Did you know that aside from having thousands of physical stores (4,245, to be exact), Goodwill has online platforms — ShopGoodwill and GoodwillFinds — where you can snag tons of sweet deals? While both platforms offer a variety of items for sale, from designer clothing and home decor to collectibles, toys, and electronics, only ShopGoodwill offers a bidding process for auctioned items.
Founded in 1906 in Boston, Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs to help people overcome challenges and improve their lives.
Goodwill also serves as a steppingstone for marginalized groups such as veterans and individuals who lack education, credentials, or other requirements by hiring them to work in stores and gain experience.
Found a sad looking Peter rabbit on Shopgoodwill, no one was going to buy it and he was super cheap. So I bought him and fixed it up a bit. New ear's not perfect but he’s looking way batter. pic.twitter.com/HfL37dNYUr— Pine. 🌲 (@RedPineBarron) January 25, 2023
What is the Difference Between ShopGoodwill and GoodwillFinds?
ShopGoodwill operates as an online auction platform where bidders compete against each other to buy items listed for sale. The bidding process begins when an item is listed and ends when the auction time has expired. Shoppers can place bids at any time during the auction period, and the highest bidder at the end of the auction wins the item.
GoodwillFinds, on the other hand, operates purely as an online store — items are listed for a fixed price and can be bought immediately. There is no bidding process on GoodwillFinds, and items are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
In addition, ShopGoodwill allows bidders to potentially buy items at a lower price if they are the highest bidder at the end of the auction. Items on GoodwillFinds are sold at a fixed price — which may be higher or lower — than what’s being auctioned on ShopGoodwill.
The bidding process on ShopGoodwill also requires bidders to be active, monitoring their auctions constantly to ensure they are still the highest bidder; the purchasing process on GoodwillFinds is straightforward and requires no monitoring or active bidding, because every item is sold as is. (But that takes the fun out of competing for something, doesn’t it?)
How Does the Bidding Process on ShopGoodwill Work?
Say you’re browsing through ShopGoodwill’s site and come across this coveted Marvel action figure pack that your kid will absolutely freak out over, or perhaps you’re on the market for an engagement ring? You put your bidding hat on, and it’s off to the races; but how does the process work, exactly?
First, you must create an account with ShopGoodwill. Now, you can browse through available items or narrow your search based on categories, keywords, and location — making it easier to find what you’re looking for.
I Call Dibs
Once you find the items you want to buy, you can place a bid on them. Each bidding process lasts seven days. If you’re the highest bidder when a listing closes, you’re required to pay for the item within 10 days and have it shipped to you. The cost of shipping will be additional.
One of the unique features of ShopGoodwill.com is that it operates as a "no reserves" auction, meaning items can be sold for as little as a dollar. This provides a great opportunity for users to find great deals on items they need or want.
In addition to bidding on items, users can donate to Goodwill via ShopGoodwill. To do this, select the "Donate" option and fill out a form with the details of the item you wish to donate. Goodwill will arrange to pick up the item and put it up for auction on ShopGoodwill. And as always, you can drop off items in person at a local Goodwill store.
The Bottom Line
Goodwill stores — online and in-person — can be great thrifting sources for finding hidden gems while supporting a good cause and saving money. With a wide variety of donors and a constantly changing selection of items, there is always potential for a good find. Next time you're in the market for a quick outfit or a unique home decor item, keep ShopGoodwill in mind. (And because who doesn't love outbidding someone for a vintage collection of Ty Beanie Babies?)