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The Pros & Cons of Shopping Pay by the Pound Stores

When it comes to shopping about pay by the pound stores like Goodwill Outlet, there are a lot of mixed opinions. Some people absolutely love it while other hate it.

There are definitely some good things and bad things about pay by the pound stores and a lot of it is based on personal preference.

No matter what other people say about pay by the pound stores, I recommend that you go at least once to try it out before deciding whether you like or not. It could turn out to be completely different than you thought. Also, not all stores are the same, so the one in your area might not be as bad as some others who had less than desirable experiences.

Pros: Why Pay by the Pound Stores are Awesome

Cheap, cheap, cheap. Things are so cheap that some people don’t even go to regular thrift stores anymore. These people ONLY shop pay by the pound thrift stores because you can’t beat the prices. Each store has their own way of pricing things, some are one price for everything by the pound, some have tiered pricing where the more you buy the more you save, and others have different prices depending on the type of item. Pay by the pound stores also sells furniture at cheap prices.

Never ending stream of new items. At most stores, the bins are being rotated all day long. Bin rotation schedules are different at each store, some might rotate every hour, every half hour, ever two hours, etc. But, no matter what time of day you go, you can get your hands on items that no one else has see yet. You can also plan to stay for many hours and sort through many bin rotations throughout the day.

Opportunity to find unique items. We love picking up unique items. You’ll see vintage toys, games, electronics, and things that you have never seen before and probably don’t even know what they are. If we see something unique like that, we always pick it up and put it in our cart to take a closer look later and figure out what it is.

The thrill of the hunt. Shopping a pay by the pound store is totally different from any other shopping experience. A lot of people who love places like Goodwill Outlet say they just love the thrill of the hunt. The anticipation of what item you might find next or what amazing thing might becoming out in the next bin rotation. It actually becomes an addiction and you can wait to come back for another trip! 🙂

You can find good stuff even after the bin is picked over. Some people can’t stand the crowds and the mad dash for new bins. However, one thing that a lot of people will tell you is, you can find some amazing stuff even after it’s been picked over. A lot of people don’t dig down to the bottom or they’re going too fast to really see anything so they miss a lot of stuff. Also, everyone is looking for something different… one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Get a chance at items you’d never see at your local thrift store. There are a lot of states that only have one Goodwill Outlet (the most popular pay by the pound store). That means the outlet is receiving items from all over the state. For example, we have three Goodwill stores in our home town but only one Goodwill OUtlet in our state. When we go to the outlet, we’re seeing items that came from different areas of the entire state.

Cons: Why Pay by the Pound Stores are Terrible

Sometimes fights break out. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for there to be “punches over purses”. Some pay by the pound stores even have hired security to break up fights and kick people off the premises. Some people take it way to seriously and they don’t care about anyone else around them.

Chaos when bins are brought out. It can be pretty chaotic when bins are rotated and people descend on the bins like vultures. It can get a little tense for sure. It’s almost like Black Friday where people are rushing to find their treasures.

Occasional cart thieves. A lot of people have experience people stealing for their cart, or in some cases right out of their hands. If you suspect someone stole something out of your cart, you can report it to a manager. They will pull up the security footage and kick out the person who did it. Also, it’s a good idea to cover your cart with a sheet or blanket to deter thieves from seeing what you got.

It can be dangerous and dirty. Always wear gloves when digging through the bins. There can be broken and dangerous items that you can easily cut yourself on. Also, you just never know what you might grab and there can be some dirty, gross things. The only time you might want to consider not wearing gloves is if you digging through clothing and you want to be able to feel the material and the quality of the items.

A lot of stuff could be broken. Things get tossed and thrown in the bins during the mad rash to find treasures. Therefore, a lot of broken glass, plastics, and sharps end up at the bottom of the bins. You’ll want to look over your items thoroughly before buying to make sure it’s not broken.

Most people have to drive long distances to find one. Because there are so few locations, a lot of people end up driving hours away to find their nearest pay by the pound store.

Share why you love or hate pay by the pound stores in the comments!

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