Magic finds at Goodwill bins

@_edgar_allan_hoe/TikTok Wirestock Creators/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Are TikTokers lying about finding designer items at Goodwill?

Some TikTokers think that viral serendipitous thrift finds for cheap are being faked.


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Jan 17, 2024   Updated on Jan 18, 2024, 12:15 am CST

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In the last few years, TikTok has popularized thrift shopping—so much so, doing so has entered the mainstream. Some creators have dedicated their entire accounts to sharing their own thrifting chronicles, and thrifting videos during which an unsuspecting shopper finds a special, usually designer item regularly go viral.

But like those perfectly-tuned acoustic singing videos, some TikTokers think that viral serendipitous thrift finds for cheap are being faked.

Take a video from Gabriella Yasmin (@myfavthriftedfinds), a vintage reseller who regularly finds trendy and one-of-a-kind pieces for cheap at thrift stores and flea markets. In October 2023, she posted that she found two pairs of Miu Miu shoes in good condition at the Goodwill bins. The “bins,” as they are referred to online, are warehouses full of unsorteddonated clothing at by-the-pound prices.

Items found in the bins might be unwashed, damaged, or worn out, but the magic is finding something valuable for a super low price—like Yasmin says she did. (Styles similar to the shoes that the TikToker says she found at the bins go for over $250 on eBay.)

Some TikTokers, though, think Yasmin’s discovery was a bit too good to be true. Many commenters on her video accuse her of lying about where she got the shoes and placing them in a bin only to film them like she had just found them.

Campbell (@edgar_allen_hoe) made a TikTok about Yasmin’s Miu Miu finds and said that TikTokers like Yasmin stage epic thrift finds because “it makes good content.”

“I’m sorry, but I do not believe this person found two pairs of Miu Miu heels right next to each other,” Campbell says in their TikTok. “Also still in a pair, in like perfect condition at the Goodwill bins.”

In response, Yasmin doubled down and said she hadn’t lied about the Miu Miu shoes—and that she’d found another pair of them at a thrift store.

Other TikTokers have been accused of lying about their thrift finds, like a TikToker who says she found a Hermés Birkin bag in a Goodwill bin or a TikToker who says she found a viral dress hanging at a thrift store.

Why it matters

The world won’t suddenly live in harmony if thriftTokers (allegedly) stop staging their designer finds at thrift stores, but doing so does set up fraudulently high expectations for people looking to buy their clothes second hand for cheap. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s much more likely that second hand shoppers will be asked to pay just as much or more than market value for authentic, vintage designer finds than they will find them for cheap.

Plus, lying about finding polished gems in Goodwill bins has to be bad karma—if that’s what happened.

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*First Published: Jan 17, 2024, 6:00 am CST