Tuesday, May 7, 2013

To Goodwill or not?

Hello there! How are ya?

So I sometimes dig my heels in on stuff when everybody else does it…it’s just my thing. I will avoid something that is super trendy just because it’s…well, super trendy. :) The same went for Instagram – it took me forever to get on the bandwagon but I gotta say I have enjoyed it. It’s fun to share snippets of stuff throughout the day, especially when I’m out and about shopping.

Some interesting conversations have started up on some photos, and the other day was no exception – it got me thinking:

Goodwill

The Bub and I popped into Goodwill before an appointment the other day and I gotta say…some of the prices were a little shocking. ;)

I am and will always be a thrifty girl, but you may have noticed I’m not the Goodwill shopper I used to be. That’s for a few reasons – I just don’t have the time for it like I used to. The kiddo is getting older, the blog is getting bigger and to find the goodies at Goodwill you need to stop in often. I use to stop by one two or more times a week and lately I just haven’t made the time.

When you stop in once every three months it’s hard to find the deals. ;) And when I used to go a lot and I would find fun stuff and it would come home with me and sit. And sit. (Forever.) Because I couldn’t pass it up of COURSE! And there’s only so much time in the day to transform things so the items would take up space in our house and in my head. I finally had to come to terms with it and STOP.

This Goodwill stool I redid with Annie Sloan paint had sat in my garage for a least a year before it got painted:

painted stool

You see, when you find a deal at Goodwill you have to buy it NOW or it will be gone when you come back – at least 90 percent of the time. And I had a lot of buy-it-nows cluttering up my house. :)

When our stores changed their return policy (you just get a credit back now), that also changed how often I shopped there. If I can’t just return it I won’t buy as much, plain and simple.

But the biggie is that Instagram photo up there – when I have stopped in over the past year or so some of the prices have been shockingly high. The response to that pictures was much of the same – many of your have noticed it as well.

Now PLEASE don’t get me wrong – I used to work closely with our Indiana Goodwill’s and truly believe in their mission and believe they do GOOD work. They provide hundreds of jobs for those who may not be employed otherwise. I also understand the price of everything goes up over time.

But every time I’ve walked through lately I am shocked by a price tag on more than one item. I laugh about it because I wonder if blogs have a little to do with it – over the past five years or so more people are seeing the value in transforming something old or worn and making it work in their home.

I don’t know what it is really, I’ve just noticed the prices have gone up considerably. Target sells some of their extra items to Goodwill and I’ll sometimes see prices at there for higher than you can get it on clearance at Target.

So…in a nutshell that’s why I’ve moved more towards antique malls and Craigslist over the years to find most of treasures. I find at antique stores you don’t have to worry quite as much about an item being gone…I’ve left many things and come home to think about them and they are still there when I return.

Craigslist is nice because when I want something specific I can search for it over time and wait for the right piece and price.

There are still a few go-to items I visit Goodwill for, of course. I love to use books when decorating and end up picking some up from Goodwill occasionally. I always find books I would actually read but it doesn’t hurt to find a pretty one. ;)

I picked up a few coffee table-style books to fill in the library built ins:

DIY built ins

And of course Goodwill is always great for frames, although even with those you have to watch the price lately. I love that I can find so many different styles and sizes all in one spot. I found a big one for the basement here and had a few on hand from Goodwill for the kitchen chalkboard:

blue and yellow decoratingmagnetic kitchen chalkboard

And most of the frames in my office were collected at Goodwill over time (and then painted white):

board and batten walls

I love that they look like just that – collected.

So are you still a Goodwill shopper? Never was? If you are, have you noticed the difference in price over the past year or so like me? I will continue to shop there and support their mission…just not quite as often as I used to.

**To see more of my Goodwill transformations, go here.

173 comments:

  1. I work for Goodwill and I'm happy that you know and understand our mission. The money we raise in our stores funds that mission (as you said) and helps pay for trainings, support services and gets people jobs. Saying that, I'm surprised sometimes by the prices in our stores too. But I've never seen anything over $50 in our stores so seeing $150 is a little shocking! I hope that people continue to donate and shop at Goodwill so we can continue our mission!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so too Jaime! I don't see shoppers going away any time -- there are too many treasures to be found! ;)

      Delete
    2. I'm not sure where you live but rumor has it our Goodwill donates the BARE minimum to the Goodwill name and collects the rest as profits(minus payroll, rent, etc). AND the prices in our local stores are outrageous! I live in small town Mississippi, so it's not Rodeo Drive and no reason for the crazy prices on crap furniture. It's really sad to see how greedy people are these days....

      Delete
    3. And just wanted to add, if you have a local charity(pretty sure everyone has one near) PLEASE donate to them!!! You have no idea where the $$ is going with Goodwill, but at least with a local charity, you know your items are going to a good cause in YOUR area! I refuse to donate to GW any longer!!

      Delete
    4. Andrea - please check charitynavigator.org.

      http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?keyword_list=goodwill&Submit2=GO&bay=search.results

      There was a meme traveling around fb in recent months making all kinds of very misleading as well as blatantly false claims about Goodwill and other reputable and very good charities (as well as promoting others, but leaving out facts about how much their CEOs really make when all grants/perks, not just donations, are counted). I also believe in giving locally when appropriate, but just because a group if local doesn't mean their practices are responsible/accountable. Not starting a debate, but before perpetuating "rumor(s)", as you call this one about Goodwill, PLEASE research - the interwebs makes that pretty simple.

      Delete
    5. We also have reduced our trips to Goodwill to almost 0. The prices have become way too high. We continue to donate to Goodwill and other charities, but we just don't shop there anymore.
      Donnie

      Delete
  2. I, too, have noticed crazy prices at Goodwill! Like more expensive there (used) than you can purchase new.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't really noticed, it may just depend on the Goodwill you go to in terms of location. Some in my area don't really have furniture, and others have couches (space issue I would assume). See if there is one nearby and making the prices will be better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have been noticing the same thing and shopping there less than I used to. At our store, the furniture is usually over priced. I find better deals on Craigslist or garage sales. I have the "have to have it now pile" in my basement that I need to work through too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our Habitat for Humanity Restore has really upped their prices - last time I was in I fell in love with a set of four wood chairs (needed to be refinished/reupholstered)- they wanted $475 for the set!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My Goodwill is horribly overpriced. I rarely go anymore. Their frames are usually priced over $75 for anything over 11 by 14. The same for frames at our local Restore. I do love my ReStore for furniture finds though!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I have been shocked, appalled, horrified by some of the prices on home items at my Goodwill. Clothes too. Only the books are still a bargain. It bothers me because I donate to Goodwill often in the hopes that someone can purchase the stuff for very little money.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's so funny you mention this. I went yesterday, first time in 6 months, I too used to go a couple of times a week. I could write your entire story, started and stopped for ALL the same reasons. I picked up a few things yesterday, was shocked at the prices,even frames, unbelievable! I have to tell you someone had dropped off a huge selection of National Geographic magazines, in these nice little storage holders. I thought those are worth something, I should buy them and sell them. I even looked it up online while I was there, but then I thought no I have enough of my own junk to sell. You really have to learn discipline if you are going to have to shop there. Ok, gotta go clean the garage :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've noticed it, not only with Goodwill, but with DI, or Deseret Industries, as well. Part of it must be inflation and maybe we can put some blame on Macklemore and the entire hipster movement for making thrift shopping trendy. I have grown up being taken to thrift shops longer than I can remember. Lately, I like to check out the smaller individual shops. Here is SLC we have a thrift shop down town run by the Utah Pride center and sometimes you can still find great bargains there. I just got a genuine coach purse from them for $8 last weekend!
    I also think it varies by location and depends on the individual putting the prices on... Some people don't realize that a good bargain hunter can find a lot of these items new for about what they're trying to sell them for used...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anne: yes, I think the hipsters have driven up the prices. It's so ~ironic~ and ~edgy~ shopping where the poor people do.
      I hit yard sales now, and wait till the Salvation Army has the 50% off sales. Jerks.

      Delete
  10. Mr. Goodwill Hunting has had this discussion going on for quite some time.

    He is so inspirational.

    No one from Goodwill talks about the hike in prices, besides its for programs.

    What kind of programs.


    Jill Minger

    ReplyDelete
  11. The two Goodwills and the two Salvation Army stores that I frequent in New Jersey have gotten crazy with their pricing.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have really noticed the high prices too! I live in NE and there are ALWAYS furniture that is WAY over-priced that needs a lot of work. By the time you invest the time and money to refurbish, you might as well have purchased something new. I have also noticed that the $.99 sales for clothing have become few and far between too. I used to LOVE shopping at Goodwill for repurposing for both clothes and other items, but I have a really hard time paying so much for items from there. Disappointing, because I love what they do for communities they are in.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The deals in my area are to be found at estate sales. I often see the same antique store owners there buying for stock for their stores. I've found mint condition Fire King, for instance, for $2, vintage pyrex refrigerator dishes for 50 cents, and 1920's Jacobean furniture for about 20% of what it would go for at an antique store or auction. Some estates sales are so full of a lifetime of stuff that the people running the sale just want it gone at any price. I sometimes ask if they'll take less than the asking price, and usually they do so.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I used to shop Goodwill regularly also, I'd go in 3 or 4 times a week. Now I go in maybe once a month. Some items I would keep but most of it was to resell on ebay. In the last 2 or so years I have noticed their prices have gone WAY up! Just the other day I went in to look around and saw an antique dresser, I actually took a picture of it and the price because it was so outrageous! They had it priced at $125.00! Now, if I needed a dresser and it was in good shape and solid I would probably buy it. The reason being is today you spend just as much if not more on a brand new dresser from Walmart made of pressed board that would probably fall apart in a year.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh yeah! Their prices are so expensive for stuff that I have to put work into. I've even found instances where their price is higher than an original tag from somewhere like Ross. I do think the re-purposing craze has a lot to do with it. They are a business (even if their end result is charity) so if they can make more money they should. Especially when I'm seeing so many other businesses "profit" from thrift shop finds. I'm seeing more and more painted furniture in shops & on Craig's List that had to have come from thrift shops and the prices are not the least bit thrifty.

    I wonder how long it can last though. My mom and I were just talking about the quality of finds these days. It feels like a lot of things are on their second round of recycling and feeling more shabby than chic. There are still a few treasures to be had but not like in years past. I'm also working on being a lot more intentional with my purchases (thrift shops too) since I tend to hold on longer to the stuff I purchase at higher prices and that ultimately saves me more money.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Our goodwill is no longer nonprofit! I'm not sure why the change happened, but i DEFINITELY noticed the difference after that announcement. We don't have too many antique/junk stores and so I was really bummed when that happened :(

    ReplyDelete
  17. I hate it when you go, and it is priced about the same as I could get it new. If I can get it new, why would I buy used?! I usually stick to the colors that are on sale, then I still get a deal.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree with this. I am usually shopping for clothes :) But I noticed the prices going up on everything! I used to be able to thrift an outfit for $10! I'm not kidding. My recent thrifting trip an outfit cost $22. Now that's still incredibly cheap compared to going out and buying full price or even some sale prices other places, but I used to love to buy my blazers there. Now some of them cost upwards of $10 which is something I can get new at Target. I still shop there but I wish some of there pricing would stay the same or at least not be SO much noticeably higher!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm just so excited to see you're on Instagram!! I'm now following you. (I'm chels70) You know, I've never had good luck finding things at my goodwill. Guess I need to frequent them more often. Enjoy your week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes! I stopped in there looking for cute/different things for outdoor planters, and picked up one item I expected to be $1 or $2, and it was $8. And another thing I knew came from the Dollar store and it was $1. So yes, I'd noticed that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen...I TOTALLY agree. Seattle goodwill had dollar store glass ware , plates etc for 1.99 and I know it came from the dollar store because I buy a lot of glass ware from there for crafting. I spent 18$ at Goodwill for a little box of non descript glass ware at GW..and FILLED a box of glass ware of better stuff at a charity yard sale for $4!!!! I was ticked! And furniture..forgeddabouddit!Ratty furniture couches etc...good grief. and to get a keyboard and not be able to try it out? come on!

      Delete
  21. We were recently searching for a dresser to re-do for our baby girl's nursery and found that what you said about finding old pieces and re-doing them to be true. I think people selling even on craigslist are realizing this... a few years a go we bought an old desk to do for about $30 or $40 and when we were looking this time we couldn't find any good old bones for less than $100. We ended up buying a great piece that had already been refinished by someone... and because they had done a bold color that didn't seem to be so popular with their other customers (but was just what I wanted actually) he sold it to us for a really good price. My mom has been saying for about a year or so that she thinks goodwill and even people on craig's are catching on to the craze and upping their prices. :( bummer.

    ReplyDelete
  22. To tell you the truth, I have only rarely shopped Goodwill in the past 5+ years. Maybe our stores were ahead of the curve on the pricing but they have been outrageous for a while. A Medium sized set of two baskets for $10 each. Curtain panels for $10 (you can get them for that at Target, etc.). Pillowcases for $3, even if they match or go with a comforter. The price for the set will equal what it would in a store new. I mainly stick to garage/yard/rummage sales. That or craigslist is where I find the best deals. I know that Goodwill does good things, however, I was under the impression that one of those missions was to provide those with lesser means a reasonable place to shop. On this mission I feel they are failing miserably! I always come out feeling bad for the poor saps with no money paying more for something than they could have gotten new elsewhere. I am sure a lot of this is due to the re-purposing craze/blogs/ etc. but you have to remember they were donated EVERYTHING they sell so they are making 100% profit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! This! I have a friend who is a single mother of twins. She has heart problems resulting from pregnancy complications and can't work. I sent her a box of hand me down clothes because she can't afford to shop at Goodwill. That is a shame. I too thought that was part of the Goodwill mission.

      Delete
  23. I haven't noticed this so much at our Goodwill but I've definitely noticed it at our Habitat ReStore. By the time you pay what they want for a chair, it leaves little room to buy fabric or to have it recovered. . . Better off to buy a new chair. It's disappointing :(

    ReplyDelete
  24. I stopped going. It's one thing to blog about the occasional find, but when you go on national tv and broadcast all over the place that you got this chair for $5 and this dresser for $15 and redid them, of course businesses are going to take notice. I'm not going to name names, but that's around the time I start noticing the price hike. Oh and the fact that most things now that you find inside goodwill is trash. I went in yesterday and had couldn't get out fast enough. I had this same discussion on my blog a year ago... Sad:-/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Definitely a GOODWILL girl I Sarah, but I totally understand what you mean about the pricing.I guess though if your a frequent flyer like I am, you know which are the true good deals and which ones aren't and I just steer clear away from those! Did you know they'll be having a goodwill card soon too? like for rewards and stuff? that makes me worried about the pricing as well. Hope Goodwill stays true to it's core - helping out - to both the customers ( because yes, moms who don't have much are the true customers of Goodwill) and their charity patrons. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have to agree that the prices are out of control in some areas (Jeans in my local store are about $7!) but in other areas, totally still reasonable. However, I tend to prefer smaller locally-run thrift stores, antiques and secondhand stores, and craigslist as well for my bargain hunting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. The last time I stopped in Salvation Army...I was really surprised at how high things were priced. I honestly saw some thing that were used and priced higher than I could find them new at walmart. Hmmm.
    Kelly

    ReplyDelete
  28. Many of the regulars at the Goodwill I frequent have commented on the rising prices. I also know that I will not pay for merchandise at GW that I could have purchased for less on sale at an other store. I often leave many nice items behind that I think are just priced to high. Why pay the same for a pair of jeans from Kmart as Banana Republic? Dishes are a good buy most of the time as are glass items. Some of the furniture is priced well while other pieces are particle boardand falling apart junk priced like wood pieces. Sometimes I think they just set an across the board general price.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ours has gotten high too. Instead off standard clothing prices like all kids clothes 0-5t $0.99 each they are now adding special tags to name brand things $5.99-$9.99!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I too hate how the prices are jumping up. I still donate, but am not able to shop there all that much lately.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I am still a GW shopper, but like you it's less and less. I go mostly for the kids books, but even then it's not worth the buy. I find myself shopping the locally owned & operated thrift stores more and more. We have tons of them in our small town and they are where the real deals are to be had. Kids books for a quarter vs. $1.49 at GW.

    Their (GW) prices are getting ridiculously high. In our store, the furniture pieces are usually priced at over $100. And the household goods, well you said it, typically priced higher than the retail clearance sticker.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I also live in the Indy area and have almost stopped shopping at Goodwill. The last time I was in my local store I watched a Goodwill employee walking through the housewares section with several other employees and she was pointing out all the items that she thought were underpriced and proceeded to tell them what price to mark the items. She also was trying to tell them how to look for the "older items that are hot sellers". The prices have gotten just stupid high and I rarely find anything I want at Goodwill anymore. I think they are shooting themselves in the foot!

    Debbie S

    ReplyDelete
  33. I feel like the prices around Indy are crazy most of the time. I see much better prices at random thrift shops than at Goodwill. The only time you can get an OK deal is on half-off Saturday (I got a nightstand for $10). I don't necessarily agree with their business model either. This article really opened my eyes as to how they run their corporation: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/the-worst-corporation-in-_b_1876905.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An American multi-national corporation, which accepts millions of dollars in government funds, pays its top executives more than half a million dollars per year in total compensation, while simultaneously paying some of its employees less than the federal minimum wage.

      SOME EMPLOYEES EARN JUST 22 CENTS PER HOUR

      Okay, this just did it for me. I am no longer patronizing my local Goodwills. I've noticed the prices just like everyone else and it's just ridiculous what they're doing. We're donating goods so the underpriviledged can buy things for cheap, but they're charging more than the dollar store in some cases. Crazy!

      Delete
    2. Agreed.
      The CEO made $533,765 in 2012 alone (+$99,313 in "other compensation from the organization and related organizations). Ridiculous that the CEO of a non-profit would make that much money. All nonprofits post their tax info online - do your research!

      Delete
    3. I saw that too and have decided to start donating my items to groups that acutually ARE non-profit. Saddening... :/

      Delete
  34. I have to admit I was a die hard Goodwill girl... and I still stop in a couple of times a week. However the number of times I actually walk with something any longer is minimal at best! Yes our prices have gone through the roof. I do know that location plays a big factor as well when it comes to the quality of the "finds". So that means we don't get the quality of the "merchandise" of say someone shopping at the Goodwill in Westfield or even Carmel. Nowadays I shop the local antique mall and yard sales since it is summer.... and I wait.

    Have a wonderful day!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I feel like if I had to give myself a label, I'd be a part-time thrift store shopper.

    There's only one near where I live in MD, so I usually stop there first if I'm looking for something specific for the home. I typically don't buy large items, so prices tend to stay on the low end for me. Now I wish I COULD buy some of those larger, 'Omg, I could totally do something cool with this' items I see, but I've learned (very recently) to be realistic. No need to bring home more stuff when I've got stale projects sitting around.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I am a really big thrift store shopper and do monthly updates on my blog about all the great stuff I had to leave behind. For pretty much the same reasons you've mentioned - you buy so much stuff and then it sits there and by the time you get around to refinishing it, a year has gone by. The worst I find is when you find something that you needed last year or leave it behind and then realize in the future how it would have perfectly in a spot in your home.

    But I completely agree with your take on pricing b/c it has gone up. A LOT. It frustrates me when I can find something brand new at a retail store and then it will cost more at the thrift store. The whole idea behind thrift stores was to help people in need so they wouldn't have to pay 'retail store' prices for items.

    And I think part of the problem is how mainstream thrifting has gotten and how much smarter the stores have gotten when it comes to pricing their items knowing how many people are coming in to find the next treasure to re-sell to a random Hipster at 10x the cost. So they're trying to make a profit on the collectables. But when it comes to old clothing that you can buy brand new for less, that's when it becomes a turn off.

    I also find that it depends on what store you go to. I could go to one Salvation Army location and their prices will be 3 items of clothing for $2. And another SA location will have one item for $5.

    Great post btw!

    ReplyDelete
  37. It seems we all agree the prices are a little too high no matter where we live. Maybe we should each consider mentioning it to the Habitat or Goodwill Store Managers??? If more people mentioned that the prices were more like retail or just slightly below, I hope they would take the hint. I would assume the goal in these places is to move the inventory at a reasonable price so more goods can come in. They are sort of defeating their goal when they overprice their merchandise. My Goodwill had old 1970s plated flatware for a DOLLAR a piece yesterday! LOL (Though I did snag a milk glass compote for 55 cents!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My sister in-law asked about it when she went in recently and the clerk laughed at her and just shrugged her shoulders, obviously one example but it didn't help either of us feel better about shopping there, just disappointed. :/

      Delete
  38. I have noticed that the price at Goddwill, Salvation Army, DAV, etc have gotten higher. At Goodwill in particular, it just depends on who is pricing that day. Yesterday I was there and they had a beat to holy heck end table for $49.99 but yet I got a beautiful antique buffet for $25. I don't understand their pricing. Most of the time the pieces I pick up are from yard sales.

    ReplyDelete
  39. It has to do with the CEO and profit.

    Last weekend I was at an auction for a veteran's charity and there were two separate banners hanging, one green and one red. On the green banner there were five charities listed where the majority of your donated dollars actually go toward supporting charitable work vs paying exorbitant administrative salaries. The ones I can remember include Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House, and the vets charity (can't remember the name). On the red banner were charities where very little of your donation actually does charitable work. Listed were GoodWill, Unicef, American Red Cross, United Way, and one other. The info on GoodWill's CEO made my blood boil, especially when you compare it to the Salvation Army. They are comparable in the dollar amount generated by those two charities, only the Salvation Army guy draws just $13,000 yearly in salary, plus housing expense, so 97% of your donation dollar goes toward helping folks. Not so with GoodWill. That's not to say that I don't support the programs run by GoodWill but now you know why the prices have skyrocketed.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I am so excited to know that it is not just my local Goodwill store that has raised it's prices so high. I actually sent a message to the main Goodwill people. They sort of just blew it off saying that it was up to each store how they price things. My purchases from them have diminished considerably. I find much better deals at some of the antique/thrift stores. Hopefully the word will get around that we are not happy GOODWILL!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. I think they had better get their act together before they close their stores because of the high prices. Some things from the dollar store are $1.99 at the Goodwill! Why? Who prices the items coming in? There is no rhyme or reason why the prices are so high.
    They should start using unemployed volunteers (those who are on Social Assistance) instead of paid staff. At least they get job training and are now employable because they now have experience.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Yes, I shop Goodwill in Southern Indiana and Louisville and I've noticed a sharp increase in prices. I used to be able to find vintage Pyrex pieces quite cheap, but now they're on to me and have hiked the price. A small baking dish that used to cost $1.50 is now about $6.00. They're watching blogs, Pinterest and other outlets to see what we're looking for and raising the prices. I now typically shop at local thrift/antique stores.

    ReplyDelete
  43. This has been a pet peeve of mine for several years. I used to shop at GW or Salvation Army on a regular basis. The prices has gotten really ridiculous! My rule of thumb used to be the item had to be at a minimum, 10% of what I thought the retail value would be. I have completely written off furniture, because the prices are higher than Craigslist, and most other items are higher than if you would buy it at Ross, Target, or Walmart. They get all of their merchandise for FREE! In the end, I believe they are hurting their customers as well as the bottom line of the programs they service. Greed has gotten to them. As a result, I only go maybe once a month as opposed to the 2-3 times a week I used to go.

    ReplyDelete
  44. My goodwill in Oregon is very over priced, I saw just last week they were trying to sell a lamp for $99.99 because it may have been an "antique". It has become really ridiculous to shop there unless you are buying nicknacks, clothes, toys, shoes, or books. But in all honestly some of there clothes they price higher or of equal value to retail stores. I mean, this stuff is DONATED they are making a 100% "profit" or whatever they want to call it. I very rarely go in anymore because I might as well buy new if I'm going to be paying the same amount!?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. The Goodwills around here are still fairly reasonable but have definitely increased their prices. Cheap things like florist vases, etc. are always overpriced. I usually wait till things are marked down before buying. Like you said, most of their stuff is donated, so they are making money no matter what they charge.

      Delete
  45. When I was at Goodwill the other day I saw a sparkly Rubiks cube that are very specifically sold at our local dollar stores for $1 (You don't see these knockoff sparkly ones anywhere else, the are a dollar store item) being sold at the Goodwill for $2.99.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I used to be... But I too noticed that the prices were so high. I mean a little side table that is in desperate need of love for $60?? And the funny thing was how much higher the Goodwill here in TX was over the one with great stuff in WA. So, I still donate but not much buying anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I've pulled back a ton too, for the same reason. I've seen some things that came from ikea marked more expensive than they were NEW! I've seen some items from the dollar store marked over a dollar. It's outrageous. I think they think their stuff is made of solid gold.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I so agree. We have been die hard Goodwill shoppers for years but have been very disappointed for some time. We are in central Indiana also, and there are about 5 locations that I used to go to regularly and never leave empty handed. Not the case any longer. We have some great stories, though. We bought a mid 60's hand blown glass lamp for $4 (several years ago, obviously!), had it re-wired ($65) and sold it for $850. So I guess that supports my habit for awhile...

    ReplyDelete
  49. I recently found a brand new, out of the box, Lampe Berger lamp at GW for $1.99. When I took it to the counter, the cashier knew it was underpriced and checked the sticker to see if I'd changed it, then asked me what shelf it came from. She finally rang it up as marked, but with several dirty looks and sniffs. GW has always been a great place for those who really need low-cost, affordable items, not just us bargain hunters. Too bad their new pricing and attitude is driving all of us to pass them by as shoppers and donors.

    ReplyDelete
  50. I haven't been there for a year. I saw a pair of used shoes for 16.99 and asked to make sure that was the price. Yup. Used converse for 16.99. *shrug*

    ReplyDelete
  51. I posted this same topic on Facebook last Friday. I stopped at a Maryland Goodwill store and was shocked at the prices. They wanted $5 for a basket that one could buy at any retail store for less. There was a wedding dress for $150. (Which seemed high to me but who knows?). Another commenter said she donated to them so that others less fortunate could afford to buy items for less. But is that happening?

    ReplyDelete
  52. As for CEO salaries... Our Oregon Goodwill CEO has the highest salary in the state! http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2011/10/07/goodwill-ceo-highest-paid-in-state.html?page=all

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think you are correct - the DIY blogs have definitely had an impact on all thrift pricing going up! It's incredible! I'm in north Alabama and we are experiencing the same thing here.

    ReplyDelete
  54. agreed! The high prices have taken the fun out of the hunt and it is quite sad. Love your blog and your ideas. Thanks for being YOU!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I shop at the Goodwills in Nora, Glendale and Carmel and for a looong time the prices were high and I kept leaving with nothing but the still cheap kids clothing (three young boys...I don't buy new EVER, lol) and I also noticed the merch wasn't moving...I would see the same furniture every time and I only went a couple of times a month...and always on half off Saturday!...after a year of that, or so, suddenly the prices dropped again. I got my brother a mint condition HUGE Steelcase desk for $20. And a complete set of Pottery Barn plates and soup bowls, cream colored and gorgeous, for $24 total. So things seem to be back to normal around here! I felt those prices were very reasonable but I am remaining wary. Once Upon A Child is just as bad...they used to be affordable when my eleven year old was a baby but now they are no better than a ho hum clearance rack.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I checked on snopes.com. The CEO of Goodwill in 2011 was compensated 725,000. I will donate my items elsewhere.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I now only shop Goodwill on 1/2 price Saturdays or on Wed. for the Senior discount. Still love me some garage sales. Church sales are great, too. They just want to get rid of the stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Oh, I am so happy to comment on this post. When we moved here 7 years ago, I fell in love with Goodwill stores. They were everywhere. I found great buys, but over time I watched prices go up. I also read about the CEO salary. This is what I've done since then. I no longer donate to Goodwill. All of my stuff goes to the DAV Thrift Store. I still shop at Goodwill, but not nearly as often as I did.

    ReplyDelete
  59. OMG and I thought that Goodwill prices were high where I live in the suburbs of Seattle. All the bloggers with their amazing before-after pics are to blame!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  60. I have definitely slowed down on my Goodwill shopping. The prices are really getting out of control... I used to stop in frequently (even though I though things were priced a big high), but then I found this cute little tray for $7 (Goodwill price) which I thought was a tad high, but it was cute. So I was going to buy it. But then I turned it over and saw an original sticker from another store that had it listed at $3.99. um.......... That's just wrong. When I showed the worker that they were selling it for more than the original price, she pulled off the original sticker and tried to hand the tray back to me. Nice try. I guess you could say I was burned and now I only go back every once in a while...

    ReplyDelete
  61. Goodwill's prices are out of control. I know they support a good cause but seriously they get everything donated. I have quit shopping there and I will not donate there anymore. I have found other places to donate my items. It's RIDICULOUS!!!

    ReplyDelete
  62. It's the same here in Delaware. I used to shop there 2-3 times a week after I retired and got many great things for my granddaughter when she was a baby. Before that I bought many good items for my classroom at Goodwill, especially books. They remodeled and their prices went up. As many other commenters have said ,the prices are crazy, you can buy things new on sale for better prices.I rarely go there now.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Girlfriend, you have hit the nail on the head, in so many ways! I also have seen Target merchandise there, they mark it down by 50% of the original price, but as said, it's cheaper to get it on super clearance at Target. I'm a frequent Dollar Tree shopper and I've found items at the goodwill marked for $2 or more that are from the Dollar Tree. It's like, so this is used and from the Dollar Tree and you are asking more than the original price?! I still shop there but don't find the deals like I used to. I have, however, just discovered the Goodwill Outlet. Most def. worth it if you don't mind digging through all the ugly to find the treasure. This past weekend I got two bags of clothes/linens for the fabric, a vintage First Edition Betty Crocker cookbook from 1950, and a reindeer (I have a plan, lol!) for $7 and some change!

    And I am also bad about buying now, now, now and then having things just take up space. You are not alone.

    ReplyDelete
  64. We have a lot of Goodwill Stores in this area, but they don't satisfy my desire for thrifting. They did away with the sales. The prices are high. The selection is poor. I'm still happy with Salvation Army, for the most part. I bought a sturdy, heavy dresser there last summer for a great price and recently bought a fun chair that needs reupholstered for just $5.

    ReplyDelete
  65. wow so glad i am not the only one anymore... live in n.y. and our goodwill is so overpriced its crazy so mostly i just donate but now that i saw all these posts not so sure!!!

    ReplyDelete
  66. I agree with just about everybody else. The recycling/upcycling trend must definitely be having an impact as the prices are a little crazy right now. Until people just stop because it isn't worth it. The trend is only sustainable if you can buy the stuff cheap to start with. The amount of work and the cost of paint, varnish and so on that goes into refinishing something is only attractive if you pay a little for the original item. It is a shame about the CEO of Goodwill - I didn't know that until reading it here. I have to say I prefer to shop at local church thrift stores myself and, after reading that, even more so.

    ReplyDelete
  67. I no longer shop Goodwill, or donate to them. Their prices have gone up considerably! Our Salvation Army prices have stayed reasonable and this is also a good organization to donate to.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I love your blog! I have been in the blogging world for a few years, but recently found you and I am really enjoying your posts. Your house is gorg!!!!! and you have great style!

    ReplyDelete
  69. I also find things are to much money. Used to buy a lot there and also Ohio Thrift Stores now its cheaper to go to Macys sales

    ReplyDelete
  70. In our area, Goodwill and Salvation Army prices are outrageous. Truly, outrageous.

    I understand overhead and paying wages and that running a store is not free. However, there are many other thrift stores in the area with prices one forth of the two big chains. The other thrift stores have similar expenses and exist to fund charitable causes too. They are just able to do it without charging near retail for donated, used items.

    We don't shop at or donate to Goodwill or Sallies anymore. We just feel like our donations and purchases are put to better use elsewhere.

    Anyway, I still love me some thrifted goodies and I'm glad I live in a market with plenty of options so I can find them at great prices!

    ReplyDelete
  71. Our Goodwill prices are outrageous too. Because everything is donated there is no reason for them to charge so much. I used to donate everything to them but have stopped because of their ridiculous price gouging.

    Some of our consignment shops are much better and it is a more pleasant shopping experience because the merchandise they accept in has been carefully culled. There is no sifting through junk.


    ReplyDelete
  72. I am glad you posted this!as everybody i do Understand their mission!but same as any business who likes to stay open , they Need to be competitive with the Price!

    ReplyDelete
  73. I've noticed the price increases too, but I believe it's in response to resellers, scavengers and professional "pickers". Why should a reseller get all the profit when Goodwill puts the money to good use? In some stores I've been in, the pro's hover around the door all day to snatch up anything of value. It's pretty disgusting, and unfortunate for the rest of us.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hey there Sarah, this is a GREAT post! It seems as if where I am based (North Dallas) that most of the increases are in some of the local thrift stores vs Goodwill. It's such a shame too because I have been able to find some really good stuff from these stores.

    I do think that the DIY and re-purposing trends may have something to do with it.....but that still doesnt make it right for these stores to price second hand items they way that they are now.

    Loveeeee your blog by the way. Keep doing YOU Chica!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Well, for starters, Goodwill is a "for profit" store not a "not-for-profit" store. I know this because in my job we have people who have to do community service and they are advised by our judge NOT to go to Goodwill and donate time because they are a "for profit" store. They do use their funds to employ special needs people but are basically in it for profit. Salvation Army is the place to donate items and money for disaters. They have one of the highest ratings for donations to reach the actual person(s) in need.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I live in Iowa and, I have noticed that our local Goodwill have raised their prices considerably also. When i can get something new for the same price or less at any of a number of department stores here in town, I'm sorry but, I'm going for new.

    ReplyDelete
  77. I agree, I used to stop into Goodwill all the time. Personally, I prefer to hit up Deseret Industries. The prices are a little more even with a "thrift store."

    ReplyDelete
  78. ITA about goodwill. i was never the kind of person to shop there anyway but when i started reading the DIY blogs a couple years ago and saw so many good things that were being found i stopped into a couple one day. i have not been back since! the prices were so close to retail that just like someone else said - why pay that price for USED when i could get it BRAND NEW for a few dollars more! not to mention the price of gas lately! i would rather drive one place and get what i want than to drive to several goodwills "hoping" that i would find something.

    ReplyDelete
  79. Yes, prices have gotten higher where I live too. I think you just have to know either what something is worth, decide how bad you want it and know if it's a Target item what the price in the store is. I prefer garage sales. Goodwill holds me over during the winter but once the warm weather comes, I much prefer garage sales.

    Jeanine

    ReplyDelete
  80. Oh I so hear you! Our local Goodwill prices are awful - items from Kmart and Target where the Goodwill price tag is higher than the clearance price tag from the store (and they didn't bother to take it off). But Goodwill prices really vary greatly depending on your location. We're in Orange County, so they're pretty expensive and all the good stuff has been picked over already, but when we were living in a small town I always found cute stuff at Goodwill!

    ReplyDelete
  81. I stop in Goodwill occasionally and have found a few "bargains." One strange thing is glassware pricing - identical items will have different prices and sometimes cost as much as new ones! The store near me smells -I won't go near the clothes.

    ReplyDelete
  82. I can see one from my window at work so I pop in at least once a week just to see if there is anything I *need*. I definitely have noticed that prices are higher, and also noticed how busy it is these days. It seems that my little secret has been discovered. That said, I always seem to find something!

    ReplyDelete
  83. I did a post a couple weeks ago after receiving a 'Spring Goodwill Inspiration Guide' in the mail - Color Catalog with Featured DIY project, styled al fresco dining photo, etc., coupon and notice of sale day on back, and a stylist visiting locations! I'm in Denver and thankfully prices are still good here.

    http://simpledetailsblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/goodwill-inspiration-guide.html

    ReplyDelete
  84. I much prefer shopping yard sales and off name thrift stores than Goodwill. I was frequently finding items in our Goodwill from the Dollar Store with prices from $2.99 and up marked on them.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I no longer donate to or shop at Goodwill. I enjoy reading DIY blogs, but rarely do a project myself. I thrift because of my finances. I am a retired person living on a fixed income. The sad thing about Goodwill and other re-sell shops raising their prices is it has made it harder on people like me. I hope Goodwill Industries gets wind of this post. The problem in the world today is greed - you just don't expect to encounter it from charitable organizations. So sad.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Definitely have noticed this here in the UK. I used to be able to buy a proper dress shirt for a few pounds at the most. Now they're in the 7 to 10 pound area. I can go to the local Primark and get a brand new shirt for a fiver. I'd rather give the money to a charitable organisation, but on a limited income, I have to take my bargains where I can find them.

    ReplyDelete
  87. I was just telling someone the other day that Goodwill has become too trendy and pricey for me! Add to that the ridiculous crowds there these days- no way. Garage sales are more my thing now :)

    ReplyDelete
  88. Interesting. I was in Goodwill this morning. Found a beautiful bbq set, case and all utensils. Turned it over.......$30! Ummm, no. I can go to Academy Sports and get a brand new one for less than that. Do you think maybe a proliferation of stores than can buy in bulk now and pass that savings on to the customer has made some change in the market place? I.e. Target, T J Maxx, Homegoods, Marshalls, etc? Used to be, good quality home furnishings were ridiculously priced. This pushed a lot of us to the thrift/charity stores. Nowadays, the above mentioned stores carry this same quality stuff that used to be so expensive, at a much more manageable price. Just a thought.

    ReplyDelete
  89. I have heard about Goodwill prices going up in other parts of the US, but here in Montana ours are holding steady--maybe it has to do with population density? I think blogs and a resurgence in vintage/old stuff has made a difference. Goodwill pricers are starting to know their gems!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Wow! These comments are an eye-opener! I haven't shopped Goodwill or any thrifting in a while, as I'm disabled and my disabilities became bad enough that I couldn't walk around anymore. Plus, I moved to a very small town, and all of the major thrift shops are at least 40 miles away. We are moving as soon as we find a place, and I was excited to be able to be closer to the Goodwills. No longer. I won't patronize a place that takes from the needy to give so much to a CEO and top execs, no matter how needed their programs are. That is pathetic!

    ReplyDelete
  91. I used to go all the time over the last 6 years, at least once a week for a while, and for the last few months the crazy prices have just made me feel like it's not worth it to even go look. I've seen so many of those glass candlestick holders from the Dollar Tree being sold for $2 and up. Why would I spend double the price on a used item when I can pay half for something new? I think it's ridiculous to pay their hiked up prices for used things that are usually in ok to pretty bad condition. I'll probably still go every once in a while just to kill my curiosity but I just don't think most of their stuff is worth it anymore. And sorry Goodwill, but I've decided to start donating to people that really can't pay your stupid prices. Homeless shelters have a greater need for my things than you do.

    ReplyDelete
  92. I've only recently fallen in love with Goodwill. I only buy things on the half off Saturdays. I usually go a day or two beforehand to scope out the store and see if there's anything worth getting. Sometimes there is, other times not. Recently I got a pair of 7FAM jeans for $4 and a really nice name brand couch for $35. My husband has found great Kenneth Cole button down shirts for work for $3 and $4.

    ReplyDelete
  93. At our local high school, every fall and spring, the special education department has a giant yard sale held in the gym. The kids do all the work and the teachers organize it. Students donate things as well as the whole community. Fathers donate their time and trucks to pick up donated furniture. I just clean out my house twice a year and donate to the sale. The money goes 100% to the kids to pay for field trips, gasoline for buses, and meals out on the trips. I'm so happy to make a difference in a young person's life! The prices at the sale are more than reasonable and the whole community turns out to buy. I don't think I've been in a Goodwill in a couple of years. Quality is just not there!

    ReplyDelete
  94. I have seen the prices go up as well. Fortunately, we have a Goodwill Outlet store near us which is AWESOME. Almost everything is pay-by-the-pound, so you get things for dirt cheap. We got a gorgeous pair of 15” tall candle lanterns there for $3- for the PAIR. I also shop there for clothes and books. Paperback books are $0.25, hardcovers $0.50. It certainly takes some time- there are bins with clothes (not separated by sizes or sex) and bins with stuff (picture frames, toys, gadgets, you name it) and then bins with books. I often leave with a whole cartload of stuff but I rarely spend over $20. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  95. I didn't mean to be off topic about the Goodwill. Although I don't donate anymore, my 29 year old son went back to college and furnished his whole apartment in items from the Goodwill. He buys really nice dress shirts for $4.
    Although I think the prices are high, to him they are reasonable while he is trying to live on a budget and finish his degree.

    ReplyDelete
  96. I've definitely noticed it too lately. The prices at Goodwill and Savers in the Reno/Carson City, NV areas have gone up way too high. I've had the same thought as you "Isn't this more expensive than at the store?". I've even seen some items from chain stores (World Market, HomeGoods, etc.) with the original full price sticker on them (not a clearance price) and the thrift store price is more. Crazy. I've passed up on a bunch of items that were just plain overpriced. I love thrift stores (the thrill of the hunt!) and I really love that my shopping dollars are going to help people, but I don't like being overcharged or nickel & dimed to death. Once I overheard some Savers bigwigs at the store commenting to the store management that things were overpriced. After that the prices were more reasonable for a short time, then back to a lot of overpriced stuff. It's too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I have found that all Goodwills are different. The ones here in my area (northern IL) are not like yours at all. I have never seen anything priced shockingly high. Sure, once in awhile I'll come across a tchotchke that's priced a little too high, but that's it. And the return policy here is that you can only return clothes - nothing else - within 10 days. And you get a store credit. I also shop at Savers and they sound more like your Goodwill - some of their prices are a rip-off. I get much better deals at GW.

    ReplyDelete
  98. We used to have a Goodwill outlet here called The Blue Hanger. It got closed and shortly after, all the Goodwills upped their prices. It's rare I find things in there - I shop at thrift town or Salvation Army - they have sales on a specific tag color. Overall, it's more fun to hit the clearance end caps at Target. I still stop in to the thrift stores now and again and find a treasure or two...just not nearly as often as i used to. I regularly donate and it's sad to see they are being less than thrifty in their pricing.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Here in the Albuquerque area, we are seeing the same thing with Goodwill, Salvation Army, and a whole lot of the smaller thrift stores. Just pricing out of the market a great number of their former customers.

    ReplyDelete
  100. I don't generally comment even though I ALWAYS enjoy your blog. I just had to comment here, though, because I agree with every single word you said. I used to love GW shopping, but in the past few years, I find myself fuming as I stroll the aisles. It frustrates me because I know that every single item in there was donated to them. The bottom of the barrel for me was the day I found some little terra cotta pots about two inches in diameter like I could get at Hobby Lobby for about 5.00 a package. They were $1.99 each. AND they still had the dirt in them. No kidding!

    I shop our reStore and antique malls and other thrift shops now. Rarely do I even stop at GW.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are frequent thrift store shoppers, as we supplement our income re-selling antiques (we have a booth at an antique mall and sometimes sell on ebay and etsy) and fixing up furniture to re-sell. However, we have stopped shopping at Goodwill altogether because the prices have gone up and also because they pick through donations as they come in, take out anything of value and sell it online at much higher prices. So it is nearly impossible to find anything decent in their stores anymore because it has already been picked over before anything hits the shelves. We've had much better luck at garage sales, auctions, and other local thrift stores (Saver's, St. Vincent de Paul, and Hospice).

      Delete
  101. In my town Goodwill has been higher on things you can buy at Walmart for the 9 yrs we have lived here. So it is nothing new. This is a military town, so I don't know if that makes a difference.
    I like to travel and the best priced Goodwills I have found are in a town in CO. In 1 of their particular Goodwill stores you can find an unending supply of name brand clothing. And those are priced at the normal price. I have never found any kind of furniture at a Goodwill that was decent. Good for all who do.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Everyone that I do in NC are complaining about the Goodwill prices going up. Often the prices are higher than antique stores. I think it is mostly due to the demand because of the recession and so many magazines and blogs talking about Goodwill buys. When Dollar Tree items are $3 each at GW, people are going to complain.

    Thanks for shedding some light on this.

    ReplyDelete
  103. While I agree that Goodwill's mission is positive, the execution is flawed, so based on that alone, I have never been a shopper there. I grew up with a mentally handicapped sister and she was employed with Goodwill for a few months. They pay their employees based on their output, not their time (atleast that was their practice 10 years ago), so in two weeks of work, she got paid thirty-some CENTS. Apparently she didn't sort enough bolts and screws to warrant more money. It cost our family more to drive her to work in a day than she got paid for two weeks.

    There are pleny of other organizations that support the same or similar mission, and pass the profits on to their employees more reliably, so I chose to frequent those over Goodwill.

    ReplyDelete
  104. I've noticed the same thing. And also thought bloggers had something to do with it. Anything that's in decent shape is usually overpriced at Goodwill, in my opinion. every now and then I find something, like an big old trunk for $12!

    ReplyDelete
  105. I occasionally go into the better Goodwill in my town but I have switched primarily to shopping at Value Village. MUCH better prices, 1/2 off day each month, and larger selection! :)

    Have you ever shopped a Goodwill outlet, Sarah? Where you pay by the pound for clothes, etc.? Just shopped my first one when I was out of town last week. AMAZING!! great deals there - wish we had one where I live.

    ReplyDelete
  106. The Goodwill stores near me (San Jose, CA) are very high as well. I am a frequent donator and also shop there for finds that I can transform, but when I can get higher quality merch on clearance, I am out.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Well - here's my 2 cents worth. I live in the NW Ark. Area and have definite noticed a pretty big hike in GW prices. We have four in our area, two that I frequent and two I visit on occasion. All of them have increased their prices. I still go by pretty often but buy far less than I used to. I agree it depends on who's pricing, but I still only buy the rare item now, priced the "old GW" way.

    ReplyDelete
  108. If you makes anyone feel any better- the prices have gone up overseas as well. I live in Auckland, New Zealand and the Salvation Army (we dont have Goodwill) here are exactly the same. The prices are getting ridiculous. It takes the fun out of getting the $5 chair and making it awesome, you know? Now its a $40 chair before you even begin the transformation. I still grab the rare small item but as for those super bargains-they are well and truly history. :(

    ReplyDelete
  109. What's sad to me is the reason why the prices are so high. They're high because people pay them! These companies are in the business of making money, whether for their charities or themselves, that's the way capitalism works. Businesses charge what people will pay. Since their stuff sells at those ridiculous prices they keep charging ridiculous prices. What that says about the intelligence of the average consumer, I'm not sure. But we can't blame DIYers for the price increases. If we have to lay blame, we can blame our free market economy and corporate greed. For me personally, it hasn't been fun shopping at Goodwill for quite some time. I live in Southern California where prices have always been higher than other places I've lived. But it boggles the mind to see used Ikea merchandise marked at twice its original price. I understand an organization making the most money it can for its charity, but what I can't understand or support, is a greedy, short-sighted corporate mentality that takes its customers for granted.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I TOTALLY agree that the prices have gone through the roof at Goodwill. And, the timing for your post is quite ironic, at least for me. I used to pop in to Goodwill, maybe once a month, to see what was there. Then, I started a blog, and then, Oh boy, was I popping in often! And more and more, our home was getting more and more cluttered. I finally had it. I started a series on my blog, "Decluttering 101", because I was fed up with the clutter, and wanted my house cleared. That has transformed my life! And, my blog shows it, but not in a good way, lol! If anything, I'm going to turn my blog into a minimalist blog, because I no longer want all the "treasures" in my home. We come into this world without even a diaper on. Yet, somewhere along the line, we get this idea that we need to fill our first small house, or apartment with more and more to make it "homey". Next thing you know, we have "outgrown" the space. Yeah! We just got too much stuff = clutter! So then we upsize to a larger home, more pricey = more debt and higher heating costs and property tax. Ah, but don't forget more space! And of course, we need to fill all that new found space! With what?! More "treasures" = stuff = clutter! It becomes a vicious cycle. We were able to move back to our home town, and my husband wanted to be in a particular area, that is known for being one of THE safest in the city. It is more house than we need so we are putting in a basement apartment. We're going to make that extra space work for us, instead of filling it up!

    ReplyDelete
  111. I live in Atlanta and I'm seeing the same trend. I usually send out a text to who ever will read with the words, "Goodwill is whack!"

    Here's a for instance. My closest GW is in my small town and a few days ago I saw a wool rug for...wait for it....$900 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All the furniture is way over priced. And it's a shame because I feel like they're taking advantage of people who aren't as informed as perhaps someone like me who has the time (and experience) to check other areas/stores/options.

    I also found a little white dish with cat food still on it. Just sayin'

    People are funny. I love the psychology of it all!

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL This whole comment made me laugh :)

      Delete
    2. Too true, I saw a winter coat priced at $100 a sad state of affairs when a store created to cloth the poor now seeks to make a profit off of free items donated to help those less fortunate.

      Delete
  112. Nicki
    This is such a timely post. I'm in Canada (Toronto) and I am shocked at the prices. I recently saw a buffet with missing accessories for $240! The sales rep saw my astonishment and told me Saturdays are 1/2 off furniture. I find that the Salvation Army thrift shop offers lower prices and can be bargained with.

    ReplyDelete
  113. I used to shop at Goodwill but I too have found the furniture to be expensive and now I just wait for good garage sales or Craigslist posting to find things that I MUST have.

    ReplyDelete
  114. It is a crime. I had a much longer post written, but I will bite my tongue.

    ReplyDelete
  115. I agree, the prices are getting high...but I love the thrill of the hunt!
    Now that the weather is warmer, I am looking forward to all the tag sale's that find me. ;)
    Holly

    ReplyDelete
  116. That's nothing, my husband and I recently saw a price tag for $245 for an Ollld entertainment center. And $15 for a picture frame and the average price for a pair of Old Navy/Target brand jeans were $14, which I could buy them brand new at the store on sale for that price.
    So yes. I've had sticker shock and haven't really stepped foot inside of a store in probably 4 months. Although, I too, support their mission, I shopped there to find a good deal and spending double what I would spend at a garage sale for the same garage sale items (Especially on my tight budget). However, I will still occasionally stop in sometime in the future, simply because you never know!! Although, I've moved more into clearance sales, craigslist, and garage sales when I have time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  117. I live in Indana and have noticed the prices seem higher....especially at the Goodwill in a neighboring county. Goodwill must be researching their items on Ebay for pricing.

    ReplyDelete
  118. I have also noticed some ridiculous prices at thrift stores - Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity etc. As a matter of fact, I walked out of Habitat the other day laughing out loud at how much they think of their stuff. I get the whole mission and idea behind habitat, and that's awesome, but I shop there because I'm financially unstable and hurting and it's a little infuriating when I can get brand new pieces for the same or very close to the same price as what they're selling in the Habitat Store. I've had the very, VERY best luck with a local rescue mission's thrift shop. They have awesome stuff at more than fair prices.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Katherine: EXACTLY! Yes, they have a mission, but part of that mission (I thought) is to help us lower income folk save money.

      Delete
  119. I don't get to Goodwill as often as I would like, either, but I agree with you on all points. Sometimes I think that if I just wait for a garage sale I'll probably find an item at 1/3 of the cost they sell them for. Since we don't itemize our taxes and can't deduct our contributions to charity, it would be great if we got some sort of discount for donating! It is very tempting to buy what you don't need NOW since you know it might be gone later. And at Goodwill I've had that happen more than once.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Here in Ontario I find the same thing. Higher pricing, and the stores are much busier than they used to be. I do however find that as the quality of new items in general goes down I am often glad to be able to source out superior quality items that I remember from my past. For example, I was tired of fighting with my (fairly new) horrible manual can opener recently and found a much better quality one at Value Village for 3 dollars. Sure it's a little heavier and not in the latest color but it was clean and it WORKS! It was bundled with about 5 other miscellaneous kitchen items but I didn't care - I just paid for all of it and re-donated the remaining items back to them. It's all for a good cause anyway. As a decorator I find that often new furniture is very poorly made unless you spend a ton of money to buy high end pieces. If I can use what a client already has in a new way we all better off for it. Save money, save the environment, create a more unique space etc. This is why I specialize in "use what you've got decorating". It's very rewarding and the clients get to re-enjoy their sentimental items in a new updated way. A win win for all.

    ReplyDelete
  121. I noticed this too! I just went yesterday and I was looking for something...anything with legs I could use and tear apart. so preferably something cheap. I found 1 brown barstool that was a bit banged up, but would do, but I looked at the price...$10! I can buy them for that much at BigLots! So, I passed...

    ReplyDelete
  122. That's exactly why I never buy much at my local Goodwill, either. Usually just dishes, an occasional lamp or books. I've actually seen other store sell items brand new and lower prices than our Goodwill does. And the prices they ask for used, beat up furniture is ridiculous. They won't negotiate, either.

    ReplyDelete
  123. Ya'll should move to Kansas!! My goodwill still has really good prices! I've seen a rare item here or there that was pricey, but clothes are still an average of $1.99 except for stuff like suits, which are around $7 for the whole thing. We just bought my husband a whole new work wardrobe for about $25! Bummed that yours is getting so expensive :( But there's always garage sales!

    ReplyDelete
  124. I worked at the goodwill industries when I first got out of college in an accounting department. There were so many people there working that would not have been otherwise, and there is so much good done in the world, and I like to support them in other ways. Our goodwill has always been a little overpriced for me, for what you get. I would rather go to garage sales and get the real treasures!!

    ReplyDelete
  125. I have only window shopped at Goodwill. I never buy anything. Ours is terrible here in Murfreesboro, TN. I take a lot of really nice things to Goodwill all the time to donate. Yet, when I do go in the doors, I NEVER see anything worth buying. The clothes are all outdated, stained, or just worn out. There is never any furniture of any kind except an occasional plastic table for outdoors or a beat up media cabinet. Ours has no books, thousands of trucker hats and other memorabilia that I will not buy or need. It saddens me. I love what Goodwill stands for and its outreach. But our Goodwill store has always been pretty pitiful. And that's why I rarely shop there and never buy anything. I'm envious when I see something spectacular that someone on a blog has picked up at their Goodwill.

    ReplyDelete
  126. I also think the prices are high on some items but if people keep paying those prices then why would they lower the price? If you don't buy it when you see it it will be gone because the price, though it may be high for a second hand store, is still lower than retail.

    ReplyDelete
  127. Also a former weekly shopper! Turned off by the prices for used things that are cheaper new! I felt like they were taking advantage of people that need to shop there. Last time I donated my daughter's clothes at a Goodwill, I spontaneously went into the store and found a family that had a girl about the size of the clothes I had in the car. I asked them if they wanted to come out and just have them for free. They looked a afraid of me so only the husband came. When he saw that I actually was giving him a big box of clothes and not trying to lure them out to the parking lot, he smiled a big smile and said thank you. That felt a lot more fun than getting a tax credit slip! Since then, I have been giving bags of clothes to neighbors too. As a result, one gave me a pair of brand new hiking shoes (couldn't return them) and several barely worn gloves for my own kids. I'm not anti-thrift store but am enjoying this method for a while. I also don't have as many "projects" waiting in the wings, using up cash and cluttering up my house.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I completely agree, I just posted about this exact problem about two weeks ago on my facebook page... a lamp I bought new 10 years ago for $99 is now $150 in a local mennonite community charity shop. They even go so far as to put signs on their wall to say their prices are fair but firm -- no discounts. Outrageous ...

    https://www.facebook.com/KathleenaThomasDesigns?ref=hl

    Cheers, Niamh @ Kathleena Thomas Designs

    ReplyDelete
  129. We like to go to the Carmel, Indiana store but haven't been there in a while. It seems a little nicer than our Kokomo, Indiana, store is but the prices at our store (& we've noticed most Goodwills in general) are outrageous. This is one of the reasons we don't donate to Goodwill - we drop them off at Salvation Army or our local We Care store because those two places don't price your items sky high & to try to get such a huge profit. We refuse to donate to Goodwill. With all that said, we were in Michigan this weekend & visited a Goodwill store there. We found it to be VERY reasonably priced (a lamp for around $5, a 11x14 black frame in perfect condition for around $5, & a 3' xmas tree with lights that worked for $3!). We always pay close attention to the prices because sometimes you can find things brand new for what Goodwill is trying to charge for used items!

    ReplyDelete
  130. I've stopped going to Goodwill because of their outrageous pricing. The one here was selling t-shirts for $7 and $8! I no longer donate to Goodwill, either. We're lucky to have many good thrift stores around here that don't practice highway robbery.

    ReplyDelete
  131. We recently got our first goodwill and I was really excited about it, but everytime I've gone the prices are outrageous! (And I live in a pretty small town, where things are usually cheaper). I still prefer to stick with our rinky-dink thrift shops for a better deal. One thing that really confused me about goodwill is that I live in a town with TONS of empty buildings/strip malls, etc and Goodwill came and built a brand new construction building. I just thought that was strange for a place like that when there are so many empty places that they could have gotten cheaper.

    One thing to check out if you haven't, is online local facebook groups. Kind of like Craig's List, but not as creepy because you can see who is selling and it's easier to communicate than through CL email. Also, most people set up to meet in a public place, so you never get worried. I have bought half my kids wardrobe on there with all brand name prices & good deals, because people would rather get rid of it all at once to one person then have a garage sale! Usually they're called something like "___ area online garage sale". Thanks for the post! And sorry I'm long winded today- whew!

    ReplyDelete
  132. Also, I am so glad you joined instagram and I think I'm the one who started the toilet flusher handle fiasco! I just didn't know you could switch it out! Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  133. Agreed about the prices! I can usually find better deals at yard sales, especially on the small "knick-knack" type stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Hi there! Your post about Goodwill caught my attention, but I then saw your post about your home and checked out those pictures and I have to say I LOVE your house! We are in the process of building a new home too and we are on a budget due to the new higher mortgage, so I'm looking for inspiration for decoration. I have also started my own business, www.sweetmelissasfragrancefactory.com, which is making the budget even tighter. I did a search for thrifty home decor and am glad I found your blog. I've bookmarked it :) Thank you for sharing your ideas and your home - love it!

    ReplyDelete
  135. I stopped shopping at both Goodwill and Salvation Army when I found out that neither are "non-profit" as they claim to be. They not only sell the items that are donated to them for 100% profit, all employees are paid a salary and truckloads of the donated merchandise is SOLD to other countries, too. In addition, I have seen employees at our local SA going through the warehouse picking out donated items and tagging them for themselves so that those items never reach the floor. Our local GW has also has auctions every month for the items they think are worth more.

    ReplyDelete
  136. I am also a thrifty shopper, and in Goodwill on a daily basis...which can also be bad..they know me by name and I have even gotten clientel from them...BUT sometimes there prices are just halarious.. but I do find some great things for nothing. It is a hit or miss, I have shopped with them for years! I stay very busy also, so I understand exacylt what you are saying, not too mention this chick is getting "old" too...and tired! LOL...

    ReplyDelete
  137. EXCUSE MY ERRORS...THERE IT SHOWS..I AM TIRED ! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  138. I love a good find... I brake for yard sales Goodwills, .. YOU name it even a good CURBSIDE find LOL

    ReplyDelete
  139. Sometimes I just shake my head at the prices my local Goodwill (and Salvation Army) store charges for things. It's not unusual to see things $60-100 for well used dressers. Crazy! Clothing prices have gone up considerably in the last several years also.

    ReplyDelete
  140. We are experiencing the same price hikes here in Maryland. Very sad to see it. I think they need to remember that they are getting this stuff for FREE. Bad move Goodwill! You have definitely lost my donations and my business,
    Kate

    ReplyDelete
  141. OMG, ok, I thought it was just because I'm in Los Angeles, where EVERYTHING is outrageously overpriced, even though there's plenty of shops and other resources to find things (in other words, it's not like a small town where a shop might be the only game in town). My friend and I went to a Goodwill over the weekend, and their prices were RIDICULOUS. Even worse is the Catholic charity, St. Vincent de Paul - they want HUNDREDS of dollars for furniture that has seen better days. I'm not kidding, they had a pretty beat up Ralph Lauren dresser there that they wanted $600 for! It was NOT in take-it-home-and-use-it-now condition, someone would have really needed to refinish it, yet they wanted all that money for it. I believe in charities, but there's a fine line between being reasonable and greedy, and I'm finding that most of the places here are pushing that line.

    I think you're on to something, the blog world has exploded and the DIY/refurb thing along with it, and even people on Craigslist out here want ridiculous amounts of money for stuff that's junk. If it's nice, forget about it, they want several hundred dollars for it. I'm not sure why EVERYTHING these days has to be a rip-off, it's really disheartening to say the least!

    ReplyDelete
  142. i have an aunt who used to shop goodwill in the chicago area and shes mentioned a few times abouthow high their prices are getting. since there is no goodwill in my area of ND, i go to yard sale and church sales and a few local second hand stores. there are certain items they do over charge but i just dont buy them. ive also been using facebook groups that people have made for bartering, selling, or just giving away for free. i also like using freecycle.org. ive found the best items on freecycle and ive also gotten better at not letting items sit around forever. if i cant use it in 2 months it goes back on what ever site i got it from or i just freecycle it.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Also, forgot to add in my last tirade (LOL!) that Goodwill has an online auction site where they pick out "the good stuff" to auction off online, and they're on to something there because people get competitive and ridiculous, over bidding on stuff you can find less expensively on eBay. My friend thinks the Goodwill outlets themselves are dishonestly bidding on their own stuff to drive up the prices, I hadn't thought of that because it's SO unethical, but you never know what a business will do for $$$. I've also heard where the employees go through and pick out all the good stuff for themselves, which is why most of what you find in the stores is pure junk anymore.

    I've noticed other commenters say they won't donate to Goodwill, and I won't either anymore because of their price gouging and questionable ethics. I also won't donate to Salvation Army because they discriminate (I'm pro marriage-equality), so I tend to send my stuff either to CHOC (Children's Hospital) or give it away to friends. I've also been known to just leave stuff in my alley with a "FREE TO GOOD HOME" sign on it!

    ReplyDelete
  144. I, too, have noticed how prices have gone up at GWI and I may have mentioned it a time or two. Our GWI recently built a new building and the minute the doors opened, I noticed how much things had increased. I still love going there, but don't always buy unless the price suits me. Salvation Army has gone up as well, but not quite as much. Their store is not so new and organized as the new GWI, so you have to search a little more, but I sometimes find more there. I wonder, like you, if maybe we DIYers have DIYed ourselves out of the market. Maybe things will turn around because we are not buying as much. Also, prices everywhere have gone up so much because of inflation, gas, etc., so maybe that is an element, as well.

    ReplyDelete
  145. Wow, I have found the same thing here in the Bay Area CA. I have all but stopped shopping thrift stores, and really find the best deals on craigslist garage sales and TJ Maxx/Marshalls/Ross. Generally speaking in my area, Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul, and other independent non-profit stores are still decent--not great. The Goodwill and local hospital/junior league/other charity thrift stores have been over-priced for a long time now. Not worth my time.

    ReplyDelete
  146. I've noticed this with both Goodwill and the Salvation Army. There are a few other local thrift stores I like that can be hit and miss with prices--there's one person at my favorite thrift store that thinks that anything that looks like milk glass, even plastic, is a hidden gem and prices accordingly. But for a few years now Goodwill has been so overpriced that I only go in 3-4 times a year. Ours mostly carries Sauder furniture priced higher than retail or a bunch of bad '80s and '90s decor. It's usually not worth my time to go. There is one store that has a pretty good clothing selection if you don't mind paying top dollar.

    I know that they are selling items for a good cause, but I look at it this way: if you price things so high no one will buy them, that's $0 going toward your charity. Not a very savvy business move IMO.

    ReplyDelete
  147. I have enjoyed shopping at Thrift Stores since I was a kid. In the past five years, I have noticed prices spiking and an increase in customers (like 300-400%). I feel like all the extra shoppers makes it harder to find deals. With higher prices and more shoppers, I just don't go as often.

    ReplyDelete
  148. The prices have gone way up! I find better deals at Restore and local consignment shops now.

    ReplyDelete
  149. I have always wondered where bloggers are shopping. My goodwill and other thrift stores are so expensive. Dresses are $10 each, even the very used and faded walmart dresses. All frames are at least $15-$20 dollars. Housewares are 75-90% of what it cost new. I'd rather go buy the new and have it in great shape. They will not change the prices because people still shop there. When it gets to the point where more people are not shopping at these stores, maybe they will lower the prices. Sad to say but it's not like they have tons of overhead. Their merchandise is given to them. They aren't paying for it like other stores.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Sterling Cherub, you are the kind of person my hubby & I look for. We spend our weekends looking for good furniture or household items that folks have left on the curb & we fix it, paint it (or whatever), then donate it to people whose houses have burned down or flooded. We don't go thru any specific charity. I got business cards for hubby & call him "Green Man", they say he will "reuse, recycle & refurbish" - he's the "regenerator". So far folks seem to like it better when they know that their items are going to help a victim of the Bastrop fire or something like that instead of donating to GW or SA.

    ReplyDelete
  151. My local GW has never been great for furniture or household items. Clothing is still reasonably priced, but I don't go as often as I used to.

    ReplyDelete
  152. Yup that's how thrift stores in Cali are - sometimes are amazing deals to be found I picked up a pair of Raplh Lauren lamps over the weekend for a steal $8.00 each (I recently blogged about them) But I haven't noticed the prices are getting higher and higher for some items that are just plain junk.....

    ReplyDelete
  153. I have noticed some really crazy prices. The prices can be all over the place, ya'know? hm. But I feel like a deal can still be found from time to time. Sometimes prices are ridiculously high, like the Target items, & as someone else mentioned, Dollar Tree items. (um, they are $1.00 new...........how about .25 at GW?) I've worked in consignment for 12 years or so though, so I know that the staff can't possibly get ALL the pricing right. It's not easy learning all the prices, and of course you look up the price of items online as well. Prices on furniture have gone up, true. But on some level I feel like the errors in pricing can work both ways, and maybe that helps offset the pain to some degree? ha Like paying $2.00 for a perfect Timi & Leslie or Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag, vs the way overpriced Target furniture. (does Target really sell it to GW, or donate it?)Obviously, I don't purchase the pricing errors that are not in my favor. But underpricing is also an error, and I do happily purchase those!
    Chrissy

    ReplyDelete
  154. I, too have noticed the high prices at Goodwill. The stores still seem busy, in spite of the increases. I suppose it is whatever the market will bear. As you mentioned, I have often seen "Target new goods" at Goodwill, for prices higher than I saw them for at Target. The best bargains can be had at garage sales, but you can also do a lot of driving and not find anything. I sure enjoy the "thrill of the hunt", where ever it takes me!

    ReplyDelete
  155. I so agree with you on the prices at Goodwill. I have shopped there for years, before it was cool to shop there. I am amazed at the prices at my local stores in Arizona. I buy things fix them up and resell them. I've found it is getting much harder to find things I can make a profit on. Many of the prices are equivalent to those of retail stores. I do still shop there but not finding all the great deals I used too!

    ReplyDelete
  156. Hi,
    I'm from London, Ontario and the prices at Goodwill have gone right through the roof. It's completely ridiculous! We also have Value Village here and their prices are just as bad. I do agree, though, that Goodwill does great things for the community but it seems they're giving with one hand and taking from the same people with the other hand. I rarely go to either one anymore. St. Vincent de Paul is not bad (haven't been for a couple of years) but find they are quite junky. Salvation Army is still a registered charity so it's kind of nice not to have to pay tax. The store here is not very big but I find it the best place to buy linens (sheets, towels, etc.). There's a new thrift shop just opened up here called "Missions for Bibles" and have been told they are still relatively reasonable.
    I am a firm believer that charity begins at home. We need to take care of our own people before we start sending stuff overseas. We've got seniors living way below the poverty line; families due to whatever restraits living below the poverty line. Homeless people. I don't know about anywhere else but here our Value Villages take old stock off the shelves bale them up and ship them overseas (third-world countries, I believe); they destroy any breakables that have been on the shelves too long. Why can't these clothes, linens, etc. be given to shelters, hospices, women's shelters? Wouldn't it be nice to receive some silly little knick-knack when you've just had to leave in the middle of the night with your children with only the clothing on your backs? Is all of this too much to ask for? We should take care of our own first, then others. I know that some people will be a bit hot under the collar with these remarks.
    Here in London we have a group called "Clothing Works" and I've been giving them all my clothes and when my Mom and sister passed away I gave all of their clothes as well. They take in women who for one reason or another have had to go back into the work force and have very little experience or none at all. CW teaches them the basics of computers, how to set up a current-style resume, how to handle themselves during an interview, etc.. I'm a very large sized woman and I know how hard it is to find decent clothes to fit so I like to know that someone else is enjoying my clothes.
    I read an article the other day on a consignment shop here. It is run entirely by volunteers and every cent of profit goes to providing breakfast for school kids who would have to go without breakfast if it wasn't for this organization. They also take in donations as well.
    Even dollar stores have raised their prices very high. We have Dollarama here and some things are still a dollar but in just the past year almost everything as risen to $2 - $3. I guess we've had a good thing going and the end is now here.
    Here in London Craigslist isn't that big but Kijiji is. I find that I save money by using Kijiji as I can look and wait for something specific rather than go to the thrift stores and be horribly tempted by other "nice things" that I don't need and yet still buy! :-)
    Anyhoo, that's my rant for the day!
    All the best,
    Cathy

    ReplyDelete

I LOVE, love, love your comments! (I read every single one.)

I occasionally have to turn off anonymous comments because of spam. If so, you can comment if you sign in with a WP/Google +/gmail account.

If you have a specific question, make sure I can answer you back by adding your email to your google/blog account! And be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site. Due to the number of emails I get, I just can't get back to everyone.

THANKS so much for reading!