Second Hand Items: When it is Best to Buy

If you want to save some serious money when shopping, checking out the vast marketplace of second-hand items is the best place to start. It takes a bit more work than simply buying something new online or at the store, but you’d be amazed at what you can find in thrift stores and antique shops. Here’s a primer on why you’d want to buy used, how to do it, and what to buy.

The Benefits of Buying Used

One obvious benefit to buying used is price of the merchandise. You can guarantee used goods will almost always be cheaper than new goods, and in some cases you’ll find there is a drastic difference.

In terms of quality, used merchandise can actually be of more value than new products. With new merchandise, there’s a chance that what you’re getting isn’t high quality. If you find a used item that’s in good enough condition for resale, odds are it’s a quality product since it has passed the test of time thus far.

You’re not the only one to benefit when you buy used goods. Second hand goods are typically sold by local stores, private sellers, and local nonprofits that give back to the community, such as Goodwill Industries. You could consider yourself to be “going green” as most of these second hand stores keep used goods from going to the landfills and use little to no packaging on merchandise.

How to Score the Best Deals

The second hand marketplace is continuing to grow in demand. People are often finding the best deals are at thrift and consignment stores. Most communities have at least one or two second hand stores for donating and shopping.

You can also find used items on several websites and apps. The most well-known is eBay, but there are also more niche marketplaces available. For example, Shop Goodwill is an online selling platform where you can peruse through a wide array of antiques, jewelry, collectibles, and unique buys that are specially selected from Goodwill’s around the country.

One key to scoring deals when you’re buying used is being able to recognize quality items. You will want to do some research on the products you intend to buy used so that you know what to look for. Let’s say you’re interested in men’s clothing. If you are unsure how to determine the quality of such items, you can use online reviews of garments and the materials used.

Buying second-hand items is not only easier on your wallet—when you buy used goods from a local nonprofit, like Goodwill, you can also help support your community. Goodwill Omaha has various programs that help people with job barriers get into the workforce. You never know what you will find, enjoy the hunt!

A special thanks to Joe Humphries, who is a contributing writer and media specialist for Three Centuries Store. He regularly writes for antique and home improvement blogs. He frequents antique stores, flea markets and Goodwill on the weekends on the hunt for vinyl records and compasses.

Spring Has Sprung! Rejuvenate Your Look with Fresh Finds at Goodwill®

Each new season is a chance for a refresh and, like the world outside that is bursting with buds and blooms, a colorful revamp can rejuvenate your home on the inside, too. With Easter right around the corner, here are some new springtime ideas for your halls, walls and wardrobe, too.


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This upside-down wine glass Easter display that I found on Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth’s (TX) Easter Headquarters Pinboard is both brilliant and beautiful. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of this! Functioning now as both a terrarium-type display and a tea-light holder, this thrifted stemware gets a whole new use. It’s darling with Easter grass and candy eggs inside, but I’m also picturing themed arrangements of seashells in the summer, fallen leaves for autumn, and — dare I say it? — tinsel and ornaments when winter rolls around again. It’s lovely as a table centerpiece, but it could also cheerfully greet guests on an entry hall table.


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Kimberly from A Night Owl blog did a lovely DIY round-up, too! Her post 10 Spring and Easter Goodwill Projects has so many sunny ideas inspired by this vibrant season. This floral thrifted picture frame display gives a backyard party such a whimsical touch, but can you imagine it inside on a wall, too? What a fun way to brighten up your home for a brunch. I can’t think of a better place to snap a selfie. Click through for more ideas and to get a better look at the floral frame display. Goodwill® is an entrepreneurial leader, environmental pioneer and social innovator in the “reduce, reuse, repurpose” practice, and these reimagined frames are the perfect example of that.


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Whether you work hard to stay in style or you’re feeling stuck in a rut, you’ll love these tips from Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina (Greenville)’s blog. Its Spring Fashion: How to Look Luxe on a Budget post has some easy rules that will inspire your shopping, not stifle it. My favorite? Save on clothing, splurge on accessories. Why? To get the most use possible out of a high-priced item, it has to be something you can wear every day this spring. You can only don a cute dress or skirt once a week without raising eyebrows, but a designer bag, shoes or jewelry can be worn again and again.

In the ensemble above, Dulce has thrifted a shirt several sizes too large and belted it as a dress. Grabbing a great deal on clothing items frees up your budget for higher-priced accessories. Of course, don’t forget to check the shoe section as well as under the counter at Goodwill. Designer items get donated all the time, so there’s a chance you could save money by thrifting this whole outfit!

What are your favorite spring home and style insights this season? Do you have any great ideas for Easter decor or bright wardrobe updates? However you choose to celebrate the season, enjoy!

Blog shared from Goodwill Industries International

Customer Appreciation Days!















We would like to say THANK YOU to all of our customers! Because of loyal customers like you, in 2016 Goodwill has been able to provide over 22,000 employment services to people in our community.

Please join us for a 2-day sale! All customers will receive 10% off, and if you are a Goodwill cardholder, you’ll receive 20% off!

During our sale we will be having popcorn, refreshments and we will be doing merchandise credit drawings, goody bags and coloring pages for children.

And don’t forget to also sign up for our big giveaway!

Two lucky winners from each store will receive 20% off for a whole year!


#ThriftyThursday – Day on the Links

Goodwill Golf Clubs

September always proves to have the best weather of any month. We are blessed with mild 70 degree temperatures, along with all the other benefits that fall brings. The leaves change colors and the anticipation for Halloween and the holiday season begins to grow.

What better way to spend a Fall Saturday morning than outside with family and friends? Golfing is an activity that is enjoyable most of the year, but especially during these perfect days. And when it comes to golfing, Goodwill has you covered. Our selection ranges from the old school wood head clubs all the way up to the new age advanced gear. The best part about these clubs is that none of them are priced any higher than $5.95. Whether you are a seasoned professional or brand new to the sport, this time of year is always a blast on the course!

2015 Retail Cardholder Survey Results

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to our yearly review of the Annual Goodwill Cardholder Survey. Once a year we send out a survey to everyone with a Goodwill Card.

The Goodwill Card is our little multipurpose tool for shoppers and donors. It’s able to keep track of donor records (no more saving donation receipts). It provides discounts for senior citizens, military members, students and teachers.  Signing up also allows us to keep you informed of any special promotions and offers throughout the year. If you don’t have a Goodwill Card we highly encourage you to get one.  You can sign up  at any of our stores in the Greater Omaha Metro.

Now then, back to the survey. We sent it to about 16,000 Goodwill Cardholders, and more than 1,000 responded. We entered all of those people into a drawing for a $100 Goodwill gift card, and Darryl S. of Omaha was selected as our winner.  Congratulations Darryl!

Here are some highlights of what we learned from the survey this year:

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Young entrepreneurs design products with help from community businesses – Daily Nonpareil

Young entrepreneurs design products with help from community businesses – Daily Nonpareil

By: Scott Stewart

When 11-year-olds Gracie Schoening and Katelyn Arnold went shopping Tuesday morning at Goodwill, they were trying to find the perfect items to create a new consumer product.The girls were one of five teams creating their own business as part of the Innovation Camp held this week by TS Institute, the nonprofit arm of Treynor State Bank, which held sessions at Wilson Middle School and at several community sites across Council Bluffs.

Photo by: Joe Shearer. From left, incoming Kirn Middle School sixth-graders Madison Bahr, Alanna Huenniger and Tayden Smith work to innovate old items into repurposed products while shopping at Goodwill on Tuesday. The activity was part of the TS Institute's three-day "Innovation Camp," where 30 incoming Wilson and Kirn Middle School sixth-graders visited different businesses and learned about entrepreneurship.

Photo by: Joe Shearer. From left, incoming Kirn Middle School sixth-graders Madison Bahr, Alanna Huenniger and Tayden Smith work to innovate old items into repurposed products while shopping at Goodwill on Tuesday. The activity was part of the TS Institute’s three-day “Innovation Camp,” where 30 incoming Wilson and Kirn Middle School sixth-graders visited different businesses and learned about entrepreneurship.

Gracie and Katelyn’s product, a laundry hamper with built-in basketball hoop, was designed initially to use a purse for the goal, but the team adapted their design to instead use a Goodwill bag. Each team was given up to $30 to buy raw materials, although collectively the frugal students only spent $50.21.

“We’re making a laundry basket,” Gracie said. “When kids are putting their laundry away, they can shoot a hoop to make them want to do it more.”

Kyle Osborne, the camp organizer with TS Institute, said the camp brought students from the initial idea for a business through developing a product and business plan, an abbreviated middle-school program similar to the University of Iowa’s professional entrepreneurial Venture School program.

“These students are going to be creating their own businesses,” Osborne said. “The students are putting together all the pieces of not just a concept but putting together a product.”

Sam Comfort, Goodwill’s work experience trainer, discussed the nonprofit’s mission Tuesday morning, and he told the students about how the stores are selling products now created by repurposing old donations such as T-shirts and stuffed animals.

“We teach high school students the skills necessary to be successful for employment,” he said. “Part of Goodwill’s mission is to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

On Wednesday, students visited Iowa Western Community College to learn about crafting the perfect commercial spot with The River and CBTV17. They also visited Thunderbowl to learn about how to market a product, and Buddy Ray Jones, the operations manager of Joe’s Karting, visited the students Wednesday afternoon to discuss what it takes to run a business.

Jones said he brought racing experience to the business, which offers a unique opportunity in the metro area. In six years, the business has a customer base of more than 100,000. In part, that success was based on adapting offerings based on what racers at Joe’s Karting are interested in doing.

“You need to think about what does your customer base want,” he said. “You always want to look for a need. There always has to be a need that your product has to have.”

In addition to Goodwill, students visited a Scooter’s in Omaha as well as listened to a presentation on branding and creating a slogan from Krispy Kreme. Over the course of the camp, the students work on their creativity, look for business opportunities, understand basic business practices, received direct mentoring and learned how to make a product and an accompanying business plan.

“You have to stay laser-focused,” Osborne told one of the groups, as students were weaving through Goodwill among the store’s regular shoppers. “What problem are you going to solve?”

The camp wraps up today with a visit from TS Bank and Edward Jones in the morning, as the students prepare to pitch their finished products to investors in a miniature “Shark Tank” scenario at Wilson.

For incoming Kirn Middle School student Alanna Huenniger and her team, that pitch will include a commercial shot in the school’s lobby on Wednesday afternoon.

Their product, called Jungle Adventure, used a stool, on sale for half-off at Goodwill, with a vase and smaller cups for additional flowers or tea candles.

“It is suppose to be a flower stool,” Alanna said. “You can put flowers in the cup.”

The group’s sketch portrayed a mother waking up to being given flowers on Mother’s Day but lamenting where she would put them. Her daughters go back to the drawing board to make their surprise even better while they prepare supper: the flower stool.

“Jungle Adventure is a new product – try it today,” the team members said at the end of their pitch as part of a sing-song jingle. “Jungle Adventure is the best product for you. Call 1-800-ZEBRA.”

Bridging the Gap "Today’s Omaha Woman" Winter, 2015



Goodwill Industries provides job training and educational opportunities for people to bridge the gap between public assistance and self-sufficiency. Many people don’t realize that it’s much more than a place to donate unwanted items or hunt for second-hand treasures. “When most people hear the name Goodwill, they think of our retail stores,” says Linda Kizzier, vice president of employment and training at Goodwill Industries. “Our retail operations support Goodwill’s mission to change lives and strengthen communities through education, training and work.” Goodwill’s training programs serve more than 2,700 people each year, placing more than 500 individuals in permanent jobs in Omaha and surrounding areas. “Everything Goodwill does centers around helping people find employment,” Kizzier adds.

The retail side of Goodwill funds training, education and career development, as well as job placement opportunities for the unemployed, underemployed and disabled. “We sit down one-on-one with every person who enrolls in our programs,” Kizzier says. Case managers help participants map out their desired career path to include realistic steps to move them in the direction of their goals and offer assistance to overcome employment barriers.

“Many of our adult clients have a high school diploma, but their literacy skills are below what they should be to be competitive for jobs that they have an aptitude for,” Kizzier notes. The Customer Connect Program, which trains participants in call center customer service skills, specifically addresses literacy deficiencies through academic testing and tutoring. The program is provided in partnership with Metropolitan Community College (MCC) and funded in part through a grant from the Department of Education. “A case manager works with everyone in the class to provide that additional academic support and to make sure they are on target to meet all the criteria to get that specialist diploma,” Kizzier says.


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