Goodwill Thrift Stores

By Joe Waynick
May 4, 2012

Thrift stores are the best places to find valuable books. Now you'll learn why Goodwill thrift stores are the crème de la crème of the neighborhood thrift store.

Out of all the thrift stores I shop when scouting for books, Goodwill is by far my most lucrative.

I have literally earned tens of thousands of dollars book scouting at Goodwill. In this article I'm going to reveal some of my most closely guarded secrets for maximizing profits from prospecting in local thrift stores every book hunter needs to know.

How do you find stores in your area? Basically, the same way you find any thrift store operation. Let's take a second look at finding family thrift stores using the Internet.

Finding Goodwill thrift stores

I always use for searching the Internet for businesses of all kinds. Just enter "Goodwill thrift stores" or "Goodwill Industries" and you'll find every store in your local area.

Chances are, you're going to get a long list of stores where you can buy inventory and sell books for cash online. In most major urban areas there are usually a couple of dozen.

The more the merrier, but as you'll see in bit, you only need a couple to earn good money as a book scout.

Being in the right place at the right time in your local thrift store can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to the monthly income of web booksellers.

Fresh Inventory Every Day

Don't confuse a thrift and consignment store. Thrift stores get their merchandise through donations. Goodwill thrift stores receive tons of donations every day of the week. Many of those donations are old rare books selling for $100 or more.

However, the majority of valuable books will be what I call "bread-and-butter" titles; those that sell for $8 - $15 every single day. The books are sorted from the rest of their donations, stored in gaylords of books, and then distributed to one of their many stores.

Once the books arrive at individual stores they are shelved for the buying public. If you time your visits properly you can be there waiting for the restocking clerks to deliver hundreds of dollars worth of books into your hands. This is called "camping out" and you can read more about it at my Salvation Army Thrift Stores article for more valuable bookseller information.

Making The Most Of Your Time

Typically, when books are being shelved in Goodwill thrift stores, the restocking clerk first loads them onto a large metal book cart and then wheels them out to the showroom floor.

Ideally, you want to be ready and waiting for the books to roll so you get first crack at the most valuable inventory.

If you're on good terms with store personnel you may even be allowed to inspect the books while they're still on the cart. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until the restocking clerk actually puts them on the shelves before you can buy them and sell books4cash. These are things you need to know before you go thrift store shopping to buy used books.


You can make your income soar by "clumping" stores. That is, using the searching technique mentioned above and creating a circular map of all the Goodwill thrift store locations you have time to hit in a single trip.

In general, you want one store for each hour you plan to scout and start buying and selling books. That's how to make online profits fast.

In addition, your ending point should be the same as your starting point. Google maps can easily accomplish the task for you for free. But all booksellers who want a more sophisticated approach, you definitely want to try Microsoft Streets & Trips for the truly serious book scouter making cash for used books.

Your Community Thrift Store

Don't miss out on the most lucrative source of used books available. Make the most of Goodwill thrift stores and add significantly to your wealth by putting these bookseller tips into practice. Independent bookselling has never had it so good.

For more valuable information for booksellers take the time to review a few more of the many articles about online bookselling found on this website.

In addition, there are many great books chock full of ideas about how to profit from selling used books online. To find them just click the “GO” link next to the Search box below and you’ll be shown hundreds of titles like the sample books you see pictured:

Joe Waynick is author of several eCommerce books covering the bookselling and publishing industry. His books are available on can also follow him on Twitter @JoeWaynick.

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