A Goodwill Outlet opened up several years ago not far from my home. The official name is Goodwill Outlet, unofficially called, “The Bins’” and super unofficially called, “The Tombs”. Whatever it is called it is the last stop for donations made to Goodwill before they are sent on to the landfill or clothes sold as fabric scraps to various locations.
Items show up at the Bins from the Goodwill stores that did not sell with-in a designated time. Goodwill likes to keep merchandise fresh so if it doesn’t sell onward it goes!
Shopping the Bins is not like normal charity shop shopping. Obviously the first difference in shopping the Bins is the bins themselves. They are more like troughs. They are about 8 feet long by 4 feet wide. Often clothes, or glass, books or miscellaneous items are in separate bins but not always.
Another difference from normal charity shopping is most people wear gloves. To me nothing seems too gross or really high on the ick factor but I think the adage of ‘When in Rome’, seems prudent to follow in this instance.
The next difference is ‘The Bins’ unofficial etiquette. The floor is marked where the bins go. Periodically bins are rolled away and new bins replaced. As the bins are taken away people will stand in the empty areas waiting. You want first dibs of the new stuff, wait in a spot! There is no crowding, that is a breech in etiquette at the Bins.
Most people grab what they like and load their shopping carts. Once they have a shopping cart full they will park it with a towel or blanket over the top. This in the Bins etiquette means ‘keep out’. After shoppers are done shopping they will sort through their shopping carts and throw back their discards.
Items are sold by the pound and there is a price break once you hit 25 pounds. Books and DVDs are at a different rate, and furniture another cost.
Shopping at the Goodwill Bins is the ultimate charity shop treasure hunting. I have to admit I must be in the mood to give it a go. I have a tall friend and with her long arms she makes the perfect companion for Bin shopping for this short woman!
Have you ever shopped the Goodwill Bins?