Save Big Using These Goodwill Thrift Store Shopping Tips!
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We’re sharing tips & tricks on how to save big bucks at your local Goodwill thrift store! You’ll definitely want to read this info before you shop.
Feeling thrifty? Get the inside scoop!
I’ve been shopping at my local Goodwill stores for many years and believe it can be a valuable resource for scoring deals for the home and family. Plus, in my opinion, thrift store shopping is such a FUN treasure hunt. I would 100% pick a good thrift store adventure over a big box retail trip any day!
Whether you’re a thrift store expert or a newbie, I’ve rounded up some helpful information to help you save even further at these affordable and adventurous stores.
It’s also worth noting that some of these same tips can also be appled to various other thrift stores to save money. This post is not sponsored by Goodwill, but rather meant to be helpful, and FUN!
Hip Tip: Before I jump into all the juicy details, it’s important for you to know that all Goodwill’s are individually managed. 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 my top tips and tricks to save BIG at Goodwill thrift stores:
1. Sign up for the monthly newsletter Goodwill coupon or text alerts to save even more!
Once you find your local Goodwill thrift store location online, sign up for their email newsletter or text alerts to receive coupons and be the first to hear about sales. At my location, we get an extra 20% off coupon via email that we can use over and over without any limit. You just have to spend over $20 to use it.
Sometimes if I go thrifting with a shopping buddy, and don’t spend $20 we will combine orders at the cash register to get the extra 20% off and then even up later.
2. Stay up to date with your local store’s sale calendar.
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, lots of folks don’t 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.
3. Go on the weekly color tag sale days and pay as low as $1!
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!
4. Shop early in the morning at your Goodwill thrift store!
It’s probably no news to you that some people make a living on buying cheap stuff at thrift stores and selling them for a profit. Sometimes thrifty finds are priced for way less than it’s worth (unknowingly) therefore the good stuff is sure to fly out the doors fast.
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. I find the best stuff when I am there right when my store opens!
As just one example, check out this large vintage pottery bowl I found recently priced less than $6 and I spotted it re-selling online for around $200! What a score! I think it also helps to go to a Goodwill location near a retirement community like mine. I find lots of cool vintage stuff!
Here’s another example of me being the first in line at my local Goodwill thrift store recently, and scoring a beautiful vintage Pyrex bowl for just $3.49 before coupons! I head straight to the housewares section first to scope things out.
5. Shop at a Goodwill clearance center and pay only by the pound!
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 like clothing, be prepared for some big savings!
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”.
6. Save extra cash if you’re a senior, military member, teacher, or student!
Both my mom and my mother-in-law are Goodwill shopping experts and are so fun to treasure hunt with! They shop on Tuesdays to get their Goodwill senior discount of 25% off!
- For seniors: If you’re a senior over 55 years old, you can shop on Tuesday to get anywhere from 25% off.
- For military members, students, teachers & first responders: Get 25% off with an I.D at Goodwill of Arizona on Sundays.
7. Find out the best day to make donations.
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!
8. Expect the unexpected when you shop.
There’s definitely a unique collection of goods at every Goodwill thrift store. However, there are goods you may not realize could be there – and for super cheap! You can likely score great deals on pricier sports equipment like golf clubs.
You can even find brand new mattresses if you’re in the market for a new bed! They started at just $169 for a twin-sized new mattress.
Want to see some of my latest Goodwill thrift store finds?!
Not only did I score a Pyrex vintage bowl for cheap, but I also found some beautiful white porcelain basket weave plates for around $1 each! This handmade wood cutting board is gorgeous and will be perfect to build a cheese and cracker board. At just $6 it was a nice find as well!