Tresure hunters do the work!

I just stopped by Goodwill to donate some books and decided to go in to see this store. It is labeled the "Goodwill Outlet Store" and I was thinking "Outlet store, Goodwill, uh???".

Was I amazed! Inside the store is a large open format space, large ceilings, and lots of floor space. Huge! And the merchandise? It is only organized in to large rolling bins by rough kind (shows, books, large items, clothes) and that is it. Normal Goodwill stores sort and order and hang items so you can shop like any other retail store. However, this outlet store, all the sorting and ordering is really done by the shoppers.

Turns out the outlet stores are the end of the line for all the items and stuff that does not get sold or moved at the normal stores. About every two hours a new batch of things arrives at the outlet store and placed in the low, long rolling bins. And you just hunt and search for things.

You can identify the "pros" right off. They are wearing gloves and moving pretty quickly. This is a treasure chest waiting for the right person to find the treasures. I asked one gentleman about this. He was wearing rubber yard gloves and was moving pretty fast through the bins. He was looking for a power supply to a laptop he bought several days ago. He says he spends a few lunch hours a week at the outlet store combing and sorting, mainly looking for great finds on electronics. He said the gloves are needed because there are items in the bins that do break and are sharp.

How is this stuff priced? By the pound! You truck your goods up to the register and they have a scale to weigh your haul.

What is really a whack in the head moment is the brilliance in how Goodwill is tapping the wisdom of the crowd to sort out the goods; You as an interested buyer will do the searching and sorting. Anything of value is sold and anything left over after several cycles is eventually hauled out as the really truly junk of the junk.

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