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Old 08-04-2020, 08:26 AM
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Default Beware donating to Goodwill Industries--people reselling stuff at HUGE markups



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I've never had to buy at Goodwill Industries. I have donated a few items over the years.

Last night I was talking to my brother. He said his wife's sister has made a lot of money cherry-picking items at Goodwill. And then reselling them at a huge markup on Ebay.

In fact, she (and some others) stand inline to be the first in the morning when a new shipment comes in. They buy the best items and then resell them.

She's bragging that she bought $60 worth of stuff, and has resold it for over $2000.

Is Goodwill aware of this scam? Are they taking any steps to counter it? I thought Goodwill was more of a charity, intended to help people who needed it. Am I wrong about this?

My advice---if you have something to donate, give it to a more accountable charity such as your local church. They are probably better aware whether a "recipient" is deserving of this help.

Thoughts? Opinions?
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:36 AM
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What is the scam that you see?

I make weekly pilgrimages to four Goodwill stores in my area on senior day. Senior day is 25% off. Today is senior day in my area.

I don't resell the items, but I have over 1000 Blu-rays and DVDs in my collection that I purchased for a couple of bucks each at Goodwill stores over the years. There are plenty of good deals on electronics and tools, as well. I know people who hunt for antiques at Goodwill stores and they sometimes score very nice items.

Buying and reselling Goodwill items is not a scam as long as they are not selling the items as new. Those same sellers probably also hit estate sales and garage sales. I know several eBay sellers who do that. If you are trying to make a living selling on eBay, you have to pick up unique items for very low prices. If you try selling what everyone else is selling, then competition, eBay, and PayPal will take all your profit.

I've always thought the scam was Goodwill itself. The CEO pays himself $600k per year. He pays his employees minimum wage. He has zero cost for inventory, so the selling price is 100% gross profit. The jobs they tout as creating are the minimum wage store personnel. There is no sweeter business model than that.

More power to your sister-in-law if she finds items for $60 that she can sell for $2,000. I don't think that happens very often.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:41 AM
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Goodwill has its own website and they cherry pick before it gets put on the floor for your SILS ever wonder why there's no camping gear, Coleman stuff,. Decent knives
Check out the website
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:47 AM
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That wouldn't happen near me i stopped donating to goodwill when i found out they were reselling stuff at almost retail prices and workers would have first pick to take stuff home for free. Plus they had a program where companies would send easy work to goodwill that would hire mentally handicapped people with the understanding that they would be paid a certain wage to try and teach them things only to find out they started hiring non handicapped individuals instead at lower wages and kept the rest. Many companies stopped sending them work. I donate to St. Vincent's instead now.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:49 AM
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There are people that go to the local sorting place everyday. They buy up stuff to re-sell online or at their own yard sales or even shops. One guy I know checks every pocket on packs, luggage, golf bags etc. Money, diamond rings, watches, other jewelry, camera, phones for sixty cents a pound.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:54 AM
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That wouldn't happen near me i stopped donating to goodwill when i found out they were reselling stuff at almost retail prices and workers would have first pick to take stuff home for free. Plus they had a program where companies would send easy work to goodwill that would hire mentally handicapped people with the understanding that they would be paid a certain wage to try and teach them things only to find out they started hiring non handicapped individuals instead at lower wages and kept the rest. Many companies stopped sending them work. I donate to St. Vincent's instead now.
It is against Goodwill policy for the employees to buy anything. I talk to people who work for Goodwill. Sometimes I find a very good deal on something and the checkout clerk will comment that they wished they could buy some of the stuff in the store.

Yeah, like I said, if anything is close to a scam it's the Goodwill business model. It's not the resellers who go there to buy cheap and resell the items. People donate to Goodwill so Goodwill can sell the items. Everyone wins.

My wife is looking for more reading material, so I will probably pick up several hardcover books today for about two bucks each. Every bargain hunter out there should be looking at Goodwill stores.
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Old 08-04-2020, 08:54 AM
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It's no different then buying something at a garage sale and reselling it.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:08 AM
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I will never buy or sell anything to goodwill, they don't even pay there employees minimum wage, while the managers rake in profits on donated goods. They are not a charity, but they want you to think they are.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:17 AM
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I agree with Aer. I know people "work" at Goodwill and they are taken advantage of.

I know a lot of people break into the donation box at Salvation Army, etc, cherry pick "good" items and steal them. So that happens as well.

Hell, when I had movers take my stuff out of a flooded house quite a bit never came back. They stole case of Bibles, a box full of syringes and b-12 for injections, clothes, unopened case of protein shakes, etc. And all my jewelry. I have a titanium ring that was on my finger the day this happened and that is it.

So I can absolutely believe people would raid the donation box as well, even if I HADN'T seen it with my own eyes.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:18 AM
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The only real scam is that they convince everyone that they are a charity when they donate such a small amount of their sales to charity and take advantage of others.

https://medium.com/@aliceminium/the-...e-183967087a1e

Flipping an item found at a store is not a scam unless an employee who works there priced it low and bought it themselves.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:25 AM
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As said, people do the same thing at yard sales and such. My daughter volunteered at the Salvation Army store here and on Saturday morning, you better not get in front of the old men rushing in when it opens, You will get trampled. These guys buy all the good tools and such and resell at the flea market or eBay. I did my rounds when I was between jobs and made a few bucks to buy gas to interviews. For the most part in my area Goodwill is full of junk and worn out clothes. Maybe I am not early enough to find the rare gem though. I once had a co-worker tell me she would never give to Goodwill because they cut the clothes that they could not sell up into rags. If they can't sell them, then what is the issue? No one wants a woman's 1980's avacado power suit.

If you look at eBay you will also see lots of Goodwill location accounts that sell cherry picked stuff. I have bought several books that way. They like selling books because media mail shipping is cheap. So this way they can make a bit more on some of the stuff. That is why businesses operate, to make money. Now what non-profits do with that money is a whole other story.

I would say that the SIL is bragging about her top day. She could have easily spent $60 and not had anything sell. I bought a vintage pair of overalls at a yard sale and they never sold. Ones of the same brand/vintage and in worse condition sold for more while mine just set there. eBay is a weird market. Sometimes you see something worn out sell for $1000, but the EXACT same item in like new condition sells for $50 in the same week. It is all a gamble.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:33 AM
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Some here say that it's no different than buying something at a garage sale, and then reselling it.

I think there IS a difference. Goodwill proudly proclaims it is a charity. A garage sale is not necessarily a charity. (Unless, perhaps, they are holding a sale that is dedicated to something like medical expenses).

They also enjoy tax-free status.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooeyhll View Post
Some here say that it's no different than buying something at a garage sale, and then reselling it.

I think there IS a difference. Goodwill proudly proclaims it is a charity. A garage sale is not necessarily a charity. (Unless, perhaps, they are holding a sale that is dedicated to something like medical expenses).

They also enjoy tax-free status.
Goodwill IS NOT a charity. It doesnt matter what they states. Even if they are, what is the difference? Would Goodwill have gotten more money if the people didnt resell the item? I dont understand your argument.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:41 AM
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It's no different then buying something at a garage sale and reselling it.
Gotta love the free market system. People aren't happy unless they have something to complain about.

During the "Great .22 Shortage", had a couple people here in AZ-land doing the Walmart Shuffle every day buying up whatever .22 that was available and then reselling at substantial markups. And, naturally of course, guys were complaining about it on the local forums. Even though some of them were stupid enough to admit they had bought some from said resellers.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooeyhll View Post
Some here say that it's no different than buying something at a garage sale, and then reselling it.

I think there IS a difference. Goodwill proudly proclaims it is a charity. A garage sale is not necessarily a charity. (Unless, perhaps, they are holding a sale that is dedicated to something like medical expenses).

They also enjoy tax-free status.
So in your opinion should Goodwill be charging the 2000 dollars for the goods they sold for 60 dollars? Should they of charged 60 dollars for the goods and magically know not to sell to flippers? Or should goodwill only be able to sell to poor people?

Your argument seems flawed and I am guessing your are angry someone might of profited off the stuff you did not need that was donated. But really does it matter if you donated it odds are it was worthless to you and was 1 step above being thrown away.
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Old 08-04-2020, 09:57 AM
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March Of Dimes donates 10 cents out of every dollar to their charity, and spend the rest on themselves. "Management"
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:07 AM
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Flipping items you purchased is not a scam.

I just recently flipped two properties, sans scam.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by zooeyhll View Post
I've never had to buy at Goodwill Industries. I have donated a few items over the years.

Last night I was talking to my brother. He said his wife's sister has made a lot of money cherry-picking items at Goodwill. And then reselling them at a huge markup on Ebay.

In fact, she (and some others) stand inline to be the first in the morning when a new shipment comes in. They buy the best items and then resell them.

She's bragging that she bought $60 worth of stuff, and has resold it for over $2000.

Is Goodwill aware of this scam? Are they taking any steps to counter it? I thought Goodwill was more of a charity, intended to help people who needed it. Am I wrong about this?

My advice---if you have something to donate, give it to a more accountable charity such as your local church. They are probably better aware whether a "recipient" is deserving of this help.

Thoughts? Opinions?
I think you are missing the entire point of Goodwill, I also think if you want to see a scam look at Goodwill's entire business plan.

If I understand it correctly, Goodwill "hires" people who can't get jobs through gov't programs, Goodwill pays them maybe $2 an hour and the gov't pays the rest pays the rest to cover up to minimum wage. That is what they call "job training" Once the people quit and get a better job they call it "job placement" The crap they can not sell in their stores they compact into giant bails and send it to third world countries, which prevents any chance of those countries being self sufficient. As I understand it that is the limit of their charity. All the money goes to the owners.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooeyhll View Post
I've never had to buy at Goodwill Industries. I have donated a few items over the years.

Last night I was talking to my brother. He said his wife's sister has made a lot of money cherry-picking items at Goodwill. And then reselling them at a huge markup on Ebay.

In fact, she (and some others) stand inline to be the first in the morning when a new shipment comes in. They buy the best items and then resell them.

She's bragging that she bought $60 worth of stuff, and has resold it for over $2000.

Is Goodwill aware of this scam? Are they taking any steps to counter it? I thought Goodwill was more of a charity, intended to help people who needed it. Am I wrong about this?

My advice---if you have something to donate, give it to a more accountable charity such as your local church. They are probably better aware whether a "recipient" is deserving of this help.

Thoughts? Opinions?
Yeah ... when they stopped being a charity and became a "for profit" organization I stopped donating to them.
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Old 08-04-2020, 10:25 AM
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Goodwill is NOT a charity. They have to sell stuff this cheaply due to the shear volume they receive. I used to go to a Goodwill auction. Pretty easy to make $3000 a month on ebay and Craigslist reselling before 2015. Now? Not so easy. Goodwill runs their own ebay site and the own online auction as well. The woman who ran the auction jacks all the jewelery for herself. And yes, employees are not allowed to buy, but I have bought for many of the employees. It's all a scam, but as I stated, shear volume is why they have to sell things readily and relatively cheaply.
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