Goodwill as a survival store

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posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 10:19 AM
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I know the cost of prepping is outrageous.Anything that has to do with prepping,or for that matter,camping,has gone thru the roof.We all want to save our dollars for that black ugly rifle and ammo,yet you need other stuff to supplement it.As a Goodwill employee,I'll walk you thru a few idea's. First,find the store in the highest income area of your area.Why? High income usually means higher quality stuff gets donated! I work at the local high end store,but live near the local "old town" store.The quality,and volume,of good stuff is amazing! I'm not allowed to shop at the store I work at,so if I find a deal,I have to employ a shadow buyer for me.Against the rules,but only til I get caught! Tip number one...make a friend in the department you want.You need to be a regular to do this,so you'll be remembered.I have 1 guy that comes in daily,he comes in daily,knows us all by name,and lets us know what he's after....and annoying as heck!!! Friendly as all get out,but he'll run over someone to grab anything he thinks he wants,only to put it down after doing a little research.I usually hold out the good stuff to display til he leaves.I have another semi regular that only wants new,or near new household items,so I direct her to what I think is a great deal.Then I have a hot gal that loves to sweet talk me,and let her know when anything "good" comes in for her to stock her thrift store with.I like her!

tip 2..know the day and time!! This is critical...We have a half off saturday every 2 weeks.It's a madhouse for us!If you saw something on friday,but a little pricey,it will be gone after 10 minutes of opening.500 people flood in within an hour of opening,if you were on the edge,someone else got it by then,sorry.If you saw a GPS for 25 on friday,its 12.50 at 9 on saturday,and gone!Be early,or lose out. As far as time,there are certain times of the day we restock the shelves,usually 10.30,12.30,2.30,and 4.30,so be there about 20 minutes before,to catch us restocking the newly arrived items.Saturdays and sundays are the best for new items,as the yard salers donate the leftover stuff,so we are swamped! If its a sale saturday,we work the sunday,and roll out new stock every 2 hours,but we're off monday,so don't bother coming.If its a non sale saturday,we're off sunday,then the new stuff go's out on monday,so come then! And we're all off on wed,so don't come,but thursday am is a great time for new stock.
tip 3...KNOW YOUR PRICES!!! As a prepper myself,I know what I'd pay for an item.I bought my dehydrator at a yard sale for 5 bucks,new in the box.We often get new in the box items at my store,maybe duplicate wedding gifts,xmas gifts,whatever.Even tho Goodwill is a non profit,we still have to make enough to keep the doors open,and the employees have a "quota" to make,put out x number of items at an average price of Y.Depends on the amount and quality of the donations,but not out of reach.Obviously,we can't ask,or expect,new in the box prices,and we are allowed a lot of leeway,depending on our skills.I'm the car guy,mechanical type,so if anything of that nature comes in,they ask me for a price.If a guitar comes in,I ask this guy,if a vase comes in,I give it to another.My point is,none of us are experts.If we are not sure,we either underprice it,or over price it! Example,one guy just bought a small painting for 12.95...tossed it in his cart,did a google on it....worth 600 bucks! And the guy that put it out considered himself "educated" in art!! Point is,no goodwill employee is an "expert".
I'll give more tips and clues if this thread continues...Good will Goodwill hunting!!




posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 10:24 AM
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Goodwill helps me survive as it is now.

As a survival store? I have found things that are useful for preppers there. A Boy Scout mess kit was one item that I bought. A lot of things can be re-purposed with survival in mind.

More sources are yard sales, flea markets and pawn shops. Those venues will have axes, knives and tools not commonly found at Goodwill.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 10:27 AM
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i know each store operates uniquely...

there are many items that seem to be 'necessary' at the somewhat reduced prices...
getting many 'estate' consignments in this community as the aged go to their rewards & everything is donated to goodwILL


i will not share my insider info on this resource... our prepper cell needs first dibs



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 11:38 AM
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Dollar Stores are great too!I just got a nice 7 led headlamp with batteries for 3 bucks,it beats my old AA Mini MAGLight in brightness and is rated for 18 hours.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 02:32 PM
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Any of my local Goodwills are pure evil. First, their prices are often ridiculous for used items....second, they refuse to negotiate on prices, even when obviously damaged, etc. Then of course, there is their charity rating...which is absolutely horrid. Once got a $40 bike there that then cost me another $40 to make even halfway safe...would have been better off getting a new one for $100. Didn't mean to just bash, but it did leave a bad taste in my mouth...especially as the staff were quite rude in their refusal to go down on the price.

There are a lot of other thrift stores around though, including those that seem to have more high end stuff, that are reasonably priced, and have some real tasteful items. Basically, I use these stores a lot for costuming and Cosplay (if you don't know what it is....no worries, just Google, but chances are, not your cup of tea)....

Consignment shops are another good idea. Often, rich people bring their old clothes to these places when cleaning out their closet for new stuff. Half of the things were never even worn. My wife has got brand name shoes (and not cheap knock-offs) that would have cost 100's of dollars for like $40, and they still had the tags on them.

Dollar stores are great for BOB supplies. For one thing, items don't have to be well-made for a 72 hour pack. For another, first aid supplies are great to get here. Small tools, batteries, flashlights, etc.


More sources are yard sales, flea markets and pawn shops. Those venues will have axes, knives and tools not commonly found at Goodwill.


Yep, do what I do. I have a friend who loves going to these each weekend. I tell her things I'm looking for and she does the legwork anyhow, and then I buy it off her if she finds it.



edit on 14-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:38 PM
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Survival often means just using common sense.
Anyone who wants to "survive" and be able to afford it needs to make it a lifestyle instead of a fashion statement.
Buy hand tools and use them instead of owning 20 things that run on cordless batteries.
Own a small generator that can alternate between a $99 1/2 ton ac unit and your freezer instead of a back up generator that could light up half of the Astrodome.
Live without electricity and running water for a few weeks at a time.
Buy a tarp for $6 instead of a 300 dollar tent.
Buy a single shot 22 rifle with a heavy barrel that will bring food to the table instead of a thousand dollar AR with another 1200 in optics and Pling. (plastic bling)
Have back up fuel and water that you rotate through as a matter of course instead of waiting until the day a hurricane hits to fuel up and buy bottled water.
Rotate a few weeks of canned goods instead of buying cases of MRE's at a hundred a pop.
It shouldn't cost more to be prepared to live intelligently and be prepared for problems.
It just takes a lot of common sense and time to build up a lifestyle that won't be stopped cold when the lights go out.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 07:12 AM
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I think if you're looking to save money you should look for free items. Like there's a lot of ways to get free stuff.

Look on CL or there's a lot of other places. Like go to donation bins, recycle bin centers, dumpster diving, placing ads, the dump, Freecycle, looking for abandon items, bartering, scavanging especially like at construction sites, mines, farm areas, dock yards, truck stops, back of big apartment complexes, and abandon factories.

Between all those you probably could find all you want for free. Probably find enough building materials to build yourself a small house even.
edit on 16-8-2013 by spartacus699 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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Prices at thrift stores such as the Goodwill and Salvation Army have been going up in recent years to the point that it's not really saving you any money.

One thing I will say about them is they have a lot of local clothing. Shirts and jackets with local themes, businesses, events, etc..

Good for establishing local camouflage in the case of relocation or identity abandonment. Walk in looking like a tourist or some fool from points away and walk out looking like a 30 year local.



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Prices at thrift stores such as the Goodwill and Salvation Army have been going up in recent years to the point that it's not really saving you any money.

One thing I will say about them is they have a lot of local clothing. Shirts and jackets with local themes, businesses, events, etc..

Good for establishing local camouflage in the case of relocation or identity abandonment. Walk in looking like a tourist or some fool from points away and walk out looking like a 30 year local.


you're right, I went down to the local salvation army store and they were selling a pair of wrangler jeans for 12 bucks, went to a Kmart and got brand new wrangler jeans for 14.95 on sale



posted on Aug, 16 2013 @ 07:42 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Prices at thrift stores such as the Goodwill and Salvation Army have been going up in recent years to the point that it's not really saving you any money.

One thing I will say about them is they have a lot of local clothing. Shirts and jackets with local themes, businesses, events, etc..

Good for establishing local camouflage in the case of relocation or identity abandonment. Walk in looking like a tourist or some fool from points away and walk out looking like a 30 year local.


you're right, I went down to the local salvation army store and they were selling a pair of wrangler jeans for 12 bucks, went to a Kmart and got brand new wrangler jeans for 14.95 on sale

It all depends on where you shop.
I have picked up new jeans with the tags still on them for $4.00 at Goodwill. It has to be a deal for me to buy clothing at Goodwill.



posted on Aug, 17 2013 @ 08:45 AM
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Granted,some prices are at least keeping up with inflation at goodwill.Remember,even a non profit has expense's.But every day there is a half price off color day,so watch for those.My op wasn't regarding clothing as much as it was prepper supplies,camping items and such.I recently bought a night vision scope for 10 bucks! We constantly get neat items like campstoves,binoculars,got 3 dehydrators in this week alone.My store,in a high end area,sells the campstoves for 12-14 bucks,and those were new in the box.The dehydrators went on the shelf for 10 bucks,good bushnell binoculars for 12.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 04:24 AM
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Originally posted by jimmyx

Originally posted by thisguyrighthere
Prices at thrift stores such as the Goodwill and Salvation Army have been going up in recent years to the point that it's not really saving you any money.

One thing I will say about them is they have a lot of local clothing. Shirts and jackets with local themes, businesses, events, etc..

Good for establishing local camouflage in the case of relocation or identity abandonment. Walk in looking like a tourist or some fool from points away and walk out looking like a 30 year local.


you're right, I went down to the local salvation army store and they were selling a pair of wrangler jeans for 12 bucks, went to a Kmart and got brand new wrangler jeans for 14.95 on sale


I agree. You can get stuff at walmart cheaper than some of the thrift stores.





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