This week’s nifty thrifty lesson:
Location, location, location! As you might and probably realize, the items you find at GW are highly dependent on the GW’s location. Obviously this is because people from the area are more likely to donate to their closest store. Keeping this in mind, you can narrow your search for a specific item or type of item. Example-you are probably more likely to find designer/high end things at the Beverly Hills Goodwill compared to the Eagle Rock Goodwill. On the other hand, you’re more likely to find funky and eclectic pieces at the Eagle Rock Goodwill. One isn’t better than the other, they’re just different. If your style is more brand name ‘mainstream’ then you may be better off going to a certain neighborhood rather than another one (I know it might sound terrible, elitist, judgmental, or something, but it’s really not…it’s just being strategic). If your style is more vintage, funky, hipster, etc. you might be better off somewhere else.
Just the other day I went shopping with my wonderful friend Marah. We decided to go to the Glendale GW because we expected to find more brand name pieces there…and we did-J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, 7 For All Mankind, etc. But recently when I needed a wetsuit to wear to a party (I’ll do a post on that in the future) I hit up the Eagle Rock Goodwill, knowing that I’d be more likely to find a random item like that there.
It’s all about saving time. No one can tell me they don’t need more time.
Many people enjoy going to several different GWs in a single trip. I love this too. I’m planning a large trip after my midterm next week to reward myself for the past stressful weeks. I’m going to hit up the Glendale, Eagle Rock, and Silver Lake Goodwills…and possibly branch further out if I have the time. This way you get an even larger variety. I love that the stores vary so much. If you go to The Gap in LA or San Fran or San Diego you’re probably going to find all the same stuff on the same mannequins. You have probably a 1% chance of finding the same shirt at two different Goodwills. And it really helps your wardrobe stand out!
Some people have absolutely no idea where their closest GW is. SOLUTION! The Goodwill Store Locator. Find your local store and go to it!
Additionally, GW has Outlet Stores. These stores aren’t as nicely organized as ‘regular’ stores; the merchandise is all in big blue bins that you sort through. However, the prices are unbeatable.
Sometimes things are just extremely discounted, and sometimes it’s sold by the pound. There are always way fewer outlet stores in an area than retail stores and they tend to be in major cities, so you’re less likely to just run into one. The best way to locate these is to simply google (is ‘to google’ listed as a verb in the dictionary yet?) your city you’re in and then ‘goodwill outlet store’.
SO! I hope that this quick lesson helps you plan your trips wisely. You don’t need to restrict yourself to a certain place, but you can help yourself narrow things down if you are strategic in thinking about what you’re looking for and where you’re going. As always, let me know if you have any tips about shopping based on GW (or other thrift store) location.