5 Goodwill Shopping Tips That Only Pro Thrifters Know

I do a whole lot of thrifting. Enough to walk into my local thrift shops and recognize the people working and have them recognize me. Some people even hold things aside that they know I’ll like. When you frequent the shops as much as I do, you learn a thing of two. There are some secret tips and Goodwill shopping tips that not everyone knows. I could keep all the hidden secrets to myself, but where’s the fun in that?

The thrift shop is an intimidating place. I might make it look easy, but that’s just because practice makes perfect. The more you go to thrift stores, the easier it gets. It also helps to have some pro thrifting friends on your side. Lucky for you, I have a lot of Goodwill shopping tips in my thrift hiding in arsenal. These can be applied to almost any store, but are specifically for the charitable chain.

I used to think of thrift stores like department stores, when I first started thrifting. You go in, check the price tag, and take the item to the counter. My journey to living purposefully has changed all of that. Thanks to these Goodwill shopping tips, I walk in knowing that I’m going to save even more money and get great items every time.

goodwill shopping tips

1. There’s A Rewards Card

Yep! Goodwill has a point system, just like many of your other favorite shopping spots. For every $1 spent, you get a point. After you rack up 100 points, you get $5 off. That might not seem like a lot, but $5 is a whole lot in the thrift world. There’s nothing better than getting up to the register with your budget in mind and finding out that you’re saving even more money.

Around certain holidays, they do sales with the car as well. You might get double or even triple points on a certain day. That’s why it’s good to sign up for the email as well.

2. The Good Stuff Is In The Back

Goodwill is constantly getting item donated to the store. What you see is not all that’s there. If you don’t see a particular furniture item on the floor, there’s a good chance that it could be in the back. All you have to do is ask a worker to lead you to the back, and odds are they’ll let you.

Sometimes they even let you go through some clothing piles, if you’re lucky. You know that scene in #GirlBoss where she pays the thrift store to go through their non-tagged items? It’s just like that, but no bribing needed.

3. Cashiers Hold More Power Than You Think

When you go to a store, the cashier has one job β€” to ring the item up. At Goodwill, the cashiers have to manually type in the number and color of each item. That means that there’s room for some sweet talking.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my cashier that I’m a thrift blogger or chatted about an item I found and been rewarded for my kindness with a discount. I’m not saying that happens all the time, but it’s a nice Goodwill shopping tip to keep in mind.

goodwill shopping tips

4. You’re Allowed To Haggle

Just because Goodwill is a store doesn’t mean that there’s no room for haggling. Yes, the items are affordable, but nothing is set in stone. Sometimes I find items that have tiny holes in it or are slightly stained. I know that I can repair the find, but I still don’t want to pay “full price.”Β All you have to do is ask. I’m not saying that you’ll get extra money off every time, but the managers genuinely understand.

5. You Can Round Up

This Goodwill shopping tip doesn’t exactly save you money, but it is good to know. When you check out, you can ask them to round up your purchase. The extra pennies that would normally be rolling around in your purse are then donated to the charity. Like I said, it doesn’t save you money. It does however help give back even more and save you from having a bunch of pennies roll around in your purse.

I really hope these Goodwill shopping tips come in handy on your next trip. Please let me know if you end up using any of them. Do you guys have any secret hacks that I might’ve missed? I’d love to hear all about your thrifting advice in the comments!


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  1. Great tips! It’s great that you can haggle, and it all depends on if you have built a relationship with the staff there. They know the “regulars”. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! That’s one of my favorite parts too. You don’t save money, but giving back the tiny bit always makes me feel good xx.

  2. Great Tips, I generally do round up when I check out. Good karma in my bank right πŸ˜‰

    Someone above mentioned haggling it you are a regular. Honestly even if you are not a regular, they are generally happy to discount things if they honestly are priced to high. Never hurts to ask.

  3. I have thrift shop next to my house, I’ve never bought any clothes from it but now I kinda wanto to go.. like right now! XD Would you mind check out my page? Maybe we can follow each other and be internet friends! I’d mean the world to me.
    Love, Mimi


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