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Tips for Shopping at Goodwill

TIPS FOR SHOPPING AT GOODWILL

#1 - SHOP OFTEN

Unlike most stores, Goodwill is a new store every hour. We literally take donations at one door and move them directly to our sales floor all day long. Timing can be everything. Some days you may fill your cart with amazing finds, and other days you may leave empty handed...but unless you stop by often, you will never know what's waiting for you inside.

#2 - COLOR OF THE WEEK

If you haven't heard about Goodwill's Color of the Week - one of the best kept secrets of faithful Goodwill shoppers - take notice! You quickly know who the regulars are because they always ask as they enter the store, "What is today's color of the week?" Goodwill has a rotation system to keep all the goods in their store fresh.  Once an item is donated, it goes through the rotation system based on the color it has been tagged. The week prior to the color being "culled" or pulled from the sales floor to be sent to our Outlet Store is the color of the week. This last week it is in store, it is marked 50% off.  Each week as we process donations we tag goods with a color tag or barb.  All you need to do when shopping is look for items with the color of the week tags to SAVE 50%!

This probably leaves you asking what is this week's color of the week.  You can follow our Facebook page where we announce the color of the week every Sunday or see signs posted at our stores.

TIP #3 - VISIT ALL OUR STORES

Did you know that Goodwill of Central Oklahoma has 18 retail stores and 1 outlet store?  You would be missing out if you visited only one.  We have stores in Stillwater, Norman, Moore, Ada, Edmond, Yukon, Oklahoma City, Warr Acres, Midwest City, Shawnee and our 20th location will open in Ardmore in early 2016.  Our Attended Donation Centers feed merchandise to all our locations and so each are a new store everyday!  We cycle our donated goods so nothing ever gets "stale" and our customers can except fresh merchandise when they visit.

TIP #4 - LOOK FOR QUALITY

They say they don't make things like they used to - which is probably very true especially when you are shopping for furniture at Goodwill. Electronics on the other hand could be much more tricky since technology changes every day.  When shopping for clothing - read the labels and select well made brands that will wash and wear well.  You can easily update them with new accessories giving a seemingly outdated item a fresh look. 

TIP #5 - MAKE A LIST.  TAKE PHOTOS.

Needing something to decorate a wall or complete an outfit?  Don't shop without a list!  Write down all the items you are looking for and shop intentially.  If you are trying to match something or find the perfect "thing" for a space, take a photo of the items you are matching or the space you are shopping for. For example - need a top to go with a patterned skirt? Take a photo of the skirt on you phone so you can remember the color, design and style you are trying to match before leaving the house. If you are buying furniture - bring a tape measurer and measure the space you have so you don't buy anything too small or too large to accomodate it.

This tip will save you time and money.  Plus, it will keep you from buying too many impulse items - - a few are fine - - a cart full will mean unused clutter in your closet or home.

TIP #6 - PAINT - RECOVER - RENEW!

It always amazes me how simply you can transform something with a coat of paint.  With so many ideas on Pinterest and instructions to do about anything online, there is no excuse not to start a Do It Yourself project with items you find at Goodwill!  You purchase the items at a fraction of their original cost and create a one-of-a-kind piece that is perfect for your home or office. 

TIP #7 - SHOP AT PRIME TIMES

My favorite time to shop at Goodwill is over the weekend and early in the week.  Why? Because that's when most people have time to drop off their donations which leads to more merchandise on the sales floor.  Our trucks run everyday delivering goods from our 35 Attended Donation Centers so you never have to worry about having a good variety of goods to shop from.

TIP #8 - DISCOUNTS

You didn't know Goodwill offers discounts? We do! If you purchase a Goodwill Preferred Customer Card you save 10% OFF on all your purchases all year long! The best part - these cards are only $5 and are good for the entire calendar year.  If you trade in last year's card for this year's card the cost drops to $3!  

Our second discount is on Wednesdays for SENIORS (this is one time when it pays to be over 55). The discount is 15% and if you are a senior with a Preferred Customer Card - - you save a total of 25% on your purchases on Wednesdays!

The third discount is for Goodwill employees - a great reason to join our team! Goodwill employees receive 15% off their purchases everyday.  Plus, if you are an employee with a Preferred Customer Card that increases to 25% - and if you are over 55 and shop on Wednesday, it goes up to 40% off!

The greatest discount and the largest total discount you can receive is our Color of the Week discount which is 50%.  

TIP #9 - GOODWILL GRAND OPENINGS

If you haven't been to a Goodwill Grand Opening - you are missing out!  Not only do you get to shop in a beautiful new store, we load the store with NEW and donated goods.  We want all our customers to come see the new store and to get you in the doors, we purchase truck loads of new goods - overstocks from other retailers. Each opening is different but in the past we have had appliances, furniture, patio furniture, sporting goods, housewares, TV's and more. Once you come to a Grand Opening at Goodwill you will be hooked!

You won't have to wait long to experience a Goodwill Grand Opening - we have a new store opening in Ardmore in early 2016. Like our Facebook page to keep posted when stores open.

TIP #10 - BUY SOMETHING. DONATE SOMETHING.

To prevent having a cluttered and unmanageable closet, remember to bring a bag of donations with you everytime you shop.  We only wear about 15% of what is in our closet so why struggle to squeeze in something new when you can put your unused stuff and clothing to good use creating jobs for people in your community!  Keep a small box or bag in strategic locations in your home and when something is no longer needed or broken, drop it in.  What we can't sell we will recycle - even the box your donation comes in!  

HAPPY SHOPPING!