Thread Number: 36824  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Dumping vacuums at my Goodwill?!
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Post# 393951   6/27/2018 at 18:10 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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Today, something happened at my Goodwill store: A Kirby Sentria vacuum came in, just the vacuum and nothing else. It was in pretty rough shape.

Now, every vacuum we get is tested before being priced and placed on the sales floor; if it is stinky or doesn't work right, it gets sent to a Goodwill Outlet or thrown away. I don't think the Kirby got tested, so a co-worker decided that this vacuum be thrown away, which did happen. She said that our store doesn't sell old-fashioned bagged vacuums.

I was ashamed. Kirby vacuums are expensive and reliable, so why waste such a good vacuum?

What are your thoughts on this matter?

Post# 393954 , Reply# 1   6/27/2018 at 19:05 by daknx1994 (Southern Indiana)        

I find statements like that so funny! "Our store doesn't sell old fashioned bagged vacuums". I know most people buy and like bagless for many reasons but just last night I was reading some reviews for current budget bagged vacuums. Literally every review or comment was something along the lines of, "This is our first bagged vacuum in ten years and we will never have bagless again", "We have had bagged vacuums for years and love them". There was also some reviews mentioning how the suction always seems better on bagged machines. Anything from how long the bags last to how they hated messing with the dirty emptying of a bagless unit. Bagged vacuums are still popular. You can think big box stores for pushing the cheaper, not so long lasting vacuums you see today. Now I am not bashing every bagless vacuum out there. I own several bagless machines and each have their quirks. I just prefer the simplicity of a bagged vacuum.

Post# 393958 , Reply# 2   6/27/2018 at 19:56 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

That is pretty sad - "no one wants old fashioned x and x..."
That is the only reason the ladyfriend and I go thrifting!
Two months ago I got a Sunbeam Radiant Control toaster for 0.39!! I guess 'no one' wanted those old things. To me that was the 'holy grail' for the year and I was laughing right out of the store, toaster in-hand.
Now most of the stores I visit have the real OLD stuff in bidding areas, so they know lots of old stuff sells well.

The policies at these stores vary as much as the number of stores they have, as it just depends who is on duty that day. I have heard many wierd things from them.

I was at GW in Plano (Spring Creeks @ Alma) today and there were about 10 plastic-vacs, and one old bagged Oreck XL ($35 with a package of bags taped to the handle). I bet the Oreck will be the first to sell...

Some of these store managers are just stuck in the dumb modern fads and trends. However, when WE visit these stores, I see MANY customers who are clearly not. Old stuff should be at least put out there cheap.

Now I can understand that if the vac is total crap, then it should get tossed. There are some people who go to thrift stores expecting to find perfect units for $20, who are jokers. I go there to get good resto candidates. And anyone to chuck a high end vac that is restorable should learn more about them and how easy they are to fix.

Post# 393959 , Reply# 3   6/27/2018 at 20:17 by JustJunque (Western MA)        

That is sad. Especially if it wasn't even tested.
I'm not much of an upright vacuum guy, but I can certainly appreciate them.
And a Kirby? Come on.
Like you said: they're expensive, and seem to be a good quality vacuum.
And one that can probably be repaired, if there was something wrong with it!
It sounds like you work at the store?
If so, are you allowed to bring home anything that they were just going to throw away?
Might be a good way to grow your collection!


Post# 393961 , Reply# 4   6/27/2018 at 20:33 by blackheart (North Dakota)        
Not taking bagged vacuums

I brought a Kenmore Elite upright to a local Dakota boy's ranch thrift store and they told me they didn't take bagged vacuums because they don't sell. I told them working in the vacuum industry for a year and a half that bagged vacuums are superior but if they don't want it that's fine. So i just stopped at another DBR and they took it.

They say they don't sell but I rarely see the same vacuum sitting at the thrift stores whenever i make a round unless they're missing major parts.

That's a real shame though to toss a Kirby out so carelessly. They're one of the best, at least for carpet.

Post# 393964 , Reply# 5   6/27/2018 at 20:45 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I see a newer Kirby

Almost every time I go to the outlet, I saw a G6 tonight, a like new Sentria was there last week, but it had the hose hooked up and I couldn't find the rug head or I would have bought it, all vacuums are 5.00, I have bought dozens of Electrolux Super Js, Olympias and Silverados there , Rainbows too.

Post# 393965 , Reply# 6   6/27/2018 at 20:48 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I buy all

The nice orecks and re sell them, buying them for 5.00, I clean them up , put on a new belt and pack of bags and sell them for 50.00 to 75.00

Post# 393968 , Reply# 7   6/27/2018 at 22:14 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I think some thrift stores try to look modern and have the same kind of stuff you would see in a retail store, to seem more boutique like.

I see all kinds of vacuums at my Goodwill. I've seen nice Kirby Sentrias and Electrolux for $20 or less with all attachments. Those tend to sell pretty quickly.

It's a shame all the big box stores these days push bagless vacuums so much and only have one or maybe two bagged models. People just think bagless is so great, and I guess it's not a big deal to clean the filter if you plan to buy a new one every year or two.

I always go back to Sears on this which I know is pointless, but at least they tend to promote bagged machines. I'd say they're doing something right there, by going against trend for something that works better whether the vast amount of people like it or not.

And I'm not dissing bagless vacuums, we have one here and I don't mind using it, it's prefectly fine, I just agree that bagged vacuums aren't outdated or old fashioned.

Post# 393971 , Reply# 8   6/27/2018 at 23:03 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I would have dug it right back out of the dumpster and took it home. Friend of mine dumpster dives at his Goodwill and always pulls out so much good stuff. He resells it at a flea market and keeps other stuff for himself. He's found everything from antique China to LEGO sets to 50 year old Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars.

No Goodwill is supposed to throw donations into the dumpster, it's a violation of company policy. It's supposed to go to the bin outlet stores where things are sold "by the pound", where it will have a final chance at being sold before being recycled.

I worked at Goodwill for a brief time and was instructed to throw away two old kerosene hurricane lamps from the 1800's. They told me to put it outside in the grass behind the store to be collected with hazardous waste because they were very flammable and dangerous to use (yeah right). As I was leaving to go home, I went back there and took them home with me and I still have them. Nobody ever said anything to me. I checked their value and they were nothing terribly rare or worth a lot of money. I filled one with citronella oil and use it when I am working outside to keep mosquitoes away.

Post# 393973 , Reply# 9   6/27/2018 at 23:15 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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I was just at my Goodwill btw and they had some kind of weird and obscure canister vacuum made by a company called Everstar. I opened it up to check it out and nearly barfed. Smelled like someone used it to suck up pond scum and maybe the cat's litter box. It was being sold for $4.99.

Alas I go back 3 days later it's gone. Someone was brave enough to buy it. I suspect a vacuum collector frequents my Goodwill because there's rarely vacuums there that are any good, and I've never seen a Kirby. And yes, every vacuum I have got there has usually always needed a lot of love, motor oil, and about a gallon of soap and disinfectant.

But yeah Goodwill pays attention to social media, and thanks to all the people that post on reddit about finding $200 dresses for $3, is trying heavily to be a boutique department store like Target or something. So if something has even the slightest imperfection, it's chucked to the bin store and not even put out for sale. They jack the prices up like crazy and the employees that have control over the price tag rolls usually have no idea how much something is worth. You can see a 10-15 year old completely clogged Keurig on the shelf marked at $30 because "OMG its a Keurig these are very expensive". They lately have been marking all the Dirt Devil hand vacs at $19.99 regardless of their condition, and it's ridiculous.

Post# 393979 , Reply# 10   6/28/2018 at 02:20 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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What was that old saying about a fool and his money?

Post# 393980 , Reply# 11   6/28/2018 at 02:29 by Louvac (A)        
Not-So GW...

GW has gotten a big ass these days! They are looking up donations that come in on sites such as fleebay, and the like, and then pricing items the same as what they see them LISTED for, NOT for what they actually sold for which often times is far less.

I wouldn't donate anything to GW because they are starting to get very greedy. Their prices are outrageous for items that are missing parts, broken, or filthy! And yes, I have gotten some great vacs at GW but the pricing has been all over the place with no consistency. I am considering filing a complaint with the Department of Consumer Protection because they are ripping people off. Yes, I know it is "buyer beware" but their greed is getting in the way of their good will. The outlet store near me has a nasty woman there who thinks she is being funny when the store cashier has to track her down to ask her how much the vacuum is. She randomly makes up a number and if it is too much I tell the cashier to tell her she can toss it in the dumpster because no one in their right mind is going to buy it. Many of the store employees save and hold items aside for their friends and practically give the stuff away when they come in and yet when you come in they try to rip you off. I have seen this first hand.

I had bought an Oreck Buster B for $10 one day only to find another in equal condition the next day and when the cashier asked one of the managers the price, the same woman (whom I can't stand and neither can several other people I've bumped into have also said) priced it as $50 and I laughed right in her face and told her I was going to report her to their corporate office-which I did do-several times. Next step is Department of Consumer Protection.

Mark my words, I believe you are going to see a shakedown with GW and others like them for unfair pricing. It's just a matter of time.

Post# 393989 , Reply# 12   6/28/2018 at 10:13 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
The secret is

Find a Goodwill Outlet, They sell everything that the stores cant or wont, everything is piled in big bins and sold mostly by the pound, Vacuums and mixers etc are all 5.00 a piece!

Post# 394000 , Reply# 13   6/28/2018 at 13:37 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

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Not only do they sell Kirbys here, but they put a rather high price tag on the damn things! Even beat up, crusty looking old ones!!! 


But personally, I don't find most bagless vacuums to be all that satisfying, and I don't mean emptying even, I mean at the ned of the hose! They usually either just don't have the power in the first place (this is more of the vacuum being cheap and underpowered, I see it with cheap bagged machines too!) or, as is more common, the sucky-sucky disappears too quickly! Dyson's older models were OK, I actually really think the DC23 Moorhead was one of their best machines for cleaning carpet, but their dumb wand design makes it virtually useless for attachments in my eyes, which is very unfortunate being a canister and all! Even though I find some vacuum bags to be kind of overpriced, I think just about anyone can afford the bags. Unless its a Rainbow, I just can't see how bags are less convenient than a big dusty mess!

Post# 394015 , Reply# 14   6/28/2018 at 17:45 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I hope you grabbed that Kirby out of the dumpster on your way home. I know I would have. At the very least, you would have a wealth of parts to use on your own repair projects or to sell on eBay. But yeah, there is no apparent rhyme or reason in the pricing of vacuums and other appliances at GW or other thrift stores, for that matter. The only thing that is certain is ignorance abounds.

On the flip side of that coin, a few years ago when I worked in a discount retail store, we had a Dayton wet/dry shop vac in the stock room as store equipment. After about three years of it being more in the way than in use, and with pieces of it being scattered in random spots all over the stock room, the manager told me to toss it in the dumpster and then added that if it ended up in the back of my car that night, she didn't want to know about it. Needless to say, I took the hint, gathered up all the various pieces and parts, wheeled the thing out the back door and retrieved it on my way home. To this day, I still have it and have never said a word to her about it.

Post# 394020 , Reply# 15   6/28/2018 at 18:32 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        
@ human

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Funny you mention that, I have a Dayton shop fan that my father got from the post office when he worked there as a janitor/repairman. He pilfered all kinds of old electrical parts from the supply room when something was upgraded to meet the newest code standards, and nobody ever said anything to him. I guess that's how ended up with the shop fan, as it probably didn't meet safety code. It needs the motor repaired and oiled nowadays though.

Post# 394047 , Reply# 16   6/29/2018 at 17:52 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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All I can say is WOW (like Owen Wilson). For clarification, I do volunteer at my local Goodwill, formerly three days a week, four hours a day. I'm hoping to get hired there!

Anything donated becomes the property of Goodwill until sold; this includes items on the property that will be thrown away. Employees can only purchase items before or after a shift.

All garbage is thrown in a rolling black bin, then dumped into a compactor when full. So the Kirby is a lost cause.

Post# 394078 , Reply# 17   6/30/2018 at 02:29 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

In the GW place the woman throwing out the Kirby--WHAT AN IDIOT!!!!!She should be FIRED on the spot!!!If I managed the place I would have fired her right where she stood!And give her a BAD reference!!!Who wants an idiot like that???

Post# 394084 , Reply# 18   6/30/2018 at 08:22 by FantomFan (Rochester, New York)        
“Our store doesn’t sell old-fashioned bagged vacuums”

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I guess since everything they get in that store is FREE, they have no sense of appreciation for it. It is sad that these Goodwills are starting to become less and less interested in helping people. How selfish of her to decide for everyone who shops at that store that bagged vacuums just aren’t good enough for them. Despite the world she is living in, people still use bagged vacuums. I have friends/family who use Electrolux canisters, Kenmore canisters, Kirbys, Hoover canisters, Riccar Supralites, etc... so it is not something that doesn’t exist.

Post# 394089 , Reply# 19   6/30/2018 at 11:38 by niclonnic (Bonney Lake, WA)        

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The "woman" who requested that the Kirby be thrown out was actually a girl my age. A cute girl with glasses, in fact. She is well-liked at my store.

Anyway, bagged vacuums ARE indeed sold at my store, mostly from well-known brands.

Post# 394103 , Reply# 20   6/30/2018 at 16:17 by daknx1994 (Southern Indiana)        

Kirby is a a rather "well known brand". It just unfortunately has a love/hate relationship. People either love them and rave about Kirby's or they hate them and/or had a bad experience with the vacuum or sales technique.

Post# 394115 , Reply# 21   6/30/2018 at 20:27 by huskyvacs (Northern Indiana)        

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A company that's been around for 104 years and been making vacuums for 93 years? Nah, definitely not well known. :P

Post# 394206 , Reply# 22   7/2/2018 at 13:07 by myles_v (Fredericksburg, VA)        

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There's a Goodwill Outlet near me and I've found it's the best place to find good deals on vacuums. I've gotten a couple of Rainbows and a Kirby Sentria from them, I've also seen many Electrolux canisters. I hate going there though because there are lots of unsavory people who shop there, as one would expect.

Post# 394208 , Reply# 23   7/2/2018 at 13:15 by JustJunque (Western MA)        
Goodwill Outlet

I just learned from recent posts on this site, that Goodwill even has outlet stores.
I also discovered that there is one, maybe a half an hour from me.
They're not open on weekends, and they close at something like 1:30 in the afternoon Monday through Friday.
That means that I'm going to have to wait until my vacation week to go check them out.
Unfortunately, Myles, I've heard the same thing about the one here.
Not the nicest atmosphere. But I'll check it out at least once, just to see what they have.


Post# 394230 , Reply# 24   7/2/2018 at 18:26 by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

Amazinly, our goodwill (charity) shops have pre-set sales targets to acheive, so slow-moving, low-profit, or electrical items which need testing, are just not worth selling.

Our charity Directors are on £100,000 salaries, while staff are all unpaid volunteers. You can't expect unpaid volunteers to care.

In the UK, charities sell their good items on eBay, so only the really bad stuff remains in their shop, and the UK Car-boot-sale culture reduces availability further.

Sad though it is to see an old vac in the bin, this is pretty-much the reason we can buy them so readily. People generally feel that an untidy or old machine is not worth keeping. Our gain, I guess.

Dyson is spending a fortune on advertising those bagless machines as the way to go, but there's no real alternate advertising. Kirby, Electrolux, Hoover are just sitting quiet, with a diminishing market.

Post# 394308 , Reply# 25   7/3/2018 at 22:07 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I usually go to Savers. It's closer to me, the prices are always good, and they usually don't care what comes in. They just put a price tag on it and throw it in for sale. I recently picked me up a vintage Sears Kenmore Heavy Duty 2 speed but it sounds rough like the bearings are dry and it needs a belt. It was only $7 so I wasn't going to complain since that's a easy fix to do.

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