Goodwill is making its first big push online with GoodwillFinds, a curated marketplace of donated goods that seeks to compete with Poshmark and The RealReal, second hand sites where resale has become sport to shoppers hunting luxury brands to flip for profit.
Launching with more than 100,000 items that typically fill the racks and shelves of brick-and-mortar Goodwill stores including clothes, toys and housewares, the site is also chock full of unique high-end finds like a retro red patent leather Gucci bag selling for $499.99, black suede Prada shoes priced at $220.00 and a Burberry sapphire crystal Swiss watch up for grabs at $230.85.
The charity, founded over a century ago, made more than $5.4 billion in donated goods retail revenue across the US and Canada last year. It uses the net proceeds to help over 100,000 people get trained and placed in full-time jobs each year, GoodwillFinds chief executive Matthew Kaness said in an interview.
“Goodwill is not just the OG of thrifting, it’s also one of the pioneers of the circular economy,” he said. (“OG” is a term that signifies a person or group is a well-respected originator in a category or industry.) “Last year, three billion pounds of items were diverted from landfills with the resale of donations made at Goodwill’s 3,300 stores across US and Canada.”
The site is expected to have over a quarter million items by the beginning of next year, Kaness said, and a loyalty membership programme catering to collectors seeking early access to the newest releases is in the works.
“To date, 90 percent of sales have been through non-digital selling channels, primarily by third party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay that individual local Goodwills have spun up over the years, but this is the first modern marketplace with national scale and reach,” Kaness said. The vision for it came from a consortium of Goodwill members from across the country, including six who sit on the board and are piloting the e-commerce platform. Kaness, who is a retail veteran from Walmart, Urban Outfitters and Modcloth, has as his goal to get all of the Goodwill stores across US and Canada online with the platform.
Growth in the resale market, which has outpaced traditional retail apparel and personal luxury nearly three-fold since 2012, is expected to outpace retail by three times through 2031, according to Morningstar. ThredUp’s 2022 Resale Report says the secondhand market should double by 2026, reaching $82 billion.
“Watching the rise of these secondhand marketplaces and the success they’ve been having with customers moving online has served as a major impetus,” Kaness said. “I feel this is a revolution that’s happening in retail right now where secondhand has finally crossed over and is seen as a force for good and not just a good deal — and we’re the sleeping giant that has woken up and is taking our rightful place.”