first_imgLucia Mercado spends her work shifts among giant cardboard boxes full of stuff.Old shoes, clothes, toys, books, obsolete technology and appliances — one can find just about anything in the heaping piles of things donated to the Fisher’s Landing Goodwill store.Donations — and profits — have been on the rise in recent years at many thrift stores as attitudes toward them have shifted and evolved. While some retail stores and chains have struggled to stay afloat, the resale industry experienced a boom as more middle class families accessed resale shops following the Great Recession, disrupting the narrative that only low-income consumers would set foot in them.Changing neighborhoodsMercado paused while at her pricing station at the back of the store, where she focuses on houseware items. That’s the most difficult pricing station, employees say, since it encompasses such a huge variety of objects. Mercado stopped to inspect a pink, LeapFrog-brand toy teapot with blue googly eyes and a purple top adorned with hearts.A new LeapFrog Musical Rainbow Tea Party set on Walmart’s website goes for $19.89. Mercado placed a $2.99 sticker on it and put it in a cart of items that would eventually be placed on shelves in the store.According to Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette, the Fisher’s Landing store attracts some of the city’s best donations. That’s because as the population has grown, so have median household incomes. In 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median income in Clark County rose to $62,879. For the city of Vancouver, that number was $52,004.last_img