I've crossed many a Goodwill in my years of thrift shopping. And due to similar store layouts and corporate rules and regulations, they are undoubtedly organized in a uniform fashion. Color-coded stickers that determine sales, set prices for various garments of clothing, and housewares and miscellaneous items organized by color, not by category. It's a fairly ordinary thrifting experience.
This is exactly why some secondhand shoppers are wary to try the Goodwill Outlet experience. And what is the Goodwill Outlet experience? Take a look!
Without being properly prepared, a trip to the Goodwill Outlet could be very jarring. I'm not going to lie: It can be hectic. It can be dusty. It can be crowded and overwhelming. It can also be a total treasure hunt unlike any other thrift store you've ever encountered.
In my last blog post about the Goodwill Outlet, I went into a little detail about how the operation worked and what you can expect. But this time I'm taking it one step further by giving you some helpful tidbits of what to bring to help your outlet expedition.
First and foremost, if you aren't in the mood to roll up your sleeves and dig, the Goodwill Outlet shouldn't be on your itinerary. This isn't a quick trip to look around. It isn't clean and organized. But if you're game, I'm the coach.
If you're planning a trip to your local Goodwill Outlet, you'll want to bring a couple of things. A tote bag is helpful, to stuff all of your finds in until you can get to the checkout. Shopping carts tend to go quickly, and in truth--aren't easily navigated between bustling shoppers. Want your own Let's Go Thrifting tote bag? You can order one here!
Gloves are also a good choice. I've seen shoppers in dish washing gloves, latex gloves, winter gloves, even utility gloves. I've also seen shoppers dig barehanded. Either way, a small bottle of sanitizer goes a long way when it comes to dusty bins of unsorted merchandise.
Also, be sure to keep your phone/keys/purse secured. Last time I was at a Goodwill Outlet, a woman was distraught because she lost her diaper bag somewhere in the store. No price tags, no organization---and lost personal items? That spells disaster.
But perhaps the most important elements to bring with you are time and an open mind. Maybe you won't find anything you deem valuable. But I've seen some obvious resellers who would beg to differ. Maybe you won't even enjoy the experience. But can you call yourself a seasoned secondhand shopper if you don't give it a try?
At 99 cents a pound, and with bins and bins of opportunities...The Goodwill Outlet is a unique thrift shopping experience, one for which I hope you're now better prepared.
What do YOU hope to find at a Goodwill Outlet?