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What is a Goodwill Outlet Center?

Everyone has heard of Goodwill thrift stores, but not many have heard of Goodwill Outlet Centers and you might be wondering what they are.

So what is a Goodwill Outlet Center? A Goodwill Outlet Center is the same thing as a Goodwill Outlet Store, Goodwill Clearance Center, and Goodwill Pound Store. Goodwill Outlet Centers are the places where donated goods go after they have been at Goodwill retail stores and remain unsold after 4-6 weeks.

Maybe you searched “what is a Goodwill Outlet Center” on Google. You’re probably wondering what the differences are between Goodwill Outlet Centers and Goodwill retail stores. There is a big difference!

Difference Between Goodwill Outlet Center and Retail Stores

The main difference between Goodwill Outlet Centers and Goodwill retail stores is simple.

Items at Goodwill retail stores are sold at a set price by the piece. Clothing is usually given one price based on the type of piece it is. Household goods and electronics usually are individually priced. They also have specialty items that are usually high end brands which are given much higher prices than everything else.

Items at Goodwill Outlet Centers are sold by the pound. Clothing, shoes, housewares, and most electronics are put in large bins (sometimes clothing is sorted separately but everything is mixed up). Furniture and other heavy pieces will be priced individually but at greatly discounted prices.

Goodwill Outlet Centers are a place where items are liquidated and sold in bulk to keep as much out of the landfill as possible. Bins are rotated throughout the day so no matter what time you arrive, there will be new inventory that hasn’t sat there all day like regular Goodwill stores.

Shopping at a Goodwill Outlet Center is unlike any thrift shopping experience you’ve ever had. It’s not for the weak at heart as it can be a little intense because a lot of people are there to find a good deal… just think of Black Friday.

Many online resellers like to shop Goodwill Outlet Centers to find items that they can resell for profit. There are a lot of opportunities to make money with Goodwill Outlet Center finds.

Tips for Shopping the Goodwill Outlet Center

Watch out for thieves. Unfortunately, Goodwill Outlet Centers have been known to have thieves. From purse snatching to stealing something out of someone’s cart, it’s all happened.

Either leave your purse at home and just carry your ID, money, and phone in your pocket or wear a cross-body purse or fanny pack instead. This will help you keep your personal items near. If you do bring a purse, make sure to put it in the bottom of your cart and covered up so people don’t see it.

Also, bring a bassinet sheet or blanket that you can use to cover your cart. If you don’t bring one, find one in the bins that you can use and then toss back before you check out. This helps to prevent people from being snoopy about what’s in your cart.

Have a plan for your trip. Most people plan on spending hours, if not the whole day, at the Goodwill Outlet Center. A lot of people arrive early and there ends up being a line outside waiting for the store to open.

Our Goodwill Outlet Center is two hours away so it’s definitely a day-long trip for us. You should pack a lunch and bring water for your day. You should also call ahead and find out what the bin rotation schedule is because you’ll want to stay for at least 1 or 2 of the rotations to make the most of your trip.

Make sure you know the rules and follow them. If you don’t follow one of the rules, the other people there will make sure you know it! There should be signs posted on the walls so you can see what the rules are. If you’ve never been to a Goodwill Outlet Center, you should make sure you read through them.

The main rule they have is you are not allowed to touch any of the bins that are brought out until they are locked in place and the employee gives the go ahead. Some stores even have a line taped on the floors showing where you have to stand.

Each store has different guidelines, so make sure that you understand how they do things even if you’ve been to Goodwill Outlet before.

Don’t be intimidated. Just be prepared that other people won’t always be nice to you. Everyone is competing to find a treasure and some take it more seriously than others. You can be kind but still be firm and not intimidated by the bullies.

If you don’t have any problem shopping on Black Friday, you should do fine at the Goodwill Outlet Center. It really isn’t any different, you just have to jump in and grab the stuff you want. If this is too high stress for you, Goodwill Outlet Centers might not be the best place for you.

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