NEW YORK (AP) — Thrifters flocking to Goodwill stores will now be able to do more treasure hunting online.
The 120-year-old nonprofit on Tuesday launched GoodwillFinds, a newly formed shopping company that puts around 100,000 donated items for sale online and expands Goodwill’s internet presence which until now has been limited to sites auctions like ShopGoodwill.com or individual stores. sell donations online through eBay and Amazon.
GoodwillFinds’ goal is to have 1 million items on its site within a few years, said Matthew Kannes, new CEO of the online shopping arm, which offers search tools that allow shoppers to browse by category. . Eventually, GoodwillFinds can be customized based on a customer’s past purchases.
GoodwillFinds is a separate entity from Goodwill Industries International Inc., but it will support the larger organization by helping to fund its community programs across the United States providing job training, job placement, and mentoring for youth. It should also increase donations, while helping to expand its customer base.
Unlike rivals like Thredup and Poshmark, customers can’t use GoodwillFinds to make donations and will still need to visit one of the organization’s 3,300 U.S. and Canadian Goodwill stores to deposit them — for now. But Kaness said as the business grows, Goodwill will eventually offer the service.
The move comes as the second-hand clothing sector is expected to grow 16 times faster than the broader retail clothing sector by 2026, according to a report by research firm GlobalData for Thredup. It also comes at a time when soaring inflation is pushing shoppers to be more frugal.
“Our new social enterprise makes it easier for conscious consumers to shop online in a sustainable way, while enhancing the savings experience they love at Goodwill,” Kaness said.
In 2021, retail revenue from donations to Goodwill was more than $5.4 billion, the organization said. GoodwillFinds follows in the footsteps of ShopGoodwill.com, which was launched in 1999 and sells many items at auction.
“Traffic is a very big part of the second-hand market, but it’s been concentrated in stores. That’s his legacy,” said Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData Retail, “Online was an afterthought and done very informally with regions.
Karness said when shoppers donate to stores, workers will determine which item to nominate online. Workers inspect each item, but they don’t clean it. If it is very dirty or of poor quality, they will not sell it. The elements intended to be put online will then be digitized. Purchases will either be packed and shipped from the store or from the mini-warehouses of a group of stores.
A spokeswoman for the online company said that because GoodwillFinds items ship from various Goodwill locations, shipping options and costs vary from item to item. During the checkout process, customers will be offered the available shipping options for their items based on their shipping address. She said GoodwillFinds accepts returns for items that arrive damaged or if there is an inaccurate or incorrect item in the customer’s order.
The vision for GoodwillFinds came from a consortium of Goodwill members across the country, including Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington, who wanted to harness the full potential of the organization.
Daryl Campbell, CEO of Northwest Washington’s Evergreen Goodwill, said he expects revenue for his consortium of 24 stores in his region to double from $24 million last year. over the next five years due to the centralized online approach. He also predicts that he will be able to double his online business to 32% of his consortium’s sales in the next few years.