Friday, November 6, 2015

5 Tips for Using Goodwill By-The-Pound or Outlet Stores For Supplies, Reselling, or Collecting

Now that I'm on a (likely permanent*) hiatus from reselling I can slow down and hunt for pleasure. I find myself now more than ever drawn to the Goodwill Outlet or as we call them here, Goodwill by-the-pound stores, to buy supplies for my new business, apartment, and especially to find clothing. It's not for everyone, but with patience and perseverance you can yield amazing finds for literal pocket change.

Recent Finds. Looks excessively summery but we're having a heatwave in Florida. Funny, I forgot to include the huge plastic lobster I found to take this tableaux over-the-top!

How they work: Goodwill Outlet or Goodwill Pound Stores sell items by weight, allowing you to really stretch your dollar. You save Goodwill items from the landfill along the way, win/win. There's no up-front charge per bag to enter or anything like that as some rummage sales do.

Tip #1: Understand the Rules

Each Goodwill Pound store will operate differently. Most of them wheel out items by the barrel. When the go-ahead is given by the security guard, you can dig through the bins. Shoppers may leave their carts along the sidelines, unattended, so they can easily dig, so don't assume anything in abandoned carts is up for grabs. I've made the mistakes before! Don't fight with anyone for "junk"- there's PLENTY to go around. Also, on larger items, often they will give them to you for a low price rather than weight them.

Tip #2: Dress to Get Dirty, and Dig

If you're a germaphobe, you may want gloves and/or even a mask. You really have to dig in and get dirty in these barrels to find what you seek. You may find some filthy items, dig carefully! Be thorough in each bin so you don't miss something amazing.

The rainbow placemats are also Outlet Store Finds. 

Tip #3: Grab Impulsively, Decide Later

There's a lot of picking competition at Goodwill Outlets with other resellers and collectors. At my store and likely most of them, they also wheel the bins away pretty quickly to make room for more. If you hesitate you can miss out. If you have an inkling about something, nab it.

Tip #4: Trying on Clothes? Make it Easy

Most (probably all) Goodwill Outlets won't have fitting rooms, so wear clothes that it would be easy to dry clothes on over, like tights and a snug cami top. If you don't want to try something on, taking the risk isn't too expensive. You can give the item to a friend if it doesn't work.

Tip #5: Be Patient. Look Thoroughly. Stay a While. Return Often.

In general with thrifting non-believers I know, they take one unsuccessful visit as a reason not to ever return to a thrift store. But it's hit-or-miss. Visit consistently and hunt thoroughly. Stay a bit for new merch to be wheeled out if you have time. I personally don't like to stay too long. I pick the barrels, pick new ones that came out while I was hunting, then leave. Even doing this I've found expensive name brand clothes (Calvin Klein, Betsy Johnson, Free People, and more), valuable Mid Century Modern ware, and loads of 60s-70s smalls.

*Clarification: I'm doing reselling for others as clients and selling stuff for consignment, but not reselling in my own shops.

* * * 

With so many options at such a low price I don't go to Goodwill Outlets (or thrifts in general) too often, I don't want to be tempted to bring home too much. It's still an excellent source for growing my wardrobe, limited collections, and work supplies. For resellers, it's an excellent revenue making tool. Try this site to find a Goodwill Outlet store near you.

Edit: Try Google as well to see if there's one in your area and/or call-around. There may be one or something similar that's not clearly listed. Also forgot to link a related post where I show finds I found for a few cents each.

Anyone been to a Goodwill Outlet or Pound Store? Any Tips? What are they like where you live?
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12 comments:

  1. That sounds like an adventure! I've never done by-the-lb.

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    1. You can yield loads of amazing finds this way :D

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  2. None in my state according to the website. :-(

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    1. Booo :{ I'd try a google search anyway, there could be a hidden similar thing by a different name. Google said the pound store near me was closed when it wasn't because it was closed as a regular goodwill and re-opened as a by-the-lb store.

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  3. I have done the Housing Works Buy the Bag in Brooklyn and I ended up with nothing. It's $25 per bag and I couldn't find one thing I actually wanted out of about 25 bins. There were a pair of Taxi (the tv show!) boxer shorts but I didn't actually want them as much as I was amused by them.

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    1. Yeh, paying ahead of time isn't worth it unless you know you're going to get things you want. At the lb store you can walk out empty handed and not pay because there's no up-front charge. There was a fill a bag for $10 library sale that I went crazy with one time...so...many...books...

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  4. We don't have those pay by the pound stores in Canada - so jealous. Isn't thrifting for yourself fun!

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    1. It was fun, but I have some clients to shop for now ;) haha, still fun though

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  5. Oh my God, V. It's hilarious----I just took my boyfriend to a Goodwill outlet two days ago. He was scared, lol. I wanted him to stand back when it was time to change the bins out, lol. Very chaotic. But most of the time, it's worth it. I'm doing an upcoming post on Outlet stores too!

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting

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    1. That just made me think, I need to take AJ, he's a germaphobe (I'm noooooot in the slightest) so it'll be funny to watch him freak out over it >:) bwahaha

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  6. Aw we don't have pay per pound stores here. Poo.

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    1. Did you try a google search and/or calling around. There may be one or something similar near you by a different name.

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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