How to Shop at Goodwill Wholesale

Goodwill Wholesale opens in Chaska on Saturday, Sept. 16. It's a vastly different experience from a traditional Goodwill store, with items available in bulk bins and priced by the pound. To give buyers an idea of what to expect, we asked seasoned wholesale pros Pacify MPLS to shed some light on the experience.


Pacify is a clothing brand that consists of three women who design and create streetwear. We place an emphasis on recycling garments or using sustainably-sourced fabric in everything we create. Goodwill has been crucial to our success at repurposing used clothing, especially denim, and turning it into wearable art. If you think you're getting a good deal shopping at regular Goodwill stores, you’re missing out…Goodwill Wholesale and Goodwill Outlet are the hidden treasures for finding the best deals. At the end of this guide, you will see a photo of our last Outlet haul, which was $10 total.

Goodwill Wholesale and Goodwill Outlets are not regular stores. There are no racks, no price tags, and nothing is sorted. Some items are priced by the piece or the inch, but most items are priced by the pound. When you enter, you will see rows and rows of enormous bins filled with everything from clothing to electronics. The immense variety of options might be overwhelming, but that is what makes it so exciting! Here's Pacify’s how-to on taking on Goodwill Wholesale.

  1. Grab a cart. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised by the amount of items that can rack up. Because most items are pay by the pound, you truly are getting a bang for your buck, so prepare accordingly. Plus, through the end of September 2017, by the pound pricing at Goodwill Wholesale in Chaska is just 99 cents.
  2. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Like we mentioned earlier, it's a different style of shopping. Instead of casually sifting through clothing racks, be prepared to dig through bins of unsorted clothing with your hands. Some people find it better to skim over all the bins, and some like to take time and dive deep into each one.
  3. Don't limit yourself to clothes. Searching through the clothes is only half the fun. A little-known fact about Goodwill Wholesale and Goodwill Outlets is that they have a great selection of books (priced at 15 cents per inch). There is also furniture, electronics, dinnerware, toys and more. We got all of the props for one of our recent Pacify photo shoots for less than $5 by finding them at the Outlet!
  4. Know the rules. Be aware of the shopping environment — there are some unspoken rules. For example, if you see an employee pushing out a new bin full of clothes, wait for an employee to give the “go” first before digging in. Don't be the one to make the rookie move.
  5. Be open-minded. If you come to Goodwill Wholesale or a Goodwill Outlet looking for a very specific item, you're gonna have a bad time. Come with an idea of something you're looking for, but be open-minded to what you might find. Have fun with it — you never know what you're going to take home!

To give you an example of how far you can stretch a dollar at Goodwill Wholesale or Goodwill Outlet, we did a haul this week and were able to pick up all the items pictured below for $10 total. Thanks for reading our guide; we hope this helps some first-timers. Be sure to check us out at pacifympls.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/pacifympls or on Twitter and Instagram at @pacifympls!

Pacify's six-piece Outlet haul