28. Three tips for scoring great finds at Goodwill.

Goodwill is probably one of my favorite places to shop.  I know some people would turn their nose up or rather die than walk into a thrift store.  You don’t know what you’re missing, my friend!  If you’ve never shopped at Goodwill, there are a few things you should know that will undoubtedly improve your shopping experience.

Large framed print, $7 @ Goodwill

Large framed print, $7 @ Goodwill

1. If you shop at a Goodwill in a nice neighborhood, chances are the items they sell will be of better quality.

I mainly shop at one Goodwill that’s in a pretty well-to-do area, and I consistently find really nice things.  I’ve bought tons of clothes at this particular store, with labels from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor/Ann Taylor Loft, GAP, Old Navy, J. Crew, and a bunch more.  Seriously!  Really good stuff, in good condition.  I’ve even found items that still had the tags attached.  The Goodwill I frequent also buys stuff from the local Target, which means brand new stuff at a great discount.  My Goodwill currently has a bunch of Halloween costumes and accessories for sale, a good majority of which is brand new and still in the packaging.

Fun Machine Organ, $30 @ Goodwill

Fun Machine Organ, $30 @ Goodwill

2. Shopping at Goodwill is often hit or miss, and you have to be willing to sift through duds to find treasure.

There are plenty of times that I go to Goodwill ready to burn a hole in my pocket only to leave empty-handed.  It happens!  I also make sure I have the time to really look through the racks (if I’m shopping for clothes).  My store organizes clothes by type of item, then by size, and then by color.  I usually start with clothes that are my size, but I will often look through the next size up.  I normally wear a size S, but I often find things in a M that fit pretty well.  There will be a hoard of ugly, outdated garments in any thrift store, but if you’re willing to go through everything, I guarantee you’ll find good stuff!  Every once in a while I find superb vintage pieces as well.  Example: I own a fabulous vintage black velvet blazer I found at my favorite Goodwill, and it only cost me $6.  A piece like that would cost MUCH more in a vintage boutique or antiques shop.

Small milk glass vases, $1 @ Goodwill

3. Think outside the box and keep an open mind.  Just because it’s ugly now doesn’t mean it has to stay that way!

I’ve found a lot of great home items at Goodwill that I plan on tweaking to fit my decor style.  Like the piece of art, but hate the frame?  Paint it!  Pretty much anything can be improved with a little glue and paint.

Framed prints, $3 each @ Goodwill (I will be painting the frames to freshen these up!)

Framed prints, $3 each @ Goodwill (I will be painting the frames to freshen these up!)

Items also need not be used for their intended purpose.  For example, I bought a very large wooden magazine rack yesterday, which I plan on painting and distressing for use as a blanket caddy.

Large magazine rack, $10 @ Goodwill

Large magazine rack, $10 @ Goodwill

I also found a cute wire basket that I loved but didn’t immediately have any idea concerning its purpose in our home.  I realized I had no good storage for my belts, so I rolled them up and the basket is now their home.

Rose gold wire basket, $4 @ Goodwill

There you have it!  Those are my three tips for having a great experience while browsing the racks at your local Goodwill.


Happy shopping!


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5 thoughts on “28. Three tips for scoring great finds at Goodwill.

  1. What a great post! Around here we have 50% off days!


    • Thanks! There are days when certain color tickets are 50% off at ours, and they give out coupons for a small percentage off to card members every now and then. I have a member card (which is free) that gives me 10% off all the time. I love searching for the good stuff.


  2. Pingback: The Craft Queen | 35. Before and After: Thrift Store Prints

  3. Pingback: The Craft Queen | 65. Before and After: Thrift Store Art

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