names won’t be given out or anything
like that. We have name tags for you (gets name tags). And also we get to leave early if
we get done.
(Focus group members signing forms and creating name tags.)
All right, my name is Eric, I’m not sure if I mentioned that already. This should take
about ten minutes, kind of like a warm up exercise. What types of things that could
possibly be used by other people do you regularly throw away? Not things like garbage,
but things that would be thrown away at the end of a semester, for example.

Member 2: Notebooks, folders, older TVs or monitors.

Member 7: Futons.

Member 5: Clothes.

Member 7: Maybe they are not recycling things, like notebooks and paper are

Moderator: All right, anything else?

Member 5: Kitchen appliances.

Moderator: Is there anything else or is that it? Okay, next one, have you seen others
throw away things that might be useful? (Group and moderator comment on how this
question would come back with the same responses as the first question.) Ok next one is
what types of things do you or others throw away at the end of the semester? So
basically, kind of like the same thing, like notebooks, folders, futons, clothes, anything
else you guys can think of that we can throw out there? Even maybe things that is not
even useful.

Member 5: Maybe like old papers and supplies.

Member 6: Food.
Moderator: What are some of the most surprising things that you have thrown away or
have seen others throw away?

Member 4: Mini fridges, or like furniture kind of stuff.

Member 6: A foosball table.

Member 2: I’ve seen people throw away washers and dryers.

Moderator: This is my first semester here, so I haven’t seen any really surprising things
being thrown out.

Member 2: I’ve seen like a huge box of candy, not used just thrown out.

Moderator: Okay, next question is, how much potentially useful stuff do you guys throw
away during a semester? Like if you guys could give me a number or if you want to get
specific as to what you might have thrown away.

Member 4: Not much. (Other members agree.)

Moderator: Yea, I know a lot of apartments come already furnished so you can’t really
throw away the furniture.

Member 5: Oh some people do.

Moderator: Okay, next question is, just going to be an overview of it, how do you
decide what to throw away and what to give away? So the first question is, what types of
things do you or others that you know give to a thrift shop?

Member 5: Clothes.

Member 1: Sometimes shoes.

Moderator: I think it depends on where you go too.

Member 7: Sports equipment.

Member 1: Books and stuff like that.

Moderator: Okay, what kinds of things would you never give to a thrift shop?

Member 4: Dirty or open stuff.

Member 7: Food.

Member 5: Stuff that is broken.
Moderator: Okay, why do you think people throw away the things that are on this board

Member 7: To get newer and better stuff.

Member 6: No more room.

Moderator: Okay, how do you decide what to give away and what to throw away?

Member 2: If my friends need something then I’ll give it away to them, like my friend
needed a monitor and I had an old one.

Member 5: Sometimes it’s more out of convenience for you, like if you don’t want to go
all the way there ever, then you might just throw it away.

Moderator: Anything else? Okay. Next question has to deal with how you get rid of
your stuff. So, how do you get rid of stuff that might be useful to others?

Member 3: Donate it, garage sales.

Member 4: I would say online.

Moderator: Why do you get rid of stuff that way?

Member 2: See if you can try to get some money out of it.

Member 7: Trash, because you don’t need it anymore.

Moderator: Okay next session is what problems do you have getting rid of stuff? So first
question is, what problems do you have with getting rid of your stuff?

Member 3: Deciding if you really want to give it away or if you want to hold on to it

Member 5: Yea, like what if nobody wants it.

Member 6: Moving it.

Moderator: How hard is it to get rid of stuff at the end of the semester?

Member 7: It’s hard, my roommate just moved out and it took him like two days straight
to do everything.

Moderator: Yea so it takes a lot of time, anything else? Okay. Next one is what keeps
you from giving more stuff to thrift shops, like Goodwill, etc?
Member 2: I would definitely say how hard it is to transfer from point A to point B, like
if you can’t fit it in your car just pitch it.

Moderator: Okay, what are the benefits of donating stuff to a thrift shop for you?

Member 4: Charity and isn’t it a tax write off too?

Moderator: Okay. What are the benefits of you donating your stuff to the thrift shop for
the thrift shop? What are their benefits of receiving your stuff?

Member 4: They can sell it.

Member 3: They can help people, more people.

Moderator: When the semester ends this spring what will your main goal at that time
be? So what is your main goal, are you going to be moving out, studying for finals?

Member 5: Graduating.

Member 7: Graduating, because I’m not going to worry about moving out really.

Moderator: Okay, why is it hard to give away old stuff, attachment other things?

Member 2: Nobody else wants it.

Moderator: All right, next section is what are your perceptions of thrift stores? So
imagine a thrift store is a person, describe that person. What do they look like? What
would their personality be like? What do you think physically how would they dress?

All Members: Old.

Moderator: Where would you go with this person?

Member 2: The thrift store. Buy them some clothes.

Moderator: Okay, anything else?

Member 7: Cheap places to go, I’d day McDonald’s dollar menu.

Moderator: Why do people shop at thrift stores?

Member 1 and 3: Because they are really cheap.

Member 3: You can find treasures there.
Member 6: Random things.

Moderator: Describe someone that shops at a thrift store.

Member 4: Poor people.

Member 1: I feel like older people go too.

Member 5: Someone who can’t afford clothes for their families.

Moderator: Do you guys know of some local thrift stores around here?

Member 1 and 6: The Goodwill

Member 3: The Bromenn one.

Member 4: That one is old. That one was supposed to close.

Moderator: Is that the one right by the Wal-Mart?

Member 3: No that is Goodwill.

Member 1: I know there are other thrift stores.

Member 4: There is that one over by the YMCA.

Moderator: So you guys are aware of some of the ones around here? All right, well now
there is just a summary. Okay so, the sponsor of this whole project is Home Sweet Home
Ministries and they operate a thrift store in Bloomington and the surrounding areas called
Mission Mart. They use the profits from these thrift stores to help needy people in the
area. They are trying to get more donations and attract ISU students to their thrift stores.
So what message would you kind of convey upon them, like to get those kinds of
donations from you guys.

Member 6: Just get more awareness, like I have never heard of them before.

Member 4: Let people know that the things they throw away can be used still.

Moderator: They used to hand out flyers and drive around campus looking for furniture
that people like use leave on curbs because people really don’t know about them that
much. So yea, maybe just raise awareness. What ways would be best to reach students,
through Facebook or ads around campus?

Member 2: I think leave flyers at apartments.

Member 3: Yea, leave flyers at apartments.
Moderator: Like actually in the mailboxes? Because I know sometimes we get mail for
the people who lived there before us and we ignore it because we don’t know who the
people are. So do you think they should leave them in your mailboxes or maybe perhaps
leave them on your door?

Member 3: I think maybe leaving it on the door.

Member 6: Or at like games where they just throw the flyers into the stands.

Member 7: Even elevators, like one time when I walked in the whole ground was full of
flyers, I forget what it was for. It was kind of awkward you look down and obviously you
are going to read it because that is like ten seconds where you are not doing anything.

Member 1: Like even the people there, like the customers can say something while they
are in the store.

Moderator: Anything else you guys would like to ad? Nope, all right I’ll pass out the
summaries here. (Passes out member information sheets.) And when you are done filling
that out feel free to leave.
Transcript 6

Focus Group Transcript
Actual focus group starts at 16:50
Sarah(Moderator) – Hi, I’m Sarah I’ll be your moderator. Thank you for coming. Just
so you know, were looking for research on college students on what they throw
away and how they get rid of stuff. Specifically things that were looking for are what
types of gently used stuff that you guys throw away.
     How do you decide what to throw away?
     What to give away?
     How do you get rid of it?
     What determines how you get rid of it?
     The positives of donating to thrift stores.
     Your perceptions of thrift stores.
     And any problems you have with getting rid of some of your stuff.

I’m going to have you go around and say your names to see who you are and get a
discussion going. I’m Sarah.









Sarah: Don’t be afraid to talk to each other. Hopefully you guys are aware that there
are cameras in here, your names won’t be given out or anything. Did everyone sign
the waiver? I’m not an expert I’m just the moderator, you guys are the ones were
looking for information from. Alright to get started I kind of what to know what
types of things to do guys regularly throw away?

Ben- Beer cans, beer bottles

Sarah- Alright
?- Old food

Ray- garbage

Sarah- What do you define as garbage?

Ray- Anything trashy, like wrappers

Sarah- Okay, so things that are basically useless to you. Alright, is there anything
that you throw away that someone else could use?

Alex – We throw away carpet. It had water damage on it from our basement.

Ben – The bums take our cans.

Ray-Personally, I don’t throw much away unless if it’s completely useless.

Sarah- Alright, what about things that you’ve seen other people throw away that
might still be useful?

3-4 people at once – Couch, bed, furniture.

Sarah- So, like college furniture.

Sarah- What types of things to do throw away towards the end of the semester?

Zach- Everything.

Andrew – Everything from class.

Sarah – So you even throw away books?

Andrew – Yeah, if the Alamo offers like two dollars for them I just throw them away.

Sarah – Okay, so if you’re not getting any money for it you throw it away.

Sarah- What are some of the most surprising things that you think you’ve thrown
away? Or anything that was useful that you could have given away?

Alex – We throw away clothes in our house.

Sarah – Does anyone else throw away clothes? (People nod and shake heads)

Sarah- Why do you throw them away? Just didn’t fit?

Alex – They aren’t our clothes.
Sarah – Whose clothes are they?

Alex – People who just stay here.

Dan – Normally I would give them away, but if they are dirty or stained I don’t want
it. I’m sure someone could use them.

Sarah – But you would give it away if it was in better condition.

Dan – Yeah, yeah

Ray – I throw away socks with lots of holes in them.

Sarah – Has anyone ever thrown something away that is in good condition?

Nobody answers

Sarah – No?

Dan – Not too often

Sarah – Are there any surprising things you have seen other people throw away?

Nobody Answers

Sarah – No? So mostly just like garbage?

Nick – Yeah

Sarah- How much potentially useful stuff do you throw away during a semester?

Zach – Probably a lot.

Sarah – Like what?

Zach – I don’t know.

Sarah – Do you all live in houses or apartments?

Everyone nods

Sarah – So nobody lives in the dorms? So your throwing away a lot of household
items everyday?

Everyone nods
Sarah – Alright, what about when you guys lived in the dorms? Did you guys throw
things down the garbage shoot?

Alex – Needles.

Sarah – Needles? Okay….

Alex - It says right on there that you can’t throw needles down.

Alex – I’m kidding.

Sarah – Did anyone’s floor have recycling bins?

Zach – Yeah, but no one ever used them.

Dan – My roommate recycles, he keeps everything separate and takes it all to wal-
mart. I sometimes give my stuff to him because I don’t drive.

Sarah – So mainly you are all garbage guys and just throw everything away.

Sarah- What types of things, or others that you know, give to thrift stores?
3-4 people – Clothes/clothing

Nick – Some people give shoes.

Dan – There are these big containers around town where you can drop clothes off at.

Sarah – Do you do that?

Dan – Yeah, I try. At home we drop off a whole bunch of crap. We live like 10
minutes, so it’s close. Like toys and sports stuff.

Sarah – Have you ever taken that to a store though?

Dan – No.

Sarah – How come?

Dan – I don’t know, I mean we used to have it on the front porch and someone
would come and pick it up.

Sarah – Oh, does everyone have that, where they come pick it up from you?
People generally think so.

Sarah – If you had something like that hear do you think you would use it? If they
came and picked it up instead of you throwing it away?
Silence then a few people say no.

Ray: I don’t have any junk so no.

Sarah - How many people would rather throw away than give away?

Zach – It’s too much work.

Sarah – Well what if they picked it up?

Zach – I’d rather just throw it away.

Jon- Its different here, because when we moved in we only brought what we needed.
It’s not like going through random stuff.

Nick – When you live in a house for ten years there is stuff that you need to get rid

Sarah – Have you guys ever donated anything at ISU while you’ve been here?
A few people say no.

Sarah - What type of things would you never give to a thrift store?

Alex- Jewelry

Nick – Nice clothing that you can still use.

Sarah – These things that you would never give to a thrift store, are you looking to
make money off of it?

? – Yeah. I’d go to a pawn shop

Sarah – So, basely you’re looking to make money. You want to get something back. If
it was considered useless to you, would you consider donating it?

Zach – Yes.

Sarah – What do you think makes people throw away those things that you guys
listed early?

? - Laziness

Jon/Ray – Maybe people don’t look around at the places they can donate it, they just
throw it away.

Sarah – Does anybody heard of any thrift stores down here?
Some people say Goodwill

Sarah – But you guys have just heard of them, you don’t ever shop there?

Alex – No I shop there; I just went there last week.

Sarah – Ok, does anyone else shop at the thrift stores?

Some people nod yes and others say no.

Sarah – What type of things do you normally buy at thrift stores?

Dan- T-shirts

Various responses : clothes for theme parties, ugly sweaters, joke clothes

Sarah – Are you shopping for value or for joke things? Do you ever go in there for
something you really need?

A few people say no.

Sarah – What about other places like thrift stores?

Dan – I check craigslist.

Sarah – Would you do that before going to a thrift store?

Jon – Yeah, you can see what you want easier.

Sarah – How do you guys decide what to give away and what to throw away?

Dan – If I were to give something away, it probably something that I don’t need. The
shirt that I threw out I didn’t want to use so I threw it out. I had a broken iPod I
gave to my uncle.

Ray – I would say it’s a judgment call based on each item, to give it away or not give
it away.

Sarah – How do you get rid of stuff that might be useful to others?

Andrew – I’ll offer it to friends and family and if they don’t want it I’ll throw it away.

Sarah – Would you give something to a family member before you would take it to a
thrift store or a charity?

Everyone agrees and nods.
Sarah – What problems do you have with getting rid of stuff?

Ray – I collect to many things and I struggle with throwing things away, so I just
have a bunch of crap back home.

Nick – I don’t have a problem with throwing stuff out at all.

Sarah – Does anyone have any sentimental value towards things and can’t throw
them away?

Everyone agrees.

Sarah – What about stuff when you were little, does anybody keep those types of

?- Like old toys?

Ray – I kept all my legos.

Sarah: If it was up to you would you give it away?

Andrew: Ya, if my parents gave me all that stuff and said I had to give it away and it
was useless I would get rid of it

Sarah: How hard is it to get rid of stuff at the end of the semester?

Jon: not that hard because nothing is really useful at the end of the semester anyway

Ray: Cram everything in my car

Dan: There’s nothing valuable at the end of the semester anyway.

Sarah: has anyone ever moved from one house to another while you were here?
Have you ever left your stuff in there?

Responses: Oh ya

Nick: It’s just junk and useless to me so I just leave it

Sarah: If you were packing up and you couldn’t fit things in your car would you ever
consider giving it away?

Sarah: Is the main reason you don’t give it away is because you don’t want to take
the effort to go to a thrift store yourself?

Various Responses: Yes.
Sarah: So if there was a place on campus to drop things off would you?

Nodding of the head Yes

Sarah: What’s holding you back from donating stuff to thrift stores?

Jon: I don’t have a ton to give away at the end of the semester.

Sarah: So you just have the bare minimum at school and don’t have a lot of give

Nodding of the head

Sarah: What are the benefits of donating to a thrift store?

Dan: Donating to the Salvation Army makes you feel good because you know you are
helping others who need it. They are all less fortunate who don’t have as much as we
do. They could even use our old shoes that we normally throw away.

Zach: Reduce clutter.

Sarah: What benefits do the thrift store receive when you donate stuff?

Nick: They get money from your stuff.

Sarah: Do you think it’s all about money?

Dan: Yes because it is a business.

Transcript 7

Moderator: We are taping you because we are writing it down after and none of it will be
released and I am not an expert, just the facilitator of the discussion. The first thing I want to ask
you guys is what things that might be useful to other people do you throw away and do you see
others throw things away that might be useful? So what do you see others throw away that might
be useful to others?

Person 4: If you live in the residence hall then close to the end you see a lot of
hangers, TVs, refrigerators, couches and anything you can imagine

Person 2: a lot of times folders that are beat up

Person 1: a spiral notebook that has two pages of it used

Person 3: a lot of people throw out their lamps at Watterson because they don’t
want to bring them back.

Moderator: what are some of the most surprising things you have seen people throw
away, yourself or other people throw away?

Person 9: furniture

Person 1: TVs

Moderator: according to you guys on an individual basis how much stuff do you
think is useful that you guys throw away?

Person 11: if your food goes bad and you don’t use it at all it’s kind of a waste

Person 2: or even paper that you have only written on a little bit, it’s like what are
you suppose to do with it then?

Moderator: what types of things do you or others you know donate to a thrift shop?
Everyone: clothes

Person 2: shoes

Person 1: board games

Person 3: books

Moderator: do you guys find yourself donating more to Plato’s Closet or a thrift

Person 3: I go to Plato’s first and then to a thrift store
Person 10: and then what ever they don’t take I take to a thrift store

Person 5: do they give you money for it?

Person 9: yeah but they are really picky

Person 3: they have to be in style

Person 2: I feel like only a year old or something

Person 9 & 10: yeah

Moderator: Okay, what is something that you guys would never give away to a thrift

Person 11: Jewelry probably

Person 2: Basically anything that I paid a lot for – not that I have a lot of that kind of

Moderator: what do you think makes people throw those things away that we listed

Person 1: it is easier to throw them away than to do something else with them

Person 5: they have already bought new things

Person 2: making room for new stuff

Person 9: getting tired of your old stuff

Person 2: they get bored with the stuff

Moderator: so if you guys get new clothes do you usually bring them to...we talked
about in our class if you buy a new shirt do you throw out an old shirt?

Person 2: not right away, maybe in a little while when I have time to go through it
Moderator: do you guys feel like you throw out more stuff or donate more stuff?

Person 2&3: Donate

Person 4: clothes, donate

Person 2: either to a thrift store or Goodwill
Moderator: What problems do you have getting rid of stuff, is there anything you
would have a problem getting rid of?

Person 2: Kind of like how we said Plato’s Closet is picky about what stuff they take,
well then you are kind of stuck with it then.

Moderator: Do they have something there where they can give it away for you or do
you have to do it yourself?

Person 2: No, I think you have to take it yourself, but I don’t know for sure

Moderator: How hard is it to get rid of your stuff at the end of the semester? Do you
have problems or feel guilty throwing stuff away?

Person 2: I do sometimes

Person 6: Things like pens, paper, and notebooks

Person 11: I know when I go into Watterson at the end of the year they have
notebook and folder collections to give to people who can’t afford it I guess

Person 2: they should do that more often

Moderator: What keeps you donating to stores like thrift stores, what is your
reasoning behind it?

Person 3: I just feel like it is a waste to throw away clothes. You can reuse them

Person 2: I just get to the point where I have too many clothes

Moderator: what do you feel are benefits of you donating to a thrift shop?

Person 6: Other people can use it

Person 7: Pollution I guess, so we don’t fill up the landmines…I mean landfills

Moderator: How do you think the thrift shop benefits from you when you donate
stuff? Do you think they make money off of it?

Person 6: Like 30 cents for a piece of clothing

Person 2: Well if there’s more circulation of like new things then there’s more
people coming in because none of them have the same stuff all the time

Person 1: And under benefits for you I guess you can get a tax break on charitable
Moderator: When the semester ends this spring, what will be your main goal at the

Person 9: Passing finals

Moderator: Do you think you’ll think about what you’re giving away?

Person 9: I think a lot of times people are just wanting to get out so they’re just
shoving things out

Person 5: Yea. You have finals and then you got like a day to get out.

Person 2: I’ll probably clean out my apartment though for stuff from last semester
that I don’t need

Moderator: They should put boxes in the dorms

Person 9: Well I think for a while they were handing out boxes

Moderator: Yea on the quad but they should put donation boxes or something.
Actually I think they did it but I don’t think anybody did it. Why is it hard to give
away old stuff?

Person 6: Sentimental

Person 5: It takes time and effort

Moderator: Okay, and then, the last one is what are your perceptions of thrift stores?
So how do you guys feel about going to thrift stores? Do you feel like you would
shop at them?

Person 2: Yea I think it’s fun

Moderator: Yea. I think some people are not embarrassed but…

Person 5: Like for Halloween shopping and looking for fun stuff

Person 2: Yea they’re really good for that stuff

Person 11: Yea we went when we went to cowboy party…other than that

Person 5: People throw out like cool jerseys

Person 10: I should probably start shopping there

Person 9: Yea you can get some really cool stuff there
Person 11: They have coasters for like a dollar from Target

Moderator: Ok this question’s kind of weird. Don’t laugh. Imagine a thrift store as a
person. Describe that person. What would they look like and what would their
personality be like?

Person 9: A hippy

Person 5: Rugged

Person 11: Cowboy

Moderator: What would their personality be like?

Person 11: Giving. (Laughter) What? Stop it

Moderator: Where would you go with this person?

Person 9: To a thrift store

Person 2: Shopping

Moderator: What do you think the reasoning is behind people shopping at thrift

Person 2: Save money

Person 5: Cheap. Different people go for different reasons. Some people go because
they have to. Some people go because it’s fun to find really cheap, cool clothes.

Moderator: Do you think there’s a typical description that would fit someone who
shops at a thrift store?

Person 2: I don’t think so

Person 5: I mean, there’s the usual people who shop there. But then there’s, like,
college kids and high school kids looking for just random things

Moderator: Do you guys ever go to thrift store around here or not really?

Person 11: Yea

Person 5: For Halloween

Person 11: Goodwill
Moderator: Where’s the Goodwill?

Person 11: It’s by Walmart

Moderator: Oh is it?

Person 11 and 2: Yea

Person 9: Isn’t there like the Bromenn

Person 2: Yea I’ve been there before

Moderator: Are they big?

Person 2: They’re pretty small. It depends. It’s usually hit or miss, depending what
they sell

Person 11: And what you’re looking for probably

Moderator: What are some local thrift stores? There’s Bromenn, Goodwill…

Person 11: I think that’s it, right?

Person 2: I think so

Moderator: Well actually the main reason we are doing this is because our sponsor
is Home Sweet Home Ministries and they operate a thrift store in the Bloomington
area called Mission Mart…I think it’s downtown Bloomington…

Person 2: Yea

Moderator: And they use the profit from these thrift stores to support needy people
in the area. So they try and get more donations from students from ISU, well they’re
trying to get people from ISU, to donate or even go. And the problem the lady had
was that she doesn’t know how to market to college students because are you guys
going to shop there or going to donate there. Would you guys go there?

Person 2: I’d probably go there to donate more

Moderator: To donate more? I haven’t been to this one…is it small or big? Anyone
been to it?

Person 2: I volunteered with Home Sweet Home but I don’t think I’ve ever been to
the Mission

Moderator: Have you guys ever donated there or anything?
Person 2 and 9: No

Person 11: I feel like a bad person

Moderator: Is there anything else you guys would like add to it? These questions are
pretty basic but anything different about thrift stores that you can think of? Or what
would make ISU students want to donate?

Person 2: I think just like advertising somewhere

Person 5: Having a pick-up because not everyone has a car and a bus

Person 3: Maybe they can have a drop off or something

Person 9: If they have really big bins in the dorms and in the quad I’m sure people
would donate. I would.

Person 11: And some college students are stingy because we’re all broke

Moderator: So would you guys ever shop there or even go in?

Person 9: I would

Person 2: Yea

Person 11: Probably not. Not like on a regular basis

Moderator: For the new season trends?

Person 9: You don’t want to go to the thrift store?

Moderator: So is there anything else you guys can think of? It’s supposed to go for an
hour, so…I can’t think of anything. The questions are so basic.

Person 11: How is this supposed to go for an hour?

Moderator: Any more questions? I went through them so quickly. Um… Did any of
you guys go to thrift stores to furnish your apartments this year or your dorms?

Person 11: Yeah we went and got like random little knick knacks

Moderator: So now when you move out are you going to take those things back and
donate them?
Person 11: (Laughs) We are going to keep it. I mean, we’re going to have another
apartment next year.

Moderator: Yeah but like when you graduate… Will you donate it then?

Person 11: Uhhh yeah probably, I’m not sure.

Person 2: Yeah, I’m like kind of surprised how many new things they had… I kind of
only thought that they had clothes and stuff like that, I never realized that they had
other things.

Moderator: Uh huh. Do you guys feel like you regularly donate to Plato’s closet?

Person 9: Yes, all the time

Person 11: yeah

Moderator: Yeah? Do you get good money?

Person 11: No, not really. You get like what? 30 bucks?

Person 9: I do

Moderator: I mean, it’s probably the same as if you like donated to a thrift store and
then got the deduction on your taxes.

Person 10: I don’t know. I always just go with my mom and she just like … (Drifts

Person 11: Yeah, but that like takes a lot more effort though than just getting cash.

Person 11: People just respond more to incentives I guess.

Moderator: Yeah, that’s true. I wonder if people know about the tax deductions,
because I actually haven’t done the taxes and I wonder how much you would
actually get.

Person 11: Probably not much. It depends on how much you donate I guess.

Moderator: Yeah. So ummm… you said that you have helped out with Home Sweet
Home Ministries?

Person 2: (Nods head)

Moderator: Did you get paid or was it just a volunteer thing?
Person 2: No, it was just volunteering. I am involved in a ministry and we do service
projects each month and this one time we volunteered with them and it was just like
a lot of sorting stuff out and organizing. The stuff that people donated we just sorted

Moderator: Well, the lady’s main problem is also that if people are donating they
need people to buy it too. So maybe they shouldn’t market to ISU students to…
(Drifts off)

Person 2: Yeah, because I didn’t even know that they like had a store or anything.

Moderator: Maybe they shouldn’t market to them to go buy stuff because they’re not
gonna. But, if we know we can donate, I’m sure the people in the area will buy stuff.

Person 10: Yeah , like I’m sure if you’re a college student donating stuff after you
graduate, there are people in younger grades that will want your stuff.

Moderator: Yeah, that’s true.

Person 2: Yeah I think it will be cool to market to like if you’re a senior who is about
to graduate so that they can donate stuff to the younger people who want to buy
your old stuff because you spend a lot of time looking for things for your apartment
that you need and you don’t even know what you need, so if you had some way of
going to the store and them being like “hey this is like all stuff that you can buy for
your apartment “.

Moderator: Yeah, for sure. Because when I bought my futon it was like $250 and I
only used it for a few months, and then I saw people throwing them out and I was
like, “I could’ve used that instead of buying one!”

Moderator: Is there anything you guys wouldn’t buy from a thrift shop?

Person 5: Underwear

Person 1: They sell that there?

Moderator: I don’t know!

Person 11: Bathing suits at Goodwill… they gross me out

Moderator: Some of them actually have like, Target stuff that still has the tag on it.
Like if it doesn’t sell at the end of the year and it’s not used, they donate it with the
tags still on it.

Person 11: Yeah
Person 2: I probably wouldn’t buy shoes there

Person 5: I actually bought shoes there just for like a Halloween costume. I wore
them for a day then threw them out.

Person 2: Yeah, I guess it just depends.

Moderator: Well, now you know all this great stuff!
(Long Pause)

Moderator: Is there anything at thrift stores that you guys have found that were
really useful?

Person 10: I found some old tee shirts

Person 9: A globe

Moderator: from Bloomington?

Person 9: no, Germany

Moderator: Yea I mean even Urban Outfitters would take the clothes and mark it up
to like 50 dollars. I feel like if people knew what was there they would go and buy

Moderator: so the problems you had to do with getting rid of your stuff that it’s a
hassle to drop off your stuff because it’s pretty complicated to do that. The benefits
are that you feel good about it and its not wasteful. Are you guys familiar with
Mission Mart?
(people in group shaking heads to indicate no)

Moderator: where is it? I really don’t know either

Person 2: It’s just like kind of downtown in the middle of nowhere

Moderator: is it small?

Person 2: Yea

Moderator: What motivates you with what want to throw out verses what you want
to give away?

Person 11: Like if its wooden, I will throw it away.

Moderator: Well I have a little survey, you don’t write your name on it or anything
like that it is just collected data here at ISU and anything you’re involved in
Moderator: So do you think if we placed the drop off boxes in the dorms or outside
in drop off locations do you think you guys will be more likely to donate in the

Person 5: Yea absolutely

Moderator: The lady talked about how it’s sometimes difficult to finance drop off
locations and having people pick stuff up, so if you guys are interested in helping
out, I’m sure she’d really appreciate that
(people filling out survey)

Moderator: Just put down if you are involved in anything that would be helpful. Did
any of you guys donate to a thrift store last spring?

Person 10: when I do it’s when I’m at home

Moderator: when you don’t have a car it can be a problem, when you are in the

Person 5: At home somebody picks it up

Moderator: Oh really?

Person 5: Yea you just put a bag on your front porch and they pick it up

Moderator: Like Salvation Army?

Person 6: Yea

Person 5: Amvets, there’s a person who calls.

Person 10: oh Alex?

Person 5: You have Alex? We have Mary from Amvets. She calls like once a week.
Moderator: Does she call your cell phone?

Person 5: No, she calls my house phone and asks my Mom if she has a bag of clothes
Moderator: Where are you from (To person 5)

Person 5: Chicago

Moderator: Oh really…….All right if your guys just want to pass those together
(talking about surveys). Well thank you for coming and doing this you were very
helpful. If you guys have any problems you can just ask us. We are going to tell her
all of these things and she will take away with it what she wants, this was helpful,
thank you.
Transcript 8

Moderator-M                           Project #1
Kalie-K                         Focus Group Transcription

M: What things, that might be useful to other people, do you regularly throw away?

Group list: clothes that are out of style, shoes, books

M: Have you seen others throw things that might be useful away?

Group: furniture, TVs, tables

M: What types of things do you or others throw away at the end of the semester?

Group: Books, Garbage specifically food, ripped clothes

M: What are some of the most surprising things that you’ve thrown away or seen
others throw away?

C: refrigerators, mirrors. Pretty much everything out of a dorm room that you don’t want
to take home

K: My roommate just threw away a whole bag of old t-shirts from high school and I was
like “I don’t know why you don’t donate them. (Consensus about clothes)

M: How much potentially useful stuff do you throw away during a semester? Do you
throw away stuff on a regular basis that could be useful to someone?

K: I don’t. I’m kind of a hoarder (rest of group agrees)

M: How do you decide what to throw away and what to give away?

E: If something can’t be used again.

C: or like style or something

Y: yeah if it’s stained

M: maybe too small clothes
M: Would you throw it away if it was too small or give it away?

K: I’d give it away

C: If it had a stain on it or something, I would just throw it away (everyone agrees)

M: What types of things do you or others give to a thrift shop?

Group: Books, old dishes, old furniture-lamps and tables

M: What types of things would you never give to a thrift store?

A: Something with my name on it (group laughs)

K: Undergarments I guess you could say

Y: Yeah I don’t think anybody would.

M: Why do you think people throw away the things that are listed on the board?

K: Lazy maybe (group consensus), C: Too lazy to take them to a thrift store

M: How do you decide what to give away and what to throw away?

C: It depends how lazy you are, Y: Yeah, like the mood you are in C: Yeah, because
when I’m at school I don’t usually feel like going all the way down… K: yeah, the thrift
stores are kind of far (group agrees)

M: How do you usually get rid of stuff?

 C: a yard sale first, then whatever doesn’t sell I take to a thrift store. E: I kind of bag
everything and throw it in a closet, then at the end of the year I get rid of it all. K: I ask
around to my friends maybe that are the same size as me. I just gave away a bunch of
clothes to some people

M:What problems do you have in getting rid of stuff?

K: If it’s furniture, vehicle size. I have a really small car so I just kind of leave it at the
apartment. Last year I left all my furniture there for the moving people to move for me I
guess. E: You can’t get rid of computers that easily, well you shouldn’t because all your
information is saved on the hard drive.

M: How hard is it to get rid of stuff at the end of the semester?

C: It’s not. There’s usually a big dumpster that you can throw everything in or set it on
the curb. K: I always feel bad then because there is so much useful stuff that’s just piled
in the dumpster. (Group agrees) K: yeah like tons of mattresses. E: I think a guy even
threw away a door this year. K: Yeah it’s like (M: I understand if it’s broke) K: yeah I
had a weird stain on my mattress and SAMI came and threw my mattress out in the
dumpster. I mean, it was just a stain. C: Yeah it’s still usable K: But they just throw it all

M: What keeps you from donating more?

K: Maybe if I spent a lot of money on something I want to keep it longer. (Group agrees)

M: What are the benefits of donating stuff to a thrift shop?

K: Just knowing that someone else is going to be able to use it. (Group agrees)

E: You got more space and you can go buy more stuff.

K: If you donate stuff to good will and write everything down and give it to them you can
get money back when you file your taxes.

K: Also you get money and you can help your community.

M: When this semester ends what will your main goal be?

K: To get out of here

E: Clean up your stuff in time (group agrees)

K: Ya they give you a really quick move out date, it’s like literally the day after finals.
SO I think that’s why everyone throws stuff out too.

M: Why do you think it’s hard to give away old stuff?

K: Because it has value to you (group agrees), fond memories of/ with certain shirts or

M: If a thrift store were a person how would you describe that person?

M: Like what would they look like what would their personality be like?

C: A lot of variety… different stuff (group laughs and agrees).

K: Probably likes everything… (Group gets kind of quiet)

M: Where would you go with this person?
Everyone laughs
K: A thrift store…

M: Why do you think people shop at thrift stores?

C: I would shop there I feel like you can get some good deals. (Everyone agrees)

K: Like a lot of artwork and pictures, and it’s cheap and for some people that’s what they
are looking for. Like you can get you dishes there and stuff.

M: What are some local thrift stores that you guys know of?

C: There is one down Main Street…

K: Ya I don’t know what that’s called

C: It’s by Bromenn

K: The Goodwill by Wal-Mart and that home sweet home one. (Group agrees)

M: Well the reason for this research is the thrift store home sweet home ministries
they operate for stores in Bloomington and the surrounding areas called Mission
Mart. And they use the profit from these thrift stores to support needy people in the
area and they are trying to get more donations from ISU students to their thrift
stores because they see so many people throw stuff away.

K: Where is that located?

M: I think that they have two locations, both in Bloomington. I don’t think that they have
in in normal.

K & E: They should make bins or something, if they put them outside the dorms or
apartments or something. Its unreal the kind of stuff people throw away.
Group: They should have their own dumpsters; people would put their stuff in them if
they are just sitting there.

M: What is your perception of thrift stores? Like do you see them as like something
that poor people use or what?

Group: No

K: I mean I know people who go there to buy a Christmas sweater or something, I mean I
know it’s ugly but you are still giving the money to the thrift store. They also go there to
get art work or something.

K: But I mean you do see poor people in their I guess but it’s just like the way it is. But
I like it because it helps everyone.
M: I mean you’re still giving money.
**Then moderator has them fill out the survey and they tell a little bit about themselves
and what they just talked about and they are done!
Transcript 9

Liz (black and grey sweatshirt), Zach (black sweater, white shirt), Gina (grey
sweatshirt), Jeremy (yellow sweatshirt), Nikki (black hooded sweatshirt)

Moderator: I just want to give everyone a little background, we are doing a focus
group for marketing 231 buyer behavior and we are trying to figure out how
Mission Mart can increase donations from ISU students.

Nikki: Hi I’m Nikki and I’m a psychology major and I’m a senior.
Gina: I’m Gina and I’m an accounting major and a sophomore.
Jeremy: I’m Jeremy, I’m an entrepreneurship major and a junior.
Liz: Umm… oh my bad. I’m Liz, I’m a pre-med major and a freshman.
Zach: And I’m Zach, I’m a junior, and I’m a major in professional sales and minor in
organizational leadership.

Moderator: I just wanted to reiterate again that we are going to be videotaping, but
we will not be giving away any of your names or personal information to the
company doing this. So we’re going to start off by asking you guys a couple of
questions. What things, that might be useful to other people, do you regularly throw
away, and have you seen others throw away things that could be used by someone
Jeremy: The ends of loaves of bread

Moderator: How could those really be used by other people?

Jeremy: Other people that are hungry might want to eat them.
Liz: You can use them to stuff a turkey.
Gina: What about collecting water bottles? Other people might be able to use them.

Mod: Anything else?

Liz: Packaging, like when you buy something plastic you can melt it down again.
Jeremy: Yeah, like beer bottles. You can get them recycled instead of throwing them

Mod: I know move-out is a big time to get rid of your
things, what kind of things do you throw away at that time?
Zach: Like when we’re moving out of our?

Mod: Yeah, like when you’re moving out of your dorm or apartment.

Zach: Papers, old notebooks.
Jeremy: I got rid of my couches my parents got me.
Liz: We’re getting rid of my futon, that’s all I know.

Mod: And what is probably one of the most surprising things you’ve seen someone
throw away?

Jeremy: Money. Just like change, not like 100 dollars.
Zach: I’ve seen T.V.’s. A lot of people throw those away
Nikki: Yeah, furniture, refrigerators, and grills… Just because they don’t work, I

Mod: And then when you are throwing that away, do you recycle it, throw it down
the nearest trash shoot, do you donate it?

Zach: Threw it out.
Nikki: We recycle everything in my apartment, we have a separate bin for
everything and then we just take it to the recycling places.
Jeremy: At home it’s easy to recycle; here it’s just a garbage can.

Mod: And really what kind of influences are there when you’re deciding to throw
these things away? What kind of factors make it unusable to you?

Liz: If it’s empty, I’m guessing.
Zach: If it has no use anymore…

Mod: Alright, what types of things do you know that people have given away at a
clothes shop?

Everyone: Clothes

Mod: And what types of things stick out in your mind that you would never give
away to a thrift shop?

Liz: electronics.
Nikki: Yeah I’ve seen coffee makers and things like that in thrift stores
Gina: And kitchen appliances.

Mod: Alright, but things that you wouldn’t give away to a thrift shop?
Jeremy: Yeah, girls would you give away your jewelry to a thrift shop? Like
expensive things, anything over $100?
All the girls: No
Jeremy: I don’t feel like people would give away something really expensive.

Mod: You mentioned coffee and things like that. What would make someone throw
something like that out?

Nikki: I don’t know really. (laughs)

Mod: Do you guys notice a big difference between old coffee pots and new ones?

Everyone: Yes.
Jeremy: And the coffee things always break. My roommate put a hot one under cold
water and it cracked.

Mod: Going back to the way, sorry we’re kind of jumping around here, but going
back to the way that you get rid of your things, what is it that influences you to get
rid of your things that way, say instead of donating it?

Zach: It’s easier.

Jeremy: Instant gratification. My apartments a mess, let’s clean it up. Boom, over
with. It would take too long to haul it away and recycle it. I guess being “green”, it
just takes too long.

Gina: I feel like to have to go outside my room and throw everything away is kind of
a waste.

Jeremy: Yeah , like we live four stories up, and it’s kind of a pain to walk it down and
everything. And to go outside, it’s such a hassle.

Mod: Now when it comes to getting rid of stuff, do you guys run into any issues? Like
what kind of problems do you normally run into at the end of the year when
throwing away all your stuff?

Gina: The garbage shoot gets backed up and you can’t throw anything down it.
Jeremy: Are you asking us what to keep and what not to keep?

Mod: No, it’s just what gets in your way physically?

Liz: the size.

Mod: And now going with what you were talking about, Jeremy, do you guys find it
hard to get rid of things at the end of the semester?
Nikki: No, I’d rather get rid of it all

Mod: And what would you say, you guys said the garbage shoot gets all clogged up,
what stops you guys from donating?

Gina: Time, I just don’t have the time to go drive it out somewhere.

Mod: so what you’re saying is if they had more centralized locations.

Gina: Yeah, sometimes it’s too out of the way.
Jeremy: If there was a service to call and get things picked up at your place it’d be
way better.

Mod: Are there any institutions that you give away your stuff to instead of a thrift

Nikki: Salvation army?
Zach: Good will

Mod; What do you think are some of the benefits of donating to thrift shops?

Gina: There’s a good chance of someone being able to reuse it.
Jeremy: Someone will appreciate it and you’ll probably feel better rather than just
throwing it away.

Mod; When you guys are done at the end of the semester this coming summer, what
is going to be your primary concern? IT’s the last day, classes are over, what are you
going to be doing?

Zach: Cleaning up my apartment.
Nikki: Yeah, moving out.

Mod: And, from that stuff, I’m sure there are some old things in there that you have
some sort of attachment to, do you find it hard to get rid of some old things?

Everyone: Depends on what it is.

Mod: Now here is an interesting question. If you could describe a thrift store as a
person what would it look like and what would their personality be like?

Jeremy: Ted Williams before he got famous.
Everyone: (laughter) yeah
Mod: What kind of personality would that be?

Jeremy: A dirty looking guy with a great voice. When someone describes a thrift
shop I don’t get a dirty feeling, but I definitely don’t get a clean perfecto nice feeling.
Zach: All jumbled up.

Mod: Would you say a disgusting messy?

Everyone: I wouldn’t buy clothes there.

Mod: What would make you want to buy clothes from there?

Jeremy: Show a picture of the person who was wearing it before me.

Mod: So where would you go with the person you described as being a thrift store?

Jeremy: Where would I go? Nowhere. I’d talk to them on the street and then walk

Mod: What would be one reason someone would shop at a thrift store?

Nikki: save some money.
Jeremy: It’s probably their only option.

Mod; And how would you describe someone shopping at a thrift store?

Gina: Lower class.
Nikki: Older people.
Zach: People going to an ugly sweater party.
Jeremy: Yeah people go there for party clothes they’ll use one night and throw away.

Mod: Now please list some local thrift shops.

Everyone: Bromenn and Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Mod: What message would you give to mission mart, like an idea for them?

Jeremy: Who is mission mart? I’m assuming a thrift store. What’s the point, are they
trying to make a profit?

Mod: They want to figure out a way for people to donate more.

Jeremy: Get a bigger voice.
Nikki: More communication and drop offs.
Gina: Drop offs near the apartment garbage cans.
Zach: Facebook
Jeremy: Any social network.

Mod: Ok well that is all that we need from you. Thank you guys very much for
participating in this and have a good day. Please fill out this survey before you leave.

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