Ex-Goodwill Employee Shares How to Save DOUBLE at Thrift Stores

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blue goodwill sign on store front outside

Get the inside scoop!

We’re sharing tips & tricks from an ex-Goodwill employee on how to save big bucks at Goodwill! Plus, some important things you definitely want to know before you shop there.

Hip Tip: Before I jump into all the juicy details, it’s important for you to know that all Goodwill’s are individually owned. Therefore any sales, special deals, or coupon values, will vary for each location and some locations might not have them at all. Additionally, all stores are unique in what is available since items are all donated. 

Here are all our insider’s tips and tricks she shared to save BIG at Goodwill:

1. Stay up to date with your local store to grab freebies.

laptop screen with goodwill locations

First and foremost, she shared that staying up to date with your local Goodwill is the key to knowing the inside scoop on daily, weekly, and monthly sales. Sounds too easy, but believe it or not, not many people do this. So make sure to sign up for their local mailing list so you’re always in the know.

It’s also a good idea to keep up with your local Goodwill’s Facebook page (if they have one) as they often post current sales, coupons, and special events. As an example, here’s the Goodwill of Southern Nevada Facebook page.

Not only will you be the first one to know about special sales, but you’ll also receive coupons on occasion and learn when they have store freebies. For example, last week at our insider’s store, teachers could get a free book with any purchase and they also hosted a kid’s club where all kids could score a free toy or book with any purchase! 😍

2. Go to the weekly color tag sale days and pay as low as $1!

blue and cream floral dress with red tag

That’s right! Every week some Goodwill locations have a special color tag sale day so make sure to keep up to date on their website or next time you head in-store.

For example, here’s a specific Goodwill store page that lists their current and upcoming sales. You can expect to see sales anywhere from 30%-50% off and sometimes even tags that sell for just $1 each!

3. Be a loyal Goodwill shopper to save more.

clothes from goodwill

The more you spend, the more you’ll save! If you’re apart of your local Goodwill’s loyalty program, chances are you can score coupons on a future purchase if you spend a certain amount.

“My Goodwill has a loyalty program and you earn $5 every $100 you spend. Clothes are usually in decent condition, we have colored tag sales. Last month the store had a back to school sale and clothes, shoes, and backpacks were 15% off. I scored 50% off the blue tags, 15% off on top of that, plus it was triple points day!!” – Christina 

4. Be the first person through the door!

red and white izod tag on blue white stripe shirt

It’s probably no news to you that some people make a living on buying cheap stuff at Goodwill and selling it for a profit. Sometimes stuff is priced for way less than it’s worth (unknowingly) therefore the good stuff is sure to fly out the doors.

Since employees price new items at night, make sure you’re the first person in the door so you can get to the really good deals first. And don’t forget to always ask an employee about current sales every time you shop!

5. Shop at a Goodwill clearance center and pay only by the pound!

peach orange baby gap floral cardigan

Something a lot of people don’t know is that Goodwill makes an effort to ensure items don’t end up in landfills so one major way you can contribute is to shop at one of their Clearance Centers. Here you will pay a low cost by the pound, rather than paying for each item individually. So if you’re stocking up on some pretty lightweight stuff, be prepared for some big savings! For more info on their clearance centers, click here.

To find your nearest Goodwill Clearance Center, head to their store locator and type in your zip code. You’ll then need to scroll down until you find a store that’s called a “Clearance Center”.

*Note that Clearance Centers are temporarily closed due to COVID, but we’re anticipating their reopening!

6. Save extra cash if you’re a senior or military member.

man standing by Goodwill sale sign

In order to save on your future purchases, you’ll just need to sign up for Goodwill’s free rewards program, which you can do at your local Goodwill store. Note that these sales and days stated below can vary by location, so make sure to check out your location before you head to the store.

  • For military members: At my local Goodwill, military members can save 10% every day on all their orders.
  • For seniors: If you’re a senior over 55 years old, you can shop certain days to get anywhere from 20% to 40% off.

7. Shop every other Saturday for an extra 50% off.

children's sizes sign at goodwill

At our insider’s store, you can save an additional 50% off when you shop every other Saturday! Of course, this will vary per location, however, most stores have something similar during each month that you should keep your eyes peeled for.

“My Goodwill has been doing ‘bounce back’ coupons…a coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase valid the following weekend on the bottom of your receipt…pair that with the Sunday dollar deals and I often score awesome items!

My most recent exciting purchase was a beautiful form fitting burgundy Calvin Klein wool peacoat – for a grand total of $1! Plus, I have a goodwill discount card and it was my birthday month, so I got an extra 30% off one purchase, bringing the peacoat down to .70!” – Sarah

8. Find out the best day to make donations.

Goodwill boxes in living room filled with donation items

If you’ve been avoiding a drop off at your local Goodwill, now is the perfect time to find out what the best day actually is. At most Goodwill locations, they host special donation days, where you can receive a pretty sweet coupon to use on your next shopping trip. It’s a win, win – drop off your unwanted goods and received money off when you’re ready for something new.

If your store doesn’t have this, you can still ask for a receipt and claim your donations during tax season for a write-off. Sweet!

9. Expect the unexpected when you shop.

wrapped mattress store with sale sign

There’s definitely a unique collection of goods at every Goodwill store. However, there’s stuff you may not realize could be there – and for super cheap! You can likely score great deals on sports equipment and even find brand new mattresses if you’re in the market for a new bed!

11. Sign up for text alerts to save even more!

hand holding a phone with goodwill texting tuesday to save money

Once you find your local Goodwill location, sign up for text alerts to receive coupons and be the first to hear about sales. About every other Tuesdays each month, you can expect to receive your location’s latest news.

“I do love our Goodwills and actually get a large portion of our family clothes there. We get sent text coupons every other Tuesday which usually gives up an additional 10-20% off!” – Sarah

Here are 10 things to ditch in your home right now so save BIG!

Join The Discussion

Comments 161

  1. J.H.509

    Our area is full of ropa usadas “used clothing” stores. You can buy mystery pallets packed with items. And all these stores sell by the pound. The only thing is that they don’t have air conditioning and it’s 100 degrees here still. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • mary

      My son is q thrifter He actually bought a case of vintage ts frome someone who does the legwork and then resold!

  2. Sarah D.

    Our Goodwill stores do not follow any of these “rules”, unfortunately. First place I have lived that the Goodwill stores have been so different. First, they are called GCF (Goodwill Community Foundation, I think) and they are still found on Goodwill’s website, but they look different to other Goodwill stores in other areas. All similar items are priced the same and I have not ever seen any sales. No 50% off days, no color tag sales. I live in Wake County, North Carolina, and I have no idea why the Goodwill stores here are so different.

    • Caran Smith

      Sarah D., I was thinking the exact same thing! I’m in Orange county, NC and have NEVER seen ANY of the sales, coupons, freebies, etc. listed above. Our Hillsborough store just started accepting debit/credit cards about 6 months ago. It’s so frustrating to see the different ways to save and have no store nearby that participates. Ours is the same-no tags. All blouses are a certain price, all dresses are a certain price and on and on.

    • Crystal

      Rowan and Cabarrus NC counties are the same. Maybe it’s a North Carolina thing.

      • joni

        They never have any deals at the one in New York either. everything is over priced. Often stained or torn and they will not even lower the price on things that are in bad shape. I tried to give Goodwill a chance several times but the prices are cheaper at Macys when things are on sale. Many thrift stores in my area are non-profit and are great. Goodwill is for profit and very badly run.

        • Janet Ellen Cooke

          Goodwill is a non-profit organization.

          • Melissa

            No it is not.

      • mckeeversmom

        I believe each area has their own “rules” for how they sell items. For example, in Florida where I winter they have senior day and books are always 50 cents. In Michigan where I summer there’s no such thing as senior day but they have student day and books have color stickers which means they’re always priced individually but half off when the sticker matches the color of the week for 50% discount.

      • Gina G.

        Here in Caswell County NC they will have an occasional sale but not that many.

      • Kimmy

        No, here in High Point (Guilford County) they do. But, neighboring Davidson Co. does not. It’s weird.

        • E

          NC doesn’t but the goodwills by my family in CT all have 50% off color tag days. It’s got to be a regional thing.

    • marialeoto

      we used to have color tags,and they stopped it last year,,fairport ny

    • Materof6

      We just moved from Cary, NC and I totally agree! Very different from other Goodwills…they didn’t carry books and other items either. Dorcas ministries in Cary has a great thrift store, and it’s next door to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore…I’ve found some great pieces of odds and end furniture in there for kids’ rooms!

      • mary

        Enjoy Cary! My son worked there for 2 months loved it!!

    • TK

      As soon as I saw you say “GCF” I knew you were in NC. These are the worst ones ever. I very rarely find anything, they do no sales, no half-price tag days, and when I asked about a military discount I was laughed at. We are in Wayne Co, thanks to the military. Now I love the ones in TN.

    • Kitty

      Might be a regional manager decision

    • CeceliaTheDiva

      I’m in Johnston County. It’s the same here. No deals of any kind. Just a thrift store with stuff until it sells. There is no Clearance/Outlet within 2 hours of us either.

    • Renee

      I also lived in Goldsboro, New Bern and Selma. And your right, they don’t do that here either. I’ve never heard such a thing as coupons/tag sales/ and addition percent off. I don’t think they do that anywhere in NC at all. Guess I’m unlucky.

  3. Rae

    We have so many thrift shops where I live with lots of bargains (many with beautiful inexpensive clothing, and great priced solid wood furniture pieces) but Goodwill is by far the most expensive: worn out clothing actually priced at what you could buy it new, even with the 50% off it’s not worth it for used clothing. I was surprised because I lived in another area a few years ago where you could find great deals at goodwill.

    • Denise

      Rae I have to agree with you on everything you said. I find the same thing at our local goodwill. I go into the store from time to time to see if there are any changes but I never walk out with a single item

    • Me

      I also agree with you. I have found the same thing at Goodwill in my area. Goodwill has become more of a “business” rather than a charity. I used to think that they were a 2 sided charity where on one side, they offered donated items for cheap (for the people that frequent thrift shops that really need the affordable items due to limited income) and on the other side they were making some money for charity on the donated items. It seems like they have moved more to the one sided benefit (making money for their “charity” only). It’s kind of sad, but there are more thrift shops out here and those tend to be really busy because they have better merchandise and better prices. I no longer donate to Goodwill because they almost seem like they are gouging the less fortunate in the area that don’t have transportation to go to the other thrift shops.

      • jane cooke

        Do you know what their “charity” is?

        • lana massau

          They give jobs to people with mental and physical handicaps. The workers repair furniture and small appliances . They are also trained for other jobs . These people are paid a wage that matches their productivity instead of being forced out of the job force with the inflated minimum wage .

    • muquee

      Rae, What area are you in?

  4. Mary

    The goodwill in my area has everything $1.99 and kids 99¢ all the time. I can usually find a couple nice items but a lot is junk. There is another large thrift store nearby but they’ve raised their prices insanely amounts over the last few years. Most items can be purchased brand new for less than the thrift store. Truly vintage clothing is fun to search for and usually my go to at thrift stores.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for letting us know what the stores are like near you!

  5. Myrah

    My Goodwill store doesn’t have those “sales” either. The only thing they do is have 40% off their color tags. AND their senior and military discount is 10% off every Wednesday.

    • CeeLee

      I did a bunch of research on this a couple weeks ago because my boyfriend and I got into a debate. I heard through word of mouth over and over that Goodwill is for profit and that its CEO made millions, just as you had said. Apparently this was a rumor that got solidified by a nightly news story, though it’s not true. The CEO quoted as making all that money wasn’t even a real person, and Charity Navigator, who rates how money is used by non-profits, does rate Goodwill quite highly. I had to eat my words because as it turns out, I was wrong!

      • Luv🌺

        I will have to look into this as well. I also heard same thing years ago about the CEO making so much money, I donate things but I’ve refrained from donating to them because of that report. As a result I have boxes of things clothes, shoes etc at home to donate but I don’t want to grease the palm of someone undeserving. 🌺

      • Kitty

        Yep… that was a meme that was spreading around but it was found to be disproven and not true.

  6. Amy

    I loved the goodwill by ft Campbell Kentucky I shopped there all the time and always came home with great finds but since moving ‘home’ non of the goodwills do any of the savings and everything is over priced with very little to choose from and sadly the other thrift stores and consignment sales have been doing the same, now to find a deal it’s yard sales or fb marketplace…I miss the hunt of a goodwill sale and the treasures I would find

  7. sherry

    Goodwill gets their merchandise for free and sells it. They KEEP THE PROFITS. THE CEO MAKES MILLIONS PER YEAR. They like to give the impression they help the handicapped but that impression is false.
    I do not shop at Goodwill nor do I donate there. I donate to clothing closets (clothes) and Habitat for humanity. (Furniture)

    • deb

      Now we also know they are a franchise.

    • Nita

      Sherry this is true. Good tip on the Habitat for Humanity!

    • annie

      Sherry is right on the money with this. very little money goes back into the community. the CEO makes millions, and so do the others on the corporate board.
      I met a woman that works in the goodwill stores, she even told me the employees themselves will pick over the good stuff for themselves. I would donate to Salvation Army, st. Vincent DePaul or anyone else before I would donate to the goodwill, it’s a racket. Its a business like anything else, for profit and not the for the best interest of the community.

      • Yvonne

        Hmm… i think this is anywhere honestly. I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity retail store and we always had first dibs on donated items. I dont see how it is a big deal if we are paying for it like any other customer.

    • joni

      I agree with you totally.

    • Andrea

      I must disagree with you. Although the CEO may make millions, Goodwill absolutely helps handicapped people. It provides excellent, flexible jobs for people with handicaps – including my son.

    • Chicagomom

      The CEO should be giving the money back to his/her community. Glad folks enjoy shopping/donating there.

    • Lani

      All Goodwill’s are different. I previously worked for a Goodwill in Central Texas, and it is Non-profit. As a case worker who provided the services that were funded by the income from the stores, I got to see exactly how impactful the services were. Again, not all Goodwill’s have as extensive of services. But before denouncing them, check in with your local Goodwill about the programs they offer. Sure, our CEO easily made six figures, but, as was pointed out to me, that’s significantly less than a CEO in any for profit company would earn. Bottom line, do some research before deciding if your local Goodwill is “worthy”.

      • Emma

        I agree with you 100%! I get upset every time someone posts misinformation about Goodwill based on something they heard somewhere. I am also in Central Texas and I’ve seen first hand all the good things that Goodwill does in our community, like the job training programs, providing childcare for single moms so they can work on their GED, and job placement assistance. I don’t work there but I’ve partnered with them hire people for my employer.

        Before someone gets upset about Goodwill, I urge them to think about the service they provide our society. Where else can you drop off a box of junk you don’t want anymore for free and wash your hands of it? In our consumable society, we rely on Goodwill to deal with all the stuff we accumulate and no longer want. We would have less of a need for their services if we all bought less junk. If you don’t like their prices, just don’t shop there.

      • Kitty

        Well said. Some people will believe anything in a meme without looking up anything themselves.

    • R2

      So much misinformation in these comments, but Goodwill is always the whipping boy. First off, our Goodwill employs mostly disabled people. Secondly, I’ve never understood people getting up in arms about employees picking through DONATIONS before they hit the floor. For Pete’s sake, these people are disabled and making somewhere around minimum wage. If they can use what I no longer need, more power to them! I give it with no expectation. Lastly, the average compensation for a CEO of any large company is around $13M. I read the current Goodwill CEO makes less than $600K. He could be making a lot more money elsewhere and that anyone would begrudge him a salary that is 1/20th of what his counterparts are making yet still managing a behemoth organization is ludicrous.

      • Nita

        Good points R2.

      • Kitty

        Well said. I never understood getting upset if employees did pick over some items. Why do you care?! Some people will believe anything they read in a meme. It’s ridiculous. It’s already been disproven and I’m not sure why people would be upset, when there are other ceo’s that make way more.

    • candis

      Yes soo sad but soo true. Im surprised with this real common knowledge that H2S still chose to post “good” about them. There is nothing good about this incredibly shady unethical company. Shameful

    • MJ

      Wow! I have been dropping off a ton of stuff at goodwills around Charlotte. I had NO idea it was for profit. I guess I used to donate to Salvation Army stores where I used to live and assumed it was sort of the same. Thanks for opening my eyes and I’ll look for non profits to benefit from my used goods.

      • JK

        Goodwill is not a for profit company. An email that circulated years ago painted them in a bad light and they have never been able to shake it. Here’s the real breakdown:
        Goodwill gets a box of items from a donor. About 20%-50% is “useable”, meaning is good enough condition to be sold. The other half is mostly junk or literal garbage. Any clothes that can’t be sold get recycled into large bales and shipped to buyers who then transport them to countries in need of clothing. Electronics and metal, if not able to be sold, get recycled and Goodwill is paid a few dollars per pound. Shoes get the same treatment as clothes. Anything contaminated, etc gets tossed. Goodwill pay for garbage compacting and removal. Many times, donations or items that are awful that people “donate” or drop and run actually end up costing Goodwill to dispose of. Also, Goodwill stores support communities. They provide jobs within the stores, drivers of the trucks, etc. Many Goodwills depending on the area offer job training, career development, resume writing, employment workshops etc to anyone in need at Workforce Connection Centers. And the money earned from store sales goes to support those in work and home/habitation programs, such as factory jobs for the differently abled, or those re-entering society from prison. They also pay for all-day care, art and food programs for the severely handicapped in states like Indiana and Illinois.
        No charity is perfect. The CEO of Goodwill does make a large salary.
        But ANY dollar or useable donation you give to a legitimate charity is better than being so selective you don’t donate what you can.

        • Lyshia

          See our goodwill does not sort if they are feeling lazy. They will just throw everything away. We have watched them do it. They might send it to the outlet. They have told locals to just take it to the dump because they don’t want to deal with it. They refuse anything with a pricing sticker. I donated a bookshelf that had a scratch on the bottom and they just tossed it. It was solid wood and was in otherwise good condition. So no not all of them sort the items. Our goodwill does not employ disabled. Everyone is cranky and has a bad attitude. It’s miserable. The reason people gent cranky about them picking through the items is because they are not grabbing items they “need” they are grabbing wants and things they can sell. My husband collects old video game stuff. Guess what the manager collects? Yeah he has a “friend” come buy it all and keeps it behind the register. I think that is why people think it’s unfair.
          I’m all for helping out the needy. I donate most of the clothes now to our local pregnancy crisis center.

      • Kitty

        Do your own research before believe people that are spreading misinformation from memes. A lot of it has already been disproven.

        • MJ

          Researched it and it is non profit. I’m sure it varies by location, but some operators seem to take a large salary. So it’s non-profit but looks like the people who run their division do VERY well for themselves. I’m sure they give back, it just seems disproportionate to what they take in personally. I found a humane society thrift shop down the street from a goodwill that will get my donations. Volunteer run with a small budget. Thanks to the other hip2savers that mentioned the humane society!

    • Gina G.

      I no longer donate to the Salvation Army after discovering that they provide Christmas gifts to prison inmates.

      • Ana

        Let me guess, you are not Christian!?

      • savanna

        This makes me WANT to donate to the Salvation Army. Christ died for all and extends mercy to all… even felons.

      • Kitty

        Absurd. Wwjd?

      • Bertie

        Whats wrong with them receiving donations??They are people with needs too. Just because they may have made some bad choices/decisions in their lives doesn’t mean they shouldn’t receive donations or gifts. How do you know that some don’t regret their decisions every day. And that they are a changed person. They are doing their time. Don’t count them out or write them off as not worthy just because they are in prison.

      • CJ

        How about gifts for the inmates’ CHILDREN?! God bless you, you poor soul.

    • Kitty

      This was already disproven. This was based off of a meme spreading misinformation. Do your own research.

  8. Sarah

    I love my local goodwill! Dollar days are Sundays and Mondays for the colored barb from the week before and the new color barb for the week is 50%, so your chances are good that you will find something at either a dollar or half off! I shop nearly every Sunday! Plus they have been doing “bounce back” coupons…a coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase valid the following weekend on the bottom of your receipt…pair that with the Sunday dollar deals and I often score awesome items! My most recent exciting purchase was a beautiful form fitting burgundy Calvin Klein wool peacoat – for a grand total of $1! Plus, I have a goodwill discount card and it was my birthday month, so I got an extra 30% off one purchase, bringing the peacoat down to .70! Ps. I am in Maine and this seems to be consistent at all of the Goodwill locations in my area!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Wow! That’s awesome, Sarah! Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

  9. EH

    I wish Goodwills would give you a coupon when you donate! There have been many times that things are priced so high, that I could not afford to buy what I have donated! I used to go a lot, but now rarely do. I don’t get their pricing. I can buy new at our Ross’ and online what they charge for used things. I donate now to a local thrift store that supports battered and homeless women.

    • Cherish

      Ours does!

  10. Sarah

    I do love our Goodwills and actually get a large portion of our family clothes there. But we don’t have percent off days or color tag sales. We do get sent text coupons every other Tuesday, usually 10-20% off. I am in Michigan.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How cool! Glad you have been able to grab some great deals!

    • Vanessa

      Hi Sarah, which part of MI are you in? I’m in SE MI and we mainly have Salvation Army around here. there are Goodwill locations 40 minutes north of here.

      • Nichole

        Yes, I love the Salvation Army here in Mi

    • Jlynn

      I’m in Michigan also and our goodwills only do the color tag sales on Sunday & Monday’s. Kinda wish they had more sales/deals because being a second hand store, they are very pricey.

  11. Meg

    Our goodwill isn’t around anymore and we never had these sales. Same old junk too…

  12. suez

    I am an avid Goodwill shopper. I have seen the prices go up and up, I cant tell you how many times there is a price tag still on the item, and gw’s price is higher!! Any time I take an item up that isn’t tagged its double any similar item on the shelf. Its like they know you are interested and try to get more. The amazon book increase ticked me off too. Any book on Amazons best seller list is $2.99 now. Kids books as well. I still go, buy agree try to support local charity shops with donations. Goodwill is in no way a charity!!

    • Terri

      The book thing upset me too! Are you in Chicagoland?

  13. Casey Meyers

    The only sale I know my Goodwill has is the color of the week.

  14. Jessica

    I remember going there with my Grandma as a kid and having so much fun picking out cheap finds.. now I don’t even go there.. it’s ridiculously over priced for USED items.. I can literally go to Kohl’s or Walmart and buy new stuff for the same amount. No thanks.

    • Shannon

      I agree. I’ve seen used shoes priced at $19.99. Really?! I’ve bought brand new shoes at kohl’s for less than $5.

  15. Shannon

    My goodwill is the worst. There’s nothing but junk there. I’m pretty sure they eBay sell everything good that comes in including brand names clothes. There’s no clothes that aren’t Walmart/target/jc Penney etc brands. Never any gap Gymboree items. And I know it’s not my area because I live in a more expensive suburb and the local church thrift shop is always filled with amazing finds for cheap.

  16. Shannon

    We have a GW Boutique store very close to me that I love. They send the nicer women’s clothing to this location and it’s a small and clean store with very nice employees. They have a color tag each week that’s 50% off and often do days of 50% everything in the store. Their prices are great but even better with the sale.
    I also shop at Clothes Mentor which does sales on their clearance a few times per year.

    • MommySpendsLess

      We have one of those too! Small shop near an area of upscale boutiques. Not many homegoods but what they have is antique store quality. 75% of the clothing is NWT. They price everything individually but for work clothes I’d rather go there and buy Banana Republic, White House Black Market, etc. than pay a similar price for something from Target. The environment there is actually a lot more pleasant than our local Ross’s, which are often a jumbled, crowded mess.

  17. Chelsea

    I like to donate to churches around my area they have sheds you can drop off clothing they don’t re-sell they GIVE them to others in need I avoid goodwill prices are high items are usually broken stained clearly garbage it’s sad to me that whom ever is CEO makes so much money off donations I get it in it for the money that drives America but at least lower prices so those who struggle can actually afford it throw out the garbage keep the stores clean I don’t believe that is asking to much

  18. Christina

    I live in Southern WI, my Goodwill has a loyalty program and you earn $5 every $100 you spend. Clothes are usually in decent condition, we have colored tag sales. Last month the store had a back to school sale and clothes, shoes, and backpacks were 15% off. I scored 50% off the blue tags, 15% off on top of that, plus it was triple points day!!

  19. Juliana McMillan-Wilhoit

    Let’s be clear, the Goodwill stores are not OWNED. Its a non profit. The things vary by region which is how GoodWill is organized.

  20. CJ

    I love thrift shopping but it’s definitely hit or miss…with Goodwill or any other. Thankfully I have a large Goodwill near me that’s pretty good. They have the weekly 1/2 off a color, a loyalty program & 1/2 off the whole store once/month sale. I’ve gotten some good deals there and the employees have always been nice. The one where my mom lives is ridiculously over priced, has no sales or loyalty program & rude employees.

  21. Walker

    The Goodwill here in Downtown Sand Diego doesn’t do the tag color of the week, but I can’t complain with my Military discount though.

  22. tracy

    I live in Kentucky. All the central KY Goodwills are overpriced and never have “sale” days. I disagree with Goodwill receiving free inventory and giving VERY little back to the community except a few minimum-wage jobs. Yet the CEO makes $millions. I give all my donations to our Humane Society thrift store which is completely run by volunteers and 100% of the profits goes to saving local animals. Its good to support local charities, they have no CEO.

    • Jenn

      This!!!! So true!

  23. patricialavenz-goff

    We do have the tag clearance but that is about all. Everyday a tag is on sale.

  24. patricialavenz-goff

    I have never seen a handicapped person working at any of our goodwill’s. Their job training is a joke. I know several people that talked to them and they were sent to other places. We do donate our electronics to them as they are easier to donate to than find somewhere to donate them to. they do have electronic recycling once or twice a year in Little Rock but it is so busy and it takes hours to drop things off. Long lines always.

    • Kitty

      Not all disabilities are visible. Meaning not everyone is in a wheelchair.

  25. Beverly

    I have a Goodwill Clearance Center withing walking distance of my house here in Pennsylvania, and the more you buy, the less you pay per pound. I often go with a friend and we combine our purchases to get the discount and then split the cost (and share the savings).

    Also, if you have an MCC Thrift Shop nearby, I’d highly recommend it! The ones near me have great sales and quality items. https://thrift.mcc.org/mcc-thrift-shop-locations

    • Lauren

      Yay! Shout out for the MCC thrift stores. We have great ones in Philly called Circle Thrift.

    • Sarah

      Yay for MCC!!!

  26. JJ

    Thanks to the person above with great Cary, NC spots… I’ll have to check them out.

    Personally, I don’t shop here anymore after I witnessed how they treat their employees. Defending a longtime former manager, who was stellar, for her unemployment benefits against GCF makes you feel some type of way about them. It was difficult for her to find a job after because HR was giving her unwarranted terrible recommendations in retaliation.

  27. Kelly

    Ex Goodwill manager here. ..
    We did not have sales like those mentioned or discounts.

    OUR store…and the others in “our chain” did not sell or accept mattresses (cribs, car sears, alot if baby items like swings etc…computers.) Mainly because of bed bugs, recalls and personal info. (I worked at another thrift shop that did accept those items and we found child porn on a computer that was donated and a tax receipt was filled out. Wow…right to the police.) Check b4 u load up a big donation…:)

  28. Amanda H.

    Here in Nebraska the clothing will be marked down to $.49 or $.99 depending on the color of tag that week starting on Mondays. I’ve gotten some pretty good bargains!

  29. Nikki

    I have a feeling this post is somewhat sponsored. I could be wrong.. but all these “tips” are advertised everywhere in the store. No special ”insider” tip.
    Not ripping on anyone, but remember those posts that would tell you if the price ends in .04 or something like that.. it’s on special clearance. Those are called good insider tips.
    Once you walk into a GW store, you are bombarded with discount signs. Emails and such just tell you special sales events, but otherwise nothing to really tempt you.
    Again, no offence to anyone.. just opinion of a decade GW shopper.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hello Nikki! Thank you for sharing your insights! This post is not sponsored in any way. We just wanted to offer some helpful tips to our readers who might not be as familiar with the many ways to save at Goodwill stores. For some, they may not have even considered the savings at Goodwill, so they may not regularly frequent the store enough to take advantage of these sales. We also acknowledge that Goodwills are independently owned so the sales will vary by location. We just love to help our readers with proactive solutions they might not have thought of. For example, in AZ they send a monthly 20% off coupon and have 50% off Saturdays! We get pretty excited about these sales and wanted to share! Thank you for supporting thrifting, it’s such a great way to prevent clothing from ending up in landfills and we think that’s something we can all stand behind and support!

  30. llc

    My friends own a resale shop and do estate sales too. They ended up with too much furniture. No room in their shop so they donated it to goodwill. They said it was practically brand new. While waiting for their receipt they heard this loud crushing noise. They walked to the side of the building and the salvation army staff had thrown the furniture into the crusher truck and ruined it. Needless to say my friends were appalled and now will never donate to them again. It’s especially heartbreaking because this was months after hurricane Harvey’s floods and so many people need furniture.

    • Kate

      Wa it GoodWill or Salvation Army? I’m confused.

    • Kitty

      Right ? Which one?

  31. Julie D.

    A friend of mine was in a wedding and had to buy a black suit coat. He complained about the cost and we were at lunch practically across the street from a Goodwill. We went there and I found him a suit coat for $10. He was deliriously happy.

  32. Lucky77

    Am I the only one who gets annoyed at how the store is organized by color and not by size? I waste way too much time looking since the majority the items I pull out are not even my size.

    • Beverly

      You’re not alone!

    • MommySpendsLess

      The ones in Central Florida that I’ve been to changed to sorting by sizes a few years ago. They changed POS systems and every item is individually tagged with a bar code (no more employees guessing whether it’s a kids or adult item). They still color code the paper tags for the 50% off color the week. The sizing system isn’t perfect – for example womens pants size 00 thru 8 are often all considered “small” but it helps a lot! Maybe yours will do the same soon?

  33. Tina9222

    I don’t do much shopping at our goodwill store last time my dog broke a bunch of my Corning Ware and I went there to replace them all for 2-5 bucks,.But every Wednesday there are 4 colors that are half off,so lots of great things, in another stores 45 minutes from here there’s only sales on certain things but not 4 color sales on Wednesday.

  34. renae

    My stores also give a discount to college students!

  35. Diana

    I love goodwill!!! My mom goes weekly here in vegas and finds really great stuff! High end stuff. One location she goes to a woman in her Bentley donates her handbags so her husband will buy her more 😯. She finds me great buys! 🙂

  36. Katie

    I volunteered at a goodwill community day program where families would pay to have their older loved ones with mental deficits go during the day. After speaking with some of the staff I will never shop or donate to goodwill. Goodwill put information out there that made it seem like donations were going to this facility to help run it for less fortunate families that couldn’t afford caregivers when in reality the families were still paying a hefty amount to have them there, and the staff was paid close to nothing. I was also told that some of the ones who attend who are better off will work in one of the stores a few hours a week, but the staff had relayed that a lot of the managers don’t have the proper training to handle these individuals and do not treat them very fairly so it results in a lot of the handicapped people, and people with certain memory, mental, and mobile deficits not being able to get jobs in these stores as goodwill so heavily advertises.

  37. Sara

    Baton Rouge stores only have senior day on Wednesday. It is only 15%. It was this way when I moved here, but at some point it went to every day. Now it’s back to just Wednesday. They have the color tag of the day or week(don’t know which). The tag is for 50% off. None of the employees are visibly disabled. All shirts are $3.99 unless specially marked. All jeans are $5.99 unless specially marked. Specially marked is usually code for designer clothing. Clothes are organized by color instead of size. It’s annoying and my arms get really tired from the repetitive motion. For jeans, I look at the wash first. I prefer dark wash. Then I check the tag for my size. I only pull it out if it meets those criteria.

    The thing the stores do that bugs me the most is their purse pricing. All purses are $3.99 unless otherwise marked. That isn’t the problem. The problem is that they will price a reusable shopping bag at $3.99, even if it still has the original price tag showing that it was $1.

    • Kitty

      Not all disabilities are visible though.

      • Sara

        I know that already. That is why I specified visibly disabled.

  38. Donate

    You “give ” them the stuff for free and they overcharge in most items. Goodwill is a profit business. In Connecticut we have a place called Bridgeport Rescue Mission they give away all items donated to people in need. They also run a soup kitchen.

    • Joy

      I love our Rescue Mission’s Thrifty Shopper stores. 80% of my work wardrobe comes from here. I try to buy NWT stuff or stuff that is NWOT. Have gotten lots of brand new or barely worn shoes here as well. Each week two colored tags are 50% and 70% off clothing. And all through August teachers get an extra 25% anything in store except the sale colored tag clothes.

  39. Kate

    The local GoodWill near me thinks it’s Macy’s. The prices are really out of line. Very few good buys to be found.

  40. Mary W

    This post is from snopes.com last updated in 2017:
    Goodwill: Goodwill Industries International is not a business that takes in donated items and resells them for a profit. It is a not-for-profit organization that provides job training, employment placement services and other community-based programs for people who have disabilities, lack education or job experience, or face employment challenges. Goodwill raises money for their programs through a chain of thrift stores which also operate as non-profits.The CEO of Goodwill Industries International is not Mark Curran, nor does he make $2.3 million a year. The current President and CEO of Goodwill is Jim Gibbons, who in 2015 received a total reported compensation of $712,202.
    This is the link that covers many charities: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/executive-salaries-charities/

  41. Beth

    Thanks to Hip2Save, I get my family’s clothes brand new for cheaper than Goodwill prices!!! In Michigan they don’t have the tag sales by us anymore, so that’s when I stopped going to Goodwill. However, the clearance centers are awesome!

  42. Beckie

    I’ve been a thrift store shopper since I was a kid. A few years ago I started shopping at the outlet stores where you pay by the pound and reselling items online. It’s not glamorous but it pays for some extras for my family like piano lessons, going out to the movies, etc.

  43. Jennifer

    If anyone has clothes to donate to me please let me know I am a size 10-12 women’s and large xlarge shirts thanks

    • z

      Tell us where to drop them off. Surely someone here can help you

    • Shannon

      Post in your local Facebook group if u need donations.

  44. patti j

    The article states stores are owned privately now. So, thereby, owners can make their own decisions basically following some rules, not most. As the Fairport, NY comment said, no we do not have prices anymore. But the tags are colored and I have found some items at very good costs with the new pricing model. And, if the product is no good or bad, I give it a few weeks if not months between visits to clean out some of the ‘crap’. But, I have also found items still with the tags attached from original purchase. Lucky. It is the idea to just stop in every once in a while, peruse what is there and if I find something, good day, if not, I’ll be back later. I usually have something specific I am looking for and usually try to stay in season and not looking for next season stuff. In season is more likely to drop costs some if nothing else. Depending upon what it is and if things are selling a little slower. It IS a second hand store and people don’t think before they ‘dump’. I figure if it is something I would be willing to buy 2d hand, then I can feel good about passing it over to the store to sell as a 2d hand item. If I would not buy it, it is recycled a different way or thrown away. Especially if torn, stained, shrunk and turned out badly. Anything else, if it’s useable and not in bad shape, it goes. Someone will make a great find and be happy to have found for a good cost.

  45. Mebadeb

    We have a lot of thrift stores here in metro Atlanta. My daughters and I enjoy checking them all out. One of them found a beautiful prom dress for $1.50 at one of the last resort type thrift stores. I recently found a Vitamix at Goodwill for $19!! I also found a Babylock sewing machine with the needle threader there for $20. Our stores do have 50% off color of the week but not sure about the other specials. You never know what you’ll find.

    • CO

      Which of the Atlanta goodwill do you find these deals?

  46. Valerie

    People do need to know and remember that Goodwill is a for profit organization and not a charitable organization. There are many better places to contribute your used items.

  47. Sara

    I am in Greensboro, NC. Our Goodwill also gives teachers and students a 105 discount every Tuesday. We also have Discount cards we can buy for $15. Then use it all year to get 10% daily and double discount day at the end of the month. I use to work in the training part of Goodwill, I was a computer teacher for them. I trained people with disabilities on computers. The money is not for profit. Yes, the CEO makes a lot of money, but what CEO doesn’t in a large company. The money for the stores goes to job training. It’s a great program. Most people just don’t know about it, because you have never had to use their services.

  48. LS

    I stopped donating stuff to Goodwill. I don’t understand why their items are so expensive (and often stained).

  49. Happy Aunt

    We have a variety of thrift stores in my area that support several great causes. I will shop at GW, but I tend to choose other places to donate my items to. I know the system well enough to know that GW receives government funding to train some of their employees, but it isnt advertised. I find it misleading when this info feels hidden from the public and they tell you how dependent they are on sales to cover the training costs instead. You may not see many people with visible disabilities on the floor, but they are more likely to be in the back sorting and tagging donations. The largest provider of persons with disabilities in my area has their own thrift store as well. They do the same things. I’m open to shopping wherever I am able to get a good deal, but when it’s time to donate, I prefer places like the homeless shelters. Theres been a definite uptick in pricing at all thrift stores over the past 5-10 years as thrift store shopping has become more widely accepted and popular.

  50. osy

    I’m in San Diego and I noticed how outrageously expensive some of the items are at our local Goodwill. I’ve been going to Salvation Army now. They have the color coded discounts and most of the time they’ll give you a 25-50% off coupon at checkout for your next visit

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