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Goodwill Outlets FAQs
When you shop at a Goodwill Outlet, also known as the Goodwill Bins, you buy items by the pound.
Also, merchandise is not organized neatly on clothing racks. Items are sorted into large blue bins, where shoppers rummage to find clothes, electronics, home goods and more.
At the bins, you get the best prices at used and brand new clothes. Overall, the shopping experience at Goodwill Outlets are known to be more chaotic and competitive.
Goodwill Outlets are opening all over the country and currently have over 100+ locations.
California has the most Goodwill Outlet store with 15 locations spread throughout the state.
Texas has the second most Goodwill Outlets with 12 stores and Florida comes in third with 10 Goodwill Outlet stores.
Yes, if you don’t mind rummaging through large bins full of clothes and merchandise. The bins offer the best and cheapest deals for name brand clothing.
And if you’re a reseller, it’s definitely worth visiting as you can purchase expensive electronics, home goods and even furniture, for a fraction of the retail price. Often times, you can find clothes and other merchandise that is brand new.
But if you’re looking for a peaceful shopping experience, no it is not worth it. Shoppers are the Goodwill Bins are known to be competitive and aggressive.
Yes, most Goodwill Outlet locations will rotate new bins with fresh merchandise every day. However, every Goodwill Bins store operates differently.
Depending on your location, your nearest outlet may rotate new bins throughout the day or first thing in the morning.
1. Make sure to bring gloves – Based on hundreds of Google Reviews, Goodwill Outlet shoppers say that gloves are necessary to protect yourself from sharp objects in bins and to stay sanitary.
Some Goodwill Outlets require gloves and will charge $1.99 for gloves at the entrance if you don’t come with your own.
2. Bring large shopping bags – In a sea of competitive shoppers, shopping carts can go quickly. To save time, bring a large tote bag (like the IKEA bags below) that are durable and can hold a lot of items.
If you’re a re-seller, it’s recommended that you bring two bags because you never know how many great items you’ll find.
3. Bring a set of batteries – To test toys and electronics, bring a set of AA and AAA batteries. This is a pro-tip from experienced re-sellers as it’s always good to test your items before purchasing.
4. Bring Clorox or disinfectant wipes – Most Goodwill Outlets can be pretty gross and unsanitary. In most cases, there’s a lot of trash in the bins and the bins aren’t cleaned, not to mention the actual clothes aren’t washed.
5. Bring a measuring tape – If you’re shopping for furniture, bring your own measuring tape to make sure the furniture fits your space. Not all Goodwill Outlets offer furniture, but some do (and you can find great pieces for cheap).
The following states currently do not have any Goodwill Outlets or Goodwill Bin locations:
It’s hard to narrow down the “Best Goodwill Outlet” to a single location.
But for people shopping for themselves, as well as re-sellers, the best Goodwill Outlet locations tend to be located in California, Washington, and Oregon. This is based on reviewing hundreds of Google Reviews, where shoppers report finding name brands, high-end cameras, toys and furniture pieces, and paying a fraction of the retail price.
With that said, there are plenty of Goodwill Outlets that are based near well-off neighborhoods where valuable items are donated frequently due to passing relatives, moving in and out of the cities, and decluttering.
The real answer is to visit when you know your Goodwill Outlet store rotates new bins. New bins will give you the highest chance at buying valuable items and name brands for cheap. However, this time varies for each Goodwill Outlet location.
Generally, it’s safe to visit 30 minutes before the store opens. This is typically when there are fresh new bins, full of newly rotated merchandise.
But if you’re looking to enjoy a more peaceful shopping experience, visit the Goodwill Outlet near you a few hours after the store opens. At that point, the rush will have slowed down and you can rummage in peace.
How To Make Money At Goodwill Outlet
Re-sellers love Goodwill Outlet because it’s the best way to find items you can re-sell for a profit for cheap. Whether you’re an experienced re-seller or you’re just trying to make a little profit from your thrifting hobby, there’s always an opportunity to find items to flip for a profit when you dig through the Goodwill Bins.
Best Tips for New Re-Sellers
For new re-sellers, clothes can be a challenging first niche to sell online if you’re coming in with no previous knowledge on valuable brands, trending clothing styles and/or vintage clothes. If you’re near a Goodwill Outlets that sells an assortment of merchandise, such as clothing, toys, electronics, home goods, and more, this is an easier environment to source items you can flip for a profit.
With so many different areas of expertise, most people can overlook high-valuable items that you can buy for $2-$5 and re-sell for $50 or more. While it’s not every day you’ll score an opportunity to profit like this, it’s definitely not “rare” by any means.
Here are a few tips:
1. Download the eBay app and use the camera and/or barcode scanner to find valuable items – When you look up an item, use Filters and sort by Sold Listings to see the actual price buyers are willing to pay for the item.
2. Take 10% off the top of sold prices/comps to account for fees – When selling on online marketplaces like eBay and Poshmark, they can take up to, or more, than 10% in selling fees. This can really cut into your profits, so make sure to consider this when you’re sourcing.
3. Consider Shipping Prices – Shipping can be expensive. Avoid large and heavy items if they’re not worth more than $40 in the re-sellers market. After fees and shipping, it may not be worth your time. The cheapest shipping option is USPS First Class (for items under 1 pound) which typically costs $4 to $9. Anything over 1 pound will require USPS Priority Mail or UPS Ground, which can easily cost $9 to $20 based on the size and weight of your item.
Look for small, lightweight and easy-to-ship items that re-sell for at least $30. There are plenty of items like this out there, so don’t be discouraged if you make a bad purchase here and there.
4. Look at the recency and frequency of eBay Sold Listings – To avoid buying an item that’s going to sit in your storage for weeks or months, make sure to check that there are people buying the item you’re sourcing often and recently. The best way to do this is to check eBay Sold Listings. If there are weekly sales for the item you’re buying, that’s a good sign. But, if the last few sales are weeks or months apart, that’s a sign that there’s not enough demand in the markets.
Your goal is to find items that can sell quickly, even if it means less profit.
5. Always keep learning, there’s money everywhere – The truth is that there’s money everywhere. Don’t assume that the small plush is worthless, because it might be a rare Jellycat plush that sells anywhere from $50 to $900.
When it comes to re-selling the best skill is general knowledge and developing an eye for what high valuable items look like. If you’re persistent and stick to data-driven decisions, using eBay sold listings, you will start to see a pattern with items that have a high re-sell value. And even then, there’s more to learn.
In time, you’ll naturally gravitate towards a niche or category of item. That’ll be your specialty. Personally, after a year and a half of re-selling items on eBay, and more than $50,000 worth of items, I lean towards electronics but still don’t have a specialty. People are unique and there are buyers for the weirdest things imaginable. As much as you can, don’t judge and assume something can’t be re-sold (unless you’ve bought it before and verified it’s not valuable), because you just might be looking at treasure hidden in plain sight.
The Biggest Takeaway For New Re-Sellers
Abandon any ideas there are no items worth flipping. No matter where you live, people are moving in, moving out, passing away, and decluttering, and as long as this continues, you have great opportunities to visit thrift stores, garage sales, and estate sales to buy items to flip for a profit.
Lastly, be respectful and treat other shoppers with kindness. Re-sellers get a bad reputation, but you don’t have to contribute to that persona. Remember, knowledge is power. You can walk into a thrift store or garage sale hours after opening and find the most valuable item there.
Best Tips For Re-Selling Clothing Only
If you have basic knowledge of clothing and brands, shopping at a Goodwill Outlet with just clothes can be profitable. You can easily find valuable items to sell on eBay and Poshmark, or even at consignment stores like Plato’s Closet or Crossroads.
1. Look for single-stitch t-shirts – A lot of vintage clothing re-sellers and collectors identify vintage clothes by the stitching at the end of a shirt sleeve. This is a quick, but no foolproof way, to identify what could be a vintage t-shirt.
If you’ve never heard of single-stitch t-shirts, look at the image below. The stitch on the left is an example of single-stitched clothing and the stitch on the right is the modern way of making clothes, aka double-stitched clothing.
2. Look for sports jerseys – If you’re a sports fan, you know official and authentic jerseys can cost a lot when you buy them brand new. When you see a jersey, check for embroidery, thicker quality materials, and official clothing tags. If it looks older, that’s good. Some old, vintage jerseys can re-sell for hundreds of dollars.
3. Look for college hoodies and jackets – College brand hoodies and jackets are a pretty safe and easy flip. If it’s a vintage sweatshirt from a large college, such as USC, where it’s known for its sports team than that’s even safer to flip.
4. Avoid basic Adidas and Nike jackets and pants, even if they’re new – When it comes to mass-produced Nike and Adidas clothes, you may stumble across and new track jacket that’s brand new, with tags that show a $65 retail price. The issue is that these are mass-produced, super easy to find online, and have high competition in the pre-owned market. You may think you can simply re-sell these items for $40, but in my experience, these items always move slower than I think. Unless you can purchase one for a few dollars, it’s not worth picking up for re-selling purposes.
5. Look for tennis shoes, trendy sandals and be skeptical of name brands – Shoes are an easy and profitable flip when you know what sells. Some tride and true brands that sell well are Hoka (running shoe), Birkenstock (sandal), New Balance (running shoe), and Nike Air Jordans.
Also, fakes are pretty common at the Goodwill Outlets. If you see a pair of Yeezy’s or a Louis Vuitton bag, the chances are that it’s not authentic. Of course, it still might be worth picking up if it’s in good condition. But don’t expect to stumble across authentic name brands all the time.