There is a Goodwill Outlet on the other side of my town – probably a 15-20 minute drive from my house. I went there for the first time about 10 years ago. The only way I can really place it in time is that I had my oldest (and at the time, only) son with me. We went in, looked around, I felt overwhelmed by the people and chaos and underwhelmed by the kinds of items (I think at the time I hadn’t started selling clothes). I bought my son an Elmo toy and we got the heck out of there after just a few minutes.
Fast forward 10-ish years, I had never once gone back. I don’t remember even being tempted to go back. But as you may know, my Value Village closed. And now that I am working from home full-time I have started listening to Youtube videos in the background as I work, and the majority of folks seem to shop at the bins. So I decided it was time to go back.
One of my personal goals each year is to donate blood at least 5 times (eligible donors can donate every 56 days!) The Red Cross blood donor center recently moved … in the same general direction as the bins from my house. So I decided that the next time I donated blood I would go to the bins after.
It was pretty much exactly how people describe it. Most items are priced $1.29 per pound if you purchase 25+ pounds, media items are priced separately. You dig. Mine is busy, but not so busy that you can’t keep your cart next to you all the time. I didn’t encounter anyone that was rude or overly aggressive. It was fun, but at the end I had to be honest that I didn’t find many amazing things … mostly Nike, Under Armour, Columbia and the like that will bring in small but decent sales. I was also super curious about how much I actually paid for each item, so I weighed every single thing to get an idea of actual cost. Here are a few of the items I have sold so far:
Nike athletic pants
Paid: $0.56, Sold: $14.95
(2 days after listed)
Athleta tank top
Paid: $0.48, Sold: $15.95
(11 days after listed)
Outfitter’s Ridge Boys Camo Jacket
Paid: $1.68, Sold: $24.95
(4 days after listed)
Rothco Concealed Carry Hoodie
Paid: $1.76, Sold: $24.95
(less than 12 hours after listed)
Pottery Barn Kids
Beatrix Potter fitted sheet
Paid: $0.64, BO Accepted: $30
(7 days after listed)
I was also given 2 Red Cross shirts for donating blood. Probably about half the time I go they have some kind of freebie offer going on, this time it was a long sleeve tee. Apparently they had boxes and boxes of the shirts because one of the gals working there encouraged me to take more than one if I wanted.
2 Red Cross Long-Sleeve Tees
Paid: $0.00 (1 pint of blood)
BO Accepted: $16
(11 days after listed)
I have to admit I enjoyed the GWO experience. When I got home my boys asked why my blood donation appointment had taken so long and I told them I had gone to the Goodwill Outlet.
8yo: You went to the bins?!
Me: How do you know it is called that?
8yo: That’s what they say in all of the videos you watch.
I came home with a lot of mediocre items. (AND, unlike shopping at Value Village where I mostly bought NWT items, I felt the need to wash absolutely everything.) If I was low on inventory it would be a very cost-effective way to get more … but right now I am still making my way through backlogged inventory. So I don’t plan to go back often.
That said, last Friday was my birthday and when my husband asked what I wanted to do I told him I wanted to go to the Goodwill Outlet. He was totally a good sport and went with me. I was kinda hoping he would love it, but notsomuch. We did find him a new pair of work pants, which I washed over the weekend. He just (minutes ago) came downstairs wearing them and said he found a dollar in the pocket. !!!! I thought I had checked every pocket on every item, I’ve seen pictures online of people finding money in pockets and I was hoping I might get so lucky. But, no.
Current score: Me – $0, Husband – $1
Do you shop at the bins? Do you love it? Please share!