13 Things to Shop for at Goodwill

Thanks to Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring, Northeast Ohio’s largest family-frugal website for this article.


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We’ve mentioned in the past about how shopping second-hand can be a helpful part of sticking to your budget.  Goodwill is a great resource for some second-hand treasures if you know what to look for!  Here are my top 13 Things to Shop for at Goodwill:

  • Kids’ Bikes and Skates: Especially when kids are little, they outgrow bikes and skates quickly!  You can often find gently-used bikes and skates at a great price, and you can save up for when they’re older and will use it for more than a year.
  • Kids’ Athletic Gear: No one wants to drop a fortune on sports gear while their kids are just trying things out to see what they like best.  You can often find balls, gloves, bats, bags, and other equipment at a price that you won’t mind paying.
  • Dorm Room Treasures: Outfitting a new “home away from home” this year?  Check Goodwill for furniture, small appliances, housewares, dishes, and more.
  • Furniture for Craft Projects: There are so many cool DIY projects on Pinterest, where people have used paint and a few crafty skills to turn worn-out used furniture into a showpiece.  You can frequently pick up chairs and small tables for just a few dollars, and they can make great foundations for crafty projects.
  • Costumes: Whether you find a ready-made costume, or put one together from pieces you find on the clothing racks, Goodwill can be a gold mine for Halloween or when your kids need a costume for a play.
  • Hobby Equipment: Trying out a new hobby?  Before buying retail, check the Goodwill shelves to see if you can find what you need.  There might be others who tried it before you and didn’t stick with it, and you can benefit!
  • Collectibles: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure!  It’s always worth a look through the collectibles to see if something from your favorite collection is there.
  • Baby Gear: It’s always nice to have an extra high chair, swing, bouncy seat, or stroller at grandma’s house.  While parents might want new items to have at home, Goodwill is a great option for those extras.
  • Frames: You can find a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, usually at very low prices.  Use them as-is, or grab a can of spray paint to make them match.  (lots of Pinterest ideas for this too!)
  • Kitchenware and Small Appliances: Dishes could be used for craft projects (or in any way you’d find useful), and Goodwill is a great place to pick up an extra Crock Pot or to try out a bread maker.
  • Kids’ Play Clothes or Dress Clothes: Goodwill has aisles of kids’ clothes, and it’s nice to find clothes that can get dirty outside that didn’t cost you  fortune.  Special occasion clothing may have been worn only a few times, so you can get very gently-used dressy items at a bargain price as well!
  • Clothes, Shoes, and Accessories for Teens and Adults:  Goodwill clothes aren’t just for kids!  You might be amazed at how many adult items get donated never worn, with tags still attached.  It can be a treasure hunt, but some name brand labels can end up on the racks and shelves–it’s worth a look!
  • Toys: It’s nice to be able to walk through the toy aisle and be able to say “yes” to a little treat when your kids ask, and know it won’t cost you much.  Many are gently-used and not too old–you can find some nice things for just a few dollars.

A few tips for shopping Goodwill:

  • Stop by often: If you don’t see what you are looking for on your first visit, check back.  Donations come in daily, so the stock is constantly changing.  Browse frequently if you’re looking for specific items.
  • Find out the markdown schedule: Different days can mean different discounts on specific items.  Learn when those discounts happen so you can enjoy them!
  • Ask for help: Knowledgeable staff and volunteers might know exactly where your sought-after treasure is–ask if you’re looking for something specific.
  • Also check out Goodwill’s Outlet Store (location here) and blue / A GOODWILL® BOUTIQUE / (location here).