front porch trash

front porch trash

Monday, February 24, 2014

Outlet Shopping

I've been thinking about my nearest GW outlet for a while now. The problem is that it's over 2 hours away. I really have to think three times about going and be careful with my shopping. But....I finally took the plunge and gassed up and drove to Winston Salem.

All of our vehicles have over 100,000 miles on them. My car has 149k, but it is in good shape and I don't hesitate to take it for a little run. My SweetiePie suggested I rent a car. I convinced him that it would be safe to take my car. After all we just had the valve gasket replaced and our guy said everything looked great. I didn't need the extra expense of a rental. (However, I did take a change of clothes and my medication in case I decided I was too tired to drive home late at night. Didn't need that either.)

So off I went. Of course I picked a day that started out with rain. But it quickly cleared up and turned into a beautiful, warm and sunny day. The outlet opened at 9AM but I knew I couldn't be there that early. I had two heavy traffic metropolitan areas to get through and I knew traffic would be killer. I got there at 10AM and the place was sorta crowded. I have been to the GW outlets in PA, SC, and Charlotte NC. This one is the smallest of the bunch. Warehouse style and loaded with the blue bins on wheels that seem to be the standard for these outlet places. The outlet was located at the regional headquarters and there was a training area and a retail store, along with the outlet. The retail store looked like a dept. store with multiples of the same items that looked like Target, Kohls overstock. Didn't buy but one thing there.

This outlet has several rows of the bins back to back, which makes it difficult to reach stuff on the opposite side of the bin because you can't get all the way around. I resisted the urge to get in the frenzy that happens when new bins are rolled out. Everyone was lined up at least two deep to get "stuff". Grab what you can and toss it in your cart and then grab more. Then it thins out and everyone moves to other bins to sort their "stuff". I watched from a distance at the frenzy. Kinda funny to see respectable grown up adults acting like 5 year old children after the pinata breaks. Maybe next time I'll join in. I've had my shots!!

I wandered around looking at the various bins trying to get a feel for what was where. Clothes when you first go in. Electronics on the right. Dishes and household stuff at the back and on the left. A little bit of everything and a lot of dirt. I'm glad I took my thrifting gloves. I have shopped in the free bin enough to get cut, scraped and exposed to who knows what and learned quickly to take gloves for digging stuff.

Overheard while shopping:
"I think they spray all the clothes with water to make them heavier"
"Smells like poop in here"
"Skank wear!!(followed by laughter)
"OMG!! how cute"..."OMG!! how gross" (by the same person, different items)
"Why would someone throw that away?" "That's trash"(by the same person, different items)

I had ruled out items that I wouldn't buy by the pound before I went. Jeans, they weigh 1 to 2 lbs a pair. Sheets, a full size set weighs 2-3 lbs. Appliances, too heavy by the pound unless they are really special.
Well, rules are made to be broken. I ended up buying at least one of everything on my list. It's my list and I can change the rules when I want!!

I bought a set of flannel sheets, king size. I don't know if I will ever get the smoke smell out of them. They didn't smell that bad when I bought them. Let me rephrase that. They didn't smell any worse than anything else there. I bought 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of denim shorts. Because? I made the cut off, bleached, denim shorts last year and sold every pair I listed for $20. I bought both because they were the small, high waist style. I bought some plus size blouses. Not high end, but I will make 10-15 profit on them. I bought a few men shirts. Again not high end, but I will make 10-15 profit.

I did buy appliances. I picked up several printing desktop calculators which seem to have a decent sell through rate. I bought a wireless intercom set, 3 portable CD players, a walkman, 2 electric blanket controls, several ac adapters, 2 CD's to listen to on the way home and some miscellaneous stuff.

My total weight was just over 83 lbs and I spent $99. I had a total of 58 items. I thought about weighing everything and using that as my cost when figuring profits, but I just averaged the price of everything and it came out to $1.70 each. That is $1.70 for a men's trenchcoat and also $1.70 for a pink magic wand (lights and sound!).

Overall I think I might go back one more time to see if the range of items varies significantly. I'll see how the things I purchased this time sell and go from there.

Some of the stuff I bought. The orange bag is full of odds and ends. The stack is vtg 3M bookshelf games.
The very 70's beige case with the stripes will be another blog post. I'm excited about that.

The good thing is that everything is washed and I need to clean the appliances before photo time and then I am good good to go.


  1. Am new to your blog and made my way to you from Third Hand Shoppe. I just recently starting going to my local GW outlet and what an experience!! I have to travel 45 minutes, which I think is a distance, but I do try to get out there 2x a week. When I do, I stay there as long as I can and buy as much as I can. Right now, they are selling items at 69-cents a pound (except clothes are $1.49/lb). So I have to take advantage of this price. It's just funny how the experience at the GW Outlet seems to be the same no matter the city or state. I try to stay away from the "feeding frenzy" except for the toy bins. They are very limited so it gets very crazy when the toys come out but I somehow get through it ... LOL. Glad to find your blog and will be sure to add you to my blog roll.

  2. I have been reading (lurking?)your blog for a while now. Really enjoy it. I saw your post about the outlet and it made me decide to make the trek to mine. Only I had a 2 1/2 hour drive. And I stayed 6 hours!! Trying to figure out if it was worth it. I still plan on going back in a couple of weeks. Wish my GW outlet had 69 cent items. Everything is one flat $1.10. I have been also watching Gilldaddy's videos. I didn't find very many of the things he finds. But good info there anyway. Happy digging!!