Thrift Shop Adventures + My Goodwill Outlet Experience
I’ll start with the positive stuff. ie: Not Goodwill Outlet.
My favorite Salvation Army Thrift Store finally moved to a new location. I kind of miss the old, scary basement location – it felt like an adventure every time we went shopping.
Anyway, I didn’t find anything here I had to have, but this gem definitely warranted a picture.
At $4.99 it seemed kind of steep, but I guess “lighting her fire” really is priceless.
All 8 cassette tapes were missing! $4.99 for just the workbook and none of the lessons. I never.
I did find some goodies at the next stop, Goodwill (not the outlet, that’s still to come). I’ve been looking for lamps to put in our living room for months. I didn’t care about the color since I intended to spray paint them, but as much as I looked I never found a pair that I liked. Only single lamps.
So, when I found these, I was pretty excited. I will probably spray paint them a fun color at some point, but for the time being they will work as-is.
Now, onto the Goodwill Outlet. I have heard some crazy stories about this place. As much as I love a good thrift store, I really didn’t plan on going out of my way to check it out, especially after hearing of fistfights breaking out.
But, I was with friends on Saturday and the outlet was on the agenda, and I was up for an adventure.
I definitely got what I asked for.
If you’re not familiar with the Goodwill Outlet, basically, it’s stuff that didn’t sell at a regular store that is rolled out in large, mostly unsorted bins. At the St. Louis location everything (except furniture) is sold by the pound. I think this varies by location though.
First, I noticed that a lot of employees (and many shoppers) wore goggles, gloves and surgical masks. I didn’t come prepared with safety gear, so I mostly looked through the bins without touching much. Some of the items I noticed mixed into the bins included broken glass, knives and two diapers.
The furniture was all on sale on Saturday for $2. It was really too expensive at that price. I’m all for keeping things out of landfills, but I think some of this furniture was actually a biohazard. It smelled like sewage.
The employees do a lot of screaming and are really hostile. Which, is kind of understandable based on the way people behave, but also really off-putting if you’re just casually looking around.
My friend warned me that when they bring new bins out, there is a stampede to get to it first. It was kind of like those Black Friday videos from inside Walmart, except instead of $3 toasters people are fighting over broken stuff and dirty shoes. I pulled out my iPhone and took a video of one bin coming out and the people going nuts over it.
I didn’t intend to do anything with it, but minutes later I was approached by an employee who threatened to escort me off premises if he saw my phone out again. I was really shocked and confused. It seems there is a sign prohibiting recording at Goodwill Outlet. One sign. In the entire warehouse. Which I eventually found posted as I was leaving the building. I’m not a jerk, if I had known I wouldn’t have done it. It just didn’t occur to me it wouldn’t be allowed. I’ve been thrifting for years and I take pictures of weird stuff all the time and have never had a problem. And I’m pretty sure the now infamous Thrift Shop song was actually filmed in a Goodwill Outlet.
So, like I said. I didn’t plan on doing anything with the video. But, since I almost got thrown out over it, I decided it was definitely going on Youtube.
To be fair, from searching a little, it looks like not all Goodwill Outlets are this God awful. But, I will definitely never be back to the St. Louis location and I really can’t recommend anyone else visit it either, unless you just want to see the spectacle for yourself. If you do, make sure your tetanus vaccine is up to date.
March 4, 2013 @ 2:54 am
There are good will outlet stores!?!?!?!??! WHAAAATTTT!!
I feel the need to go find one now!
March 4, 2013 @ 1:32 pm
Good luck and stay safe! And definitely don’t try to photograph it!
March 4, 2013 @ 11:04 pm
Oh my goodness! I’ve heard of the outlets, but I never knew you’d need safety gear (and possibly boxing gloves?) to shop there. Too funny! Do people actually find anything worthwhile?
March 5, 2013 @ 9:50 pm
I’m sure it’s possible, but not worth the risk to me! I’ll stick to regular old Goodwill’s thanks.
March 5, 2013 @ 12:28 am
In Portland we call these stores “The Bins.” The blue and white horsey thing in your video looks loney. I am sure Pug would have loved a horsey friend… lol
March 5, 2013 @ 9:48 pm
I never even noticed the horse, lol. I would not want Pug putting that thing in his mouth!