Goodwill launches online shop for bargain hunters

NEW YORK (AP) — Bargains who flock to goodwill stores can now do more of their treasure hunts online.

The 120-year-old nonprofit organization Tuesday launched GoodwillFinds, a startup shopping venture that offers about 100,000 donated items for purchase online, expanding Goodwill’s internet presence, previously limited to auction sites like ShopGoodwill.com or individual stores selling donations online via eBay and Amazon.

GoodwillFinds’ goal is to have 1 million items on its site in a few years, said Matthew Kannes, newly appointed CEO of the online shopping division, which has search tools that allow shoppers to search by category. Finally, GoodwillFinds can be personalized based on a customer’s past purchases.

GoodwillFinds is a separate entity from Goodwill Industries International Inc., but will support the larger organization by helping fund its community-based programs across the US that provide professional training, job placement and youth mentoring. It should also increase donations while helping to expand the customer base.

Unlike competitors like Thredup and Poshmark, customers can’t use GoodwillFinds to donate and still need to visit one of the organization’s 3,300 US and Canadian goodwill stores to drop them off — for now. But Kaness said Goodwill will eventually offer this service as the business expands.

The move comes as the second-hand clothing business is expected to grow 16 times faster than the broader retail sector by 2026, according to a report by research firm GlobalData for Thredup. It also comes at a time when rising inflation is urging shoppers to be more frugal.

“Our new social enterprise makes it easier for the conscious consumer to shop sustainably online while enhancing the savings experience they’ve come to love at Goodwill,” said Kaness.

In 2021, retail revenue from donations to Goodwill totaled more than $5.4 billion, the organization said. GoodwillFinds follows in the footsteps of ShopGoodwill.com, which was founded in 1999 and sells many items through auctions.

“Goodwill is a very big part of the second-hand market, but it’s business-centric. That’s his legacy,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail. “Online was an afterthought and was done very informally with the regions.”

Karness said if shoppers donate to the stores, workers will figure out which item is being tagged online. Workers inspect each item, but they don’t clean it. If it’s very dirty or of poor quality, they won’t sell it. The media intended for online dispatch are then digitized. Purchases are either boxed and shipped from the store or a cluster of mini-warehouses.

A spokeswoman for the online company said that since GoodwillFinds items ship from a variety of Goodwill locations, shipping options and fees vary by item. During the checkout process, customers are offered the shipping options available for their items based on their shipping address. She said GoodwillFinds accepts returns for items that arrive damaged or if the customer’s order included an inaccurate or wrong item.

The vision for GoodwillFinds came from a consortium of Goodwill members across the country, including Northwest Washington-based Evergreen Goodwill, who wanted to realize the organization’s full potential.

Daryl Campbell, the CEO of Northwest Washington-based Evergreen Goodwill, said he expects sales from his consortium of 24 stores in his area to grow within the next five years from $24 million last year because of the centralized online approach year will double. He also predicts he can double his online business to 32% of his consortium’s revenue in the next few years.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/national/goodwill-launches-online-store-for-thrifters/ Goodwill launches online shop for bargain hunters

Dais Johnston

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