Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bad Will And Good Things

I might have mentioned that the Goodwill near me is the fanciest thrift store I have ever seen. Oh sure, it's true that I have not exactly been in all that many thrift shops in my lifetime, but trust me. It's local knowledge in these parts that our local Goodwill reminds everyone of an old K-mart or Wally World. But it's big and organized and the clothes crack me. They are organized by color and not by size. So it's like rows of red shorts that lead into blue shorts, etc... A used clothing rainbow. I don't pick through the clothing. I'm just being honest. But not because I'm a snob. Even worse, I'm terribly impatient when I am shopping. So the fact that nothing is organized by size is just a given that I am never going to have the patience to dig through the racks of pink pants. If there was Lilly in there, I would smell it. I've become rather skilled at feeling the Lilly vibes at Max and Marsh.

OK, so back to this Goodwill store. Not only is it rather fancy pants for a thrift shop, but the prices are ri-di-culous! They have a deal with Target and get all of the stuff that is slightly damaged or just doesn't sell. So there will be racks and rows of all Target stuff. All the Whim stuff was in there last week. Stuff like that makes me laugh. Until you look at the price tags. Remember, I belong to the Church-o-Tarjay. I'm there all the flippin' time. So I know the prices of crap. Well this store will take the red Target final sales stickers off and replace it with a Goodwill price tag that is PRICED HIGHER than it was selling for at Target. Seriously! And several times I have gone to purchase something and the price checkers/managers/?? will comment that this item is a brand new (insert item- usually something fabric like a shower curtain that I intend to cut up to use to make a grocery bag or some silly item like that) and it should be priced HIGHER. So they will raise the price on me. The last time they did this, I walked out without purchasing anything. I was appalled! I had several items that I needed for a few swaps and also three fabric things- tablecloths and shower curtains. They were going to be cut up so I didn't give a hoot what they were originally. Well the THREE ladies up there decided that these items (that I could tell were in fact brand new but were also bound together in a wad of packing tape and sitting on a dusty shelf in the back) needed to be at least double the price tag. I was proud of myself for remaining calm and trying to explain that they priced these items and changing the price was a bit on the unethical side. I was totally, rudely informed that they could legally change any price they wanted to. I calmly and kindly declined to make any of the purchases as I felt rather taken advantage of (AGAIN!) and left. I have not gone back. I won't. And all of my donations will forever go to one of the many worthy thrift shops in town. Goodwill my ass.... Badwill is more like it!

But I needed a thrifted item as part of my latest swap package. This is always the biggest challenge for me. I'm just not nearly as skilled as many of my favorite bloggy reads at scoping out the gems among all the dust and junk. But I did my best to channel some of the best thrifty queens in blogville last week and boy was it a success! I found a small item as part of my swap (pictures coming after my partner gets her package that was only just sent) but I also found a few little yummies for myself. I know y'all are reading that last comment twice, right? It's true. I found some things I just couldn't live without. I still have yet to find any of those fabulous vintage sheets and bedspreads the Lera finds almost weekly (smell my jealously?) but I feel this is a mighty fine start in the gem department.

This little cheese tray with the marble base and glass dome lid and a vintage apron (not pictured) were a whopping $3.

This is my favorite!! I have been wanting a punch bowl. But am not terribly fond of the (beautiful but just not my taste) very intricately cut crystal bowls. Plus those just scream wedding present to me and um.... I'm not married. Or even dating anyone. But I digress... It is on the smaller side but is very sturdy and heavy. It also came with six matching cups that can hang off the side (three are pictured) AND five small non-matching and slightly smaller cups AND four also non-matching and slightly larger cups. I have no idea why they were all sold together but I don't really care. They are close enough for the once a year that I will use the "set" and I was so excited to see that the price was only $5. BUT WAIT.... Did you know that Salvation Army has sales? Me either. In fact, a different color tag is on sale every day. They also told me something else about Family Day (don't remember anything about this day or when it is other than the name of said special day of the week) and some other day. I don't remember because I was suddenly on a thrifting high when the gal informed me that my price was $2.50. I picked up that day's sale color. When I questioned this, they explained their sale deal stuff to me. So in review, one small but cute glass punch bowl plus 15 glass punch cups for less than $3. I'm still not going back to Badwill, as I have taken to calling it, but I will definitely work on my thrifting skills again soon.


Kate said...

I can't believe they raise the prices like that! Goodwill is supposed to be cheap(er)!

BpVetGirl said...

I know it's for charity ,but that's outrageous. I think you were every dignified in the way you left. The punch bowl was a great find. I hope you have more thrifty sucess in the future, you seem to be doing great so far.

LA said...

I think you earned a thrift store SCORE!

Goodwill (or Badwill which cracks me up!) does this at every store I've been to with the Target stuff. It drives me insane!

I'm a big fan of Sally Amy's (Salvation Army) and their sales but the closest one to me is pretty far so I don't go much anymore.

Cheers! LA

summerprep said...

I am also a terrible shopper when it comes to messy sales/set ups... I'm learning though! Congrats on your finds though... Doesn't it feel great even with a lot of work???

kolls said...

That is insane!! At least you got a couple of great things :)

lera said...

How on earth can they legally change the price? They offered it for a price, you accepted the offer. That is a contract. I am glad you walked away. That is just totally insane and wrong on so many levels.

I'm glad that at least you have the Salvation Army to treat you nicely and give you good deals.

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Told you if you stayed at it you would score! Goodwill can be dicey and it is mostly the manager of the store that sets the prices.

I have about 7 or 8 within 30 minutes of my home and can tell a bad manager when I walk in the door. The prices are high and the employees are thin.

I know which ones to go for certain finds, what days are best to look and a lot of the clerks know me by name. I feel like Norm at cheers. They also give me some perks since I am a regular. When I take an unpriced item to the register they give me it for a pittance or if I comment it is marked wrong they give me it for less.

The Tatget stuff there does kill me since I shop there and know how much it was on clearance. I usually leave it there. I have been really lucky to find lots of Talbot clothes there for $4-6 per pair.

Bummer that yours stinks, but there may be another that may be better. Salvation Army is a good option, but here it is mostly junk and old nasty clothes.

Kristin said...

I have the WORST luck at thrift stores! Recently, I tried looking for vintage pillowcases for a few craft projects, and while I didn't find anything to bring home, I did find an armpit-stained hospital gown for 5 bucks! Who needs a hospital gown? And who would buy a stained one? For $5?

Anonymous said...

I live in Autralia, so the laws may be different, but it is definitely illegal here to increase the price at the checkout - the item can be withdrawn from sale, but can't be sold at a higher price. What your goodwill store does is outrageous.

Muffy said...

$3!!! That's remarkable!!!

Lisa said...

So I'm pretty sure that this: "I was totally, rudely informed that they could legally change any price they wanted to. I calmly and kindly declined to make any of the purchases as I felt rather taken advantage of (AGAIN!) and left. I have not gone back. I won't. And all of my donations will forever go to one of the many worthy thrift shops in town. Goodwill my ass.... Badwill is more like it!" is illegal. While it's not exactly "bait and switch" (which is definitely illegal in NC), I think it would fall in that realm. Would be worth reporting to the Attorney General since these stores are supposed to be HELPING folks save money, not rip them off.

Also, I think there's an indy DVD (available via Netflix) about how Goodwill operates overseas and how it's actually DAMAGING to the developing/under-developed countries they are supposedly providing a "service" to. I encourage everyone here to check it out and to instead, opt for a local thrift store you're more sure of... like Cause for Paws in Raleigh. Guess where that money goes? AND they take plastic, too! Cha-ching... charge it!


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