I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thrifty Thursday: Goodwill Outlet San Bernardino–Part I

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On Tuesday I made the 45-minute drive to the Goodwill Outlet in San Bernardino, CA., arriving about noon.  I had read about other bloggers’ experience so I was pretty much prepared for anything.  However, I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in.

There were not many people and it actually looked empty, except for the dozens of tables (bins) filled with clothes and other miscellaneous junk stuff.  The place was also fairly clean and uncluttered.

I grabbed my cart – cart #50 – and made my way through each aisle.  About 75% of the tables had clothing, shoes or purses.  The rest of the tables had toys, plush, Christmas items, housewares and knickknacks.  I was not interested in any of the clothing items.

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After a few minutes, I noticed a small group of folks starting to line up by an empty space.  Aha,that must be where they’re bringing out the “fresh” tables.  Sure enough, they start bringing out more tables.  Now here is the thing:  you cannot touch anything in the tables until all the tables are in place.  I have to laugh when I think about this because we’re all standing there waiting for the “race” to begin – ready to grab that one item we desire.  As soon as the last bin is in place and staff says “GO”, everyone starts attacking grabbing items in the bins. 

This sounds worse than it is.  It’s actually quite funny – and even fun.  Everyone was respectful and there was none of the pushing and aggressive behavior I’d read about.  You just grab what you can; and if you didn’t get that one item you wanted, no big deal.  There are always more tables coming out.

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I had a few items in my cart when a fresh round of tables was announced.  Yes, they make an announcement so folks start lining up.  When they brought out a table filled to the brim with brand new costumes, I was ready!  I grabbed as many as I could – an armload – which turned out to be about 15.  One final lap through the aisles netted me a couple more costumes.  Afterwards, I found a little corner and sifted through my stuff, putting back some items.

Signs on the walls let us know that all items on the tables are $1.49 per lb.  While in line for the cashier, I found out they were having a special and all items (except clothing) were only 69 cents a pound!!  Woo hoo!  I purchased 22 items and paid a whopping $16.70.  I hope to parlay that into $600-plus in gross sales!

I was there for about 3 hours and much of the time was spent waiting for the new tables to come out – about every 15-20 minutes.  I was a little disappointed that I did not find more household items or electronics, but I was happy with my haul. 

The 69-cent sale ends this week.  So, guess what?  Yup, I went back on yesterday.  Come back for Part II.

3 comments:

  1. I love this series you do on the Goodwill Outlets. We had the same kind of experience. It's a lot of fun and it just takes time to pick through the bins as stuff comes out. I didn't know they auctioned the bins off in the morning.

    It's also funny how there seems to be regulars who have their designated spots and carts. Definitely felt a little territorial, but it was fine once we learned the rules and jumped in.

    We did a little podcast about our experience here: http://tinyw.in/7rKk
    Anyway, glad we found your blog. Love your approach.

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    1. Hi Jay, so glad you stopped by for a visit ... because it gave me an opportunity to find your blog and podcasts! Just got to one today, but plan to go back through the rest. Have added you to my blog roll. I agree with you that it's just a matter of getting used to the "rules" to get into your own comfort zone - just like anything else that is new. Gotta love the great deals!

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  2. Is this the outlet store on Palm Lane?

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