top of page

What is a Goodwill Clearance Center?

You may have seen a Goodwill Clearance Center and thought, “what is that?”. It’s a great questions that I wondered myself!

So what is a Goodwill Clearance Center? Goodwill Clearance Centers are where donated goods from Goodwill retail stores go when they don’t sell. It’s the last chance for items to sell before being auctioned, recycled, or disposed of. Goodwill Clearance Centers are also known as Goodwill Outlet Stores and Goodwill Outlet World.

Shopping at a Goodwill Clearance Center is unlike any experience you’ve ever had with a typical thrift store. Goodwill Clearance Centers are great ways to find bulk items at cheaper prices.

Table of ContentsToggle

How a Goodwill Clearance Center Works

Items donated to Goodwill typically spend 4-6 weeks on the retail store shelves. If they remain unsold after 4-6 weeks, the items are pulled and sent to the Goodwill Clearance Center or Outlet locations to be liquidated.

At the Clearance Center, items are dumped into large blue bins that can be rolled in and out to change up the merchandise. People can then dig through the bins to find the treasures they want. At the register, the cart is weighed and you pay for the items by the pound. You can find anything from clothing to household goods to electronics and more at Goodwill Clearance Centers or Outlet Stores.

The rolling blue bins are rotated throughout the day, so no matter what time you go you have a good chance at getting items no one else has seen before. Each location has their own rotation schedule which can vary anywhere from every hour to every two hours, etc.

Some locations rotate one bin at a time, one row of bins at a time, or one whole side of the building at a time. Each location has their own way of doing things. Be sure to know the rules and if you don’t, someone will surely let you know.

Items that still remain unsold after being at the Goodwill Clearance Center are either sent to auction, recycled, or properly disposed of. The Clearance Center is just that… a place to sell donated items “on clearance” for greatly discounted prices.

Goodwill Clearance Center Pricing

Each center has their own pricing method, there are about three different ways that stores charge by the pound. In addition to charging for things by the pound, most of them sell furniture a steeply discounted flat prices.

  1. One price per pound for everything. Our local Goodwill Outlet charges $1.29 for everything in the bins.

  2. The more you buy the less it costs. Some centers will give you a cheaper price per pound when you purchase more weight. For example, 1-24 pounds might cost $1.69 per pound, 25-50 pounds costs $1.49 per pound, and 50 pounds and over costs $1.29 per pound.

  3. Different price depending on the type of item. You may come to a Goodwill Clearance Center that has a chart showing the different types of items offered and how much each one costs. For example, clothing and textiles might cost $1.49/pound, shoes cost $1.29/pound, housewares cost $0.60/pound, etc.

You can normally find signs hanging or posted on the walls with your store’s pricing method and amounts.

Tips for Shopping Goodwill Clearance Center

Our #1 tip is to wear gloves! You never know what you might find buried down in the bins. We recommend wearing cut resistant gloves so that you don’t have to worry about what you might touch or come across when you’re digging. It’s much more sanitary that way too!

Watch your cart like a hawk! One of the times we went to our local Goodwill Clearance Center, we had someone steal something right out of our cart. It happens so you have to keep an eye on your stuff. This includes if you’re a woman and put your purse in the cart, people aren’t afraid to snatch it.

Bring someone with you. Two people are always better than one. That’s two times the eyes to look for treasures and someone who can watch over the cart why the other checks out a new bin. You don’t have much room to keep your cart with you when a new bin comes out so it’s always a good idea to have some who can stay with your cart during that time.

Call up your local Goodwill Clearance Center to find out their bin rotation schedule and busy times. You can make the most of your trip by finding out the best time to go when there aren’t as many people and to catch a bin rotation.

Only pay for what you want. If you don’t need the box to that item you picked up. Take the item out of the box and leave it. There is no use in paying for the weight on something you’re just going to throw away anyway. It’s the same for resellers, if you’re just going to sell some parts off the particular item, just keep the parts and throw the rest back in the bins.

What is the Difference Between Goodwill Clearance Center and Goodwill Outlet?

There is no difference between the Goodwill Clearance Centers and Goodwill Outlet Stores. They all work the same way by receiving unsold items from the retail stores and then reselling them by the pound. They are simply called different names in different areas across the country.

Don’t be confused by the names, they are exactly the same!

Related Questions

What is the difference between Goodwill Outlet and retail? The biggest difference between goodwill outlet and retail is you pay for items by the pound at outlet stores and you pay for items by the piece at Goodwill retail stores. Goodwill Outlet stores are the second stop for items after they’ve remained unsold at Goodwill retail stores. You can read more about the differences in our other post.

Does Goodwill Outlet accept credit cards? You need to ask you specific location. Some locations accept credit cards while others accept cash only. Each location is different. Either way, all sales are final.

bottom of page