Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Goodwill Outlet Store

Today a coworker was talking about reading the Yelp reviews of the Goodwill outlet store and how it sounded disgusting. For those of you who don't have your own outlet, it's known locally as "The Bins," and it's where the items at Goodwill go to die. Basically everything that didn't sell at the stores is dumped into giant rolling bins, and you sort through looking for missed treasures. They charge by the pound for most things. A sweater might be $1 or so, a shirt 50 cents. But they have everything: housewares, furniture, old records, books. A few weeks ago I found a Columbia Sportswear jacket in great shape (after a wash), for about $1.50. Of course stories abound of the $500 whatsit scooped up for a quarter.

The downside, of course, is that you might also find broken glass, underwear, really really dirty stuff, and people claim they've found rats and dirty diapers, although I don't know if I believe it. And, oh, the humanity! Lots and lot of people of all cultures and socio-economic status, from people who will resell items on ebay, to people who really need that 25 cent shirt.

Anyway, people in the reviews were saying, among positive comments, that they would NEVER shop there, or that you shouldn't do it without gloves and hand sanitizer. I will admit that I rummage VERY carefully, but last time I went, I didn't wash any body parts after my visit, just climbed into the car with my treasures and drove home. Actually, I think I even stopped at the grocery store. (But I still have to push myself to pick up a pen if I drop it on the floor at work. OCD is a funny thing.)


  1. Wow! I am impressed. I could never shop at Goodwill for regular stuff, let alone go through their bins. Amazing. That's all I have to say about that. :)

  2. Cool! I love shopping at thrift stores and Goodwill, and sometimes I'll start to think about things too much, but it passes because it's not my ocd focus--ocd is weird. . .

  3. I haven't been able to shop at thrift stores for years. Last time I stepped foot in one was about 6 years ago and I had a panic attack just walking in the door. I'd love to buy second-hand clothing (I'm a broke college student), but I just can't handle it. I don't think any number of washes would assuage my anxiety.

  4. I think a lot of it is that I went to thrift stores all the time before I had OCD. Not that I do everything that I did before, of course, or I wouldn't have OCD. But it makes it a little easier when I can remember that it used to be no problem at all.