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The thrill of finding an incredible deal is why I love thrift shopping so much. So when I saw that Goodwill launched an online platform last October, I was pumped. Hunting for Goodwill online deals straight from my couch? Sign me up.
The nonprofit organization has been around since 1902 and today operates more than 3,300 secondhand stores. But the launch of an online Goodwill — aka GoodwillFinds — is a totally new thing for them. I did some digging and put together my best tips and tricks for how to shop the new Goodwill online site, and what you might want to skip.
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1. Only select items get listed on GoodwillFinds.com.
Goodwill employees sort through donated items at their physical stores and make certain items available online through GoodwillFinds. As they make their selections, Goodwill employees take photos of the items, too.
As a shopper, you can add GoodwillFinds items to your cart just like you would at any other store. The site currently accepts all major credit cards and Apple Pay.
One of the main perks of shopping Goodwill this way is that you don’t have to sift through all the low-quality items. GoodwillFinds only selects items they think will sell well online, so you won’t find anything outdated or stained. Plus, avid thrifters know the disappointment of heading to the store only to find the same items there week after week. Since GoodwillFinds lists items sourced from all over the country, you’ll find a much larger variety.
2. But GoodwillFinds is more expensive than the physical store.
One of the main frustrations we’ve heard from GoodwillFinds shoppers is that their prices are generally much higher than you’d expect to find from Goodwill. Even items in the Sale section were significantly pricier than I’ve ever seen in the store. In fact, I found similar brands and styles listed for much less on Poshmark.
The lowest-priced item I could find on sale was this pair of youth slide slippers for $5.99. And out of 165,500+ items in the Sale section, only 11 items were less than $9. If you’re used to shopping in the physical store, you know these are high prices for Goodwill.
Related: We found all the best online thrift stores for clothing deals.
3. You can save 10% off your first order by signing up for emails.
While GoodwillFinds’ online prices are a bit higher than they are in Goodwill stores, the wide variety of inventory means you’re likely to find a good deal on something.
If you do plan to make a purchase, sign up for their emails so you get 10% off your first order. The only thing you need to provide is your email and ZIP code, which they’ll use to send you personalized updates for your local stores.
4. Shipping prices are a bit unpredictable with Goodwill online.
Items you order from GoodwillFinds might come from multiple warehouses around the country, so there’s no one-size-fits-all shipping charge.
Shipping gets calculated at checkout based on where each item is coming from and your delivery address. Their website states that orders generally ship within 2 – 4 business days, but frustrated online reviewers have reported much longer shipping and delivery times.
I added three items to my cart, entered my address, and shipping came out to $12.49 for my $85.97 order. I did see that you can add up to 49 items to each order on GoodwillFinds, but you likely won’t save any money by ordering all 49 items together.
TIP: Since Goodwill donates money to charitable organizations, they don’t offer deals for free shipping or shipping discounts — we checked.
5. Not all reviewers have had good experiences buying from Goodwill online.
Online reviewers have reported a variety of issues with their GoodwillFinds purchases. Some reviewers say shipping took much longer than anticipated. Others have said their items arrived damaged, ripped, or broken. In other cases, reviewers complained their order had been canceled before it shipped, likely due to items getting damaged or misplaced at the warehouse.
The online marketplace is still fairly new, so they may just be working out the kinks. But just beware that your order may take longer than expected to arrive.
TIP: You can check the status of your order by logging in and selecting “Order History” on your account dashboard, or by visiting the Check Order page.
6. GoodwillFinds won’t accept returns unless items are incorrect or damaged.
All sales on GoodwillFinds are final, and they do not accept returns — unless the item you receive arrives damaged or by mistake.
If your order arrives broken or incorrect, you have 14 days to email email@example.com with photos of the damaged or incorrect items. If they approve your refund, you should get it within three business days, back to your original form of payment. Though it can take up to 10 business days to actually see the balance credited to your account.
7. You can’t donate or sell your own items on GoodwillFinds.
Even though the site is super similar to resale platforms like Poshmark and Mercari, they don’t currently allow individuals to list or sell items. They only source their inventory from items that have been donated to physical Goodwill stores.
8. Some of the sale proceeds go to local communities.
Part of the proceeds from sales at both physical Goodwill stores and the GoodwillFinds website support local communities. The exact breakdown is a bit vague, but their FAQ page states that the brand provides jobs, career training, resources for foundational literacy, entrepreneurship skills, and childcare. The brand invests $0.87 of every dollar back into local communities.