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Old 11-15-2012, 04:45 PM   #21
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So you feel GoodWill is a pretty good outfit? I often hear some not-so-great things about many charities (not specifically GoodWill), that I get suspect.
Ours is good. The GW stores in our area have gone "upscale"--brick facades, better lighting, etc. I'm a bit suspicious of that, but the goods inside seem fairly priced. I wonder what happens to the actual donated items--people drive in with all kinds of stuff, but the selection of tools and housewares for sale is tiny, they concentrate on clothing. Of note, they are now recycling desktops and laptop computers. I think these are donated by businesses (they seem to have 5-10 of the same model on display). They check them out, remove any data and software, add an old version of Windows (and maybe Open Office, I can't recall) and sell them very reasonably. It wouldn't suite everyone, but it would be a fine setup for many families.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:05 PM   #22
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Don't buy! Simply being happy with what you have is a great way to save money. It can be quite a revelation to re-discover how little we need, really.
+1. And it's amazing what can be fixed/adapted for use, as we've discussed recently in other threads. Too often some folks these days don't even try...
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:41 PM   #23
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I've bought several sport coats at GW. $7 ea., plus the dry cleaning bill. Great for cooler weather, when I wear a "Texas suit": jeans, boots, jacket.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #24
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My sister is a social worker who helped place workers from Goodwill. She spoke very highly of their organization.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:22 PM   #25
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I don't know for sure but I think GW keeps the better stuff that is donated and sells the rest to other for profit thrift stores. I've seen some of my donated items on the racks at GW. I also go to some local thrift stores but found the quality to be a step down from Goodwill.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:32 PM   #26
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On another thread, I suggested looking for church groups as a source for thrift purchases. In Florida, upon asking around, I found five different resale shops operated by church organization volunteers. Most of them operate on very limited hours, like three days a week. The best part is that they use their congregations as a source of sale items, and have no incentive to hyper manage their pricing. Our experience in all cases, is that the pricing is lower than "for profit" or Goodwill, and that the operation is more of a social gathering place.

Here in Illinois, in the next town, is a larger operation operated by ladies from 7 churches. They receive so many donations that they work on "turnover" so the prices are very, very low... and often after the seasonal good sales have peaked, the items are offered for free. Childrens' books, religious books and "how to" books are always free or offered for $.25 or $.50. All clothing and accessories... shoes, handbags belts etc. are sold by baskets... (those wire handle baskets ala Walmart)... All you can fit into the basket for $5... for $4 on Thursday. The nice part about this is that the donations come from many fairly wealthy donors, so it's very common to find top of the line labels and often goods that have had little or no wear.

As to how the better resale stores are operated... We now see that there is much going on behind the scenes, with many people working in the "back room" to sort, size and often test the donated items. In the case of clothing, in these stores, only clean and intact items are offered for sale, and the presentation is offered by size. Likewise, items are color code aged as they are put out on the sales floor, with periodic culling of older goods.

At the opposite end, those thrift shops that do not manage the goods usually go out of business in short order.

After getting over the "not for me" hurdle, resale shops can be a lot more fun than department stores...
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:48 PM   #27
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I think that proper pricing is a problem for some nonprofits. I noticed at the local Habitat ReStore that many items like appliances and cabinets were way overpriced compared to Craigslist, for instance. On the way out, I saw a chalk board listing items not accepted at this time ....appliances, cabinets. I don't get it - they get the stuff for free.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:27 AM   #28
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Newegg always has a bunch of refurbished electronics, as if the new price isn't great already. They also have take offs, like DVD drives taken out of new units, just no box or software, but Plug and play usually can find suitable drives. With Newegg given the choice I always buy refurbished.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:44 PM   #29
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There is also Shop Goodwill online which is online auctions. My son has bought a few things there.

shopgoodwill.com - Welcome
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:51 PM   #30
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Ours is good. The GW stores in our area have gone "upscale"--brick facades, better lighting, etc. I'm a bit suspicious of that, but the goods inside seem fairly priced.
Remember that the GW organizations don't own the stores, they rent...so perhaps they simply snagged a good deal on rent with a relatively new space that had sat vacant?
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:39 AM   #31
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Another low cost enjoyable activity I recently found. I bought a discontinued electronic tablet (I don't have a smartphone, and don't believe i ever will). I paid for it using credit card points (I charge everything I can and pay in full each month - I rack up points and it makes expense tracking easier for me). I downloaded a few brain activity games and sudoku. I also download a bunch of free books from Amazon. Many classics along with unknown author's in the top 100 free section. Ive read three unknown authors books which were quite good. One was GREAT so I brought one of the authors other books for $4.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:36 PM   #32
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The GW stores in our area have gone "upscale"--brick facades, better lighting, etc. I'm a bit suspicious of that, but the goods inside seem fairly priced. I wonder what happens to the actual donated items--people drive in with all kinds of stuff, but the selection of tools and housewares for sale is tiny, they concentrate on clothing.
We went to browse at our GoodWill store yesterday, and I was shocked. They have replaced almost everything with racks of clothing. How disappointing! They used to have a lot more household goods and furniture.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:29 PM   #33
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We went to browse at our GoodWill store yesterday, and I was shocked. They have replaced almost everything with racks of clothing. How disappointing! They used to have a lot more household goods and furniture.
Sorry to hear that when I first started out on my own my apartment decor was early Salvation Army and Goodwill.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:23 PM   #34
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Sorry to hear that when I first started out on my own my apartment decor was early Salvation Army and Goodwill.
We still like to browse in places like that, and once in a while might find something. And, it is for a good cause. We need to go check our Salvation Army store again soon. They had a bigger stock of household items and furniture the last time we were there, anyway, and plus I like them a lot due to all the selfless work they did for the community after Katrina.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #35
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We went to browse at our GoodWill store yesterday, and I was shocked. They have replaced almost everything with racks of clothing. How disappointing! They used to have a lot more household goods and furniture.
Interesting. The GW store near me is 70% clothing. The rest is household goods and furniture. I wonder if that's because people donate less of those items? I see alot more furniture consignment shops these days so i wonder if people are selling instead of donating?
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