I told you it only kind of rhymed. Boot Hill Cow Pet. Goodwill Outlet. Get it? Huh? Huh? Get it? Oh well. Enough of that.
This particular outlet is in Nashville. (What was I doing in Nashville? Well, that's another post yet to come!) If you are unclear about the concept of a Goodwill Outlet, here's some helpful information.
|Unopened 90's X-men Valentines|
I also went to one in San Francisco. This one was small and cramped, but stuff was sold by the pound. It was a higher per pound price ($1.49) than others I have heard of, but I still came out well. I went twice, on two consecutive days, and was a bit disappointed to find on the second day that no new bins had been brought out.
The store in Nashville had the whole Outlet thing going on. Most stuff was .79 a pound, except for shoes, which were $1.39. Luggage, furniture, and books were priced per item, although there were a few of each that would come out in the other bins.
I've scattered pics of a few of the things I found through out this post. Everything was bought at the per pound price. I have to say that this was one of the wildest junking experiences I have ever had. The people-watching was as fun as the junking, and that was awesome.
|Complete Bible on cassette|
Let's talk about the drill first, then I'll share some thoughts and observations. They wouldn't let people take pictures inside, for some reason.
Basically, you're in a large warehouse-like room that's filled with large blue bins on wheels. There's a yellow line taped on the floor around every bin. There are separate bins for clothes, shoes, books, luggage, and everything else. A few bits of furniture line the walls. Groups of people are rummaging through the bins and tossing stuff into their carts.
|Big Raggedy Ann!|
When you are satisfied that you have enough, you head to the check out. If you have a few items, then you put them on a scale on the counter. If you have a cartload, you wheel it on a large scale set in the floor. I got quite a kick out of that, let me tell you! I made two trips through, filling up a cart each time. I'll talk about my strategies in a minute, but first some overall reflections.
|File Boxes and NIP Puzzles|
First off, it was way more fun than I had anticipated. I knew I would have a good time, but I also knew that there would be obnoxious people reaching and grabbing and generally spoiling the fun for everyone else. I'm not a grabber or an elbow-thrower. I tend to adopt the philosophy that it's all just stuff. There will always be more stuff. There will always be more chances to get stuff. My reason for existing will never, ever include having to make a jerk out of myself to be the first person to get stuff. Ain't gonna do it.
|Frame and Lego Case|
Instead, I didn't see any of that going on. People seemed to be very respectful of each other and their hunting. People were even leaving their carts stashed in corners and adding stuff as they went, and no one else was bothering them. I had not expected this, as I had read that you needed to keep an eye on your cart, lest anyone rummage through it. In fact, I think I irritated a couple of folks hauling my overstuffed cart around. I did end up in one situation where another guy and I reached for something at the same time. He was just going to move it aside, so it was no biggie.
|I wanna play!|
Originally, I planned on avoiding the new bins while everyone else was diving in. I quickly found that I could do pretty well for myself going through the more picked over carts. Most of the items in this post came from bins that everyone else had finished with. However, once I saw someone pull a vintage trike out of one of the newer bins, I decided that I had to try it at least once. It was a trip, let me tell you, but not nearly as bad as I was expecting.
|Sweet Train Case!|
My own strategy was just to cut loose and have fun. If I wanted it, I grabbed it. I did sort through my stuff, but I tried not to think about it all too much. I just wanted to enjoy the experience. If I were to do it again, I would spend more time thinking about weights and such in order to maximize my profit.
Even without putting a lot of thought into it, I still did pretty well. Once I got everything packed into boxes, I found that I had spent about as much per box as I would have at a typical (very good) church sale, but I had a lot more to show for it. By contrast, I went into the regular Goodwill store right by the Outlet, spent about half what I paid for one cart, and got less than a third of the amount of stuff. Regardless of how you do it, GWO shopping is a bargain!
|Bizarre Burlap Snake Thing|
Sadly, there is not Outlet in Kentucky. We're one of the few states that does not have one. What's up with that? I keep hearing rumors that we're going to get one in Louisville, but nothing so far. Bummer.
This is not something I could do every day, much less all day. The potential for burn out is too high for me. I could see dropping in once a month or so during the warm months, maybe more when it's cooler and there are no yard sales.
One last find I wanted to highlight is Mavis, who is going to become a yard sale companion this summer. She's sturdy and hefty, perfect for both hauling around neighborhood yard sales and junk set out times!