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Best Sourcing Tips at Goodwill Outlet Stores

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.

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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).


    • I know there is one in Orlando & one in St Pete Florida. I have heard there is at least one more down here in Florida, but not sure where that one is. The one I don’t recall where it is I have also heard rumored to be a smaller and not so wonderful one but hey ya never know. Best Of Luck Jean… You will love it… if you are a thrifter/picker you are going to love the bins/outlets.. Well as long as you don’t have social anxiety. I do but have learned to overcome it due to my LOVE TO FIND A DEAL nature, but my daughter has it bad and she doesn’t like chaos. She went with me ONCE and will never return she hated it. However she is not a re-seller and does not like crowds at all so it really was not for her, but she is 19 and wanted to go see what clothes she could find… I am just happy she made it through without passing out LOL

  1. Also GREAT TIPS By The Way…… Wanted to add one – BRING SOME BATTERIES, Also both a small and average size phillips & flat head screwdrivers and in addition to the sheet to cover cart also bring a shopping bag (like the cloth re-usable bags from stores) to start your shopping with as it is hard to carry much and I know in my local stores and have heard in others too you must leave your cart against the wall. So if you find a bunch of goodies and doesn’t happen to be a box nearby (or another cloth bag as you will find lots of them) you want that 1 bag to start with so you don’t have to run to go get something and miss out on your big find because your arms aren’t big enough HA HA… Oh speaking of running DON’T EVEN SPEED WALK to the bins when they let you go to them… I got sat out for the start of a round for “running” my daughter let me know after I had speed walked to the bin HA HA HA!!!

  2. I don’t believe the Gandy store headed to Tampa in St. Petersburg, FL is an outlet. I have been in there several times and it’s set up like a regular retail store. If I am wrong please let me know because I would love definitely love to do this pay by the weight thing!

    • This is also an outlet store. Its not in the main store its towards the back of the building and is only open from 7-3

  3. Wow, I’m so grateful we have a better experience at our bins. Everyone is respectful. No one steals from others carts, the reveal is fun – but people aren’t running to get there…and everyone is looking for different things, so there’s no need to go crazy. I even see other resellers helping each other by giving them things they find that the other person is looking for.

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