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Guest Goodwill Tips

2010 January 12
by Katie

Yesterday I shared some tips on how to make the most outta your Goodwill experience.  And I am so glad that you liked the tips I shared and I L.O.V.E.D.  it when  shared some of your own – so thanks everyone!

Here were some of my other favorite tips (in case you missed the comments):

 

They also offer senior discounts & sometimes promote deals through colored tags.  And always double check about the return policy…especially for electronics, furniture and clothing.

 

Here is the link to the goodwill site – you can score great stuff online – but beware, there are additional shipping costs as well as some restrictions on bulky items!

 

Thanks for these great tips – and here is the list of Goodwill outlet locations.  Go check to see if you have a nearby one in your area!  Looks like Georgia is flat outta luck :(

 

And remember – everybody’s experience is different based on different styles, needs and times you visit your local thrift stores.  So shop often and maybe you can turn your frown of a Goodwill venture into a smile.

 

Now onto answering some thrifty questions that you may have missed reading -

TOPIC – NEGOTIATING DISCOUNTS

Sam said – “I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, but I never write. Shame on me! First, congrats on baby Bower!! I have two litlle boys, and they are a blast! Second, I work from home so thank you for providing some sanity to my day!! Third, to my point….sorry. Can you negotiate a price at goodwill?! I never have, and didn’t know. I have been eyeing a desk for my little one, but the price seems crazy in the goodwill world and beyond. It needs work- more than a paint job! Just thought I would ask. Thanks!!!”

My view is ABSOLUTELY.    Ask for a manager and see if there is a day that the goodwill gives a discount on furniture purchases. In most cases, there is a day or a time period that the managers announce the discount. But if there is no discount…you can absolutely ask for one. They won’t always say yes but if you negotiate correctly – there is a good chance that you will receive anywhere from 5-25% off.

TOPIC – PICKING AND CHOOSING

Kate writes – “Love this post! I don’t necessarily struggle in seeing how something will look in another space or how it can be improved with a little paint, etc. My problem is not being sure what items I should buy and what I shouldn’t. I try to be a minimalist and only buy things that have function, but I also like decorating. However, I don’t want to fill my home with lots of odds and ends or store a lot of decorative items I’m just going to forget about. Have any suggestions for my problem? Or am I on my own here?

And my reply is no way are you alone Kate.  That is a problem for all of us…regardless of our personal styles. I am not a minimalist but I find that I will focus on purchasing only things that I can work into my ‘project room’…aka the space that I am currently working on. Right now I am trying to gather things to decorate a guest room…so I only purchase items that will be placed in that room, replacing something for that room, or gifted to someone I love. Dishware is an exception…I can’t help but buy it. Maybe focusing on a specific room or rooms at a time will help you….jot down what you would need before you go then stick to your list. It can be vague like “guest dresser decor” or “dining room art” but if it’s not on the list prior to shopping, well, we can cry together :)

 

Wheew! And now stay tuned for tomorrow….when I share what I actually bought…I should just dub this “Like totally Goodwill week!”….whattaya say? 



23 Responses leave one →
  1. January 12, 2010

    I had never even considered asking for ‘discount days’ at Goodwill, that is such a great idea!!

    “The smaller the store the smaller the prices”… I am defintely goign to have to check out some smaller thrift shops now!!

    Thanks for the extra tips from the commenters, I would have missed them if you hadn’t posted them :)

  2. January 12, 2010

    great post!

  3. January 12, 2010

    Yay!

  4. January 12, 2010

    I like Amy E’s comment… the smaller, local thrift stores do usually have better prices. I get frustrated in Goodwill because I’ve seen them price things higher than when they were actually new in the stores. Of course it’s always worth browsing, but I’ll usually go to my other favorite stores when I have the time.

  5. January 12, 2010

    Again — GREAT TIPS! I had no idea there was an online Goodwill site! Sweet!

    I also thought people might be interested in the donation process. When my husband and I go thrifting, we often take some of our own stuff with us to donate — two birds, one stone.

    There are indeed some items to consider with this whole process (like what you can/cannot donate, how to get tax refund, etc.) — I posted a bit about it in December, for those who are interested:

    http://neverhomemaker.blogspot.com/2009/12/holiday-idea-donate-your-stuff-save.html

  6. Sam permalink
    January 12, 2010

    Thanks for the tips!! I feel armed and ready now, like I went to goodwill bootcamp! Love it! I’m heading to my goodwill tonight. Fingers crossed the desk is still there!! I’ll keep you posted on my new KB negotiating skills!

  7. January 12, 2010

    I love the idea of a goodwill week! Do it, Katie!

    One of my local goodwill’s gives a student discount, too. Just have to show your student ID. :)

    At this point, I’d say most of my home is decorated from goodwill. I’ve even scored some serious furniture pieces like the solid wood TV stand in my living room. It was $70, which you can’t beat for solid wood at a furniture store, and all it needed was a good cleaning and polish. However, it is totally retro and not everyones taste. (I probably could have gotten it cheaper b/c the Volunteers of America have 1/2 price color price tags that change daily but I needed it like I need air but you can check for color price cuts, too).

    I love knowing that no one has what I have – well, it’s highly unlikely, right?!

    -Emily

  8. Anne permalink
    January 12, 2010

    Thank you. Great post yesterday (as always!)
    Off to Goodwill today to wander slowly and REALLY look!

    PS. Congrats on Baby Bower!

  9. January 12, 2010

    My suggestion is know your Goodwill store options and it’s “trends”. The store that is closer to our house is a great source for furniture and glassware…but the store closer to my office is the destination for a local craft store’s off-season goods. So a few weeks after a holiday/season I stop in to check out what goodies have arrived! And such a bummer we don’t have a Goodwill outlet in GA!

  10. January 12, 2010

    Katie – Do you have any favorite Thrift/Goodwills in Atlanta?

  11. January 12, 2010

    Love the Goodwill posts, Katie. I’m super psyched because they just opened a Goodwill in my little Maine town. I had actually never lived near one before, so I made my first visit recently. I was totally overwhelmed on that first trip, but with all of these tips in hand, I am feeling much more prepared!

    Rock on with your Goodwill self!

  12. thevitas permalink
    January 12, 2010

    Go goodwill week! Keep the tips coming in…
    I recently quit craig’s list – see my latest post – I think I’ll stick to goodwill and thrift shops :-)

  13. January 12, 2010

    I like shopping at Saver’s better because the clothes there are organized by size.

    • January 12, 2010

      Used Cars Knoxville…
      I am off to google Saver’s right now…never heard of it so I am glad you mentioned it!
      Thanks dear!
      XO – KB

  14. January 12, 2010

    Great site – very useful tips

  15. January 12, 2010

    I went to Goodwill tonight. Love the idea of Goodwill week!!! Keep it coming!!! I have always been a thrifter!! Today I scored some Pottery Barn-esque fake Pears :)

    My tip for thrifters is this: Put everything you like in your cart as you go. Then, at the end before checkout, go through your cart and really analyze if you love it, have time to “redo it” if it needs help, and just pair down your finds. This really helps me to stay free of clutter, while bringing in fun new things.

  16. January 13, 2010

    Love these posts! keep em commin!

  17. January 13, 2010

    Let me start by saying “Thank You”! Your post inspired me to shop around yesterday and I found the most awesome little green couch for a steal at Salvation Army. I posted picks at my blog (cultivatinghome.wordpress.com). Thanks again for the motivation!

  18. January 14, 2010

    I love your site! There have been a few times where I found a piece of furniture & It was more then I was wiling to spend. I have a fave goodwill store & there was a dresser I wanted, so I asked the guy if he would give it to me for $35 instead of $50. He said yes! Score! Sometimes (if it’s a bigger piece of furniture) they will ask if you can take it with you then & not have them hold it.

  19. January 20, 2010

    sweet, i was quoted! hope you don’t mind if i use that nifty little image on my blog and link back to yours. i love reading everyone else’s tips too.

    i especially like Jess’ on this post: “Put everything you like in your cart as you go. Then, at the end before checkout, go through your cart and really analyze if you love it, have time to “redo it” if it needs help, and just pair down your finds. This really helps me to stay free of clutter, while bringing in fun new things.”

    totally awesome tip! i even do this at non thrift stores like Target, Walmart, etc. (that is, when the hubby isn’t there to talk me out of it from the start). it really does help!

  20. January 31, 2010

    so I totally hit up discount day today at a local thrift store and came home with an armload of amazing stuff (much of which was inspired by you!) for only $12!!! It was epic! Can’t wait to go back next month, last Saturday of the month is their 50% off everything sale, so I will circle it in red on my calendar from now on. Here’s my loot: http://pugsnotdrugs.wordpress.com/2010/01/31/thrift-store-haul-yall/

  21. Amber permalink
    June 13, 2010

    I”d also like to give a shout out to consignment shops… These can be both trickier/easier depending on what kind of buyer you are. If you’re someone that gets a little turned around and confused in the clutter of the thrift stores, these can be great places of refuge for you; if you don’t like to do all of the “dirty” work in sifting through the seemingly endless piles of confusion yourself in order to find the hidden treasures, or if you’re someone that can see the potential in something but can’t quite make it work yourself and want some of the work to already be done. A lot of these shops are run by fantastic owners who have a talented eye for spotting those kinds of items.

    However, if you’re a serious go-getter when it comes to do-it-yourself projects, you may find these shops to be too overpriced. Or you may find the items (namely furniture) don’t really need anymore work done to them.

    It should also be noted that:
    1) This is a great way to make a little money. Consignment shops work with you to get your item sold. They allow your item to be displayed in their shop and then they take a certain percentage of the profit once it has sold. (I wanna say 50%?)
    2) If you’re looking for a specific item-most shops have a running list of people’s information so that they can notify them if they get said item into their store. (Very handy if you just can’t seem to find that bookshelf you need for your sittng room.)

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