While the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for most businesses and organizations, including non-profits, there have been unique growth opportunities. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys has seen online shopping sales increase by more than 50% in comparison to last year. To meet the demand, Goodwill has added staff to its eCommerce operation, which now employees 25 full-time people. Also, 7 individuals who participate in Goodwill programming are receiving work experience in the department.
When stores closed in mid-March as a result of the shutdown, Goodwill immediately saw online shopping spike by more than 40%. The department continues to run nearly 25% above where they anticipated they would be with normal growth this year. The increase in online shopping has been instrumental in supporting the demand for Goodwill services, which has nearly doubled in 2020.
“People know the traditional brick and mortar Goodwill Stores,” states Sarah Mix, Director of Retail & eCommerce. “What they may not realize is you can shop Goodwill online while still supporting your local community – right from the comfort of your couch. There are many interesting and unique finds on our online shopping storefronts. We’ve sold a vintage Trifari sterling silver spider brooch that was partially made of rejected aircraft windshields from WW2 planes. The strangest item I’ve seen was a Kenner Blythe doll, whose eyes would change colors when you pulled a string. I always say, you never know the treasures you will find when you shop at Goodwill including online.”
There are thousands of new items each month listed on Goodwill Industries of the Valleys’ eCommerce storefronts. Items most often seen on the ShopGoodwill auction website include jewelry, designer clothes and shoes, home décor, collectibles, art, small appliances, video games and systems, and electronics. On Goodwill’s Amazon, eBay, and Alibris eCommerce storefronts, items available range from books, movies, music, and video games.
“I think it is important for our customers to know that there are treasures available both online and in traditional Goodwill stores,” adds Mix. “Less than 5% of items donated to Goodwill end up selling online. Most items are still selling in our stores, so whether you choose to shop in person or online you will be able to continue to enjoy your Goodwill treasure hunt.”
When people shop online or in-store at Goodwill, they are giving back to their community. Revenues from the sale of items online or in Goodwill brick and mortar retail stores help to fund training and employment programs for people in our local communities. People with disadvantages and disabilities receive training so they can find a job, earn skills to get a better job, or gain greater independence.
Shop Goodwill online and in-store this holiday season and you will help your neighbors have hope that good will come.
Goodwill’s Online Shopping Link: