Shopper says Goodwill is ‘scamming’ customers with daily Color Tag Sale

@sarahisbored/TikTok kharoll Mendoza/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘She told me to go on Fridays’: Shopper says Goodwill is ‘scamming’ customers with Color Tag Sale

‘This makes sense why I can NEVER find anything.’


Rachel Kiley


A frustrated Goodwill shopper said the company is “scamming” customers after chatting with an employee about the color tags.

Sarah (@sarahisbored) says she was scoping out sales at her local store when she stopped to ask a worker about the color tags. She says she wanted to know which color tag had an additional discount that day.

What is the color tag sale?

For those who aren’t familiar, many Goodwill stores have a system set up where they will take a predetermined percentage off products with a certain color tag for a day or a week, before rotating to doing the same for the next color. The specifics regarding both discounts and schedules vary from store to store.

“And she was like, ‘It’s orange. But just so you know, we pull all the orange stuff, basically, off the floor, because we need to make our quotas,’” the TikToker says.

Goodwill has been called out for taking items of the floor in the past

This isn’t the first time someone has called out Goodwill for removing the items that are supposed to be more deeply discounted. Conversations about this practice, and the reasoning behind it, can be found scattered across the internet. 

Last year, someone who claimed to be a recent hire at a Goodwill store shared that their location regularly pulled just about every discounted item off the floor before opening on Monday mornings. They also alleged the pricier items were sent to a central location to be auctioned off online, rather than serve as a cool, cheap find at a local store.

At the time, another person countered: “The store I work at does start pulling the 50% off color before the end of that week not to be jerks but to make room for the next week’s items.”

However, the employee Sarah spoke with had a different view on the matter, allegedly saying they were regularly told to keep raising prices during morning meetings.

“I knew Goodwill was shady because all of the prices were going up and stuff, but I didn’t know it was like that,” Sarah says. “Every time I go in, I can’t find the color tag for … the discount of the day. So that makes so much sense.”

@sarahisbored like how is this allowed they literally get everything for free 😭 like no im not donating for ur tax writeoff stupids #goodwill #goodwillfinds #goodwillbins ♬ original sound – Sarah

The controversies

The constantly rising prices at Goodwill stores have been a point of contention in recent years. Shoppers have reported finding items priced higher than they were brand new (with the original price tags still intact), counterfeit designer items, expired food, and things that probably shouldn’t be for sale anywhere at all.

Goodwill has to pay for operational expenses like any other store with employees and physical locations. However, people aren’t impressed that its markups have increased so much when its actual inventory comes by way of donations. So hearing stories like Sarah’s really isn’t earning the company any favor from the public.

“This makes sense why i can NEVER find anything with the same tag color during those sales,” wrote @http_ericka.

“Thats why i don’t feel bad for [switching] tags and stuffing things in my bag,” @nohelymurillo3 admitted.

Another viewer mocked the idea of having “quotas” to meet, reiterating, “it’s literally donated merchandise.”

People claiming to be current or former employees of Goodwill had varying opinions on why the discounted items might be getting pulled. Some backed up what Sarah was told, and others said it relates to how long items have been on the floor, rather than holding items back until they can be sold at full price.

When should you go to Goodwill, according to this employee?

But the employee at Sarah’s Goodwill had one final piece of advice the TikToker shares with her viewers who are still hoping to utilize the stores as intended.

“She told me to go on Fridays ’cause that’s when they have the best deals,” she says. “And I think they keep stuff out on the floor that’s the color of the deal.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Sarah via TikTok comment and Goodwill via email.

The internet is chaotic—but we’ll break it down for you in one daily email. Sign up for the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter here to get the best (and worst) of the internet straight into your inbox.

The Daily Dot