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I have a love hate relationship with Goodwill. My love for it is location dependent. Certain Goodwills I find to be well organized with plentiful finds at great prices. Other Goodwills are ill organized, with pitiful finds and high prices, I hate those ones.
That said my first tip to you is…..
1. Try out a few locations
Don’t just try out one Goodwill and decide that we Goodwill lovers are crazy, because you may have hit a bad one.
I find the ones in or near bigger centers have much better selection than those found in smaller towns.
However, the Goodwills in big cities also tend to have the higher prices, so its a bit of a trade off.
2. Be prepared to spend at least an hour or two shopping.
Goodwill is not like the mall, you cannot go in go straight to the blouse rack, go straight to your size, go straight to your color, and then go straight to the changing room.
Most Goodwills are organized first by item (all the jeans together, all the skirts together…) then depending on the store they are organized either by color or by size.
Personally I love the stores that go by size, because the searching process takes less time.
However, it often pays to at least glance through the clothes that are not in your size in case an item has been put in the wrong section.
Trust me 90% of the time your extra time spent shopping will come back to you in dollars saved over buying at the mall.
3. If you see an employee bringing out a rack from the back go and take a look.
I often find the best stuff on these freshly bought out racks and the employee’s never mind me taking a look through as they shelf the items.
4. Grab a cart you are going to need it
I often think to myself I am just going to look through ……….this time so I won’t need a cart, but then within minutes I find myself walking across the store with several “whatevers” in my hand to go and get the cart because there are several more “whatevers” to look through.
5. Go down each aisle so that the front of garments are facing you.
I find it easiest to sort through the clothes if I go down each aisle I am interested in with the front of the garments facing me.
I then shove the clothes as far back as they will go on the rack and quickly thumb through them one by one.
If I am in a hurry I scan the rack with my fingers stopping when I find something that catches my eye, but often this approach causes me to miss great stuff (which I see later when a person behind me snatches it up)
6. Don’t be afraid to put sizes you think won’t fit in your cart.
These are second hand clothes they may have shrunk or stretched, or have been altered. Plus clothes sizes these days are not at all regulated. I personally wear anything between a size 6 to a size 10, and sometimes even a 12.
Now that you have a mound of clothes in your cart, come back next week to find out what to do once you hit the dressing room.
If you want to read more Goodwill tips read…
How about you? Do you have any tips or shopping Goodwill?