Goodwill Goes Digital With Virtual Thrift Store GoodwillFinds

Rachel Curry - Author
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Oct. 5 2022, Published 11:37 a.m. ET

About 120 years after its 1902 founding, Goodwill Industries is diving into online thrifting with a platform of its own: GoodwillFinds.

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For lifelong vintage lovers, Gen Z thrifters, and everyone in between, Goodwill has served as an about face for lost trends and a home for somebody’s treasure. Now, GoodwillFinds enables shoppers to access its for-sale donated items online for the first time while funding its nonprofit ventures.

What is GoodwillFinds and how does it work?

The new GoodwillFinds is an online store that offers at least 100,000 donated items for sale. In the past, Goodwill only offered online auctions for certain items through its own website as well as Amazon and eBay. However, GoodwillFinds is a direct-sale e-commerce platform that streamlines the process.

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GoodwillFinds is a separate company from Goodwill International, but the online store will fund Goodwill’s community programs. With the new platform, Goodwill has truly leapt into the digital shopping space.

Using GoodwillFinds is straightforward.

  1. Get started by visiting www.goodwillfinds.com.

  2. Create an account in just a few seconds.

  3. Browse through the categories and shop the new arrivals, or search for specific items.

  4. Use Find a Store to connect with your local donation center. GoodwillFinds doesn't offer online selling of your own clothes or allow you to donate through a virtual process. You still have to visit one of the 3,300 Goodwill storefronts in the U.S. and Canada to donate items if you want to swap out some old for new-to-you.

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Using GoodwillFinds is easy for most shoppers. However, like in-store shopping, you may need to do some browsing to find gems that speak to you (though Goodwill has hinted at the fact it plans to incorporate personalized shopping recommendations based on purchase history over time).

Can anything replace an in-store Goodwill shopping experience?

There’s something about the treasure hunt of a Goodwill shopping exploration that makes your purchases feel special. However, GoodwillFinds makes thrifting more accessible (not everyone can spend hours sifting through racks), which will benefit the company down the line.

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For shoppers, having an online thrifting option that takes out the middlemen (read: Poshmark and the like) could be an economical option. However, many thrifters are likely to retain a preference for the in-store experience. The online shop features a lot of products at similar prices as in store, but it also is home to some exclusive items that come at a high price tag (like the Katy Perry Prism 2X Vinyl Record for $74.99 or the Roots Brown Genuine Leather Duffle Bag for $299.50).

On the flip side, data shows foot traffic to retail stores remains on a downtrend even as the COVID-19 pandemic’s severity wanes, so it comes at a good time.

The managing director at GlobalData Retail, Neil Saunders, told reporters, “Goodwill is a very big part of the second-hand market, but it’s been focused on stores. That is its heritage.” He added, “Online has been an afterthought and done very informally with the regions.” That’s no longer the case.

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