With seemingly endless racks of men's, women's and children's clothing and locations in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, it's no wonder Goodwill is a household name. Although the many racks may seem overwhelming to the novice thrifter, the conveniently fixed pricing takes out a lot of the guesswork.

Locations: 1413 N. Main St., Blacksburg, and 255 Peppers Ferry Rd. NE, Christiansburg

Hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

Pricing: Goodwill has fixed pricing throughout all of its stores so "folks can know what to expect," Heflin said. Jeans are $4, pants and blouses cost $3.50, shoes are $2.50, and purses, belts and ties are $1.00, with the exception of a few specially marked items in the counter display or on a rack reserved for brand-named items. This pricing system often works in the shopper's favor because no matter how expensive the item originally was, it is going to be a standard price. On the flipside, you may end up overpaying for less valuable items, such as T-shirts, which no matter how worn and outdated they are, will be priced the same as a fabulous designer blouse.

Why You Should Give it a Chance: "Because people immediately think, 'Oh, I'm taking this to Goodwill,'" Heflin said, Goodwill gets a higher quantity of donations than many thrift stores. It is also a good source of clothing, books, CDs and housewares.

Charity: Goodwill focuses on "helping people and families achieve a better life through work and independence," explained Heflin. "It's all about jobs." Through job training and job placement, Goodwill provides an opportunity for the disabled and disadvantaged to obtain valuable work experience. They assist "youth, adults and older workers in overcoming barriers to employment and achieving a level of independence to participate more fully in life," said Heflin.

Green Initiatives: Goodwill has partnered with Dell to create Dell Reconnect, Heflin said. Dell Reconnect breaks down and "e-cycles" computers, providing a convenient solution for the inevitable stash of clunky computer parts you don't know what to do with, while saving our landfills from the harmful toxins computers contain.

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