Goodwill Shopping Tips: Six Secrets To Finding Fashion Deals

I love scoring a great deal, especially on fashion. My mother, who has impeccable classic taste, instilled in me years ago the talent of shopping for deals!

Our local Nashville Goodwill locations are my favorite places to score deals. Some DIYers love Goodwill for furniture and home accessories they can transform with a coat of paint or fresh fabric. I love Goodwill for fashion finds. Some of my most epic finds have been a gorgeous red CABI winter coat and Seven for All Mankind jeans (seen below with other recent Goodwill finds. They set me back a whopping $4.)

Scouring Goodwill for fashion deals is not for everyone, but if you are willing to dig you can find some amazing deals! It’s also a great way to recycle perfectly decent clothing that deserves another life. Before you turn your nose up at thrifting, be assured that people from all walks of life shop at Goodwill. Several of my friends, including someone married to a Grammy winning artist, shop at Goodwill!

goodwill shopping tips

Here are six secrets to finding fashion deals at Goodwill:

  1. Leave your size at the door. At Goodwill, all women’s items are generally displayed together. This means you may see a women’s size large shirt hanging next to a junior size large. I may not typically wear a women’s large, but I could probably wear a junior large.
  2. Be open minded. Shopping at Goodwill is like hitting a huge yard sale. You can’t go in with a super specific item in mind as you would at the mall. For example, you most likely can’t shop for a Free People sweater, BUT you can go in looking for a boho neutral sweater. So think style and color of item needed more than specific name brand. For example, I may go in looking for a black skirt or a pair of dark wash jeans.
  3. Shop the deals. As if Goodwill wasn’t reasonably priced enough, they have amazing sales. On weekends Goodwill of Middle Tennessee stores have 99 cent clothing deals and on a weekly basis there is a colored tag of the week for 50% off deals! Plus there are military, senior and even teacher discounts.
  4. Grab a cart and grab what looks promising. As you flip through clothing racks zero in on labels and toss anything that holds promise into your cart. If I see a great label, such as Anthropologie or Ann Taylor, and I remotely like the item I toss it in my cart. Goodwill fashionistas know their designer and boutique brands and they will grab that cashmere sweater you passed up. There is no, “I’ll just come back later for this designer top for just four bucks.” You snooze you lose baby.
  5. Give yourself time. I always hit Goodwill solo. My girls don’t want to spend a half hour doing anything with me, much less rummaging through used (but potentially fabulous!) clothing. I like to have at least 30 minutes to spend shopping, otherwise it’s just not worth it to me. My sister who is an empty nester, will spend an entire Saturday and hit multiple Goodwill locations and finds amazing deals beyond fashion, including some gorgeous items like Waterford crystal and high-end serving pieces for her dining table.
  6. Wear a simple outfit for marathon dressing room sessions. You’re going to want to try it on…try it ALL ON! Wear something that is simple to take off, such as jeans and a t-shirt or tunic top. This is retail ninja work people! You need to maximize your time so you can maximize your money.

Goodwill can be a great way to build your wardrobe on a budget and find some unusual pieces that aren’t what everyone else has ordered online or picked up at the mall. Be open to the diversity in customers shopping at Goodwill as well. You may see college students, millennials, retirees on a fixed income or fellow frugal fashionistas while shopping at Goodwill.

What fashion deals have you scored at your local Goodwill (or favorite thrift store)?

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3 comments

  1. Tammy says:

    I haven’t been to the Goodwill for over a year but this post has me inspired to shop Goodwill again 🙂 I always found some amazing things !!

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