Goodwill Stores Don't Want It, Now What?

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Items at Goodwill stores are typically on shelves for four weeks before removal. Photo: Amanda Wills, Earth911

Goodwill items that have been on the shelves for weeks still have a shot at resale. Goodwill Outlet Stores are the second step in the Goodwill process, where items not sold in a timely manner are sent to try and be sold again.

“We started Goodwill outlets as a way to continue our mission of building a strong and sustainable community,” says Jeni Anderson of Goodwill Industries of Denver. “The goal is to get as much as possible out of each donation.”

If an item doesn’t sell during its four-week rotation at one of the stores, it is moved over to the outlet, where goods are sold from large sorted bins by the pound. To encourage purchasing the items, the more you buy, the more you save.

“If you buy less than 19 pounds the price per pound is $1.40, and between 19 pounds and 49 pounds the price is 99 cents a pound,” says Anderson. “Books are always 49 cents each, and glassware is 59 cents a pound.”

The overall goal of the outlet is to get the most out of each donation received, and help stop as many goods as possible from ending up in the landfill. Anything that isn’t sold at the outlet returns back to a Goodwill warehouse.

“At that point we see what we can salvage and recycle, or sell to additional bulk buyers,” says Anderson. “We think our outlets are a great model and a great way to help keep our goods out of the landfill.”

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