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How to Make Money From Goodwill Outlet

We have often found items from Goodwill Outlet to resell and make money. Here are a few tips for how to make money from Goodwill Outlet.

Sourcing at Goodwill Outlet and other pay by the pound stores is very beneficial for online sellers. It’s a great way to find items to resell for greatly discounted prices. Don’t assume that the items at Goodwill Outlet are only rejects that didn’t sell in the retail shops. The things you’ll find at Goodwill Outlet certainly are not junk!

Items at end up in the outlet store can still be valuable and you can make a profit from them. Some items don’t sell in the retail store simply because they were priced too high or the right person wasn’t in the right place to find them. One of our most memorable finds was a brand new in sealed box Brother electric typewriter that we found a few years ago.

Brother GX-6750 Electronic Typewriter

We bought it for $1.37 (based on the total amount we paid that day divided by how many items we bought).

Sold it on eBay for $74.99 + $17.90 shipping!

To bad we didn’t find it recently… new ones are selling between $250 and $500! See the eBay sold results.

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Tips for Making Money at Goodwill Outlet

Making money at Goodwill Outlet or any other pay by the pound thrift store is very possible, but you need to think about it a lot differently than just shopping a regular thrift store. You have to be much more intentional with pay by the pound shopping and a little more competitive.

Know what you’re looking for.

Before we went for the first time, we had watched a lot of videos about other people who sourced items to resell at Goodwill Outlet. We wrote down a list of items we knew to grab and made mental note as well. Here is what we put on our list, based on past experience and what we learned from others:

  1. Anything that can be parted out: small appliances (coffee machines, food processors, etc), vacuum parts, games, etc

  2. Anything new in package: games, toys, housewares… ANYTHING

  3. Furbies

  4. Vintage electronics: cameras, cassette players, radios, etc.

  5. Name brand clothing or any items that have tags

  6. Oneida silverware

Get there at the right time.

By knowing the rotation schedule and when the busy times are, you can maximize your time and go when there is hopefully less competition. Some people say to show up as soon as the store opens, however, that is also the time when there is usually a lot of people. You may want to try going at different times on different day s to see what it’s like and when the best time is to go.

The rotation schedule at each store is going to be different; some do it every hour, 2 hours, etc.

Be a little aggressive.

You don’t have to be rude, but you do have to be a little aggressive. Shopping the Goodwill Outlet certainly isn’t for the weak at heart. You have to treat it like Black Friday. Everyone is going after the steals and deals and they want to be the first to snatch it.

You have to be willing to dig, protect your finds, and don’t care about snide looks or little comments from other shoppers. There’s been more than one occasion where I got a weird look from someone because I obviously grabbed something they were going after.

Dig all the way to the bottom.

You can’t just leisurely look in the bins if you want to find the good stuff. You have to dig, pick up items and move them, and have a good eye. You have to be willing to go in and sort through everything. It could be that small little item at the bottom that brings the most profit!

Due to the fact that things do get shuffled around and sometimes broken, you’ll want to wear cut resistant gloves. Also, you never know what’s in there and what you might touch (we’ve seen some pretty nasty things).

Also due to the fact that things get thrown around, many things that had multiple parts get separated. If something looks like it’s missing, search around the bin and near by bins to see if it got shuffled around somewhere.

Pick up things that grab your attention.

If it looks interesting and you think maybe it could have some value, just pick it up. Don’t think about it, just grab it and put it in your cart, you can think about it later.

The Goodwill Outlet is too fast paced to stand there and think about it like you would a regular thrift store. And, if you think too long, someone else is going to grab it and you’ve lost out either way.

Yes, there have been times when we grabbed two carts full of things and ended up putting over 50% of it back, but that’s okay. It’s better to be unsure and grab it anyway than to second guess yourself and put the treasure back for someone else to profit from.

Research every item before checking out.

What we do is pull our cart into a corner that’s not busy and start going through stuff to see what’s worth buying and what isn’t. Usually when we go, there are two of us so one person can start carrying things to put back in the bins while the other keeps researching.

A few things we look for when researching is not just the price but also what is the ratio of active vs. sold listings, condition, etc. If there are equal or more in the sold, then the item is probably sought after and worth picking up.

We’ll use our Brother GX-6750 typewriter as an example. So first, I’ll put the name and model in the search bar and since this item was new so I’ll change the filter to show only New condition results.

The first thing I notice in these results is there are no actual units listed for sale. All of the 10 results are cartridges and correction tape.

Next, I change the filter to show only Sold (and it automatically ticks “Completed”) listings.

Here I notice that 16 of the 25 results are the actual typewriter!

So there are ZERO typewriters in the active listings and 16 in sold. This tells me that the demand is high and the supply is low.

Next, I look at the prices and note that it’s selling for between $250 and $500. Score!

Build relationships.

Don’t be afraid to get to know the employees and managers as well as other shoppers. The more you go to the Goodwill Outlet, the more you’ll get to know the regulars.

Getting to know the employees and managers is beneficial because they might just let you know when the next set of bins will be coming out. Sometimes they’ll even give you a discounted price on items when you request it. Additionally, they might let you know when specials and discount events are coming up.

Staying friendly with the regulars will just make your life easier! It might help lessen the tension as you’re searching for items. They also might end up being willing to show you the items they found and making money with. Maybe they’ll even share a few tips!

Learn how to estimate weight.

If you’re questions an item and wondering if you should take the chance on it, you might want to learn how to estimate the weight of things. This is beneficial not only for figuring out how much it’s going to cost you but also how much it’s going to cost for shipping.

Many outlet stores have small scales set out so you could try weighing it ahead of time is estimating weight isn’t your strong suit.

However, most of the time, things will be so light that the weight isn’t going to much of a concern. You’ll be getting things for pennies on the dollar.

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