What are outlets or 'bin stores'?

What happens to clothing and housewares that aren’t sold at the typical Goodwill store? Items are made available at the Goodwill Outlet. Oftentimes referred to as “pound store” or “Goodwill bins,” the Outlet offers shoppers a chance to buy a wide variety of merchandise priced by the piece or priced by the pound. Outlet shopping is a go-to for resellers, upcyclers and treasure hunters.

Our Goodwill has 26 retail stores in the region and two outlet stores. While our retail stores are similar to regular department stores, our outlet stores offer a different shopping experience.

Our outlet stores are sometimes referred to as “the bins” or “bins stores.” This is because of the layout of the store. Instead of items being displayed on racks, everything is placed inside bins.

It may seem a bit chaotic, and it can be at times. But there is a method to the madness. Items are separated into different bins based on category. Clothing and textiles are placed in bins together, while housewares have their own bins, books have their own bins, electrics have their own bins, and glassware items have their own bins.

Walking into an outlet can be overwhelming. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that other shoppers are standing at the bins. If everyone is standing away from the bins, that means a rotation is happening and all customers must wait till the rotation is complete to go back out on the floor.

What is a rotation, you ask?

Bins are rotated every half hour. This means, new bins overflowing with items are coming out from the back all the time. The new bins replace other bins, that are taken off the sales floor.

Where do these items come from?

Items at our outlet stores come from our retail stores. Items are in our retail stores for five weeks. If the items haven’t sold within those five weeks, they are sent to our outlet stores. This means new merchandise is always coming to our outlet stores.

Now that you know a little more about how outlet stores work, here are some important things to know before you visit one of our outlet stores.

8 things to know before visiting a Goodwill outlet

1. There are two outlets in our area.

The outlets are at 4379 Whipple Ave. NW in Jackson Township and 1333 East 179th St. in Cleveland, which opened recently. The Jackson Township store is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, and the Cleveland store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

2. Pricing is different than at our regular stores.

Items at the outlets are priced per pound or per item, depending on the item. As of November 7, 2023, pricing at both outlets is as follows: $1.79 per pound for wares, textiles, shoes and accessories; $.99 per item for books and media; and $.79 per pound for electrical, glass, dishware and breakable wares.

Bulk rates are as follows: $.69 per pound for glass for 5-plus pounds; $.69 per pound for electrical for 10-plus pounds; $1.69 per pound for wares and shoes for 30-plus pounds; and $1.69 per pound for textiles and accessories for 25-plus pounds.

3. You should dress for the occasion.

Gloves are not required, but they might be useful when digging through the bins. Broken glass or dirty items could be in the bins.

4. You should plan to spend more time than usual shopping.

With bin rotations, this means new items are being brought out all day. Many shoppers, especially resellers, like to stick around for a few rotations to see what they can find.

5. Carts can run out quickly.

Carts are available, but they can run out quickly, so you may have to hold items.

6. There aren’t bags.

Items aren’t put in a bag when you check out.

7. Items are sold as is.

There are no returns allowed at our outlet stores.

8. What are best bins?

Best Bins is a pilot program that creates a preferred shopping program to Outlet shoppers at the Canton Outlet location.

A dedicated area is set aside at this site where bins are rolled out for “first pick” to customers who have purchased special access. One-hour time blocks are available for purchase at $3 per hour, per person. Customers can purchase up to 10 one-hour blocks per day, allowing for extended shopping time in the Best Bin area. Customers can only purchase hour blocks for the current day. No advance purchases for future days are allowed.

Once an hour block is purchased at the registers, the customer will be provided a receipt and a sticker. Only one person per purchase is allowed, and switching people during the hour block is not permitted. The hour block purchase is non-transferable. And, replacements will not be given for lost receipts or hour-block stickers.

With the purchase of an hour block, customers are entitled to two full rotations of 10 tables, providing a variety of shopping options. The new Best Bins program is only available at the Canton Outlet, beginning Monday, February 12.