Rough Guide to Atlanta Thrift Stores, Part 2 – Goodwill

Rough Guide Pt 2

Part 2 of my (geographically biased) guide to Atlanta thrift stores is all about the Goodwills, baby.  (Click here for part 1.)  Because: SO. MANY. GOODWILLS in Atlanta.  Goodwill of North Georgia is so successful and ubiquitous that I’m pretty sure it’s run by the Illuminati.

No, seriously—I don’t want to devalue their hard work and awesome market strategizing by attributing their success to Satan. (Btw, this is the problem with saying Beyoncé is part of the Illuminati…’cause some people can’t or don’t want to believe an African-American woman would have this much success due to her own hard work and savvy.  /rant over.)

But truly, the Goodwills are EVERYWHERE. And they’re growing.

All of their prices are the same—they’ve increased in the 6 years I’ve lived here and are definitely not the cheapest around, but still not horrible. Most items are $5-and-change to $6-and-change, with “special items” more expensive and a few categories, like baby/toddler clothes, less so.

Without further ado, the Goodwills of Northeast(ish) Atlanta—chime in with your own experiences of said stores!

Buford Highway

This is our “local” Goodwill and I come here often enough that staff ask about my kid and I’m on a first name basis with Daniel, the man who works in receiving donations (I suppose this is better than being on a first name basis with the cashiers).

Recently renovated, it’s lost the musty smell and appears more spacious with fewer racks (my neighbor complains that it’s “just like all the other Goodwills now”).  It now has dressing rooms with that fancy call button so you (theoretically) don’t have to go searching for an employee to unlock the doors for you.  (Does anyone know why Goodwill locks their dressing room doors, btw?  It seems like it’d make employees’ work a lot more efficient to leave them open…)

Employees are helpful and selection is generally decent; good variety of blazers.


Roswell Road

This Goodwill is located in Buckhead and so has a pretty good selection of higher-end brands—I’ve spotted Tory Burch here multiple times, for example.  Light-filled but sometimes a bit unorganized with clothes that have fallen off racks.

Update: visited here in May 2016 and the finds were just as good – NYDJ, Olive & Oak, Boden, Eileen Fisher – but the organization was even poorer.  Things on the floor, random dress or three in the coat section or shorts in the sweater section, nothing organized by color.  It took much longer than usual to peruse.  Avoid if you can’t stand going through ALL. THE. CLOTHES.  (I thought it was fun.)


Northside Drive

In the middle, geographically speaking, between Buckhead and the West End, this store also has pretty good selection of higher-end brands.  Staff is friendly and the music is a jamming mix of Motown, Michael, and other great stuff.  The speaker announcements tend to be super quiet, which is great when you don’t want to be bothered by another PSA telling you more wares are coming to the floor…but not so great when you’re using the call button to try to get into the women’s dressing rooms.  Just go find an employee.

Make sure to check out the jewelry selection.  Lots of fun colors in this store; picked up this and this here and WISH I could have talked myself into these.


Cobb Parkway

This location in East Cobb seems to have fewer Walmart-type brands and more quality stuff on a regular basis.  A bit dark in terms of lighting.  Staff can seem standoffish but I think they’re just a reserved bunch, not unkind.

Great blouse and sweater sections; found this treasure here.  Jackpot on wayfarer-style sunglasses like these beauties.


Perimeter Center

I’ve only been here a few times but have hit the jackpot (hello, white Banana Republic pants in perfect condition) on my visits.  Definitely darker lighting; men’s section seems decent.  Usually fairly busy but worth the crowd for some good finds.


Piedmont Road

This is a new-ish store and has great lighting and an open, airy feel.  Staff is friendly, mood is bustling. Magical call buttons on the dressing rooms, although if I’m remembering correctly one of them doesn’t have any hooks to hang things…what?

I consistently find good things here, including this, this, and these.  Great shoes here; pants and skirts are a good selection, too.  This is where I found my pink/gold/wood/clear Express necklace.

One odd thing is that the first half of the dress racks are in the same place as the line to check out, which makes it a little awkward to really dig in if there’s a backup to get to the cash registers.

Tip: when leaving the parking lot, drive around to the drop off location and exit through the driveway right across from it, onto a side street.  Turn left onto the side street and you’ll end up at a light that allows you to turn left onto Piedmont (the main entrance only allows right-hand turns).


Northlake Mall

This store has two entrances—one on the west side and one on the east side.  Either is acceptable but you’ll have an easier time finding the entrance on the east side.  A bit small and shabby, we’ve found some fun frames and housewares stuff here but not as many clothes.


Sandy Springs

Just visited here this weekend; greeted by the sound of employees gossiping about someone, always pleasant!  Other than that it was a typically laid out store with mediocre selection; nothing super exciting.  Unless you love wooden hangers— there was a plethora of them.


West End
Small parking lot but great selection; I went on a Saturday with a friend and despite the busyness we scored some GREAT finds—perfect red shorts that have become a staple of my summer off-duty wardrobe for me, snazzy denim vest for my friend.

Make it a morning or afternoon and grab some Soul Vegetarian (right across the street) before or after your shopping excursion.  Delish!


Atlantans—what are your favorite Goodwills?  Non-ATL folks, what makes a Goodwill good in your area?  And what are prices like?  Scroll down to comment!



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