Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thrifting-The Goodwill Experience

Did you know in these troubled economic times that Goodwill has experienced an upsurge in shoppers. The first reason being is that it is just cheaper, and sometimes you can find amazing deals with careful shopping. What you need to know.

1.       The store’s clientele- don’t think who shops there, but rather who donates. Different stores tend to have better items in certain areas.  A Goodwill near an upscale residential area will have excellent furniture due to residents redecorating. Near a college, you’ll get dorm items and textbooks.

2.       Best months to shop thrift stores- January and summer months. January because Christmas has just happened. People are cleaning their closets to make room for new stuff, and they are also ridding themselves of Christmas presents they don’t like.

Summer months-because of all those yard sales that didn’t work out, plus wedding gifts they didn’t like, plus cleaning closets, and moving.

3.       Goodwill Online-looking for a unique item, something that is out of print. Try Goodwill online which searches all its Orange County stores and ships out the item. This is run a bit like Ebay. www.shopgoodwill.com/

4.       Goodwill also lists its used books on Amazon and Half.com.

5.       Mondays is your best shopping day due to the influx of everything dropped off over the weekend.

6.       Use your discounts-there are discounts for seniors, and college students. Many Goodwill stores have loyalty cards that give you monetary credit. Example: $5 off a $20 purchase.

7.       Drop by often. Maybe once a week for a 15-minute walk through. You never know when that brand new tent still in the box or the extra plates to complete your china set will show up.

8.       Looking for clothes-be prepared to spend a couple of hours. I’ve found clothes are usually grouped wrong because employers are unfamiliar with particular brands. A great women’s blazer may be tucked in the men’s or boy’s department. I’ve found a Valentino suit, Coach purse and Jimmy Choo sandals.

9.       Carefully scrutinize your bargain. Is it electrical, plug it in. If it needs batteries to work, have a few AA or C’s with you for this purpose. Is the clothing worn, stained, or faded? You might be able to replace missing buttons, but you cannot re-weave a moth hole in a cashmere sweater.

10.   Holidays and weekends-Most Goodwills offer 50% off sales on holidays. There are color coded sales, plus Sunday specials.

11.   Do you have a legitimate need for your purchase? Some people like to buy things at Goodwill, and then later sell them on Ebay. This is okay if you have a guaranteed market for the item. Otherwise, you’ll be bringing it back in a couple of months.

12.   Dropping things off at Goodwill then get a receipt. Before you even pull into the parking lot, have your donation itemized for tax purposes. This might be the difference between a 1040 and 1040ez.

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