gives shoppers more reasons to feel good about buying secondhand

Oct 05, 2022

The secondhand goods market is big and growing larger by the day as consumers are attracted by unusual finds, low prices and the knowledge that buying resale is better for the environment than buying new items. A new recommerce venture offers all of the above and also a means to help fund social service programs in local communities, such as job training and youth mentorship.

GoodwillFinds is the brainchild that arose from a consortium of Goodwill members from across the U.S. looking to do more good in their local communities. The founding board of directors for the venture are Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin, Evergreen Goodwill of Northwest Washington, Goodwill of Colorado, Goodwill of Southern California, Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana, and Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota.

Shoppers who visit can browse a selection of hundreds of thousands of secondhand items across a wide variety of product categories, including apparel (women’s, men’s and kid’s), books, home decor, specialty and collector’s goods. Net proceeds will be directed to the region where each purchased item was sourced and go back into social service programs in those areas. Eighty-seven cents of every dollar generated is reinvested in local communities.

GoodwillFinds is led by Matthew Kaness, a retail industry veteran with 20 years experience working in digital commerce, direct-to-consumer and retail technology roles for Walmart eCommerce, Urban Outfitters Inc., ModCloth and Afterpay.

“Our new social enterprise makes it easier for the conscious consumer to shop sustainably online while heightening the thrifting experience they’ve come to love at Goodwill,” Mr. Kaness said in a statement. “I’m confident that this venture will accelerate Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives through the dignity of work, raise awareness of the immense sustainability impact of thrifting at Goodwill, and increase net donations to each Goodwill region.”

“Goodwill has built a legacy of strengthening communities through the power of work,” said Steve Preston, CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “GoodwillFinds furthers that mission through a modern online shopping experience — backed by a century-old philosophy — to harness resale with purpose.”

GoodwillFinds will have plenty of for-profit competitors as it enters the market with a growing list of retailers, brands and platforms piloting or going all-in on resale., Apple, Best Buy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, eBay, IKEA, Levi Strauss, lululemon, Target, Urban Outfitters and Walmart just to name a few.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see retailers trying to raise the visibility of their secondhand offerings in light of rising prices? Will’s mission give it an edge over for-profit resale sites?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
"Consumers concerned with sustainability (and bargains) will react well and make an effort to patronize the new site."
"Going forward, any brand or retailer who doesn’t address the full lifecycle of their products will be at a distinct disadvantage."
"Just go in any Goodwill store and listen to the excitement from customers finding the right buy. Goodwill have glued their customer to their floors."

Join the Discussion!

19 Comments on " gives shoppers more reasons to feel good about buying secondhand"

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Neil Saunders

While Goodwill is a big player in secondhand it has neglected online – which is now the fastest growing channel in the resale market. Up until now, online sales have been driven by individual stores and regions using platforms like eBay to sell a select number of products. This new initiative allows the numerous Goodwill divisions to sell via their own unified platform – something that will boost traffic and increase profitability.

Mark Ryski

The secondhand market is one that can’t be ignored. Not only does it align with values related to environmental sustainability, but also with the inflationary environment that continues to pinch consumers. GoodwillFinds brings an even stronger social good message and, by the virtue of having this site, they will expose their offerings to even more consumers. This appears to be a very smart, thoughtful strategy.

Cathy Hotka

Goodwill keeps finding new ways to reach customers and better serve their communities. I’ll predict that consumers concerned with sustainability (and bargains) will react well and make an effort to patronize the new site.

Katie Thomas

Increasing visibility and access to resale and sustainable goods is always a good idea, particularly if they are more affordable. That said, some of the beauty of Goodwill, similar to a TJ Maxx, is the treasure hunt – which can’t really be replicated online. Could be worth it to really advertise the reinvestment in the local community – that’s a differentiator.

DeAnn Campbell

Secondhand sales offer a valuable assist to brands and retailers. It allows them to connect with a wider range of shoppers without compromising the perceived quality of their product, helps to control their brand image and adds a new revenue stream. Going forward, any brand or retailer who doesn’t address the full lifecycle of their products will be at a distinct disadvantage.

Jeff Sward

Great context — addressing the full life cycle of products.

Brian Delp
2 months 4 days ago

This concept is a win-win and checks several boxes off for the target demographic for secondhand. The conscious consumer tends to be socially and environmentally conscious. As for the pricing, the majors each have inventory problems right now and are focused on slashing prices on first quality to recalibrate. With the prices of new goods approaching those of resale I doubt they will plan to raise those further.

Ken Morris

Goodwill is the real deal. They are the OG of resale and as such have a unique position in the marketplace. Their pass-through to the people they serve is one of the highest among organizations of its kind: putting 87 cents of every dollar back into the communities is huge. This would put them in the A list on, for sure.

This is a winning concept with a heart. The site is easy to navigate, and featuring Halloween finds today suggests they’re on top of things, too.

Georganne Bender

I love this idea! My daughter is a serious thrifter who smartly saves on everyday items, and has made some incredible finds along the way. TikTok and Instagram Reels are overflowing with people sharing their adventures in thrifting.

Bringing the thrill of the hunt online is smart because it keeps shoppers engaged while enticing them to visit the physical stores more often.

Rich Kizer

I visited and looked over the Goodwill store near my home. It was obvious they are excitement builders for those shoppers walking the aisles. Watching the customers, it is plainly obvious it is about the thrill of the find. Goodwill will always have the upper hand in pricing the products they sell, and who wouldn’t with their cost of goods literally zero? Just go in any Goodwill store and listen to the excitement from customers finding the right buy. Goodwill have glued their customer to their floors.

Scott Norris

At least here in the Twin Cities, their locations are also well-sited and often walkable to transit and major housing concentrations. Always a full parking lot. With how much we’ve donated there recently, I wonder if I’ll stumble across some of our former stuff?

Gene Detroyer

This is brilliant. What took Goodwill so long? Many buyers of secondhand goods choose that option because of environmental concerns. Recycling is a consumer’s most visible action to support the circular economy. The demographics are also in their favor.

The key to success is how carefully the items are curated. Their site will increase in popularity among the younger generations and spread by word of mouth.

There is a Goodwill shop just two blocks from where we live. Whenever my 17-year-old fashionista granddaughter comes to visit, she heads there.

Lee Peterson

We just finished a study on the used/secondhand/recycled (whatever you’d like to call it today) business and one of the biggest factors was that doing it online was NOT profitable. Think: one item; ship/sort/shoot/touch up/post/ship again — all for ONE item. The entire used business model works best in stores so, I’m guessing they’re about to find that out.

Also in our study (2,700 consumers) just about every retail category played well with respondents, i.e.; ALL retailers should consider having a recycled section. Many are testing one now like Dick’s, REI, Walmart, Lulu, etc. High margins, low prices, treasure hunt shopping, increased footfalls — what’s not to like?

Steve Montgomery

Goodwill’s philosophy of associating resale with purpose provides a strong point of differentiation from its profit-motivated competitors. The new website will allow its participants to market to a broader range of potential customers and give those customers access to a wider selection of goods. This is a win for both.

David Spear

We recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and papers. We even have separate receptacles to place said items into. Gently used clothing is no different and positively contributes to the circular nature of retail, which offers numerous wins for all stakeholders. No doubt, you’ll see more retailers allocating time and resources into this arena.

Jeff Sward

I’ve always liked the Goodwill business model. Now that model has a newfound level of relevance. And now reading about how proceeds are reinvested locally, I like the model more than ever.

Natalie Walkley

I was an avid Goodwill shopper in my 20s in the DC metro area, and people were always amazed at what I found there. is a great way to honor well-loved products that still have a lot of life left in them, while also making them available to broader, more price-sensitive audiences.

George Anderson

Nicole Morrison, director of marketing and communications for Goodwill of Orange County, told RetailWire via email today that another site,, went live in 1999, becoming the “first online e-commerce resale site launched and operated by a nonprofit organization.”

Total sales on site have “surpassed $1.4 billion – with the majority of that coming in the last five years,” she added. generated $21.2 million in sales last month.

A total of 135 Goodwills across the country sell items on the site.

Anil Patel

More and more customers are now inclined to shop for secondhand products. However, GoodwillFinds being a non-profit brand has a different target audience than that of retailers like Target and Urban Outfitters. Therefore, I don’t think there would be any rift between the two totally contrasting business models.

"Consumers concerned with sustainability (and bargains) will react well and make an effort to patronize the new site."
"Going forward, any brand or retailer who doesn’t address the full lifecycle of their products will be at a distinct disadvantage."
"Just go in any Goodwill store and listen to the excitement from customers finding the right buy. Goodwill have glued their customer to their floors."

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