If you enjoy going on a good thrift dive, you’ll love hearing about GoodwillFinds: an ecommerce platform serving as an extension of the physical stores, meaning shoppers can find now a curated selection of the chain's secondhand items online. The website allows shoppers to browse by category such as clothing, home decor, electronics, jewelry, toys and collectibles, and more.
Net proceeds from the purchases will “flow directly back to the region the item was sourced from,” the nonprofit organization said in a news release after the website launched in October.
Gallery: Incredibly Valuable Things Bought in Secondhand Stores
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Founded more than a century ago in Boston, Goodwill supports communities by providing services such as job training, after-school activities, and programs to help people with disabilities or facing other challenges find work. 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.
“Goodwill has built a legacy of strengthening communities through the power of work,” Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries International, said in the press release.
One of the ways Goodwill raises funds for these programs and initiatives is through the sale of donated items in its retail stores — commonly referred to as "Goodwill stores" or "thrift stores." Goodwill operates more than 4,200 stores across the United States and Canada.
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GoodWillFinds at a Glance
Though the online store offers a pretty wide selection of goods, the prices appear to be steeper compared with its physical stores. A set of three VHS Disney films, for example, sells for $20 (plus shipping) on GoodwillFinds, perhaps double the typical cost at a bricks-and-mortar store. (You'll probably also have to buy a VHS player, because who even has one anymore?)
Unlike resale competitors such as eBay and Poshmark, customers cannot use GoodwillFinds to make donations, and will still have to visit one of the organization’s physical stores to drop them off. As the website irons out kinks and streamlines its shipping processes, this service will hopefully be offered soon, said newly appointed CEO of GoodwillFinds, Matthew A. Kaness.
How Does GoodwillFinds’ Shipping Work?
Though the website’s higher prices may deter some customers, it allows access to items that may not be available at a local store — and allows shoppers to browse and buy from the comfort of home. GoodwillFinds also offers different shipping and delivery options (standard shipping fees run $7 or $8 or more, depending on delivery location) making it easy to have purchases delivered straight to your doorstep.
The website accepts all major credit cards including MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express, but does not currently take Apple Pay or EBT payments.
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Shopping for a Cause
Since all the items that Goodwill sells are donated, shoppers can often find treasures ranging from vintage clothing and accessories to designer handbags, rare books, and artwork. Some shoppers (guilty) make a hobby out of scouring Goodwill stores for unique and valuable finds.
One of the reasons for the variety and uniqueness of Goodwill finds: its wide range of donors. Since Goodwill accepts donations from individuals, businesses, and estate sales, items from all different walks of life can end up on the store's shelves to sell for a fraction of their true value. (Guess who snagged a Prada belt for only $45 at a Goodwill store in Denver? This girl right here.)
Shopping at Goodwill stores can also be a great way to find items for home decorating and DIY projects. The stores often have a wide selection of furniture, lighting fixtures, and other decorative items that can be repurposed or recycled.
The Bottom Line
Goodwill stores — online and in-person — can be solid platforms for finding hidden treasures while supporting a good cause. 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 piece of clothing or a home decor item, consider GoodwillFinds for your shopping needs.