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Taking Thrifting Up a Notch: A Goodwill Goldmine

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

You have a date Saturday nightmaybe planning a night out with friends ... Do you let them in on your secret or keep the Goodwill goldmine all to yourself?

While everyone else is at the mall buying an outfit that several other people could be wearing, costing half of their night-out budget, you have a secret. You can get a new and brand-name outfit for pennies on the dollar ... at Goodwill (shhhhh).

You might think “Sure it’s possible if you dig, know where to look and shop on a certain day,” but you’d be wrong. We took on a challenge. We gave ourselves 30 minutes inside the Goodwill on JFK Boulevard in North Little Rock. How many new and/or brand-name items could we find? You have no idea!

While perusing the racks, the tags will jump out at you. We found so many clothes that had never been worn and with the original tags! These are clothes you can get for just a few dollars that someone paid full price to take home. Shirts, jeans, dresses, men’s and women’s. Seriously. If you want to buy a pair of jeans at Rue21, ok. But I’m taking these for around $2, because don’t forget about the Color of the Week. These gems are ½ off! I could get an entire outfit for under $7! That leaves me more money for a fun night out!

You might wonder, how do brand-name items get to Goodwill? It’s thanks to donors. I’ve received a gift that wasn’t quite me, and I didn’t know where to return it. Or I purchased at outfit at a great price knowing “if I could lose five pounds it’ll fit perfectly.” Well, we all know how that typically ends. So I donated it. Also, donating great stuff helps fund vital programs for Arkansans.

I considered my shopping trip so far a challenge accepted and won, but we weren’t finished. We hadn’t even made it over to the Boutique racks yet. This is where many of the big named, designer items are hung. We found some awesome stuff right away. Check out the Miss Me jeans! These are more than $100 jeans for just $20 and some change.  And it’s cold in Arkansas, better pick up a jacket! No problem there. We found jackets galore. In fact, we found a leather jacket from Wilson’s Leather for $25. If it’s ever been worn, I’d be surprised. The buttonholes didn’t even look like the jacket had ever been buttoned. Have a more casual outing planned? We found an Adidas Razorback jacket for just a few dollars and a jacket from Columbia for $15. And of course, don’t forget the shoes! So many to choose from.

Some people wonder why certain items like these aren’t the same price as items on the regular racks. The answer isbecause they’re name-brand items in great condition and are worth more money. They’re still a fraction of the retail price! Seriously, $100 jeans for $20.

And it’s important to remember, 96 percent of Goodwill’s education, training and employment programs are funded through sales at stores. Selling designer items that are worth more provides extra funding so Goodwill can help more people. Those programs include:

  • The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s high school for adults who want to earn their diploma.

  • Career services, where specialists help Arkansans build resumes, practice their interview skills and look for jobs. They also help local businesses find great employees.

  • Reentry programs, where men and women who’ve been incarcerated can learn job skills, receive life coaching and get peer support, so they can become productive members of the community.

  • Job Training, which includes Certified Business Professional courses in six different professional areas, along with fork lift, environmental services and welding training.

  • Disability Services, providing job coaching, training and job placement for Arkansans of all abilities.

It’s a win/win! Going to Goodwill is a no-brainer! The only debate ... is do you tell your friends?


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