Thursday, May 19, 2016

Outlet Treasure Hunting

I think just about everyone is familiar with Goodwill donation centers and retail stores, but have you ever heard of a Goodwill Outlet store? We've had one in our area for years, and I see it every time I drive east on Interstate 64 to go downtown. It's always intrigued me, but I never made the time to stop in. Until today.

I had a work commitment that got me close to the area, and decided I was also going to fit in an adventure. After I finished what I had to do I got back in my car and went east on the highway.  I should have gotten off one exit earlier than I did, but after several turns I saw the building's sign and parking lot.  The huge building used to be a warehouse for Famous-Barr (a department store that was purchased by Macy's about a decade ago), but the entrance to the store portion was easy to find.

Blue bins in the store
The Goodwill Outlet serves as a liquidation center for the retail stores.  In the outlet store they price it to sell.  Books cost 15 cents an inch. Glassware is 29 cents a pound, and everything else is 89 cents a pound. Items are piled in large blue bins, and every twenty minutes they take away a few of the bins and roll out new ones.  Except for books (which were housed in their own area) there wasn't much sorting done. Breakable items were placed in their own bins, but other bins were a mish-mash of clothes, soft goods, and wares.

The store wouldn't win any awards for cleanliness.  Based on my online research I brought a pair of gloves with me, but I ended up not using them. However, I wasn't digging down to the bottom of the bins. Several people were wearing work or rubber gloves, and I even saw one couple sporting disposable dust masks.  There are no dressing rooms, so I had to guess if things would fit me or Hubby Tony.  I wasn't too concerned, though, figuring that if I guessed wrong I'd just turn around and put the item back in our donation box.

There were all types of people there...well-dressed suburbanites, young people dressed in vintage styles, and others who looked like all they could afford were the items in the building.  I heard some people talking about how they were looking for things to turn around and sell on eBay.  I browsed for a half hour, then realized I should have eaten lunch before I came and decided to check out.  My six clothing items (which had labels from Banana Republic, Express, Talbots, Ann Taylor, and Nike) cost $3.91, and a Fiestaware bread plate and small bowl was only 55 cents!

I don't think I'll make shopping at the Goodwill Outlet store part of my regular routine, but I'm glad I was able to experience it.

Five years ago today: Play Your Cards Right

10 comments:

  1. Hmmmm sounds like an interesting time killer. I'll have to look it up (tho I think I know where it is). I miss Famous-Barr...

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    1. The building in really close to the interstate just before the Grand exit, just next to the Armory building. I miss Famous-Barr, too.

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  2. Sounds like my guilty pleasure shopping at Salvation Army store. Fun to do every now and again.

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    1. Yes, it was quite the guilty pleasure.

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  3. It sounds like fun Kathy, even better that you found stuff you wanted at incredible prices.

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  4. Whaaaat? I'm pretty sure we don't have Goodwill outlet stores up here. What an adventure. You certainly did well for a half hour of shopping. All that for less than a latte. Nicely done.

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    1. I'm not sure how prevalent the outlet stores are, but if you ever get a chance to go to one you should grab it :-)

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  5. I've hit places before too, where I was glad to see what it was about, but I would not go back.

    Have a great weekend :-)

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    1. I'm guessing getting more 'stuff' doesn't fit in with the purging you're doing right now :-)

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