Kansas City Goodwill just off of I29 and North Oak Trafficway makes a special request from donors this year: they’re looking for more heart-shaped tins. Typically filled with chocolate, mints, or chalk-flavored conversation hearts, these uniquely shaped containers are a hot commodity among thrifters in the area.
“They really sell like hot cakes after Valentine’s Day,” says Glenda Davis, a Goodwill employee. “People are practically breaking down the doors to get their hands on one of those tins.”
And it’s true. Kansas City residents have been flocking to thrift stores across the metro area in search of heart-shaped tins. One thrift store reported that the festive containers are most highly requested in September and November. At times, a line will form long enough to wrap around the store.
“We really don’t get enough of those timeless little boxes,” explains manager Clark Fields. “Customers are asking for them all year long, but especially in the fall. I think it’s because hot pinks and reds are very trendy that time of year.”
The staff has discussed using a waiting list to help mitigate the traffic that this hot commodity brings to the store. Ideally, they’d take a name and number and then call the next person on the waiting list whenever a tin arrives. However, many customers complained that this would be a slippery slope.
“I just don’t think it’s fair,” says Chet Irving, a regular thrifter at the North Oak Trafficway Goodwill. “If they start a waiting list for the tin hearts, what’s next? Are we going to have to sign up for the porcelain ducks too?”
Another shopper, Tiffini Ralston, expressed entirely separate concerns. While she thinks a waitlist is a good idea, she doesn’t want to make a trip to the store before seeing the item. Not all heart-shaped tins are created equal, and she’s waiting for the perfect match.
“The bigger the better,” she explains. “I’m looking for the heart-shaped tin that fits the least with my current Tupperware set. Right now, things just stack too easily. I’m looking for the perfect balance of chaos and frustration.”
While this Goodwill isn’t on the road to solving their waitlist dilemma anytime soon, they’re staying optimistic about their heart-shaped tin inventory. They hope that if they get the word out in time, they’ll have enough tins to satisfy their fall clientele.