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.
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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?