Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries
Serving Greater Cincinnati

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for shopping at Goodwill’s network of 19 stores and boutiques in the Greater Cincinnati area. Sometimes our shoppers have questions about our policies and procedures and other aspects of our operations. Find the answer to many of our Frequently Asked Questions.

What happens to merchandise that does not sell in the store?

In order to ensure that there is always room for different items to be stocked, merchandise is removed from the store if it has not sold within 4 weeks. The clothing and linens are baled and sold as salvage or recycled with local rag companies. These sales are a significant source of revenue for Goodwill. The non-clothing items are sold at a bi-weekly public auction held at 10633 Glendale Road (not 10600 Springfield Pike) each Tuesday and Friday at 8 am. Merchandise is sold in lots to the highest bidder.

How can I be sure that the infant and children's items you sell are safe?

Each month the Consumer Safety Product Commission sends Goodwill the latest recall notices. This information is reviewed with each of our inspection and pricing team members and a copy of the notice is kept on file in their work area for reference. The identified items are removed from the shelves and are not available for purchase.

I think $7.99 for jeans is too high since they were donated to you. I thought Goodwill stores were there to help low income families and people with financial difficulties?

Goodwill collects and sells donations to fund job training and job placement programs for people with disabilities and our nation’s veterans. Eighty-five cents of each dollar that goes into the cash registers is used to pay for programs that help people right here in the Greater Cincinnati community.

Frequently your advertising refers to " New" buy out items and purple tagged merchandise. What does this refer to?

Most of the items we sell have been donated by the community and most but not all of the items have been previously owned. On occasion, we do feature merchandise in our store that is ” New” and therefore, we do very little discounting of this merchandise. In our stores these ” New” items are called ” Buy Outs” and are marked with a Purple Tag to make them easier to identify.

When I'm shopping at Goodwill and see an item I might want to purchase, will you hold it for me?

Unfortunately, due to the one-of-a-kind nature of our business, we are unable to hold things. All merchandise is sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Who determines the prices on items and what is that based on?

Goodwill prices are standardized and based on the Fair Market Value sheet which provides the price at which our stores are able to sell donated items. These prices have been carefully researched over a period of years and reflect the current Fair Market Value of each item listed.

Recently while shopping in a Goodwill store I overheard a man trying to convince the manager to sell him an item at a reduced price. Is that a common practice?

Occasionally, people will ask for an item to be discounted. It is very rare that a price would be reduced. Lowering prices on request is not a common practice for any retailer and we have adopted that as our policy as well.

My neighbor told me Goodwill employees get first option of purchasing items donated. Is that true?

Goodwill has a Fairness Policy which states that ” since our goods come from public donations, it’s only fair that every customer has an equal opportunity to purchase any items for sale here. That is why anyone who works or volunteers in a particular Goodwill store is not permitted to shop there for themselves or others.”

I made a donation last week and the man that gave me the receipt would not put the value on my items on the receipt. I thought Goodwill was responsible for that?

When donations are made to Goodwill a receipt is provided. The donor is asked to fill out the receipt with an itemized listing of the donation items, if they plan to claim it on your taxes. Goodwill will also provide a Fair Market Value sheet that can be used as a guide to establish the value of your items. Tax professionals advise donors to determine the value of their items. Donors would then be prepared to address any questions the IRS may have. IRS inquiries are always directed to the taxpayer not to the recipient of the donation. For more information about guidelines for Charitable Donations, you may wish to consult www.irs.gov.

Can I return items I bought at a Goodwill store?

Currently, only clothing can be returned for an in-store credit with receipt within ten days of purchase. This excludes sale items.

Can I buy something at Goodwill that does not have a price on it?

Items without a price will NOT be sold. Unpriced items will be reprocessed at an undisclosed time.