Our Trip to a Goodwill Outlet Store
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We just got back from a quick trip to Charleston, South Carolina. While we were there, we visited 11 thrift stores, including a Goodwill Outlet Store. Have you ever been to a Goodwill Outlet? If not, I snapped lots of pictures, so you can see what it’s all about.
When you enter the store, you pick up a blue cart, which is really more of a trash can on wheels. The cashier hands you a trash bag to line your cart/bin, and then you’re off and running.
At this particular outlet location, books and housewares were $.59 a pound, and everything else was $1.19 a pound. Yep, they sell their merchandise by the pound. Kind of fun, don’t you think?
Everything is displayed on big rolling bin tables, and you have to dig through them to find the treasures. One lady found a like-new pair of Ugg boots while we were there. My daughter was so jealous.
The bins at this store were really well organized – one bin had purses and tote bags, another had shoes, and so on. That isn’t always the case. The last time I visited the Nashville, TN outlet (and it’s been a while), you had to sort through huge dumpster size-bins that were a mix-match of stuff. Each store is just a bit different, but they’re all fun.
We spent some time digging. Then, we headed to the register with our selections.
The cashier weighed all of our books and housewares first. Then, she weighed everything else (there’s a big scale next to the register).
All told we bought 5.91 pounds of books and housewares for $3.48, and 16 pounds of clothing/bags for $19.04. That’s a grand total of $22.52.
So, what did we get for our money?
(7) pairs of like-new jeans from brands like Aerpostale and Express. There’s even a pair of flannel-lined Lands End jeans in that pile. I know a lot of people try to avoid buying heavier items, like jeans, since you’re paying by the pound, but I weighed everything when we got home, and the jeans I bought for my daughters came out to $1.19 a pair; the jeans I bought for myself came to $1.67 a pair. Can’t complain about that.
We also scored this Jansport backpack …
a J Crew tote bag …
An Emilie M tote (just looked online, and these sell for around $100) …
This giant tote bag …
a green striped infinity scarf …
a World’s Market chalkboard mug …
(3) books: The Complete Adventures of Curious George, Star Wars Origami, and a Christmas Golden Book …
plus this crazy pair of shoes that my husband wanted when he was a teenager. I’m told they’re supposed to help you build stronger calf muscles #dontaskme
I’d say that was a pretty good haul, wouldn’t you? Sure, we could have gotten all strategic and only bought super-lightweight stuff, but we bought things that we had use for, and we got them for less than we would have in a regular thrift store.
Ready for your first Goodwill Outlet adventure? Here’s my list of Goodwill Outlet locations.
Have you shopped at any Goodwill Outlet stores? I’d love to hear about your experience. And if you know of any locations that I’ve missed, I’d love to hear about that, too.
The Nashville store is has waist-high somewhat shallow bins to sort through.
Once in a while, you’ll have someone lurking around the register waiting for someone with what looks like a hefty haul wanting to piggy back with to get their items for a cheaper weight. (At the Nashville location, there are various levels to which the higher you get, the cheaper your per lb cost is. You also have regular shopping carts instead of the tall blue bins you received in SC.
Employees will yell at people trying to get into the”new” bins before they are all in place and have gotten out of the way. Somewhat hysterical to watch. You can find some good stuff…if you dare!
I love the Goodwill Outlet in Olympia, Washington. I look for fabric, glassware,books,and clothes for myself. I’m a 67 yr old Grandma and now I’m spoiled by the outlet vs. the retail goodwill. I have even found brand new items price tag intact.Several people I know are put off by rummaging through the bins but I think the fun is in the find.
I have been to the store in Gorham, Maine around 5 times and sadly, I have not been impressed. I know others have gotten good things, but every time I have gone, there isn’t anything that I want…and I LOVE shopping at G.W.
I have been to the bins in Nashville, Batesville MS, and Lafayette LA. Those are all different from the ones you describe in that you use regular grocery baskets, but I don’t live near them, so I can’t give an overall picture of daily life there, but here are my impressions.
1. I love the one in Bastesville! I am just there to look, so picking is not a job. I go as a break from a long drive. I have found a few things there, and have always had fun doing it. There is also a great Dirt Cheap, a church thrift store, several antique stores, and a Colemans BBQ (smoked, grilled bologna–Mmmm!) nearby.
2. The one in Lafayette is very small and not that interesting. and closes early (2:00) some days. There is a regular Goodwill attached to it.
3. The one in Nashville is complete chaos. There does not appear to be any kind of order. There are the usual bins, but there are also these big, chest-high boxes all over the place to dig in. I was pressed for time, so I mostly walked around giving the place the once over. I am going back after Christmas to see if things are any different.
4. I have heard there is a bins in Memphis, but haven’t made it there yet, but will keep you posted.
Just wondering–I watch the Bin Pickers on youtube. They were talking about there being an issue at their bins. Apparently the whole basket goes on a scale, then a standard basket weight is deducted. the big issue was that the baskets do not all weigh the same. Some people with lighter baskets were being charged for a basket that weighed up to 4 pounds more, so some people were paying $5-8 more than they should have. Supposedly, it has been corrected. Do any of you all have to deal with that. I have never been any place that weighted baskets, only the goods.
I’m in Memphis/Millington. I don’t know of any bin (outlet) Goodwills here. I wish there was. That would be awesome!
6899 Stage Rd. I’ve never been the phone is 901-507-3284
Goodwill bin outlet is in Hernando Mississippi. There is not one in Batesville Mississippi. You will find some great stuff in Hernando. I go there at least once a week!!