CrossCourse Open in app

Goodwill .vs. Mobile 2nd Hand Goods Apps

Musing on mobile 2nd hand sell/buy apps vs Goodwill Seattle store.

avatar Robert Mao
点击右上角"更多"按钮,选择 即可进入app

Goodwill is a none-profit store in Seattle area. It's model is simple, you have something no longer need? Instead of throwing them away or try to sell on eBay, you give away them to Goodwill for free. (They will present you a donation certificate for your tax benefit.) Then Goodwill categories those donated goods and sell them in their outlets alike stores.

Sometimes you can really find some nice and fun stuff here. So visiting Goodwill stores is not only about finding cheap stuff, I know many people like to buy interesting rare stuff, it's like digging the golds.

Look those beautiful art works I spotted in a goodwill store, they are inexpensive but beautiful:

If you like old books, old records, paints. Here is surely some place to go.

Or some really weird electronic gadgets. You can even find some really old phone or VCR devices here for just a couple bucks.


Or computer components, network routers or ski gears...

I like Goodwill, in the last few years, we donated quite a few stuff to them, from clothes, toys, to gadgets, old computers. It's actually make you feel well that your useless stuff can be helpful for others.

On the other hand I enjoyed visiting their store, sometimes I don't buy anything but still liked to find different old things there in the store. It's Bellevue store located close to a Chinese grocery store, so it easier for me to go there.

They do have online stores, but apparently they didn't get it very well yet.


There are eBay, Craigslist for those who don't want to simply donate their stuff for free. There are also mobile apps for people quick and easily to put their items on line for sale.

It's interesting two friends of mine created two competitive mobile apps on this sector:

icon $0
OfferUp - Buy. Sell. Simple.

icon $0
5miles – Your Mobile Marketplace

icon $0
Carousell - Snap to Sell, Chat to Buy

Those apps essentially do the same, you can sell your old items by simply taking pictures from your mobile phone. Or you can browse the items others sell and buy them.

I tried both app and honestly I didn't successfully sell or buy anything there. I randomly listed something and someone interested but I am really lazy to spend time handle the items to a stranger for a couple bucks. I think I am not a typical user for these type of apps.

Sometimes I browsed and found something interesting, however since they are used items it's really hard to decide if it worth any from the photos. That's a huge benefit Goodwill stores can provide, I can look at the real thing in the store.

I am wondering what if an app do something similar to Goodwill? They let users donate not sell, but categories and evaluate the donated items better and sell for social benefits? Will that be something better?