From one thrift store pro to another…. the concept of the outlet store is frightening. Years ago, the Seattle outlet was the only location. Now there is quite a few: Tacoma, Everett, Vancouver, and the newly opened Kent. This is virgin territory for us!
Here’s what we know. Big Blue Bins……..
After a little online research, it seems that they are “liquidation” centers. Where all the unsold merchandise goes to be sold by the pound. The stuff sits in Goodwill Stores for 6 weeks (the last week it is 50% off) before it is hauled off to the outlet.
In the words of a wise man, “You can find even crapier and cheaper crap!”
It’s cheaper which is cool… If any of you thrifters out there in blog land have any tips or advice let us know before we bite the bullet!
This is what about.com has to say:
What You’ll Find at the Goodwill Outlets:You’ll find the same things that you would find at a regular Goodwill store – clothes, shoes, linens, housewares, furniture, knick knacks, books and everything in between – just at a better price.
A Typical Shopping Experience:
Shopping at a Goodwill Outlet Store is a unique experience. In some outlets the merchandise is sorted, but more often than not, the merchandise is simply brought out in large bins for you to sort through.
If you like neat and orderly, this experience isn’t for you. You’ll have to dig through a lot of merchandise to find “the deals”, and you’ll have to do it while being swarmed by other shoppers who are doing the same.
Tips for a Successful Shopping Trip:
- Bring a pair of gloves to protect your hands from an unknowns that you may come across in the bins
- Go when you have several hours to dig
- Leave kids at home, if at all possible. Goodwill Outlet locations are usually very busy; and the customers can sometimes get aggressive
- Keep your finds close to you. People will shop out of your cart, if given the chance
- Shop often. New merchandise is put out throughout the day