Heading to Goodwill is always exciting, as you truly never know what treasures you’ll stumble upon. That’s what makes thrifting so thrilling, and those of us who like to shop vintage clothing love finding something unique from the past. And Goodwill has more to offer than items for your closet: You can also shop for secondhand books, appliances, and even furniture. But the nonprofit organization is now barring customers from a different service many of us have come to rely on. Read on to find out what Goodwill won’t let some customers do until after July 5.
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Earlier this month, Goodwill made headlines with a former employee sharing some of the less appealing “secrets” about the secondhand store’s practices. The ex-employee, named Jonathan, took to TikTok to discuss his time as a drive-thru ambassador for Goodwill. He explained in his video that certain “valuable” donated items are designated to be sold on Goodwill’s online platform, rather than in the brick-and-mortar stores.
Several users commented on the Tiktok video, with many claiming they had noticed lackluster inventory at their local stores. On the flip side, other commentators said that their Goodwill store doesn’t follow this practice, or claimed that they only ever donate to independent thrift stores in the first place.
But for those who do donate to Goodwill, you may be dismayed to learn about a recent announcement from the company.
Clearing out unwanted belongings can be cathartic, and Goodwill generally makes it simple to drop off your donations. You can take bagged or boxed goods to your local donation center or donation bin, drop them off, and be on your way. There’s an added bonus if you’re able to get to a donation center with an attendant, as you’ll get a receipt that can be used to claim a deduction on your tax return.
But people in Maine may want to hold off on any belated spring cleaning or closet clean-outs, as in-state Goodwill stores won’t be accepting new donations for the time being, a June 21 announcement from the organization said. The pause also applies to stores in Portsmouth and Somersworth, New Hampshire.
According to the announcement, the Maine and New Hampshire stores stopped accepting donations on June 22 and plan to remain closed through July 5.
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According to Goodwill, the donation pause is due to a staffing shortage, as well as supply issues. Donation centers in Maine have also received a “large number of donations,” which have yet to be processed or put on the sales floor, WMTW reported.
“We hope taking this brief pause will help the stores move things along,” Heather Steeves, communications manager for Goodwill Northern England, told the outlet, encouraging applicants to fill out a job application. “If you know anyone who’s looking for work, we are hiring.”
Goodwill is by no means the only retailer negatively affected by staffing issues and the labor shortage, which date back to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as COVID numbers have declined and restrictions have been rolled back, employers are still struggling to fill positions and find qualified candidates. In fact, during the first quarter of 2022, both the hospitality and retail sectors had over 1 million new job postings, according to a new report from staffing company PeopleReady.
However, this is the first time since the pandemic that Goodwill has been forced to stop accepting donations, WABI reported.
The news isn’t all bad, and thrifters might even consider it their lucky day. According to WMTW, Goodwill said that thrifters will have even more inventory to dig through at stores and “the best shopping opportunities” in years. Over the next two weeks, if you live in Maine or New Hampshire, consider stopping in to browse at your local Goodwill and take advantage of this unique opportunity.
If you were planning to donate, you can rest assured that Goodwill will allow Mainers to drop off goods again after the holiday weekend—but, hopefully, you won’t have to wait that long. “We hope to open back to donations sooner and will update this if we do,” the announcement page reads.
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