Goodwill Shopping Tips

goodwill shopping tips
A Coach purse for $40!

A brand new (with tags) Boston Proper jacket for $20!

Like new Polo loafers $40…we looked them up online and new ones sell for $400!

Once you score bargains like these you'll be hooked on Goodwill and thrift store shopping!

If you're not a frequent Goodwill shopper, follow these tips to find your treasures!

  • Shop multiple locations – Go to to find locations near you, and check out more than one! Trust me, not all Goodwills are created equal. I have two Goodwill locations within minutes of my home – one is very large with some high end brands, and the other location is tiny (like the size of my living room), but all the high end designer items end up here. FYI…it's the Palm Beach Goodwill!
  • Shop often – Inventory changes daily, enough said.
  • It's the thrill of the hunt – Don't go in expecting to zero in on a size 6 little black dress for a party or a size 16-33 Polo shirt for your husband because chances are you'll strike out. Take your time, look at all the racks and be open minded…that's how you find treasures! Many Goodwills are organized by style and color instead of sizes, so if you're looking for khaki pants there's probably an entire rack of them! Remember, alterations can work miracles if the price is right!
  • Zero in on new racks – If you see a new rack being rolled out, hurry over for first dibs!
  • Ask about sale days – Each Goodwill has special sale days and promotions, so once you find your favorite Goodwill…ask the cashier.

My teenage daughter and her best friend like to have Goodwill shopping adventures…they really enjoy the thrill of the hunt! Yesterday, my daughter came home with a pair of like-new Nike shorts and 2 brand new paperback books for less than $10!

Do you have any Goodwill shopping tips?

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8 years ago

Goodwill is a Non-Profit. Period. Yes, the CEO’s make good money…so does the CEO of the Red Cross and Save the Children. Do you doubt that they are non profits? Goodwill is not just retail stores and the employees that you see there. They have contracts with many companies that hire from Goodwill’s many programs, for instance, I know of one very large SSA building who’s entire cleaning crew is Goodwill employees with disabilities. That is just one very small example of what Goodwill really does with your money. Please, I would ask that all of you out there that doubt the amazingly wonderful things that Goodwill is doing, check out the website for your local Goodwill chapter. The one that I am familiar with is Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake ( Read the success stories….Goodwill is much, much more than the retail stores. After you have educated yourself the… Read more »

10 years ago

I always have a box or bag of things being saved up to donate. When I’m ready to shop, I first drop off the donation. They give me a tax receipt – which also has a 10% off coupon on it! Nice to get 10% off your entire order. Also, get the goodwill card and start saving points.

10 years ago

There was an awesome Goodwill store back in Colorado Springs and I stopped by frequently! The one where we live now is really small, but still a great place to find nice secondhand items. I always appreciate their focus on benefiting the community as well.

Christy Garrett
10 years ago

I didn’t even realize KT responded negatively to Goodwill. As someone who is disable, little do you know that the funds generated by the Goodwill stores goes into job placement for disabled people who need help negotiating with potential employers. They make sure that you can do the job and that the employer is fully aware of your job restrictions. I think it is a great program and allows many disabled people to get a job that they can do.

Christy Garrett
10 years ago

We shop for my son’s pants at Goodwill quite often. He loves to put holes in them so I hate paying full price for jeans. I never had this issue with my daughter. I have picked up like new jeans for him for $4.00 a pair.

Columba Lisa Smith
10 years ago

Great tips. I’ve made the mistake of going to look for a particular item. You’re right, that usually doesn’t work. I will keep that in mind for my next trip. It’s fun to go with my kids. They always find something they like.

Pamela R
10 years ago

we love Goodwill, SA and a new place that just came to our neck of the woods called SAVERS!

Pepper Tan
10 years ago

It’s been a while since I last went on a real shopping spree. Yes, I think it’s a good idea to put the things I want in the cart and just decide at checkout which ones to get.

10 years ago

I think it’s excellent to share this. It’s so good to give back to goodwill, and it’s also great to remember goodwill before we rush out to waste funds may later really, really need. Thanks for sharing!!

10 years ago

Sorry, I need to disagree with KT’s & Ellen’s assessment of Goodwill as a for profit business and not reputable. They have come under fire for salary issues (high-paid execs and low-paid workers) but they are non-profit despite the ugly rumors to the contrary that some media like to repeat.
As someone who deals daily with people of limited employ-ability (not at Goodwill), the training and rehabilitation that Goodwill provides allows many of their employees to acquire skills, build a resume and move on to other jobs.
I like shopping at Goodwill and will continue to do so without reservation.
Thanks for the shopping tips!

10 years ago

In Indianapolis, they have $.99 Sundays, where all clothes and shoes that are the “color of the week” are $.99 to get them off the racks. Throughout the week, that color is just 50% off regular price. I only go on Sundays now.

Also, we have 2 Goodwill Outlets, which sell all of the old clothing and household items at a steep discount. It’s sold by the pound for no more than $1.29/lb and furniture is VERY cheap.

Also, KT is right – they are a for-profit company that gets 100% of their merchandise free and hires challenged individuals because they can pay them less. I try to give them as little of my money as possible (hence the tips above!), and make my donations to other organizations that use the profits better.

10 years ago

If you see something you like, put it in your cart wile shopping and make final decission on whether you really want it at check out. If you plan to go back for it, it may not be there.

10 years ago

Goodwill is not a reputable business. There are many other fantastic options that actually put the money towards good use and not just in their pockets.
See this article for example:

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