Reader Question: I spend a great deal of time searching yard sales, thrift store, and going to auctions looking for stuff to sell on eBay. The other day I was searching through our local Goodwill thrift store, and I came across a lot of merchandise from the Target department store. The clothing I found looked as though it was shelf pull apparel from Target. Is it just my Goodwill store or does Target sell liquidation merchandise to Goodwill directly or is it being sourced from a contracted Target Liquidator?
Answer: I admire those who spend a great deal of time on the road looking for merchandise; I know it takes tremendous time and dedication. After receiving your email, I started investigating your question. I was able to come up with a few forum links where other individuals expressed the same question.
It appears Target does have some connection with the Goodwill chain of thrift stores providing either donations of customer returns and shelf pulls, or perhaps, they sell this merchandise to them at a steep discounted price.
In further research, I was able to download Target sustainability report from 2009 where they indicate an alliance with the Goodwill organization.
Many of the individuals who had posted the same question, went on to say that Target merchandise [in Goodwill] was being sold at prices higher than an actual Target store. This struck me as odd, but then I figured it probably had something to do with an agreement in place between the two entities, whereas, the Target corporation probably doesn’t want pricing diluted.
I would tend to say that if Target is in some way controlling pricing at the Goodwill stores, it’s indication that Goodwill is buying liquidation merchandise from them as opposed to a third-party liquidator. Since Goodwill Industries is probably purchasing at a steep discounted rate this still gives Target a basis for some tax relief, as well as the ability to enforce reselling restrictions at the same time.
While Goodwill Industries might be a large buyer of Target goods, there’s also a contracted Liquidator, based within the US, who holds one of the exclusive contracts to distribute truckloads of Target salvage products. This supplier can be found within The Liquidators Guide.