Saturday, July 12, 2008

Goodwill Hunting

In the past few years, quite a few Goodwill stores have opened in the Phoenix area. Thirty-seven locations, to be exact. These places have proliferated at the same rate as Wal-Mart and Starbucks.

There are four locations in areas of town through which we often travel. Three of these are on or near 19th Avenue at Thunderbird, Bell, and Happy Valley Roads. The other is in Glendale.

On a recent trip to the Glendale store, Lucas bought a Super Nintendo Console for $5. Later at the Thunderbird store, he found a game controller for $3.

I'm always hoping to snag some forgotten Fiesta dishes at Goodwill. No dice yet, but I came close a few weeks ago. From a distance, I saw a stack of solid colored salad of which looked like Sapphire (rare color). I gasped and ran over to the rack. The plates turned to be Oneida Petals. CRAP!!!!

Today, everything was 50% off chainwide. I scored four pairs of jeans--2 Gap, 1 Old Navy, and 1 Lucky Brand for $4 per pair. Lucky me! Q found three pool vacuum hoses, and got them for $1 each. He didn't have an immediate need for the hoses, but these things normally cost $11 each at the pool supply store.

Going to the Goodwill is like visiting a museum. At the Bell Road store, we spotted this little antiquity:

A Radio Shack TRS-80...later referred to as the "Trash 80". Q knew what it was the instant he saw it. This particular unit was very dusty and the letter C was missing from the keyboard. But it did include the original vinyl cover. We didn't find a price tag, however.

One of the drawbacks to Goodwill shopping is that the merchandise is often dirty. Since everything is donated, many items had been boxed up or stored in garages for several years, allowing a film of sticky dust to form. I need to start carrying moist towlettes in my purse.

And speaking of the purse, we still managed to stand out among the patronage even though I left my Coach bag at home. Lucas was wearing clean clothes and Q's belly wasn't hanging out under his shirt. As we left the store, Q remarked that I was one of only three women in the place who was wearing a bra.


Mark G. said...

OMG... every time I get home from places like that I have an uncontrollable urge to bathe!!

I bought my piano from a goodwill for $90.00. Perfect condition too!

I never find good dishes at places like these. I always hear people who work there know what to look for and set them aside for pickers.

Ms. Val said...

I never find good dishes at places like these. I always hear people who work there know what to look for and set them aside for pickers.

Goodwill has a policy against that sort of practice. I noticed a sign on the store wall stating such, but I don't know how well it's enforced.