How to Shop at Goodwill (and find all the best stuff!)

I shop almost exclusively at Goodwill. The couch I’m sitting on, the coffee table my feet are on, the end table next to me, the table in our entry way, our dresser, and both of our night stands are from Goodwill. The jeans I’m currently wearing and the sweater wrapped around my shoulders are also Goodwill finds. My favorite coffee mug, nearly all of our picture frames, and my ridiculous book collection. Yup, Goodwill.

And yet time and time again, when I tell people where I’ve gotten so many of my belongings, the first thing they respond with is “I never find anything good there.”

If you aren’t finding good stuff, then you’re doing it wrong. I never leave Goodwill empty-handed. At the very least I’ll leave the store with a 25 cent paperback book. Here’s how I do it.

How to Shop at Goodwill

1. Touch everything

If you just said “ew!” you’re going to miss half of the good finds. May I remind you that if you’ve ever slept in a hotel, you’ve been all up in sheets that someone else has done God-knows-what in? So touching a shirt that someone else wore isn’t a big deal.

Looking at every item is the easiest way to find awesome stuff. I flip through every single rack in the women’s section. You’ve really got to perfect your wrist flick motion to plow through the racks in a jiffy (Grammy? Is that you? Yeah, I just said jiffy. It was weird but I liked it.)

The best part? Goodwill sorts clothing by style, then size and then by color. It’s a rainbow of beautiful.

This is just the short-sleeve small section.
This is just the short-sleeve small section.

2. Ignore the sizes

When I said I sort through every rack, I meant it. I completely ignore the sizes. As I type this I’m wearing a slouchy sweater that I found in the x-large section. Maybe it wasn’t intended to be slouchy, but it’s slouchy on me and I love it.

They also definitely just eyeball an item before they slap a tag on it. I’ve found size 2 jeans in the medium section (huh?) and size 14 jeans in the small section.

So ignore the sizes. Look at everything.

3. Try it on

If you said ew to the first one, then this is definitely an ew. I do it anyway. No matter how cheap it is, it isn’t a great deal if it doesn’t fit you.

4. Look for the staples

Goodwill is my holy grail of jeans stores. At least half of my jeans are from there. My favorite finds are American Eagle (the ones I’m wearing in this post), Mossimo, Loft, and BDG (from Urban Outfitters).

I can also practically guarantee you that if you are looking for a staple piece, like a black pencil skirt, you will find it. I have 3 black pencil skirts in varying fabric from my local Goodwill. They also have always have cardigans in practically every color, if that’s your thing. N also gets a ton of nice dress shirts from Goodwill.

5. Visualize every piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint

The furniture section at Goodwill is very hit or miss. That being said, the couch I’m sitting on as I type this is from Goodwill. It’s a lovely couch and was practically new when I bought it. Now it’s covered in dog hair.

Look for quality in the furniture. Check all the joints. Open the drawers and see how they’re connected. Can you take the hardware off to repaint? Good. Is it solid wood and not particle board? Good. Is it heavy as hell? Great. A piece of well-built furniture from Goodwill is a better investment long-term than anything from Ikea. And it’s probably still cheaper.

Of the furniture we’ve bought from Goodwill, I’ve refinished about half of it. On the right is my most recent furniture purchase. I’ve been wanting a vanity for years! Suggestions on a paint color welcome.

My "getting ready" area. Both of these are from Goodwill.
My “getting ready” area. Both of these are from Goodwill.

6. Pick the Goodwill in the wealthiest area near you

I frequent three Goodwill stores, all within about 10 miles of my house. The one I always find the best stuff at is the one that is closest to the big houses (i.e. rich people). Labels I find almost every visit: J.Crew, Loft, Gap, Abercrombie, and Banana Republic.

Goodwill stores near college towns also tend to have a ton of great women’s clothing but way crappier furniture.

7. Visit frequently and if you can, visit on a  Sunday or Monday

Goodwill gets new stuff all the time but  a great majority of it comes in on weekends. Sometimes it takes them a bit to get it out on the floor which is why  Monday  is the ideal day. There’s usually a lot of good stuff out by Sunday afternoon though.

8. Don’t hold back in the book section

Buy every single book you think you might want to read. Do it. Paperbacks are between 25 cents and $1. This is exactly how I am well on my way to having a library that rivals Belle’s. Also, FYI pregnant people, there are always at least 10 copies of What to Expect When You are Expecting at every single Goodwill. That is not an exaggeration.

A quick search of the book section on my most recent visit turned up some great titles:

Books at Goodwill

9. Don’t be tempted to buy, just because of the price

I’ve been guilty of this many times. It’s easy to justify a purchase when it’s only $3.50 (literally less than a Starbucks latte). That being said, if you really can’t imagine what you’d pair something with or it doesn’t fit you well, pass on it. If it’s furniture that has to be refinished and you don’t have the time or energy, just say no.

10. Don’t forget all the extras!

And by extras, I mean random crap. Their “home goods” section has tons of china, Christmas decorations, decorative glass items, baskets, and sporting equipment.

If I ever decided to take up golf...nah, that would never happen.
If I ever decided to take up golf…nah, that would never happen.

11. Enjoy a little opposite bragging

Oh, these $150 Columbia snow pants? $5 at Goodwill. This adorable blush pink Loft sweater? $3.50 at Goodwill. This Gap v-neck t-shirt? $3.50 at Goodwill. Oh and these fabulous white jeans? $5 at Goodwill.

I’m just not one of those people who would hide the fact that I bought something at Goodwill. Wearing a brand name item that you bought from Goodwill doesn’t make you cheap or gross, it makes you smart. Though admittedly, I am cheap.

12. Contribute to the circle of life

Two Disney references in one post? I’m killin’ it today.

If you find good stuff at Goodwill, give good stuff to Goodwill. It’s a great organization that helps thousands of people develop job skills. When I clean out my closet, those clothes go straight to Goodwill. Often I’ll buy something at Goodwill, wear it for a year or two, and drop it back off.

Follow these tips and I’d be willing to bet you find some super cool stuff on your next Goodwill trip. Got any more tips to add to this list? Do share!

 If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

How We Got Rid of HALF of Our Stuff

  • i absolutely love goodwill! that’s how this broke college girl furnished her apartment! i love painting old furniture bright colors and goodwill is the perfect place for that! i also have this habit of stopping at goodwill on the way home from work and i ALWAYS leave with at least one book!

    • It’s how I furnished my apartment when I lived alone. When N and I moved in together, we basically merged all the stuff we both had bought from Goodwill. It’s more fun to be on the hunt for the perfect piece.

  • I’m so glad that I’m not the only one that loves the rainbow of clothes at the Goodwill. I also love the Goodwill.

    Did you like Firefly Lane? I could not get into that good at all.


    • I actually really loved Firefly Lane BUT I have an unusual attachment to it because it got me through a really terrible break up. I’m pretty sure I kept reading simply because it kept me from thinking about a boy.

  • Love this Nadine! I’m a big shopper at Oxfam (sort of a UK version of Goodwill) and I can’t even keep count of the amount of conversations I’ve had trying to convince my friends to do the same. So many gems, so many books! What’s not to love!

    • I googled Oxfam and I really like their mission. Wish we had them here!

  • I’m glad you posted this. Sometimes it is very hard to find good stuff. But when I go to the goodwill’s on the rich side of town, I find all sorts of things. I really need to get back into shopping here.

    • The truth is, rich people give away a lot of good stuff. My entire professional wardrobe is from Goodwill. I’m always stunned when I find tons of brand name clothes but since I’m only paying $3.50 per item, I never hold back. Buy it all!

      • We don’t have a Goodwill nearby but we have a thriftshop called Jonnycake. I find all kinds of stuff and am amazed at the things that people donate. I have been to Saver’s which is about 45 minutes away and have found some great things. I am a stylist for a jewelry company and can appreciate looking good but try to almost make it a game of how cheap of an outfit I can create!

  • Thrifting is my favorite! These are great tips!

  • These are great tips! I’ve been wanting to start trying more thrifting, and this is a great starting point.

  • What a great idea. I donate my stuff to there and I’m always very frugal when I shop for things but I never think to go there. Also, the books?? Who would have thunk it?? I love reading but I never want to buy books because I always feel like they’re too much.

    • The books are probably the best part! I’ll walk out with a whole stack every time. And it’s not like they just have old, crappy books. I regularly find books that are still super popular.

  • This reminds me of when my friends and I used to hit up Goodwill in high school to raid the t-shirt bin 🙂

    I still love thrifting. I wish there was a decent Goodwill close to me, but alas that’s city life. Instead I hit up the “fancy” second hand store in my neighborhood that only has clothing from the last 1-2 seasons and a lot of name brands like Gap, H&M, etc. I also really like Twice ( – right now I’m wearing an Equipment blouse I scored from there for about $70 (original price $200+). I just discovered and got a like-new pair of Tory Burch flats for $60! I got a pair of very gently used Gucci flats on Ebay for $50 recently as well (ain’t no shame in my game, I will wear second-hand shoes). The majority of my luxury/designer items are second hand and I love it.

    • I’m jealous! If we had a fancy thrift store nearby, no doubt I’d be hitting it up.

  • There’s a Goodwill less than 5 minutes from my house and I’ve never gone in. Consider me convinced.

  • I hardly ever have luck at goodwill! but I don’t go often and I visit the one closest to me which is definitely not in a wealthy area! I need to go to one in our next town and spend more time there! you find such great thing!!

  • This is awesome! I LOVE Goodwill. And when it’s the first Saturday of the month and everything is 50% off, it’s like Christmas has come early!

    • Kimberly

      I work at a Goodwill and each district has a different Saturday for their half off sale. Also, if you ask the cashier at your store, they will usually tell you whaf days they get their truck in.

  • I LOVE shopping at Goodwill! It’s a great pastime on the weekends, just browsing the racks. Now that I think about it, I haven’t been to Goodwill in a couple months! This is not ok! Thank you for reminding me of this awesome place. I’m making plans to go there this weekend. Hopefully I’ll find awesome stuff! 🙂

    xo Denise

  • I LOVE trying to find unique finds at goodwill to bring home and fix up a bit. My favorite Goodwill find to date was a tags-still-on black with gold hardware Michael Kors sweater. Unfortunately these finds are few and far between. I’m excited to try out some of your tips soon! (OK, let’s be honest, this weekend probably)

  • Courtney

    Love me some Goodwill! Pretty sure 75% of my button downs and sweaters come from there, and most of the sweaters are men’s ones that were shrunken but still placed in the guys’ section.

    My big tip is to check over all the clothes for stains- it can be hard to do because the lighting is weird, but sometimes that awesome J.Crew shirt hasn’t been snatched up because it’s got some funky stain going on. I don’t do this one, but I’ve heard of people taking Tide To Go sticks with them to test if they’ll be able to get a stain off at home.

    Also, check for any bugs and do a quick Google search to see if your favorite stores have ever reported cases of bedbugs before. As soon as I walk in the house, those clothes go in the wash, sometimes twice if the store felt particularly unclean. Oh, and I’ve found some great skirts that fit nicely but needed shortened. Luckily, my mom is a whiz with a sewing machine and can hem anything, but this might not work for everyone if you don’t want to visit a tailor.

    The bonus of shopping at Goodwill besides scoring awesome deals is that it’s really environmentally friendly! Recycling clothes is really sustainable, so you can feel good because you’re saving money and the planet all at once!

  • I suck at Goodwill. I really need to try these tips/stop being afraid of thrift stores.

  • #11 is 100% the reason I started my blog! And as much as I shop at Goodwill, I will have to tell you not to donate there anymore! Yes, they do provide jobs for disabled workers, but they pay their employees crap and the CEO of Goodwill is a friggin billionaire. I donate to places like salvation army and small thrift shops that you know their profits go to a good cause! Just my two sense 🙂

    • ayronmarie

      Agreed!! I’ve never been helped by goodwill, and I’ve been in some dire straights. But salvation army has “saved my bacon” more than a few time. Including helping me pay my rent when I had no where else to turn and a one year old to take care of and my husband lost his job. They are always the ones I donate to. But I do shop at goodwill all the time.

  • I love Goodwill!! That’s the only place that I shop for clothes. I bought everything from an XS to XL and even kids’ sizes. I hate when people say, they can’t find anything because either a) they are being too picky or b) they aren’t spending time. I’m usually there an hour or two. You must look at everything. I’ve find a real authentic Louis Vuitton for $3 and even Chanel earrings for $1. It’s the best.

  • I’m obsessed with thrifting, I wrote a ;similar post on my blog a few months ago and I think my best advice is to set aside a good chunk of time and get to know the sale days so you’re getting the best possible deal! People are always amazed at some of the stuff I’ve found at Goodwill over the years. So many hidden gems!

  • Couldn’t have said it better myself. As an avid thrift shopper (and someone who considers them self to have somewhat decent style) I am constantly questioned about my concern for hygiene when goodwill sopping or told, as you said that people simply cannot find anything. When I inform them that no matter how ‘high end’ the store that they shop in is, there is no guarantee that any individual with questionable personal hygiene hasent tried those overpriced items on or even worn them home and then returned them people seem shocked but can not deny the possibility. If your concerns around hygiene go to those levels then you’d never leave the house and, afterall, isnt that what a washing machine is for? Great post 🙂

    i come undone

  • Great tips! I am usually that person donating never-worn clothes and shoes over the weekend, so it totally makes sense to shop on Mondays. I am going to give my local Goodwill a chance this summer.
    -Rachel @ With Love, Rachel

  • I love, love, love thrift shopping. I really enjoy the Salvation Army in my area too, though. My biggest thing is going on their half off days. #ibuyusedclothesonsale

  • I love Goodwill! I think if you are thrifting you have to be ready for the hunt and like you said to look through all the clothes. Half my wardrobe is from thrift stores and I love it, I can spend 20 bucks and get like 10 new things instead of one shirt at forever 21.

  • Is Goodwill an American chain? I always believe it’s American until I read a comment about Goodwill being up in Canada somewhere. Either way, I get extremely jealous when I see hauls from Goodwill… I wish my local thrift store is as cheap! And whenever I do go down to the States, none of my friends are fans of thrift stores.

  • I love thrift shopping! Actually 80% of my wardrobe is thrifted except for bags and shoes. I always find a couple of treasures when going to my favorite thrift shops. Although we don’t have Goodwill here from where I live. I wish we had though! I often get comments about how cute my top is or my blazers are and when I say that I got them for only half a dollar people’s eyes often go wide. Okay I think I just bragged right there. Oopsies. Sorry about that. I love this post so much!

    Anne’s Scribbles and Doodles

  • Ayu

    Aaaaah such an amazing post! Will definitely be using these tips on my next trip to a thrift shop!

  • YES! B’s aunt is a professional Goodwill shopper and all the above is correct! She’s always said to go to the Goodwills near affluent areas. I didn’t know about the Sunday + Monday tip! Looks like I have a new place to be on those afternoons 😉

  • I love the Goodwill near me, though I don’t go there as often as I should.

  • came across your blog from bloglovin’
    wow, never knew all about this about goodwill!! thanks for sharing!

  • Jessa

    I love Goodwill. We go there all the time. Love the tip on going to the “wealthier” areas b/c it is soo true. I have some many great suit sets from Limited, etc from Goodwill. You have to touch and visit everything b/c you never know what you are going to find.

  • I definitely love the idea of getting furniture at places like Good Will and Salvation Army! Our bar and our son’s dresser both came from Salvation Army. It’s so fun to breath new life into something. Also, maybe grey for your vanity? What a great find!

    • Alexandria

      I was going to suggest grey too, like a rich charcoal grey, or for a more modern look you could try a bright bright blue. (This is very trendy, for shade see blue french horn in HIMYM)

  • what a cool post!

  • I’ve found some really great stuff at thrift stores. It’s definitely a treasure hunt, though, because usually I have to sift through lots of junk to get to it:) You’re right to shop the wealthiest areas. My sister-in-law goes to garage sales in the wealthy neighborhoods to buy kid’s clothes, and her kids are the hippest dressed around now:)

  • I LOVE Goodwill! Actually, all thrift stores! And Craigslist for furniture too! I love thrifting and you can find amazing pieces. At my local Goodwill, I got a camel Theory trench coat for $25!! It’s in perfect condition and I had been searching for one just like it! Love all of your tips.

  • Paula

    I buy many clothing items at thrift stores. Some items may appear to be too small. Many have been donated because they have shrunk. Those items can be stretched back to their original size. After washing, I try it on to see if it fits. If not, I wet the fabric and stretch it to the correct size. It expands your choices.

  • Renee

    Hi Nadine. I’m a big Goodwill shopper, too. And you are so right about shopping in the “ritzier” neighborhoods. I have found things from Bill Blass, Loft, Gucci, Cole Haan. I found a skirt from Talbots with a $118 original tag for $5! But I disagree with you about not buying because it’s a good bargain. I just can’t pass them up…I buy them and bless my friends and family 🙂 You gave some great tips!!

    • rabs

      you should be fkin ashamed of yourself for gifting someone elses used clothes to your unsuspecting friends and family.

  • Angi Doughty

    LOVE Goodwill so much that I even converted my hubs! If you ever get to Denver, go to ARC stores …. I live on the east coast, so I don’t get there often, but they are the BEST thrift stores ever. Liz, LV, Coach … you name it, and at thrift store prices!

  • anteria

    I love Goodwill…I actually got my wedding dress from there for $50. 6 ft train, only needed to be hemmed a little, and it fit wonderful. It wasn’t my dream dress but I still felt beautiful in it.

    Here it is if you’d like to see it…

    • Queen of Rods

      Beautiful dress, beautiful bride 🙂

  • Colleen Hall

    I buy formal wear– velvet dresses for $3, silk tops for $1, and a formal blue satin dress for $3. The fabric will be used for American Girl doll clothes, and the blue long satin dress? A Frozen” dress! I can no but fabric for anywhere near those prices!

    • So creative! There are always dozens and dozens of bridesmaids dresses at goodwill and I’ve always wondered if people used them for fabric for kids halloween costumes. I hope to someday be that crafty!

  • I love this post! I love finding great deals at Thrift stores. I just posted some tips on thrift store shopping. I’ve found some amazing deals at thrift stores in the past. I will definitely use some of your tips!

    • Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • ange

    i LOVE thrift stores. they are my favorite places to shop. it’s like a treasure hunt.
    Do you have a Goodwill Outlet Store in your area? Goodwill tries to have very little waste going out of the stores. The stuff that doesn’t sell at the retail store goes to the outlet stores. They have furniture marked WAY down-like $10 or less. Books are cheap. Clothes and “stuff” is charged by the pound. with the by the pound stuff, the more you buy, the more you save. When you hit 20lbs, the price per pound goes down. if you get close to 20, add something else to get you over 20lbs, and you actually end up paying less!! i found a $400 sheepskin rug and a very nice sleeping bag for my son there. I like to wear gloves. you have to dig through bins for the prizes. My husband goes through every single purse. He usually makes a buck or so.
    with the stuff that doesn’t sell, they recycle what they can and the clothes go to shelters or poor countries.

    • I believe I’ve been to one once but not recently. I’ve never seen one in my area. I’ll have to check and see. I love the per pound idea.

      • Goingwithgod

        Yes, love, love the pay per pounds, bins or goodwill outlet store. I have found two le creuset dutch ovens and a braiser for less than $10. I gave found real gold, silver, small appliances, furniture, cowskin rug, clothing, handbags, boots. Some much stuff I have found. I feel bad for people who do not live near one.

  • Anne Finley

    I shop at thrift stores all the time~ Goodwill’s fantastic but it’s far from the only good thrift store out there. If you haven’t already seen this, this is a national thrift store directory to find more awesome stuff

    • Well Anne, you just blew my freaking mind. This is awesome because I moved since I wrote this post and don’t live as close to the Goodwill’s I loved anymore. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jane Sanders

    Wednesday is senior day (55 and older) at our Goodwill and all purchases are an extra 20% off even if they they are already 1/2 off. Love the thrill of the hunt. I buy high end clothing. On Saturdays our Salvation Army has certain color tags marked to .69. I bought 5 coats recently each .69. Lands End, Harve Bernard, Jones New York among them.

  • Lauren

    Great tips for any thrift shop.

    Just have to put this out there though – Goodwill does great things for the communities it serves but the CEO of GW takes home a couple million a year where as the CEO of Salvation Army makes less than $50,000.

    Not to say I never go to GW but I prefer like to support other thrift shops when I can, especially ones run by local charities as these tend to put even MORE money back into the communities. So, explore your area for other shops! I always donate my gently used items to a shop that is volunteer run and supports my favorite no-kill animal shelter.

    You might find some really cool little spots out there when you look beyond Goodwill.

  • Shelly

    i have to agree with Loren. I’m a thrift store and yard sale shopper all the way! (Well, my underwear items are brand new 🙂 I struggle with the fact that the GW CEO is taking home so much bacon. I try and frequent the smaller mom-n-pop places. What REALLY yanks my chain is when I see a pair of say…Target knock off jeans for $3.99 then 2 pairs over are a pair of GAP jeans for $29.99. This is no joke. It’s crap. I SAW it. With my own 2 eyeballs! Or a Target CLEARANCE item that GW marked HIGHER than the Target tagged clearance item. I asked about it and they just said that everything that gets donated gets sent to the main depot store (which is seattle for me) and they price and divvy out what neighborhoods need what. And yet, I still go.

  • Britney

    I hit up Goodwill for my toddlers clothes on half off days! T-shirts and jeans for $.75 each, and he’s jut going to grow out of them in a month or two so it’s super easy to restock. I don’t see the point in buying my 1.5 year old $20 shirts he’s just going to destroy, because let’s face it, he will destroy them. haha 😉

  • Jill

    I love shopping at Goodwill and stop even when on vacation out of state. A tip I have is all of our area Goodwill have 50% off colored tag days where one color is on sale, yesterday was orange tags. Great finds and Great shopping

  • Tracey

    I had weight loss surgery back in Nov. 2014 and am losing weight so fadt that Goodwill just makes sence. Why spend $25.00 + on new jeans when you can find similiar ones at GW for $3.50. I have been shopping there for years ( and donating also) and your tips are spot on. One suggestion, ask about special deals and coupons. All our local ( 6 in 30 miles) have a white board by the registers that advertise daily specials. Our area (Michiana) has a “booster club”. I spend $5.00 a year and in return get 12 coupons. One for every month of the year. These coupons are $5.00 off a $10.00 or more purchase. I also get special sales 3-4 times a year 50% off with special postcard they send out to boosters. Last week on Wed. it was 40% off everything, I paired that with my $5.00 coupon. I ended up paying $17 (and some change) on my total that was $38.

  • Liz

    This is great, Iand not just for Goodwill. I consider myself extremely lucky as I have 3 Goodwill Stores a Salvation Army store and 3 other donation based stores one of which is very high end and supports a Friends school, which has some stellar finds. In other words look around you, a local church, school, or religious organization may have a store like this, andin those store you can find a lot of stuff super cheap with the tags still on.

  • Saunsirae Tucker

    I love shopping Goodwill, always a deal, you can also go to any of the stores or websites and get the sales calendar for that month, i found ikea canvas pictures for $6.00 a piece (originally $12.00 a piece from goodwill) looked them up they were $100.00 from ikea. So dont knock it til you tried it. YOLO

  • Allison

    I go to Goodwill at least once a week. I think 80 percent of my closet is from there. My recent find? A Banana Republic caramel colored jacket/trench for $12. WHAT.

  • Steph

    Nice job on this post. Jeans/cardigans/dresses… all must buys at Goodwill or for us in the PNW, Value Village. Nadine, you could double for Trixie on Call the Midwife!

  • Emma

    Good posts, some of these are really helpful. I do have a problem though. My Goodwill doesn’t really sort things, they have clothes, books, furniture, belts, purses etc. not mixed together but they don’t sort by color or size. I do find some cool things there once in a while though! But it is the only Goodwill within 15 minutes. The other one is 25 minutes away. Thanks!

  • Lindsey

    I love thrift stores! I just love them. You can find some of the coolest things there. I live close to an old cute down with thrift stores, coffee shops, and all about trains and antiques. I live 15 minutes from a Goodwill but I have trouble finding what I want. I hope this helps me, thanks a million!

  • Penny

    I absolutely adore Goodwill stores! I shop in several whenever I can. However, I really do more shopping at their online auction site I drill down to shop only through the items offered at my nearest distribution site where I can pick my won items up myself (as opposed to paying shipping charges). I have won -and SAVED TONS- on so many things, from shoes/clothes, furniture, fabrics, sewing notions, jewlery, craft items, and so much more! And…I do it all from my phone!

  • Debbie Perkins

    I LOVE GOODWILL! My family always pooh poohed me about going and looking. HA! Who has the last laugh ole skinflint, tightwad, frugal Mom. My husband thought that I was nuts. He has since had to start dialysis and has lost 75 lbs. Yeah. Fun. Anyway, I headed back to my fave store and started bringing home different sized pants and shirts. Yup. I scored. He has better clothes now than he did, well, better nicer name brands. His favorite pants? American Eagle, Columbia shirts, Eddie Bauer shirts. This was a blessing for my wallet. (I also decorated the heck out of our beach house with these type of finds. Cheap Beach Chic.) Never say never and always go in with an open mind. I love it. Thanks for the tips. My college age daughter hits “my” store and digs and hunts any t shirt that is a Comfort Color brand. Yeah,I’m raising her right!

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  • Rebecca

    Thank you so very much for this post, as a domestic engineer with two toddlers it has become very difficult to by new pants and shorts off the store rack (even on sale). I’ve been thinking about goodwill shopping but (as weird as this sounds) i didn’t quite know how. This post gave me the tips and confirmation i needed. This momma will be attempting her first goodwill exploration this following Monday! Thank you again.

  • Inspired Orb

    The Goodwills in our county have a color-coded system that lets them know how long and item has been in stock. Each week’s arrivals have a specific color of tag. Once a month that color goes on sale for 1/2 price for a week. That $3.99 top then becomes $2. The color changes on Sunday so Sunday is the best day to shop in our county so that the best items in that color don’t get snatched up by people like me who them resell them at my mini-boutique inside an antique mall. My best snag was a pair of St. John pants, black with beautiful red metallic jacquard flames on the bottoms, with the $640 price tag still on them. Just recently found a pair of Escada pants as well.

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  • Sherry

    I love Goodwill. Go there all the time. My best bargain was a black, short-sleeved cashmere
    sweater for $3.50.

  • Mary

    I shop for infant and baby clothes. Little ones grow so quickly and all of the clothes are practically new. Prices for NB – 24 months are $1.49 here.

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  • Heaven Mount

    Arizona … Every other Saturday is HALF OFF everything. (except new goods) I go at least once a month. We also have a couple EPIC THRIFT’s that have the opposite Saturdays HALF OFF. People can’t believe the deals I’ve gotten.

  • Michelle Parks Jefferies

    I love Goodwill, I am a shopaholic so this is a great way for me to shop and save hundreds of dollars! Oh my good finds…last week, a Rose Tree Home Cambridge Comforter Set Queen Size (comforter, two shams, bed skirt, and a decorative pillow) for $39.99. I looked it up online when I got home and the least expensive set was $167 up to the most expensive at a high end store for $360.00. I recently also discovered two brand new Lucky Brand 100% cotton and suede tote style pocketbooks for only $3.60 each, which I’m now auctioning on EBay. Some months ago I found a Michael Kors dress for only $5.99. I couldn’t wear it, but I gave it to a friend who absolutely love it! A customer stood at the register waiting to see how much it was going to ring up for, in amazement kicking herself for not seeing it. I have so many more great finds! I haven’t even mentioned the deals on decorative items. Goodwill is my guilty pleasure. I come home with my items, spread them all out, take pictures, and research to see how much I really saved. Some people are Extreme Couponers, me I’m an Extreme Thrifter!

  • Pure Diva

    I have been a Goodwill shopper for many years! I’d love to share a couple extra secrets with my fellow shoppers! I live in California and not all GW stores are equal. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and the GW stores are so expensive. I venture up where my daughter lives about 90 minutes from the Bay and find the prices much more reasonable. The GW stores up there have 50% off day after every major holiday. That’s when we go crazy! Here’s a play out of my secrets I implement on each & every shopping trip! These are closely guarded secrets! I start out by scanning the entire store with my eyes! I then bee line it to the merchandise behind the counter since many treasures are behind those glass walls! A GW store employee told me that all expensive jewelry, shoes, handbags & watches go behind those beautiful glass walls! I scored a Gucci handbag that retailed for well over $800 for a mere $39.99! I also purchase beautiful jewelry and watches! I find that many folks donate their expensive watches simply because the battery is dead. So what! I buy a battery and replace it myself! I then walk rapidly back to the furniture section where GW puts a lot of items that don’t fit elsewhere in the store. I have found expensive pieces of furniture as well as the night stands I’m currently using. Also, I have found wonderful plant stands, ice chest, wicker pieces, baskets, office chairs and so much more!
    Then I head to the linen dept. I buy all my expensive comforters from GW. Also, I buy next to new sheets. I found a silk pair of maroon Victorias Secret sheet set for $2.99 each piece. I was thrilled. They feel so good! I just wash everything prior to using.
    I purchase all my jeans and other clothes as well. Again, just wash it and its like new. I could go on & on with my secrets but I won’t reveal any more for now! Hope my fellow shoppers enjoy some of my secrets!!

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  • rabs

    Goodluck wearing your cheap sweater that was donated by someone with pus and sores all over their body.

  • Susan Schwend

    So my daughter and I stop at a local Goodwill and I spot a wall clock covered in thick dust with no finial nor pendulum. I pick it up and sit down on a nearby “clean” couch and look the clock over. $14.95. It is a solid wood, Howard Miller in perfect condition – no gouges or cracks – aside from being filthy and missing those two parts. My daughter is turning up her nose at it. I tell her – “just wait until I’m finished with it.” I bring it home and give it a good scrubbing with Murphy’s Oil Soap. I go online and purchase a nice finial for $2.25 and a harp style pendulum for $4.50. Put it all together – it keeps perfect time, has a chime and looks BEAUTIFUL!. Online, the clock sells for about $350. My daughter still can’t believe it is the same clock!

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