Thrifting at Goodwill: How often can you visit?

Travis R.
Amazon seller & Software Founder
goodwill store

Sourcing products such as books, DVDs, and CDs at your local Goodwills can be an entire business in of itself. The thrill of the hunt is what draws in a lot of new sellers to sell on Amazon.  In order to ensure you can revisit your favorite locations often, let’s discuss what will help.

How many times you can revisit your local Goodwills when sourcing products to sell on Amazon.

Relationships always count

Most of the time, you can quickly build a relationship with the Goodwill employees or manager.  Those relationships count.  They are the grease to your wheels when attempting to revisit the location(s) multiple times in a month.

It’s best to start the relationship off on a positive note, so be sure always to be friendly to the Goodwill staff.  They are human beings just like you.  They have the same emotions you have, and they often will be going through challenges in their life just like you.

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Look for the win-win

Most Goodwill locations are accustomed to online sellers now coming into the store.  Some regions have strict rules around “scanners” or “book dealers”; others do not.

To create a win-win scenario, you have to discover the pain points of that Goodwill or the people running it.

For example, they are re-stocking the store on a schedule each week, and doing so might be a tedious task for them.  How can you help in that situation?

Maybe try offering to them to come in on the day of re-stocking and help by thinning out the books for them, so they don’t have to re-stock as many.

Maybe it’s as simple as alerting them to when you are coming in each week so they can prepare and make their job a little easier.

Went back to my Goodwill today to scan books again… The lady from yesterday recognized me and brought me out an entire crate of untouched books!! I scanned them all kept the ones I wanted and put the rest away. She came out when I was about halfway done putting books away and said “oh you have done enough thank you so much” I said no no I will finish putting all of these books away because the next time you see me I want you to bring me another bin of books. She laughed I laughed we’re all happy. Make relationships even if it’s just being nice to one another!!!

Get to know their schedule

Knowing their schedule will help you plan your week better for visits.  If location A re-stocks on Mondays and location B re-stocks on Fridays, you should know that.

If you have a favorite employee who helps you source your products, then you should know their schedule.  If they close every night at 9 pm, then you should know that.

The last thing you want to do is arrive at the store at 8:15 pm, when they might be preparing to close up for the night.

Listen to our latest podcast episode to hear how John left his full time job to sell on Amazon:

What processes or routines do they have?

Most Goodwills move books from the top to the bottom of the shelves as they replenish books.  Knowing this will save you time as you scan, but it also helps them as you are less likely to pull books out in random spots to scan, which makes the situation more orderly.

Knowing what color codes they use for products and how they rotate those throughout the weeks will save you and them from silly questions each time you come in.

Knowing what they can and cant discount also helps too.  Bargaining or leveraging deals are OK, but if you’re too aggressive, they will quickly shut you out.

messy pile of books

Don’t be messy

You want to leave the lightest footprint of your visit as humanly possible when planning your visits.  If you’re pulling books and don’t put them back or are overall just sloppy as you cascade through each aisle, they are going to notice and start to resent you.

You always want to leave the location cleaner and more organized than you found it.  If they know you are tidy each time, they will be more willing to let you scan books.

Always say hello and goodbye

Never walk in and NOT say hello and never leave without a cheerful goodbye either.  If you end up purchasing items, then use that short time at the checkout counter to build rapport and humanize the transaction.

Be genuine and ask them how they are doing.  Ask them how their family is and what they have planned for the weekend.  All of these go a long way to building a great relationship that will pay you profit.


Honey goes a lot farther than vinegar as the saying goes.  This holds true when you are thrifting at Goodwills too.  If you follow these tips and are organized, you may be able to visit as often as you want.

With AccelerList you can find products in Goodwill and list them for sale on both the Amazon and the eBay marketplace.  Start your 14 day free trial today!

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