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GOOD FINDS: 10 things you don’t want to miss at Goodwill

By Keegan Prosser on March 21, 2013 – No Comment


There’s a GOOD reason GOODWILL has more than 2,700 stores, it’s GOOD shopping! Good for the people who receive valuable job training skills through Goodwill programs, and good for shoppers who visit Goodwill out of economic need, an admirable commitment to the environment or a lust for treasure-hunting.

Goodwill is good for the pocketbook and after many decades (yes, many) of Goodwill hunting and a quick tour around my house, I have compiled a handy list of 10 things to buy at Goodwill. And with a generous return policy to cover momentary lapses in judgment, make sure to seize the deal, instead of letting the one that got away keep you up at night. Trust me, it happens.

Here are 10 things you don’t want to pass up:

1) Good artwork with bad frames, good frames with bad artwork: Occasionally they’re both fabulous! Breaking down and rethinking the elements of Goodwill art can lead to a masterpiece.

2) Baskets and Boxes: I admit to having a strange fascination for containers, especially those with a specific purpose. I love functional old-fashioned sewing baskets, retro shoe shine kits and the amazing prices on the same wicker baskets that create sticker shock everywhere else.

3) Books: Take advantage of a nicely organized selection of never-cracked to well-worn titles. I started collecting children’s books long before my own kids were born. Start your own collection for less than library late fees.

4) Pet Carriers and Kennels: If Goodwill’s only purpose was to keep gargantuan hunks of plastic out of landfills it would be amazing. Make this your first stop if Fido needs a timeout.

5) Unique Evening Bags and Jewelry: For some reason Goodwill is rife with cool evening bags in all price ranges from ridiculously cheap to “collectible” cheap. The same goes for jewelry; bring your best knees and sharp eyes to survey the below waist case for diamonds(ish). Shop here to prevent unwanted twinsie moments.

6) Costumes/Ski Wear: If you’re a patient Fashionista, deals abound for all manner of garb.

7) Nut Bowls: Call me crazy, but I think everyone needs a set of nut bowls – petite serving dishes to fill with little bites for visitors. Buy a set of three, keep them next to the snack drawer and stop hiding from drop-in visitors.

8 ) Ice Bucket: When Mad Men of yore retired and down-sized, they dropped their barware here.

9) Punch Bowls: Giant serving pieces sail in and out of Goodwill hourly thanks to the abandoned good intentions and dwindling storage space of frustrated mini-Marthas. Don’t let me catch you paying retail for a punch bowl or soup tureen you plan to use once.

10) Platters/Plates: Goodwill is must-shop for entertaining supplies. Build a collection of cool, functional serve ware and vases and skip the rental store or expensive last-minute shopping. I’ll stick to glass, crystal, silver and porcelain for cohesiveness. Yes, you can borrow my stash.