Beyond any other thrift store, Goodwill is the one store you can find amazing deals on clothing and household items. Not only are the stores clean and well organized, but you can always find the unexpected deal like brand-name items at a fragment of their retail price. And sometimes, items are brand-new, with tags still on.
Add to the wonderful deals the fact you’re helping millions of Canadians with disabilities find valuable employment and get needed training. What’s not to love about shopping at Goodwill?
Here are a few secrets to help you save money at thrift stores. Goodwill locations run their own promotions and sales, but these tips work at any Goodwill retail store.
#1 Shop early in the day and often
Early morning hours on weekdays are the best times to shop at Goodwill. More people shop at the thrift stores on weekends, so try to avoid the busiest days. You’ll have plenty of time and space to dig through the racks at your leisure. And visit your Goodwill thrift store often because new donations come in all the time. The more often you shop, the more likely you are to catch the best deals before others. You’ll also get to know the staff, always helpful when looking for particular items.
#2 Learn your store’s sale cycles
Your favorite Goodwill retail store rotates items through its doors to free up space for new stock. They discount certain items to help them move, sometimes as often as once a week. Try asking the store manager or visiting your favorite location’s website to learn about their sales.
One popular sales event is the “color of the week.” Certain stores will discount items with a certain color tag, and colors can change depending on the day of the week. Other sales like store-wide 50% off happen when it’s time to make way for new items, so it pays to know your store’s sales cycles.
#3 Shop Goodwill for holidays
Like other retailers, Goodwill is just as business savvy when timing their sales with holidays. If you like the competition of Black Friday, check out your local Goodwill thrift store for their sales and hours. Consider how other holidays may instigate other sales and consider signing up for their email newsletter if your store has one.
Look for a variety of seasonal items at Goodwill. You may find overstock or final clearance items from last year at a great price. Take advantage of Goodwill for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and other major holidays to find amazing deals.
#4 Scout out inventory before the sale
Once you learn the sales cycle of your favorite Goodwill location, scout out their inventory the day before a sale. Locate items you want so on sale days, you can head straight for the best deals.
If you have several Goodwill locations, check out each location in advance to figure out which as the best sales items. Then head for that store early the day of the sale.
#5 Always try on clothes
Just because that cute sweater is $4 doesn’t mean it will fit you right or look good on you. Rather than buy something because it’s cute and inexpensive, take the time to try on clothes. And only buy those items you love.
This saves you time and frustration. No one wants to buy something they can’t wear. And if you want to return clothing to your favorite Goodwill store, they’ll accept it as a donation, which means no returns.
Finally, use your imagination. Thrift stores, Goodwill in particular, are the best place to find something that, with paint or new upholstery, could be your next favorite piece. Consider making a Pinterest board of projects that would be perfect for Goodwill items. Then scroll through your board before shopping for inspiration.
#6 Always try on Comic Book