Best thrift store: Goodwill

Goodwill claims first for deal-seeking Mankato shoppers

In the words of Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”: “I’ve got gadgets and gizmos a plenty, I’ve got whozits and whatzits galore. You want thingamabobs? I’ve got twenty! But who cares? No big deal. I want more.” She must have gone to Goodwill.

Goodwill’s Mankato thrift store location, located at 2024 Adams St., is a treasure trove of delights. The store is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Anything you can think of, they have a second or third hand version of it for a fraction of the price. You’ll feel like a kid in a toy store at Goodwill. This isn’t because they have a wide variety of toys and plush dolls, but because there’s such an assortment of everything else.

The layout of the store is very simple and easy to navigate. Employees are friendly and knowledgeable.

If you’re looking to furnish an apartment or dorm room, Goodwill be the cheapest way to go. From desk chairs to couches and sofas, they have what you need. You can tell that they clean each piece thoroughly as they all look close to brand new. The workers will even help you get it into your car.

They can help you fill out everything else in your new place of living or if you need to replace something in your current place. You can add to the feng shui of your place by adding paintings and other art pieces. Find all your kitchen utensils, pots and pans and cook books so you can host your own dinner party. Following your dinner, you can be the life of the party with all the board and trivia games you play atop a fancy rug, all of which you bought from Goodwill.

Are you looking to lighten the mood amongst your guests with music? Goodwill has music in all forms. They have cassette tapes, CDs and even vinyls for those who enjoy a different type of sound.

Of course, the living room in which you play is lit up by the impressive lighting fixtures from Goodwill. Your night concludes with you passing out on top of the bed sheets that are the same color as your favorite obscure color, which were also bought at Goodwill.

We can’t talk about Goodwill without talking about their tag sales. On Mondays and Sundays, one color price tags are 50 percent off. On Tuesdays, that same color price tag is $1.99. This can lead to a crazy amount of savings. These tag sales are a good opportunity to buy formal or nicer clothing that may be normal priced over $10. In addition to these tag sales, there’s also 25 percent off on Senior Days on Wednesdays and 50 percent off children’s items on Kids Days on Thursdays. There’s usually some sort of seasonal or special sales event during the month such as a winter apparel clearance sale the weekend of March 4.

On the subject of formal clothing, Goodwill also has that and then some. Men should be able to find their size in suit jackets and pants. There’s an endless selection of formal wear for women that they can pair with other secondhand articles. There’s even a selection of formal shoe wear. Goodwill is the place to go if you’re looking to shop for that perfect interview or work outfit.

Not everything sold at Goodwill is secondhand. They do offer brand new packaged products such as hygienic and cleaning products. Some of the more new expensive items are found in the glass case near the cash registers. Here you’ll find newer video games, higher quality shoes, personal care products and other finer goods.

Outside of formal clothing, Goodwill offers a huge variety of other clothing overall. Do you need clothes you can wear to the gym and get sweaty? Is the look of some secondhand clothing part of your style? Are you looking to expand your collection of cargo shorts for the upcoming spring? Did you just spend your paycheck on bills and are looking to buy a new outfit for that hot date? Goodwill has clothing that looks both worn, gently worn and nearly brand new.

Goodwill is not only a place where you can buy others’ donations, but you can donate your own belongings. We all have that selection of clothing that we stopped wearing and say we’re going to wear again, but never do. So why not donate it? Plus, sales of your donated items help pay employees are train workers with disability. According to the company’s website, any donation valued at $250 or more can be considered for a tax deduction by the IRS. Be sure to ask for a receipt upon donating your goods.

The Goodwill of Mankato is your one-stop shop for anything you might need but aren’t looking to unload on. As college students, we might not always have that money to spend on brand new furniture, pots and pans or bed sheets. Goodwill will bring out the thrifty in all of us and will always be there when money is tight.

Remember that the great finds at Goodwill are thanks to generous donors who bring in clothing, furniture, and fixtures for your perusal. Take some time to go through your old things and bring them over to Goodwill. You’ll feel great knowing you’re a part of the best thrift store in town.

Photo: (Trevor Cokley/The Reporter)

Gabe Hewitt

Gabe is a junior mass media student at MSU. He's usually up for anything. You can find him on Twitter (@gabehewitt) or you can email him at gabriel.hewitt@mnsu.edu.

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