Tip #1: Wear Gloves
Especially in this day and age, you can never be too safe. These types of stores throw items into the bins; broken, assembled, sharp or dull. So be prepared and put on a good pair of gloves that are good enough to protect from cuts and scrapes, yet not bulky and stop you from picking items. It’s a good investment; here is a pair of cut resistant gloves that we recommend.
Tip #2: Plan Ahead
When we go to the Outlet, we make sure we have a few hours to spend there. At our location, new bins only come out when they have them ready to go in the back room; there is no set time or interval for when they come out. Therefore, you never know when a new row will be put out, so spending a few hours is necessary, and fun too!
Tip #3: Early Bird Gets the Worm
Our Goodwill Outlet Store always has a line waiting outside the door when they open. Try to be there early to get the best advantage. Like any good sourcing outlet, there is a line waiting prior to opening. As you make this your routine you will notice your competitors.
Tip #4: Children Beware!
We love children. As a family that has six children, we love spending time with them and teaching them how to be resellers. However, the Goodwill Outlet is a different atmosphere than your regular Goodwill Retail store. Our local Goodwill Outlet has a sign on the door stating “children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and NOT left unattended”. When picking at weigh and pay, there are many distractions. So please prepare and have your children safe with a trusted sitter while you are sourcing.
Tip #5: Watch Out for Thieves
Yes, some competitors will rob from your cart when you are not looking. We have had people steal from our cart before, seen others take from others carts, so make sure you watch out. Some people recommend bringing a sheet or blanket to cover your cart so that people can’t see everything you got.
Tip #6: Safety in Numbers
Due to tip #5, it’s good to have a partner with you. Having a second person with you helps not only with watching over your cart but also with research. There is no sense in paying for the weight of items you can’t sell. Also, two people can find more in the bins than just one! It also proves helpful when potty breaks are necessary.
Tip #7: Consider the Weight
Some items, like small appliances, are really heavy. After researching, you might find that parts sell better or just as well as the whole item. For example, we found a food processor but the blade and bowl were worth more than the whole unit. So we ditched the heavy motor and only kept the parts we wanted. You can use your phone to take a picture of the brand model numbers before you throw the unit back in the bins.
Tip #8: Get Two Carts
Having two carts helps when you’re sorting through your heaping pile. Use one cart to hold the items you want to research and the other cart with the items you plan to keep. This is another reason why it helps to have at least two people (see tip #6).