Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Luck at Goodwill

I love shopping at Goodwill, but sometimes their pricing scheme puzzles me. 

A few weeks ago, Doug and I made a trip to a Goodwill store about 20 miles from our house.  We were actually on our way to an "estate" sale, but we changed our minds about that after a quick drive-by of the advertised site. It was a dilapidated house, with a tattered American flag hanging from the sagging screen porch and broken plastic toys in the yard, in a not-so-great 40-year-old neighborhood.  We never made it inside, but we could picture dirty dishes in the sink and cigarette burns on the furniture.

OK, so it was on to GW.  Doug got all excited when he found a brand-new turkey fryer still in the box. He already has one, but he does so much cooking that he figured an extra gas burner wouldn't be a bad thing to have--at a Goodwill price.  He looked at the tag...and then looked again. $70.

Are you kidding me?  You can buy them at Amazon for that price.

On another trip to GW, I spotted a vintage Redmon picnic basket.  They were asking $20 for it, and it was broken and stained.

I paid $10 for this one at an estate sale, and it's in great condition:

But then there are the times when you can get real bargains like this Glasbake loaf pan, which I got for $2:

Or this Glasbake casserole for $1:

And a woman in front of me got a yellow Pyrex bowl like this one for $2:

That was the same day Doug and I found this beautiful wood cutting board with an over-the-counter lip for $4:

Boards like this sell for $75 to $150 online, and all ours needed was a good scrubbing and a coat of mineral oil to bring it back to life.

Anyway, back to the turkey fryer day. Needless to say, we passed up the fryer and were in line with just a couple of books when a customer in front of us seemed to have the same issue as we did with GW pricing.

The woman was about 75 years old, hair in two little braided pigtails with pink bows, and she was dressed in a ruffled tank top, capri pants, and pink sneakers. Her lined face suggested that she had been a two-pack-a-day smoker for decades.

She put a purse up on the counter and told the cashier it was 50 cents. I was ready for things to get interesting--the Goodwills in Delaware stopped selling anything for less than $1 several years ago.

The cashier called a manager over for a price check.

"It's $4," he said.

The woman was appalled and looked to all of the customers behind her for support.

"They want for $4 for this?" she said. "I can get it at Walmart for $4."

Maybe she can check out the turkey fryers while she's there.

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