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Woman Flabbergasted At Goodwill Prices, Calls Them Out By Sharing Real Examples
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Woman Flabbergasted At Goodwill Prices, Calls Them Out By Sharing Real Examples

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Thrifting isn’t quite what it used to be. Some fans of buying their clothes secondhand are finding it quite difficult to get a good deal. At least in some popular stores.

TikTok content creator, cosplayer, and Twitch streamer Essie (@essielesse) went viral for calling out the charitable non-profit organization Goodwill for massively hiking up its clothes and knick-knack prices. The video started an important discussion about the future of thrifting. Scroll down for the full video.

Bored Panda has reached out to Essie via Instagram, and we’ll update the article as soon as we hear back from her.

More info: TikTok | Twitch | Instagram | Carrd.co

Goodwill is known for its charitable work. However, the prices in its thrift stores are raising eyebrows

Image credits: Steve Morgan (not the actual photo)

One TikToker went viral after calling out the non-profit organization for how expensive its secondhand goods are

Image credits: essielesse

“First, you can’t even try anything on anymore and they removed all of the mirrors so you can’t even see what you look like by trying it on over your clothes.”

Image credits: essielesse

“And who gave them the right to price handmade things at $15?”

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Image credits: essielesse

“Why would I spend $15 on a pair of used pants that I can’t even try on?”

Image credits: essielesse

“I used to religiously wear tank tops from Goodwill because they were 99 cents. And now a single T-shirt is $6. Walmart has them cheaper than that.”

Image credits: essielesse

“Not to mention the knickknacks that I used to be able to pick up for like 50 cents.”

Image credits: essielesse

“But then you see like, $8, what is this? It’s the White House. Cool.”

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Image credits: essielesse

Image credits: essielesse

“How are each one of these cake things… each of them are $4. This entire thing would cost you $20.”

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Image credits: essielesse

“You can go to Bed Bath and Beyond and get a brand new luxury towel for $8 or you can get an old one for $6, that I’m sure has been used by like a family of seven, at Goodwill.”

Image credits: essielesse

“And don’t even get me started on how they mark up anything that could even be considered a Halloween costume. Absolutely not. It’s a top.”

Image credits: essielesse

“This is an empty box, why is this $6?”

Image credits: essielesse

Image credits: essielesse

“I have these exact same plants from IKEA and I bought them for $5. $5. Great. It’s literally cheaper to go to Walmart than it is to go to a thrift store.”

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Image credits: essielesse

Image credits: essielesse

Image credits: essielesse

You can watch Essie’s video in full right over here

@essielesse when did they get so expensive. I want 99 cent things back #goodwill #thriftstore #FomotionalFinds ♬ original sound – essie🍁

Many people have noticed price hikes at Goodwill

Let’s not beat around the bush too much: secondhand clothing isn’t supposed to be expensive. It’s supposed to be easily affordable because it’s not new. If the clothes you find at a local non-profit or charity shop cost more than at your local retailer—there’s a huge problem!

This is the issue that Essie was getting at in her viral video. She also added that another difficulty is the fact that Goodwill seems to have removed the mirrors in some of its locations. At least in her experience. This means that anyone who’s planning on buying the (more expensive clothes) doesn’t know if they’ll fit them well.

So it’s quite natural to be frustrated with the entire situation. Many people felt the same! Essie’s video, which she posted back in late October 2022, made huge waves on the internet. At the time of writing, her minute-and-a-half-long clip had garnered a whopping 1.6 million views.

A lot of TikTok users were furious that Goodwill priced clothes, that people donated to them, so highly. Some of them were quite blunt, calling the American non-profit organization greedy.

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Meanwhile, many people on social media and forums believe that it’s no longer worth thrifting at Goodwill when you can get brand-new clothes cheaper elsewhere.

The non-profit pulls in billions of dollars each year and spends most of them on charitable services

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

Goodwill, officially called Goodwill Industries International Inc., provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs for people who have difficulty getting employed. The organization helps out everyone from veterans to anyone lacking education or job experience.

What funds the entire organization are the thousands of retail thrift stores, which operate as independent non-profits, that many Americans are used to seeing and visiting.

Though Goodwill is a non-profit organization and genuinely does a lot of good, it’s not wrong to call out the rising prices of secondhand clothes. Especially considering the organization’s profits. According to Forbes, the total revenue of Goodwill is $7.4 billion in 2022 alone, of which government support made up $527 million, private donations made up %1.4 billion, and other income made up the rest ($5.4 billion).

To be fair, the non-profit spent most of this money on charitable services ($5.6 billion). The rest was spent on management ($692 million) and fundraising ($13 million). Goodwill’s fundraising efficiency stands at 99%, Forbes notes.

You can take a look at Goodwill’s current prices, as shared directly on their website. Some of these prices are… well, they’re not what many of us expect.

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Thrifting is, in some places, becoming less and less about saving money

Image credits: cottonbro studio (not the actual photo)

There are a ton of good reasons to thrift and shop secondhand. For one, some of these stores double as charities and work to directly improve the local community. On top of that, there’s the fact that reusing old clothes is good for the environment. You end up saving a lot of water and energy that’s used in making new garments and transporting them to shops.

However, one major argument for shopping secondhand used to be that you’d be saving money. This might no longer be the case, depending on where you shop. If the prices have been getting out of hand, some Americans have no choice but to find other thrift stores to patronize. Alternatively, they might as well give their hard-earned cash to retailers (though there’s hardly any charitable link there).

But one of the pros of thrifting that will never go away is the excitement of discovering new and unexpected items. It’s a lot like treasure-hunting, only you don’t have to be Indiana Jones (though you can find a similar hat if you’re lucky enough).

As CNN recently reported, many Americans grumble about how bad the economy is when pollsters ask them about it.

“But their actions tell a different story,” writes Allison Morrow. “Despite higher prices and all-around sour mood, American consumers have been exceptionally willing to spend money on dining out, travel, concert tickets, and all manner of goods.”

Here’s how the TikTok community reacted after watching Essie’s clip

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kaimana789 avatar
Pumpkinpi
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I worked at a major retail store and when things went the lowest price they could absolutely go, they got salvaged and donated to Goodwill. I remember being shocked once because there was a pair of sandals that were like $8 normally and salvaged at $1.99. After they got donated Goodwill marked them to like $10. I only shop Arc or Habitat for Humanity now because at least they have their stores for a good cause.

carolinegannon avatar
Mabelbabel
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to volunteer in a local charity shop (in the UK)-it was a well known animal charity shop. I left when I realised what a couple of the other volunteers were doing-they were always in the backroom (where we sorted, priced and labelled the donated clothing), and stuff that still had the original price tag on, or were more expensive brands, they were taking them and putting them on a well known auction site online-not to raise money for the charity but for themselves. I told the local area coordinator but nothing happened, which made me think she was in on it too. And when I spoke to another volunteer, she said it was just a perk and wasn't really a problem.

l_murphy avatar
L. Murphy
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Goodwill is not the charitable organization they claim to be. The get subsidies from the government to hire disabled or formerly incarcerated people so they can underpay them and rake in profits selling overpriced used stuff they got for free. But they have non-profit status.

streetfighteralpha3 avatar
Liz
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They didn't even hire disabled ppl and my store and fired a guy because of his bad knee got sued for that 1 managers never got fired though just a slap on the wrist and forget about even thinking of getting a job there if u got a background

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kaimana789 avatar
Pumpkinpi
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I worked at a major retail store and when things went the lowest price they could absolutely go, they got salvaged and donated to Goodwill. I remember being shocked once because there was a pair of sandals that were like $8 normally and salvaged at $1.99. After they got donated Goodwill marked them to like $10. I only shop Arc or Habitat for Humanity now because at least they have their stores for a good cause.

carolinegannon avatar
Mabelbabel
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I used to volunteer in a local charity shop (in the UK)-it was a well known animal charity shop. I left when I realised what a couple of the other volunteers were doing-they were always in the backroom (where we sorted, priced and labelled the donated clothing), and stuff that still had the original price tag on, or were more expensive brands, they were taking them and putting them on a well known auction site online-not to raise money for the charity but for themselves. I told the local area coordinator but nothing happened, which made me think she was in on it too. And when I spoke to another volunteer, she said it was just a perk and wasn't really a problem.

l_murphy avatar
L. Murphy
Community Member
2 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Goodwill is not the charitable organization they claim to be. The get subsidies from the government to hire disabled or formerly incarcerated people so they can underpay them and rake in profits selling overpriced used stuff they got for free. But they have non-profit status.

streetfighteralpha3 avatar
Liz
Community Member
2 months ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

They didn't even hire disabled ppl and my store and fired a guy because of his bad knee got sued for that 1 managers never got fired though just a slap on the wrist and forget about even thinking of getting a job there if u got a background

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