Does Goodwill Pay You For Clothes? A Detailed Look

If you’re looking to declutter your closet and wondering if Goodwill will pay you for donating clothes, you’re not alone. Many people have extra garments and accessories taking up space in their homes and want to find the best way to get rid of them.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed look at Goodwill’s donation process and policies to answer the question: does Goodwill pay you for clothes?

The quick answer is no, Goodwill does not directly pay donors for clothing or other items. However, you may still benefit from the tax deduction you can claim for donating to Goodwill. There are also other creative ways to get money from Goodwill for your stuff.

We’ll explore all the ins and outs in this 3000 word guide.

How Goodwill’s Donation Process Works

Goodwill Only Accepts Donations, No Direct Payment to Donors

When it comes to donating clothes and other items to Goodwill, it’s important to understand that they do not directly pay donors for their contributions. Goodwill is a non-profit organization that relies on the generosity of individuals to donate items that can be sold in their thrift stores.

The revenue generated from these sales is used to fund various community programs and services.

While you may not receive monetary compensation for your donations, there are still benefits to giving to Goodwill. By donating your gently used items, you are helping to support their mission of providing job training, employment placement services, and other vital programs to individuals in need.

You Get a Tax Deduction for Donations

One of the advantages of donating to Goodwill is the opportunity to receive a tax deduction. When you donate items to Goodwill, you can request a receipt that details the items you donated. This receipt can then be used when filing your taxes to potentially lower your taxable income.

It’s important to note that the value of your tax deduction will depend on the fair market value of the items you donated. To determine this value, you can refer to the IRS guidelines or consult with a tax professional.

By taking advantage of this tax benefit, you not only declutter your space but also support a worthy cause.

Goodwill Resells or Recycles Your Items

Once you donate your items to Goodwill, they go through a sorting process where they determine if they can be sold in their thrift stores. Items that are in good condition and meet their quality standards are priced and put on display for sale.

This allows others in the community to find affordable clothing and household items.

However, if an item is not suitable for resale, Goodwill has a commitment to environmental sustainability and will make efforts to recycle or repurpose it. This ensures that even items that can’t be sold are kept out of landfills and given a second life.

What Kinds of Items You Can Donate to Goodwill

Goodwill is a well-known nonprofit organization that accepts donations of various items to support their mission of helping people find employment and gain independence. When deciding what to donate to Goodwill, it’s important to consider the types of items they accept.

Here are some of the main categories of items that Goodwill gladly accepts:

Clothing in Good Condition

One of the most common items donated to Goodwill is clothing. Goodwill accepts gently used clothing for men, women, and children. This includes items such as shirts, pants, dresses, jackets, and more. It’s important to ensure that the clothing is in good condition, without stains or tears, as this makes it easier for Goodwill to resell the items and generate revenue for their programs.

Shoes and Accessories

In addition to clothing, Goodwill also accepts shoes and accessories. This includes items such as shoes, belts, handbags, jewelry, and other fashion accessories. By donating these items, you can help someone else find affordable and stylish options while supporting a good cause.

Household Goods

Goodwill also accepts donations of household goods. This category includes items such as kitchenware, small appliances, home decor, bedding, and furniture. These items are often sold in Goodwill stores at affordable prices, making it easier for individuals and families to furnish their homes without breaking the bank.


Another category of items that Goodwill accepts is electronics. This includes items such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, cameras, and audio equipment. Goodwill may refurbish some of these electronics and sell them in their stores, while others may be responsibly recycled.


If you have books that you no longer need, Goodwill is a great place to donate them. Goodwill accepts all types of books, including fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, and textbooks. By donating your books, you can help promote literacy and education within your community.

Some Restrictions on Accepted Items

While Goodwill accepts a wide range of items, there are some restrictions on what they can accept. Items that are soiled, broken, or hazardous cannot be accepted. Additionally, items such as mattresses, cribs, car seats, and large appliances may not be accepted due to safety concerns or local regulations.

It’s always a good idea to check with your local Goodwill organization or their website to get a complete list of accepted items.

By donating your unwanted items to Goodwill, you not only declutter your space but also support a worthy cause. Remember to always donate items that are in good condition and can be useful to others. Your contributions can make a significant impact on someone’s life and help Goodwill continue their important work in the community.

Creative Ways to Get Money from Goodwill for Your Stuff

Sell Items on Consignment

If you have valuable items that you no longer need, selling them on consignment at Goodwill can be a great way to earn some extra cash. Consignment is a process where the store sells your items on your behalf and gives you a percentage of the sale price.

Goodwill often accepts high-quality clothing, furniture, electronics, and other items that are in good condition. By choosing the consignment option, you can tap into Goodwill’s customer base and increase your chances of selling your items quickly.

Just make sure to check with your local Goodwill store to see if they offer consignment services and what their specific requirements are.

Negotiate Store Credit

Another creative way to get money from Goodwill is to negotiate store credit. Instead of receiving cash for your donated items, you can ask for store credit that can be used to shop at Goodwill. This is a win-win situation because you declutter your home and get to shop for new items without spending any additional money.

Store credit can be especially beneficial if you’re a frequent shopper at Goodwill and regularly find great deals. Plus, by opting for store credit, you’re supporting Goodwill’s mission of providing job training and employment opportunities for individuals in need.

Sell Online After Donating

After donating your items to Goodwill, you can take advantage of online platforms to sell them and make some money. Websites such as eBay, Poshmark, and Facebook Marketplace are popular options for selling second-hand items.

Take high-quality photos of your items and write detailed descriptions to attract potential buyers. Mention that the items were donated to Goodwill, as this can add value and appeal to socially conscious buyers.

Selling online allows you to reach a broader audience and potentially earn more money for your donated items.

Remember, the goal is to find creative ways to make money from your donated items while supporting Goodwill’s mission. It’s important to note that not all Goodwill locations offer the same services, so it’s always a good idea to check with your local store for specific guidelines and opportunities.

Tips for Maximizing Your Goodwill Donation Deduction

Donating to Goodwill not only helps those in need but can also benefit you come tax time. If you’re wondering how to make the most out of your Goodwill donation deduction, here are some valuable tips:

Itemize Your Taxes

If you want to claim a deduction for your Goodwill donations, it’s essential to itemize your taxes instead of taking the standard deduction. By itemizing, you can deduct the fair market value of your donated items, potentially resulting in a larger tax benefit.

Save Your Receipts

When you donate to Goodwill, make sure to ask for a receipt. This receipt serves as proof of your donation and can be used to substantiate your deduction claim. Keep these receipts organized and in a safe place, as they are necessary when filing your taxes.

Be Realistic About Valuations

When determining the value of your donated items, it’s important to be realistic. While it may be tempting to assign a high value to your items, the IRS requires that you estimate the fair market value based on what the item would sell for in its current condition.

Consulting online resources or professional appraisers can help you determine an accurate value.

Donate in One Year for Single-Deduction

If you plan on making multiple donations to Goodwill throughout the year, consider consolidating them into a single donation. By doing so, you can claim a larger deduction for the total value of all your donations rather than claiming smaller deductions for each individual donation.

Take Photos of Items Before Donating

In some cases, the IRS may require evidence of the condition and value of your donated items. Taking photos before donating can be a useful way to document what you’ve donated. Make sure the photos clearly show the items and their condition, as this can be helpful if you ever need to substantiate your deduction claim.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult a tax professional or refer to the IRS guidelines to ensure you are following the correct procedures when claiming a deduction for your Goodwill donations.

By maximizing your deduction, you can make a positive impact on both your tax bill and the lives of those in need.

Alternatives to Donating for Money

Other Charities That Offer Payment

While Goodwill may not pay you for your donated clothes, there are other charities that do offer payment for certain items. One example is Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization that provides professional attire to women in need.

They accept gently used business attire and accessories, and in some cases, they may offer store credit or vouchers that can be used to purchase new clothing.

Another option is Soles4Souls, an organization that collects and distributes shoes to those in need around the world. They have a program called “Donate to Earn” where you can earn points for each pair of shoes you donate. These points can then be redeemed for gift cards to popular retailers.

Consignment Shops and Secondhand Stores

If you’re looking to make some money from your gently used clothing, consignment shops and secondhand stores are a great option. These stores typically work by selling your items on your behalf and then giving you a percentage of the sale price.

The percentage varies depending on the store and the item, but it can range anywhere from 30% to 70%.

Some popular consignment shops include Plato’s Closet, Buffalo Exchange, and Crossroads Trading Co. These stores accept a wide range of clothing items, including clothing for men, women, and children, as well as accessories and shoes.

Online Resale Platforms

In recent years, online resale platforms have gained popularity as a convenient way to sell your clothing and make some extra cash. Websites like Poshmark, ThredUp, and Depop allow you to create an online store and list your items for sale.

Once your items sell, the platforms typically take a small commission, and you receive the rest of the profits.

These platforms offer a wide reach and can attract buyers from all over the country. They also often have built-in tools for promoting your listings and managing your inventory. Plus, they provide a safe and secure way to handle transactions, protecting both buyers and sellers.

Garage Sales

Another option for getting some money for your clothes is to hold a garage sale. This traditional method of selling items allows you to set your own prices and negotiate with potential buyers. Garage sales can be a great way to declutter your home and make some quick cash.

To attract buyers, advertise your garage sale in your local community, both online and offline. Put up signs around your neighborhood, post on community bulletin boards, and share the details on social media.

Make sure to display your clothing items clearly and organize them by category or size to make it easier for buyers to browse.

Remember, before choosing any of these alternatives, make sure to research and understand the specific guidelines and requirements of each option. Some may have restrictions on the types of items they accept or specific conditions they require.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the time and effort involved in each option, as some may require more upfront work than others.


While Goodwill doesn’t directly pay you cash for donated items, you can still benefit financially from decluttering and giving your quality clothes and household goods to them. The tax write-off provides one way to get value for your donations.

With a little creativity, you may also be able to negotiate alternate forms of compensation from your local Goodwill store. And if you want outright payment, consider consignment shops, online resale, or hosting a garage sale.

Hopefully this guide gave you all the details on maximizing the return for your unwanted stuff.

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