The Real Reason Shoppers Aren't Happy With Goodwill's Prices

Goodwill has long been known as the place to go for bargains, but that reputation may be at risk as shoppers are noticing, and complaining about, Goodwill prices going up.

One shopper recently tweeted, "Goodwill needs to chill on their prices" and another posted, "I'm mad goodwill raised the prices of book. Bring back 99¢ books !!!" Over on Reddit, one user wondered if anyone else had noticed an increase, writing, "Has anyone else's Goodwill location raised their prices recently? [...] Sweaters used to be $4.99 and are now $7.49. Jeans are $8.49 and used to be $6.99. Hardcover books used to be $1.00 and are now $2.49. Is it just my area? $7.49 for a used sweater seems like a lot, especially given the condition of the sweaters I've seen there."

They weren't the only ones to notice; one user replied, "When I was a kid and teenager, goodwill prices were in the neighborhood of $.25 and $.50 for a garment ... I was shocked when I went back in my late 20s to find things priced at $5 and $10 for a garment. Inflation is a thing, but damn." 

One user on Reddit said they were a former Goodwill employee shed some light on the situation, saying "I used to work at one and we were told to upprice everything. I was told by a manager to add a dollar to everything I priced so I would not get yelled at by the store manager/district manager etc."

Increasing prices could be because thrifting is becoming trendy

In 2019, the increase in Gen Z and Millenials buying at thrift stores went up 46% from 2017 with 1 in 3 Gen Z'ers buying secondhand, according to online seller ThredUP. And this rising trend in the popularity of thrift store may have contributed to rising prices. A Youth Program Assistant at Goodwill, Khalia Williams-O'Neal told the Seattle Spectator that "It is unfortunate that people care more about thrifting because it's trendy without actually taking into consideration those who truly can't afford anything outside of thrifting."

Another reason for it could be the rise in resellers as mentioned in this tweet, "I know the inner city and suburban ones Ive been to personally have been marked up & I've seen tweet comparing prices. My friend who works at goodwill even confirmed it. From my understanding it's bc of ppl that will buy there & resell for 200% profits. Search abt depop resellers."

The blogger at "Looking Fly On A Dime" directly contacted Goodwill New York and New Jersey, and they seemed to not really explain or acknowledge any raise in prices, saying in part, "As far as pricing goes, the stores' profits support Goodwill's mission — a dedication to providing opportunities to those outside the economic mainstream."