I cannot recount the many times I have been driving from running a last-minute errand only to tell myself, “Don’t stop into Goodwill, there is probably nothing in there that you can use.”
I then try to further convince myself that I won’t find anything by saying, “Its late and all of the good stuff is probably picked over.” While it may be true in a few instances, I find that the times I think it is too late to stop into a Goodwill store are the times I find some amazing pieces.
Such as this amazing Ralph Lauren-ish lamp:
Even at the last minute you can find really great items at Goodwill. I found a $1200 chair for like $8! I still have the chair mind you.
There are three things amateur thrifters need to keep in mind.
No Set Schedule for Stocking Shelves
Goodwill retail stores are furnished with donations. Whether from an individual, Target or a corporation the inventory arrives at different times. When items are priced, they go out onto shelves or the sales floor. The stockers don’t wait for Tuesday at 3pm or Saturday at 11am to replenish the shelves, they add more items when they can. Sometimes this can be an hour before closing.
No Set Inventory to be Placed on Shelves
When you walk into a regular retail store like Target, certain departments are stocked on certain days. At Goodwill EVERY department is stocked as often as items are available. So there is no need to wait until Thursday to buy lamps, because a pair of amazing lamps may be available on Tuesday morning right when they open or Sunday evening 20 minutes before closing time.
Floor Associates are Workers, Not Buyers
I know for certain that some sales associates at conventional retail stores will occasionally leave items they want in the stock room until they go on sale and then buy them. Fortunately, that’s not how Goodwill works. Everything that is in the back of the store will come on to the floor. No one is there to save that flat screen so they can buy it later. Honestly, I am not sure they really care about the pair of faded pink wingbacks coming out into the floor. Yes the workers are helpful, but they are not buyers. So you don’t have to worry if there are more items in back. If there are, they’ll eventually be brought out into the store.
I love thrifting. Not so much for the excellent prices, (which are great) but more so for the unique items I find for my home or for my clients’ homes. I’ve learned over the years that the best time to go to the thrift store is when you think about it. No need to wait until Monday morning, because people have said that’s when they finish pricing all of the donations from the weekend. Trust me, they aren’t saving that inventory to come out at noon on Monday for the early birds. Goodwill sales associates will process and bring to the floor as many donations as it can, so that shoppers can buy as much as they desire.
If you’re thinking about stopping into a Goodwill, DO IT! You never know when that perfect piece may be waiting for you.