You can earn money and make more sales on eBay by sourcing items from a Goodwill Outlet or Bins store. I’ve increased my profits and boosted my bottom line by doing this because of how cheap the items at the Goodwill Outlet stores are.
Goodwill Outlets are pay by the pound stores. When you’re finished shopping, the cashier weighs your products and calculates the cost based on the store’s price per pound. Every Goodwill outlet is different, but the outlets I’ve gone to usually range between $1.49 and $1.70 per pound.
This makes the cost of goods EXTREMELY cheap at Goodwill outlets. You can get several clothing items for only a few dollars. However, it comes with a catch that we’ll soon cover.
Learn how to earn more money on eBay by sourcing items from the Goodwill Outlet.
Why is it called a Goodwill Bins store?
Goodwill Outlet stores are often called “Bins” stores because the items are all held in giant blue bins. Items are sporadically placed in piles inside of the bins, thus getting its nickname the Bins store.
This feature of Goodwill Outlet stores is the one catch we mentioned previously. Not all of the items that make it to the outlet stores are top quality. At Goodwill retail stores, employees curate and distribute only the best donations for customers to buy. The junk is either thrown away or makes its way to the bins.
For this reason, a lot of the products you find at the Goodwill Outlet store have holes, stains or some other defect. You really have to do some digging when sourcing from Goodwill outlets because there truly are some hidden gems buried underneath those piles.
Tips to make money at Goodwill Outlet or bins
Use these tips below to start making money by sourcing items at Goodwill Outlet stores.
- Do your research on eBay and learn a niche
- Get to the Goodwill outlet early
- Bring the right equipment
- Dig around in the bins
- Check all your Goodwill outlet items for holes or stains
- Research sales of every item on eBay before checking out
- Calculate rough profit margins before buying
- Learn how to roughly estimate weight
Do your research on eBay and learn a niche
Before going to source items at a Goodwill Outlet store, make sure you first learn a niche. In general, Goodwill Outlet stores can be tricky for new resellers to navigate. Customers get aggressive, the bins are dirty and items of all kinds can be found.
For these reasons, we suggest looking up some sold comps of used items in general. Do your research on which brands sell well and which are not worth your time. You don’t have to be ane expert to start sourcing items from the Goodwill Outlet store, but you do have to know a bit about the items you’re looking for.
For example, understanding that brands like Nike and Lacoste resell for more money and faster than brands like Mossimo Supply Co is important. Once you learn what brands to look for, you’re ready to start shopping at the bins for items to resell.
Get to the Goodwill Outlet early
You have to get to the Goodwill Outlet early if you want to find the best items. Customers will start lining up before the store even opens.
You should try to be one of those customers who stands in the line waiting for the store to open. It’ll give you an advantage in finding better products before they are bought by someone else.
Of course, you don’t have to arrive at the store too early. Getting to the outlet store 15 minutes in advance should work just fine. The goal is to be there when they open the doors so you get first pick of the new donations they put out.
Bring the right equipment
Bring rubber gloves with you because the bins at the Goodwill Outlet can be extremely dirty. You don’t want to reach your arms deep into a bin and find out you’re sorting through someone’s old socks or underwear. It’s not a great feeling, trust me I know.
Besides gloves, you’re going to need your phone with the eBay app installed so you can look up sold items while you’re there. Having access to the eBay app is so important while out the bins because it’s the only way to truly know the market value of the items you’re sourcing.
One bonus piece of equipment I personally suggest is bringing a pair of headphones. I love talking to others at the Goodwill Outlet, but sometimes I just want to source products. During days like that, I pop my headphones in and listen to music while I dig through the pins. Just my opinion.
Dig around in the bins
You’re going to have to really get into the bins to find the gems at the Goodwill Outlet stores. There will be a lot of junk, but there are always some great items buried in the mix as well. You’ll really have to get elbow-deep in some of the bins to find the best items.
I really don’t have a trick for doing this besides wearing gloves. It’ll protect you from anything inside that you might not want to touch. I always take a shower when I come home from the bins as well.
Check all your Goodwill Outlet items for holes or stains
Once I’m done sourcing my items at the Goodwill Outlet, I like to pull my cart aside and go through my pile. While doing this, I search for any imperfections on my items. From stains to rips and holes, you’ll be surprised what a second look will find.
In general, I make it a point not to buy clothing items with rips or holes. Unless it’s extremely profitable, you’ll just end up wasting your money. If a clothing piece has a small stain and I think I can get it out, I’ll still buy it. But usually, I avoid stained clothing as well.
I also suggest looking at your pile of clothes in different lighting in the store. Different lighting will reveal different stains and flaws on the clothing items. Outlet stores might contain some great steals without holes or stains, unlike brick-and-mortar retail stores that have already been sifted through and sent to ShopGoodwill.
Research sales of every item on eBay before checking out
Another thing I like to do after sourcing my items is research sold comps on eBay. It truly helps me confirm the items I’m about to buy will eventually sell for more money.
I don’t just look up how much the pre-owned items resell for, I also compare the number of listings available to the number sold. This helps me gauge how quickly an item will sell. It’s called the item’s sell-through rate.
Calculate rough profit margins before buying
Everyone has different profit margins they like to look for when reselling. Most people aim to double their money. But you can get much better returns than that at a Goodwill Outlet store since the items are so cheap.
Do a rough calculation of how much money you think you might make per item before you check out. Make sure you factor in eBay fees, shipping costs and the potential price of goods. It’s just a quick method I use to reassure my efforts were not in vain.
Learn how to roughly estimate weight
If you’re a veteran reseller, then it’s likely you already know how to gauge the weight of an item by eyeballing it. But if you’re new to reselling, it might be a little bit difficult.
In general, shirts and cotton goods are going to be pretty light, less than a pound. Clothing made out of denim, like jeans, will be a little heavier and will weigh between 1 and 2 pounds per item. Hard goods can range but typically weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. Most pairs of cheap shoes and sneakers also range between 1 and 3 pounds.
Conclusion: Use the Goodwill Outlet to increase profit
Goodwill Outlet stores are great places to increase profit margins as a reseller. You can buy goods for next to nothing, but you really have to examine them to make sure they are in good enough condition to sell. If not, you’ll be getting a lot of return requests. Learn how you can get fewer return requests.
With the price of goods at Goodwill retail stores trending upward, outlet stores are the solution for resellers who don’t want to pay $5 for a shirt or pair of pants. These bins stores help resellers continue to remain profitable from this side hustle or full-time gig.