Goodwill vs Thrift Store: Comparison

The major difference between Goodwill and Thrift stores is that Thrift Stores sell fairly used clothing, household items, etc., at a really cheap rate.

Goodwill on the other hand usually sells cheaper than Thrift stores, and on some occasions, if you are needy or disabled or you are not able to afford any of the items at Goodwill, you can still get them at a cheaper than Thrift store, if need be, you can get it for free.

This is the major difference between Thrift stores and Goodwill. However, it will be a good thing to know that Goodwill and Thrift stores are actually the same things, apart from the difference which I mentioned earlier.

What are the other differences between Thrift stores and Goodwill?

A lot of people are confused about the major difference between Goodwill and Thrift stores. In the quest to know these differences, some actually mistake one for the other.

However, to make this easier I will explain the major differences in this segment of the article.

Take a look at other differences:

  • Goodwill can accept lower payments or even free
  • Goodwill store is designed to make people not feel embarrassed as they shop
  • Goodwill provides employment for people with disability

Goodwill can accept lower payments or even free

Despite the fact that both Goodwill and Thrift stores are Charity driven, only Goodwill is capable of selling at a lower price, lower than Thrift stores would even sell.

They do this majorly to those who are not able to afford the items they sell at their stores. In some cases, it can be that Goodwill can go ahead to give them the items for free, this happens, but in very rare cases.

If you are not privileged and there are items that you would love to get and it is actually true that you cannot afford them, Goodwill will be able to give them to you at a very cheap rate or if need be, they can give it to you for free.

This is one major difference between Goodwill and Thrift stores.

A Goodwill store is designed to make people not feel embarrassed as they shop

No doubt that there are some categories of people who may find it a bit difficult to visit Goodwill or Thrift stores because they may not like to be seen by people that they are needy and they want to get something at a special rate.

That is why the Goodwill store setup is quite different. You can shop there without feeling embarrassed that you’re buying at a really cheap rate.

This is actually a really good way to help people without making them feel bad or embarrassed.

Goodwill provides employment for people with disability

This set of people usually find it a bit difficult to get jobs and earn a living, that is why Goodwill took them into consideration to employ them to work and get paid.

When you visit Goodwill you will observe that their workers are a mixture of needy people such as those who have disabilities, those who may be ex-convicts and may not be able to get a job because of their background, and also volunteers.

You don’t see this regularly but Goodwill has made it possible and it is what differentiates them from others.

Why do they call it a Thrift store?

They call it a Thrift store because that is the general name for stores whose primary aim is to sell items and donate the proceeds from these items sold to charity.

The purpose of Thrift stores is not for financial gain, but for charity and to help those who may not be able to help themselves.

However, when you go to other places like in Britain, you would not hear them calling Thrift store, what you would hear instead is “Charity store”. You do not need to get yourself confused because they actually mean the same thing.

This means that you can as well refer to a Thrift store as a Charity store and you will still be talking about the same thing. That is the reason why it is called a Thrift store.

Why do they call it Goodwill?

It is called Goodwill because of the founder and what he did back then to found Goodwill. Goodwill was actually named after its founder,  Rev. Edgar Helms.

What he did back when he founded Goodwill was that he went around the wealthiest areas in the city to collect used clothing and household items, then he hired and trained those who were not so well-to-do to amend and repair those items.

Since then, Goodwill has continued its charity journey by accepting donations or contributions daily from people so that they can have enough items in stock.

This makes it possible for intending buyers of these items to have what they want to buy each time they want to get one for themselves.

Also, Goodwill gives the needy the opportunity to buy items even at a cheaper rate than you can buy at other Thrift stores.

Also, if it is actually true that you are not able to afford any of these items that you need to purchase at Goodwill, they can go as far as giving it to you for free. This happens but not too often.

Is Goodwill priced higher than Thrift stores??

Goodwill is generally not overpriced when you compare it with the Thrift stores. However, they have some items that happen to be overpriced when you compare them to other Thrift stores.

Usually, when you go get some items at Goodwill, you will notice how cheap they are. When you get to the collectibles area, you will notice that it is the area that is often overpriced.

It is easy to notice these collectibles, when you get to the store you will see some items that have a special color price tag which is written “collectibles” on them.

When you see that you will know it is a collectible. Goodwill usually sells collectibles higher than some other thrift stores which are not so ideal.

You could see collectibles that are at a price tag of about $60, oftentimes you have to check these items to be sure they are working well so as to not waste your money on items that are not working well.

If you want to purchase any of these collectibles, you need to check to see if they are overpriced, there is a way you can check.

How you do it is that any item you want to get at Goodwill, check the eBay app on your phone to see the actual price, check for the items that have been sold and see how much it was sold for. If it is within your budget and not overpriced, then you can go ahead to get it.

Why is shopping at Thrift stores better?

Shopping at Thrift stores is really a good thing and there are some reasons why I would recommend you shop at Thrift stores. Take a look at the various reasons:

  • It helps you save money on good quality items
  • It makes you support Charity

It helps you save money on good quality items

No doubt that you may not be getting the highest quality items when you shop at Thrift stores, but the quality you get at Thrift stores is still a good one considering the price you are buying it.

Basically, you are getting clothing, and household items for a really cheap price at a good quality. This helps you to save some money especially if you are on a budget.

You can spend less but still buy something that will serve you for a long while. When you do not have enough money with you, you can head to any Thrift store to buy items cheaper.

It makes you support Charity

Thrift stores are not for profit-making, the sole aim is charity. Monies made from the items sold at Thrift stores are usually donated to charity.

So, if you buy things at Thrift stores you are also donating to charity and helping those who are in need. Charity is a good thing and if you have the opportunity to do charity, you should always do that.

One easy way to partake in charity is to shop at Thrift stores.  You can find the closest Thrift store around you and decide to go shopping there at least, you would have great support without even knowing it.

Is Ross a Thrift store?

No, Ross is not a Thrift store. Thrift stores usually sell second-hand items at really cheap rates for charity purposes, not for profit.

However, Ross only sells its items at a really cheap rate and not for charity purposes.  It is safe to say that Ross is not a Thrift store, it is only a discount store.


Goodwill and Thrift stores are not entirely different. They are actually similar, apart from the few differences which I have highlighted earlier in this article.

You will also be able to note the various ways these two are similar and different after you read through this article.

Goodwill does a really great job of allowing needy people who may not be able to afford some items to buy them at a cheap rate, and on a few occasions, they could get them for free.


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