Donate to Other Thrift Stores

Just a warning out there to all you good people that donate to Goodwill, thinking that you are helping the needy out. I know from firsthand experience that my local Goodwill Stores receive way more items than they can sell in their stores. So for years now, they send their "surplus" items to a Goodwill Outlet store. At these stores, things are thrown into tubs to be picked over by people. The pricing is done by the pound. The more you buy, the cheaper it is.

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Well, the people doing the picking are commonly doing it to send to relatives in different countries. Or, there are some that are buying for scrap metal. I see hundreds and hundreds of things broken, ripped, smashed and trashed as the people are sorting through things. If you think your nice stuff is being resold at Goodwill, think again.

Donate to any other thrift store besides Goodwill. Their prices are getting too expensive and it is a travesty to see so much good stuff being thrown around like garbage.

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September 24, 20151 found this helpful

Linda: You get half my vote. I too do not donate or shop at the stores, not because they sell by the pound, but because of what they can pay their employees.

A year or so ago, NBC did an expose on Goodwill paying some of their more disabled workers just .22 an hour. The CEO for Oregon makes almost 400 K per year. It's due to how fast they can work vs. their coworkers who have no challenges. That is not worth getting out of bed for.

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If you want to be appalled, check it out here. www.nbcnews.com/.../more-disabled-workers-paid-just-pennies...

As for the bin shopping, it is sometimes the only way that some people can help their relatives and keep their kids in clothes. They find housewares, rugs, bedding, shoes, books, bikes, furniture, holiday decorations, heaters and fans...well you get the picture. And for 24 lbs at .89 per pound, they are getting a bargain and might not be able to afford more.

Donate to St. Vincent de Paul and Salvation Army. They do good work and aren't money grubbers.

I do agree it's a good deal to take advantage of their lowest prices but ripping off a blind man...yeah that is as low as you get.

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September 26, 20151 found this helpful

Again, as I have pointed out before, it is a more complicated situation than most people realize. This is from the article linked:

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"The low wages you have referenced are extraordinary situations," said Goodwill Industries International spokesperson Lauren Lawson. For example, sometimes an employee will work for a few minutes but then stop producing for the rest of the shift because of an emotional or behavioral issue. Unlike a typical employer, Goodwill does not dismiss an employee in such situations.

A lot of very disabled employees can barely produce work, however, in this case will not be fired. The work gives them something to do to feel productive and get out of their house. If they were paid minimum wage, the work model would not be financially sustainable and they would not be able to work at all.

It is a great idea to insist on equal pay for all, but in practice if this is enforced it may have unintended consequences in that disabled employees will not be hired.

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October 4, 20150 found this helpful

I've signed up with Purple Heart. They call about two to four times a year, and pick up from my house.

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It's convenient since we share one car in my household. Great way to donate the clothes and toys my boys outgrow.

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October 4, 20150 found this helpful

I donate to Salvation Army and Vietnam Veterans. They will come to your home and pick up your donation and give you a receipt for income tax purposes. I have stopped donating to Goodwill because they have raised their prices in their stores and their online auctions are so unreasonable you can buy items new for less.

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October 31, 20151 found this helpful

I also will not donate any more to Goodwill. On occasion, when searching for something specific , I will check out our local Goodwill, but I'll only on those rare occasions. I had a very low point in my life many years back. I was advised to go to local organizations, for assistance. Salvation Army literally saved me from that sad, dark time. I was given some money to be applied to utilities I could not pay, and filled my cupboards with food so my disabled son and I could eat. As I know, from experience, the monies that Salvation Army earns will stay in the community, and help those in need locally. My gratitude will never be forgotten. When Goodwill was contacted, guess what they offered for community assistance? You guessed it.....nothing.

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Both of these stores take DONATED items, sell them, and that is where the similarities end. Salvation Army uses their donation money to organize soup kitchens, and many other programs that assist needy local families. Goodwill takes the money gained from DONATED, for free, items, and stuff the money into the pockets of administration, and taking advantage of disabled citizens under the guise of "providing them job opportunities". In my opinion, their "good will" Is nonexistent. So my advice? Before handing your extra items or outgrown clothes to any organization, find out the background of that organization, and if the monies received are applied to something you believe is worthwhile and beneficial.
Another question I have in reference to Goodwill is this: when visiting one Goodwill, the prices charged are set at one price. Then, when shopping at a different Goodwill store, you find the prices are either significantly higher or lower than the other store. I'm sure its all according to the income level of the community. The higher the average income locally, the higher the pricing. Just a guess.
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I just wanted to share my experiences and what I've learned to inform those who are misled by Goodwill's misrepresentation. And to share the uplifting experience that Salvation Army afforded me. I am happy to say that I am in a much better place now, so when I have items to donate, I don't even hesitate. I head straight to Salvation Army and hand them over with gratitude.

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December 30, 20150 found this helpful

I must agree with Abigail A. knowing the situation first hand as well. I used to work at Goodwill and know both sides and the two different areas being discussed. The area where items thrown into bins and mishandled is the weigh and pay. I worked in that area and that is some hard work. Items are thrown and tossed and so forth to move them quickly in and out. Yes, there are people there buying to send and sell to other countries, of course, and there are some searching for scrap metal. There were also book dealers, EBay sellers, antique searchers and church organizations. They all were there picking through the bins. Although things became ripped, trashed and smashed, some still took the items and fixed them up or excused the appearance because of the price. But before the item even lands in weigh and pay the actual retail store usually scans to ensure its not is what is considered a good item. Dependent upon condition and or how long it has been in the retail store is what determines if the item is sent to weigh and pay. But thats the same thing with the mark downs in almost any store, Goodwill just has a more dramatic downfall I guess. I also worked in the other area with those that hung clothes, and did very small tasks. FYI those that worked in weigh and pay received minimum wage for every hour that they were on task. But that did not always happen, behaviors happen and Goodwill understands and accommodates and tries to get individuals back on task so they can eventually have a job they are paid for every hour without behaviors. Those individuals are higher functioning individuals and the smaller tasks are completed by lower functioning individuals. Clothes that the weigh and pay didnt sell the other clients would take off the racks and put in a bin. For the task of putting the clothes in the bin clients are paid per piece. Some could complete this task with no problem and others only did what they felt like. But they were paid for all that they did. Most of the clients lived in group homes had friends who worked with them and didnt care too much about the tasks. They enjoyed being there. Those that think its not enough to roll out of bed for may want to rethink that. They developed relationships, went on outings, and were able to do other things they enjoy while there. I was a skills-trainer and you did things for your clients. If they needed something you didnt mind taking them to run an errand. We would go out to eat, parks, wherever we could. But back to pay, if Client A does one piece of work and Client B does 30 of course client A will make less. If client A is paid 3 cents per piece and does nothing else thats what they made. I would think that is similar to Amazon Turk or virtual bee where youre paid per keystroke. I dont understand the disconnect. I think certain extreme situations were cherry picked for that expose. As far as the retail store prices, I have no idea what is going on online. I think they have lost it. I have never heard of Goodwill offering financial assistance. I know them for providing job opportunities and training to those in difficult situations and some areas offer housing I thought. But my pay sucked and higher ups were like Big Bucks. It was great training and I learned so much, but I had to do a lot as well. Goodwill isnt all good but it isnt all bad.

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December 30, 20150 found this helpful

Yeah, I worked there, too. Pay per piece makes way more sense when people can't easily stay on task. There is nothing wrong with it. To force them to pay someone a per-hour wage that's the same as everybody else when they may get no work done that particular hour makes no sense and isn't sustainable.
Most people don't realize the massive volume that Goodwill turns over. They have warehouses full to the top with refrigerator-sized cardboard boxes of just stuff and clothes. They've got to turn it over somehow. A lot goes to other countries, and the worst clothes get recycled into carpet.

I do agree there are problems, but Goodwill does need to make a profit to support their programs. They have a child mentoring program, an employment program that helps seniors find jobs and get job skills, green and energy efficient jobs training, online education courses in basic subjects, a program that helps single moms find jobs, an after school program for young adults with learning disabilities, programs for farmers and ranchers with disabilities. They also do home care and in my state administer the energy assistance program. There's even more than that.

To say, "just don't give to them," makes me think that people just don't have any idea the multitude of community projects they run or are involved in.

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