How to thrift safely during a pandemic

Thrift stores reopened in mid-May here in Ohio and although we made the parody video about renewing my vows to Goodwill, I admit I was a little cautious at first about going back out into the world of retail.

I previously visited a local bargain store (not a thrift store) and my experience was not very pleasant, to say the least. It was like Black Friday on steroids. So I decided to wait several weeks to venture out into the world of thrifting before making my way out to Goodwill stores including Cuyahoga Falls, Wadsworth, and Akron (Waterloo Road).

I’ve got to say, hats off to Goodwill Akron! This was one of the most organized, and pleasant thrifting experiences I’ve had.

Goodwill Akron announced a number of safety measures for its customers and employees. Like many people, I was very curious to know what thrifting would be like nowadays so I thought I’d share what to expect at Goodwill Akron:

Masks are required for all customers, donors and employees while in the stores. The last hour (5-6 PM) is dedicated to those unable to wear a face covering.

The first hour of operation (10-11 AM) is dedicated to at-risk populations.

One way store aisles ( I wish it will stay like this forever!)

Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing efforts (An employee sanitized my cart on my way out of the store).

Social distancing reminders throughout store

Shields at checkout between team members and shoppers 

Reduced occupancy within stores

Contactless donation drop off

Although I’m personally not ready to try on unwashed clothing, fitting rooms are open.

Of course, you’re always going to have someone who refuses to follow the rules, which is a reason why I was hesitant to go back in the first place. The reason why I felt more comfortable going back to Goodwill was because I watched the staff reinforce the rules. I saw them sanitize my cart, they asked me to step back when I accidentally got too close to the checkout counter, and I saw them ask a customer not wearing a mask to either come back or purchase a mask from Goodwill.

At the end of the day, I highly encourage you to do what feels right for you.

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