I am a Goodwill junkie. In fact, if I don’t go often, I wonder what I may be missing out on. I would estimate that 90% of my clothing comes from the Goodwill and you would never know. I wear brand names, my kids wear brand names, and I pay about $1.29 per piece. There is nothing I love more than someone saying “I love that shirt, or “Where did you get that?, the answer is probably the Goodwill. To me, shopping at the Goodwill, or finding other vintage or thrift items is an exciting journey, I feel like I’m on a hunt or a quest. Yes, I take it that seriously. Not only can you find great bargains thrift shopping, you can also find some great items to sell on eBay if you’re into that sort of thing. Many people wonder how I find these great deals because when they go, they don’t find half the items that I do, so I will share some tips with you.
1. Visit Many Stores
This is the only way you’ll find out which store is “hot” and which one is not. Virtually all medium size cities have a Goodwill and larger cities have vintage shops. Some stores are very small and others are extremely large. The bigger the store does not always mean, better items and better selection. Also, you need to take into consideration the type of area you are in as that will generally dictate the type of clothing you will find. For example, if you are in a college town, you will find most brands that you would find teenagers and young adults wearing. If you are in a nice little suburb, you will find more career wear and children’s clothes and toys. With furniture, books and collectibles, it just boils down to being at the right store on the right day.
2. Visit Often
I know this sounds obvious, but if you don’t go often, you can’t find the deals. Merchandise is put out daily at the Goodwill, so just because you couldn’t find your treasure that day, doesn’t mean it might not be there next week. Some days you can visit and find absolutely nothing you are interested in and other days you feel as though you have stumbled upon a goldmine.
3, Find Out the Sale Days
Most stores will have a tag sale day every week. Clothing at the Goodwill for example, is all tagged either on the label or somewhere else. There are approximately 10 different colors of tags and generally one day a week a color will be on sale. For example, in my area, I know that tag sale day is on Tuesday. So if I have a free moment on Tuesday, this is when I am most likely to go to the store. In my area, the price for a certain color tag on that day is $1.29 and houseware items are 1/2 off. In my opinion this is the best day to go as I have found great buys such as $20.00 coats for $1.29, just because I was there on the right day. You can visit on other days as well, but you will be paying over $4.00 for a shirt and over $5.00 for jeans. I only buy items like this if it’s something I am dying to have, otherwise, I will just come back another week and look for it again. You are taking a chance by doing this, so if it’s something you really want you’re better off to just pay the extra price.
4. Don’t Go Looking for a Particular Item
If you do this, you may be disappointed. Lately I have been looking for suitcases and I have been to several Goodwills. Of course I can’t find one anywhere now, when before I saw them everywhere. It’s just how it works. When you go, keep in mind if it’s there in front of you and it’s a good deal, you might as well get it now. For example, it’s July and people are going around in flip-flops, but you are at the thrift store and stumble upon Steve Madden boots. Well, many people will pass them by, because it’s the wrong season. If you purchase them now, you’ll be glad in a few months that you did. Another example of this, cold weather has hit where I live right now, but yesterday I found my daughter some brand new Sketcher sandals for $2.20, she can’t wear them for another 9 months, but I went ahead and bought them.
5. Look for Brand Names and Scan Quickly
I often see people going through racks painstakingly slow. I don’t have time for that. I quickly go through the racks, by looking at the tags on the top and occasionally glancing down for something that may not be brand name, but catches my eye. It’s not that I’m a snob and have to have brand names, but when we are talking about second-hand items, generally the name brands have held up better and look less worn. Same principal with jeans, you don’t have to pull them out and check the size, glance on the back first for a brand you like, then pull them out to look and check the size.
6. Find Items to Sell on Ebay
I have made so much money on eBay selling things that I have found at the Goodwill or other thrift stores. I actually consider it part-time income now. You can often find clothing items that are brand new with the tags still attached. If you go on the “tag sale” day, buy it for say $1.29 and then you turn around and sell it on eBay for 3 to 15 times more. That type of profit adds up. You can also find great deals on books and collectibles and sell them on eBay. If you know what people are looking for and what there is a demand for, you can’t beat it.
I hope some of my tips have helped you. I have friends ask me all the time to take them to the Goodwill with me. It’s really very easy, fun, and you can even turn it into profit.