Safety is our priority. Please click here to see how our store is adapting to King County's restrictions stages of reopening in response to COVID-19.
Q: Can I leave donations when Lifelong is not open?
A: Donation hours are 12-6 Tuesday-Saturday. Please do not leave donation items outside after hours. That is considered “dumping” by the City of Seattle and is against the law. It also can make the items left unusable after they are exposed to the elements.
Q: Where can I donate items?
A: We accept donations anytime we're open. Donors can drop items off at our donation counter at the front of the store - look for the red bins and someone wearing a red lanyard. They’ll help you out! You can also unload donations in the alleyway behind the building - especially helpful if you have large furniture or heavy boxes. The alley is located off of East Thomas Street just behind Julia’s restaurant. Drive down the alley and knock on the garage door, and a donation attendant will be there to assist you. If you need assistance with a donation, don't hesitate to call us at (206)329-5792. We always appreciate a heads-up when a large donation is coming our way!
Q: WHY CAN'T I DONATE ____?
A: Due to some consumer safety laws, we must deny:
Playpens/Car seats/Strollers/Children’s bath chairs Due to Washington State Laws requiring the proper use and inspection of car seats and Consumer Safety laws for playpens, strollers, bath chairs etc. we cannot accept these items for donation.
Mattresses Due to Consumer Safety laws requiring anti-flammability standards to be met for all mattresses, we cannot accept any mattresses, futons or fold out couches for donation.
Medical Equipment Because we are a non-profit resale thrift store, re-selling medical equipment requires certain certifications and tax payments we are not prepared to handle. We cannot accept medical equipment including mobility-enhancing equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, bath aids, crutches, etc.)
Hazardous Waste We cannot sell anything marked as poisonous including cleaning materials, chemicals, auto supplies, detergents, and paint.
Other Some items we cannot accept because they don’t sell. The cost of disposing of these items hinders our mission of raising funds to support Lifelong.
Q: Do you have a pickup service?
A: Unfortunately, at this time, Lifelong Thrift does not have a pickup service for donations.
Q: Does Lifelong Thrift have Gift Cards?
A: Unfortunately we do not have gift cards or gift certificates at this time.
Q: Do you buy clothes?
A: To support Lifelong’s mission, we rely on your generous donations for all of our products. We do not buy clothes or housewares, but your donations are tax-deductible.
Q: Can I put this on hold?
A: Customers can hold items up at the front counter or at the dressing room counter while they are shopping in the store. You don’t have to carry that “original” Picasso painting around the store. Did you forget your wallet at home? Left the oven on? We can hold your items for up to an hour - just ask our staff at the register. To provide a fair opportunity for all customers to find unique treasures, we cannot hold items at the store overnight.
Q: What is your return policy?
A: All items are sold as is, no returns or exchanges. Please take advantage of our dressing rooms to try on your clothing and our outlets to test electronics. We also recommend checking CD and DVD cases for the discs. See if they’re scratched, as well! We can help!
Q: Are items tested?
A: We do test items before putting them out on the sales floor. For your own peace of mind, it is best to test items to verify that they work. You are welcome to bring in headphones to test an MP3 player or a computer to test accessories, and we do our best to help with chargers for digital items or water to test a coffee machine. We do our best to assess the condition of items, but complex items like film SLR cameras are an example of something we do not have the means to thoroughly examine beyond its physical condition.
Q: Can I use your bathroom?
A: We do not have a public restroom. Many restaurants and coffee shops in the area provide restrooms to paying customers, and you can also visit the public library right behind QFC.
Q: Is your store wheelchair accessible?
A: Our first floor is easy to navigate, with small ramps separating the two areas of that floor. Unfortunately, we do not have an elevator. If you’d like to check out the downstairs, speak with an employee and we can help you in through the back entrance.
Q: I’d like to buy this large furniture item. How can I do that?
A: Find an employee or volunteer with a red lanyard - we can help communicate the sale to the sales counter and grab some extra hands if you need help moving the item.
Q: Can I buy this piece of furniture and pick it up later?
A: Furniture items can be held until close the following day. Still need to convince your friend to lend you their truck? Talk to one of our employees and we can extend your hold. We will place “Sold” signage on the item until an agreed-upon pickup time when you and your helper are able to bring your furniture home.
Q: This item doesn’t have a tag. Can I buy it?
A: Items without a tag cannot be sold, with a few exceptions that have set prices such as silverware, greeting cards, etc. Because we get such a great diversity of brands and products, and range of quality conditions of our donations, untagged items will be reprocessed by an employee who specializes in the area. If you’re set on making that purchase, check back the following day - they will likely have the research and pricing done within 24 hours.
Q: This tag says “as-is.” What does that mean?
A: Although we sort through donations and make sure that only salable (clean and in good repair) items are put out on the floor, we cannot be held responsible for any damage that could take place once the item is put on the sales floor. For this reason, everything in the store is sold as is. Occasionally, an item may still be desirable in less-than-perfect condition, like a designer sweater with one button missing, or a turntable that needs a new needle. We like to be clear about these imperfections, because to many of our guests, “as-is” means “perfect DIY project.”
Q: How do you determine your pricing? Can I barter?
A: Lifelong’s team does research on the brands and features of products that are donated. We rely on resale market price for many items, and have already considered the condition of every item before it goes on the sales floor. Our team consists of individuals who are thrifters and collectors themselves, whose hobbies impact their knowledge in areas of expertise. We have decades of combined experience in the resale business on our team. We are confident in our team’s pricing strategy. Therefore, items are priced as is, and we do not barter, but don’t forget about our daily discounts!
Q: Where is the Men’s/Women’s section?
A: We do not have a “Men’s Section” or a “Women’s Section.” Our clothes are organized by style and function rather than gender. We do have separate sections for men’s and women’s clothing, but you’ll find them next to each other in the store – men’s jeans right next to women’s jeans. Our goal is to create a welcoming shopping experience for all of our customers regardless of their gender expression.
Q: Do you wash the clothes?
A: We do not wash the clothing but we do sort through all the clothing and remove any items that are not in salable condition (i.e. dirty, stained, or in need of repair). Those clothes are then donated on to another organization that further sorts and eventually recycles the cloth.
Q: Can I buy that item in the window display?
A: Items in the window displays are not for sale while they are on display, but many of the items will return to the sales floor when we change up the set. We love to keep our displays fun and complete - they are Lifelong’s showcase to Broadway’s passerby.
Q: Can I buy the shirt off the mannequin?
A: Clothing items on the mannequins on the sales floor (not in the window) are for sale. They will be tagged like any other item. If our mannequins inspire a new look for you, just ask an employee or volunteer in a red lanyard to help remove that article of clothing - our mannequins aren’t shy.
Q: Can you take my number and call me when this item is for sale/when you get this item in stock?
A: We do not have a system for calling people when their desired item is in the store for sale, but feel free to pop in and take a peek.
Q: Who can benefit from Lifelong’s services like the voucher program?
A: Lifelong serves a wide variety of people with chronic conditions. Most commonly, our Case Managers work with individuals who have HIV and AIDS.
Q: What can I get with my voucher?
A: The vouchers are intended for clothing and household essentials to help individuals in need. Your case manager has outlined any limitations to your purchase on the voucher itself, but if you have questions, ask an employee! We can also help you make the best use of your spending amount by shopping sale items.
Q: How would I find out if I am eligible for the voucher system?
A: To find out if you would be eligible for a voucher, please contact Lifelong at (206) 957-1600 to make an appointment and speak to a Medical Case Manager.
Q: Is there parking
There is metered street parking outside, and also lots of parking garages in the area. Unfortunately, these are not free. There is 2 hour zoned parking in our general area, and street parking is free on Sundays. The store is within 2 blocks of bus lines 8, 60, 49, 43, 9, the First Hill Street Car and the Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. You can avoid searching for parking when dropping off donations by using the alley in the back of the building - just off of E. Thomas st (Right behind Julia's there on the corner of Thomas and Broadway).
Q: Can I shop online?
Yes! Check us out on eBay, Etsy, Depop, and Mercari! You can also buy gift cards and select merchandise here on our website!
Q: Where can i get tested for hiv?
*Unfortunately, we are not currently hosting HIV testing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please check back* We host free, rapid HIV testing in the store (312 Broadway E) every Tuesday from 4-8pm. Lifelong can provide free, rapid HIV at their Capitol Hill office (1016 Pike Street, 3rd Floor) M-F from 9am - 4pm. Use the search bar below for more information on where you can get tested.
How has the store changed in response to covid-19?