SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- After dealing with the Goodwill Industries of San Diego through an eBay listing, I have absolutely nothing good to say about their etiquette or "goodwill" proceedings. I recently typed up an email complaint and sent it to the corporate Goodwill Industries office. The email is copied below:
Recently I was shopping on eBay and came across an art/painting book that I intended to purchase for my daughter. The original list price for the book was a "buy it now" for $4.60, but being an avid eBayer I know that most people will accept (or at least consider) a "best offer". I figured since it was listed by the Goodwill of San Diego, they would be happy to take an offer of $3.75; and if not, they could have counter offered. I proceeded to send them a message and the next day received a reply stating:
"Thank you for contacting us! We appreciate your kind offer, however, due to our corporate policies, we are unable to modify or discount the prices on any of our items. This item does include FREE economy shipping, and if you should have any other questions or concerns, please, feel free to let me know right away. Thanks again for choosing Goodwill, we appreciate your time & support! Have a great & safe day!"
Notice the specific line of the reply that I have highlighted for you. After my money cleared the bank, I returned to purchase the book and was not pleased to discover the book price had doubled!! It is now listed for $9.98. "Due to corporate policies, [he/she is] unable to modify or discount the prices"-- yet he felt he could double the list price of the book? Not to mention, the book is listed as "good" condition which means it's far from "new" or "like new" condition- aka a crappy copy.
I am writing to inform you of the behaviors and on-goings of this "Tom" and I hope he feels real good about himself and the poor business practices/mannerisms he employs. It's common knowledge that Goodwills are meant to help people and the community-- i. e. "goodwill". As a matter of fact, I just donated hundreds of dollars worth of items to my local goodwill because we moved recently and had doubles of everything. BUT seeing how the Goodwill Industries operate, I will NEVER again donate anything to goodwill.
I would get more pleasure watching my belongings burn to carbon ash in my burn pile. And, it is very unlikely I will ever shop at any Goodwill store ever again either. Do not mistake my intentions in writing this complaint. The price is not the issue, as I am quite capable of buying a 10 dollar book-- It is the underlying principle(s) of the whole situation which upsets me. I hope the book falls apart and we'll see who buys it then. Have a nice day.
After checking into their history and feedback, here is some interesting information I found--
* The book has been listed since March 31, 2013 and the price has been revised 18 times.
* (To date) In the last 12 months, their eBay ID has received 33 neutral feedback ratings and 31 negative ratings. Six negative ratings have been posted in the last month.
* Their negative ratings consist of people complaining about misleading information in the listings, not receiving orders, no responses to complaints via email, shipments of poor quality or non-working products, and cancelling auctions due to "typos". Good job Goodwill. Very professional!
SWARTHMORE, PENNSYLVANIA -- I've been shopping at this Goodwill over four years, I've been on social security disability a very limited income. Prior to going to GW I hadn't shopped other than for food since 2006. Since summer of 2012 the prices have doubled on many items and skyrocketed on other items. I am now priced out of GW. It is obvious to me that other people are also going elsewhere to shop. This particular store used to be crowded, not any more.
Today I found a pair of used shoes typically they are $4.00. These were marked $9.00! I don't know why, they were used, not a big name or anything. Old wool coats that were $10.00 last winter are $25.00 - $50.00 this winter. Used vests were $5.00 now they are $7.00. Hoodies went up as well. Used bath towels are now $4.00 each! Bath mats are $5.00. Used end table lamps range $25.00 - $50.00 EACH (shades NOT included). They charge retail prices for the used shades ugh. Pictures are outrageously priced, usually by size, what used to be $15.00 is now $40.00 and up. Today I saw $100.00 mink stole, it's been there 3 weeks now.
It is said that this is what is charged on eBay. Really?!! Well you can charge anything you want on eBay, problem is what YOU think your stuff is worth is not what others will actually pay. So to me the "eBay rule" is used by Goodwill to gouge. Over the past few months I've walked out of GW with nothing and so have others.
I used to be able to find what I thought were deals. Now I just put the stuff back on shelf or rack and walk out. The customers are talking to each other about the price gouging to each other. YOUR repeat customers are not spending like they used to. Finally no more returns. All sales are final. Price gouging and no returns. GW used to be my first stop shop. Now I go every two or three weeks and leave empty handed more times than not. If Goodwill is a non-profit then why do they charge tax on items they get free? Do they keep the tax or have to hand it over to the state?
CARROLLTON, GEORGIA -- I want to agree with the person who complained about prices at their Goodwill store in Indiana. The store I shop at in Carrollton, Georgia has gone crazy, too. They put outrageous prices on things, especially if they think it may be an antique. I used to like to shop there to find old furniture that I could fix up and sell in my used furniture store. Now, they sell their stuff for more than I do! Some examples - an old beat up antique dresser for $150, an old quilt that was nothing special at all for $200 and a chipped, no name old platter for $20!
Sometimes they print out something off the computer showing online prices and put it next to an item. Like sets of old dishes - they go to one of those sites where you can buy replacements and copy their pricing. These sites are always high priced, since they target people who are looking for a particular piece. Those are not the people who frequent Goodwill! I really feel for the needy people who are there looking for good deals. They would do much better to go buy new at Walmart (and I hate Walmart!).
Does anyone know who is in charge of Goodwill? I would love to have someone "investigate" how they are using all this money they are making. Is it going to pay for the big billboards advertising for them lately? Maybe to pay extra employees to sell their best stuff online? It all sure sounds greedy to me. Salvation Army is a whole different story. They still have good prices and I have seen them actually catering to people in need. For some reason, they don't get as much stuff as Goodwill, though. I will only donate to them from now on!
COLUMBIA CITY, INDIANA -- There is nothing "Good" about Goodwill and its policies. There are not here to help the needy, they are here to make a profit only! I bought couple clothing items 3 days ago and asked the cashier if it would be OK for me to bring the items back in 3 days' time to return and buy again for the sale that was going on today (50% clothing items), she said it would no problem.
Today when I go back to the store to do so, a different cashier and manager tells me they will not do that, because they have to process the items and it could take DAYS for them to return the items back to the floor. In the past I have done this in other clothing and high-end stores and they had no issues, the customer came first. I guess for Goodwill, the customer doesn't matter!
CROWN POINT, INDIANA -- I am an avid thrift store shopper. It is an enjoyable experience browsing and picking up clothing and housewares in good condition at a thrifty price. I visited your Goodwill in Crown Point, In. and found just the opposite. I got a bad vibe when I entered the store. Employees not friendly or helpful. I am all for helping the needy, but the prices are ridiculously high. It is not affordable to help the unfortunate when the cost is out of line. I would rather shop at other thrift stores that help others with lower prices and be able to provide help to needy people that are in distressed situations.
I will not shop at Goodwill again. Again, the experience was negative and do not feel they are considering the people in need with unfriendly employees and high prices.
SAN DIEGO -- Goodwill in Pacific Beach has gotten out of control with their prices. When I have asked I was told it is corporate. Goodwill is to help the community with job training and resale of donated goods in local stores. With the eBay auctions some local donations never get into the stores. For the in store items they have a list of brand names and anything on the extensive list is marked a higher price. Boutique Items! Used towels are $3.99 and other items are also more than retail prices. Three blocks away is CloseOut Store where I purchased a $30.00 retail new towel for $4.99. A designer brand name coat with a huge tear was $39.99 marked boutique at Goodwill.
What is with the price gouging in this economy that is supposed to be helping the community? Many items have doubled, tripled or more in cost since the economy has taken such a downturn. I think Goodwill has gotten greedy and far away from their goals. I donated a small furniture item that never got put out. I like their books but will never donate anything to them again. I fell sorry for the people that do not know what discount stores offer that is new. Retail is chopping prices and goodwill thinks they are a high end boutique and keeps raising theirs. Doesn't make sense. Buyers Beware.
Goodwill Industries of San Diego County is a local charity, part of a national network of charities using the Goodwill name, but it all stays here in San Diego. We also (in SD) do not solicit the public for cash, instead selling donated items to support our job training and employment services- through the collection, processing, sale and transportation of these items we have almost 800 San Diegans on the payroll. Items are priced based on what the market will bear. If an item is damaged it should never reach the retail sales floor, and if you found it and showed it to our managers they would have taken it off the floor- we do not sell items at retail that are damaged, but some slip through, and sometimes the damage is caused by a visitor. If items weren't selling we would be evaluating the price points for that category. But they are selling, and because of that we have been able to bring on almost 200 employees over the past two years, thanks to our donors and our shoppers!
CROWN POINT, INDIANA -- When I donate to a store like this I expect low income families to benefit from it. Low income families can't afford to shop there. They are better off shopping the clearance racks at regular department stores. The people who have commented by saying the goodwill does so much in other ways obviously never had to go into a store like that to buy their kids clothes and not be able to afford them!!!!! People need to get out of their little bubble worlds and realize that all that glitters isn't gold. I feel scammed as someone who has donated and shopped there before. There are other ways to donate and help out the less fortunate.
JACKSONVILLE, ARKANSAS -- When I stopped by to see if they had anything I was walking in the back end of the store and could hear the workers going through stuff that had come in and was discussing what they were going to take home. Friends stopping by to see if they had found the items that they needed that these people were putting back for them. The store smelled horrible. Never again. I will take my money elsewhere.