Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will

by Katy on May 31, 2017 · 51 comments

I made good on my plan to hit up the Goodwill Outlet yesterday with my mom, and boy am I glad that I did!

It wasn’t because of pay-by-the-pound random diapers.

Nor was it because of the opportunity to buy a single adorable left shoe. Look inside the shoe, it reads “Sears: Winnie The Pooh!”

It wasn’t even because I was looking for the perfect pair of underwear to show off my . . . umm . . . package.

Of course there were endless opportunities to buy commemorative event T-shirts. These shirts are such a waste of materials. I wish that non-profits and companies would stop manufacturing them as I would guess that 95% of them end up donated and never bought or simply thrown away.

I did spy this groovy old stereo console.

The interior looked pristine. I especially admired the inset on the left side, which is designed to hold vinyl albums.

I had a laugh at this fakest of all the fake Coach purses.

Yup, looks legit!


What did I buy?

For $12.45 I bought:

  • 2 Hanna Andersson snowsuits, which I already have listed on eBay.
  • 8 microfiber cloths, which I’ll use for zero waste cleaning.
  • 1 linen tea towel.
  • 2 cobalt blue Fiestaware plates, already for sale on Craigslist.
  • 1 turquoise Bauer plate.
  • 2 brand new cloth napkins.
  • 1 small Le Sportsac zipper pouch. I love their Pucci-esque patterns!
  • 1 clear glass Pyrex bowl, which unlike my vintage ones can actually go into the dishwasher.
  • 5 vintage canning jars, complete with rachet-down glass lids. I’ll sell these to the terrarium store in my neighborhood.
  • 1 vintage clove spice tin. I couldn’t resist.
  • 1 saucepan that’s identical to the one that I have repeatedly burned through the years. Although I’ve been able to clean mine out, the plastic handles melted to the point of being a burn risk. My old lid fits it perfectly, which pleases me to no end.
  • 4 greeting cards.
  • 1 new with tags tote bag from the Tate Museum in London, which I may or may not sell.
  • 1 vintage Christmas ornament for a friend who collects them.
  • 1 extra-large “Thunder Shirt” which is apparently a garment for anxious dogs. I’m currently washing this out to ready it for eBay.


Sadly there was a “the one that got away” situation when I saw the matching ottoman to my husband’s armchair. It was marked for only $1, but another woman put it into her cart. This one will haunt me, but I comforted myself by seeing how happy the other woman was with her score.

I am repeatedly flabbergasted by how amazingly cheap this store is. Nothing beats it.

Goodwill, they never cease to amaze.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

Trish May 31, 2017 at 4:45 pm

I wear those t-shirts from events – they make up a significant part of my wardrobe. And that is so cool that you are aware of what will be resellable. I would have no idea. I love these posts SO much.


Cindy in the South I June 1, 2017 at 8:09 am

I buy and wear those tshirts also….lol


Cindy in the South I June 1, 2017 at 8:12 am

I should say I buy them from the thrift stores….lol


ouvickie June 1, 2017 at 12:28 pm

I use the t-shirts too, as workout and weekend clothes. If I decide I don’t want them, I just refuse to take one.


Marybeth June 2, 2017 at 4:24 am

We wear those shirts doing yard work and cleaning chores. My son wears them mowing yards. He does it to earn money. The kids also wear them to gym class. When my son’s get really gross I make them into knot toys for our dog. She loves them. Or them get cut up into rags.


Mand01 May 31, 2017 at 5:18 pm

That stereo – I’m tempted to fly hemispheres just to get it.

Planet Money did a story on those stupid t shirts. Highly recommended.


tia June 1, 2017 at 3:36 pm

I don’t have any of those shirts but I like to read people’s tshirts and see what folk are up to nowadays.


Amy K. May 31, 2017 at 5:44 pm

My daughter had to dress in a costume for her Language Arts class. They’re studying mythology and the classics, and she chose to be the Gorgon, Medusa. Goodwill is my Go-To whenever we need an outfit or costume. I picked up a few items as I walked around, thinking I could cobble something together. But on the dress rack I found a greenish, snake print sheath dress! $6.00! Just what I needed! I also picked up two pairs of pajamas for her that fit perfectly, as well as a $10 table with two shelves. I’m currently painting it to match other furniture, and it will either end up as a sofa table/bookshelf, or maybe even s media table for a small TV.


Shannon June 1, 2017 at 4:21 am

I want to see your little Medusa! Sounds perfect! 🙂


Amy K. June 1, 2017 at 6:46 am

I’m flattered you want to see. I don’t like to share pictures of my kids publicly. What I did was to create public Pinterest board with photos of the dress, shoes (TJ Maxx) and accessories I made. Photos are cropped for privacy. <3

I thought you'd like this Board on Pinterest…


Roberta June 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

The costume looks frabjous!


Amy K. June 1, 2017 at 10:10 am

Thanks! 😀

Jennifer June 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

Love this! I home make all my kids Halloween costumes so I think this is awesome.


ouvickie June 1, 2017 at 12:33 pm

That’s adorable! You put together a cute outfit, how perfect!


Marybeth June 2, 2017 at 4:26 am

When my oldest was in high school/ middle school she was in all the plays. We used to go to thrift stores to get her costumes.


Amy K. June 2, 2017 at 4:48 am

Thanks to everyone for the compliments.

I love using thrift store finds for costumes. I have performed at a medieval Faire, and most of my costumes are made from thrift store clothes.


Shannon June 2, 2017 at 7:20 am

I am a theatre geek and an ELA teacher, so this is right up my alley! Thank you for sharing the pictures! The costume is perfection. The dress was a great find and the headband is TOO cool!


Catherine May 31, 2017 at 6:28 pm

The faux-Coach bag boasting of its “WORKMANHIP” – so funny.

This week at the thrift stores I found a popcorn popper for $6.50 — the kind you set on the woodstove and crank to keep the kernels moving. It has a nice wooden handle. I’ve always wanted one. Some little shirts and pants in sizes 9 months through 18 months, paying 50c-$1 apiece. Very welcome because I have two baby grandsons to clothe! 5 year old grandson got a t-shirt for 50c as well. Replaced my Annotated Sherlock Holmes with a “complete works of”. No annotations (which aren’t that well done) but larger print, clear and readable and, while still massive, takes up only half the shelf space. Got a couple books for the kids, which kept them happy on the trip home and afterwards — an Eric Carle book, a Sandra Boynton board book, and a children’s Bible stories retold by an author whose work I love. At the last minute I splurged $1 on a very cute wooden rosary. These all at St Vincent. I paid $7.50 a pair for like-new farm boots (wellies) in children’s sizes 4 and 5 for the oldest two. Winced at that (darn Value Village, for profit “thrift”) but since new are $20, $15 the cheapest when on sale, it was the best we can do right now.

Passed up a set of Pyrex measuring bowls in colours of cinnamon through coral and pink. (We have the same set in avocado green through chartreuse.) They were priced individually and it was going to amount to something like $16. Sometimes the best savings are the things you don’t buy.


Katy May 31, 2017 at 10:31 pm

Yes, like a Lear Jet.


Marcia May 31, 2017 at 7:07 pm

My husband is a car hobbyist–we have been going to conventions since 1985, and at each one we have attended, admission gets you a tee shirt–in our case, one each!! We have a wardrobe of them. I wear them to the gym or around the house for cleaning. My husband packs by pulling a stack of them from his drawer and putting them in his (car logo) duffle bag. He owns quality sport shirts, jackets, hats, etc, all with his chosen car logo on them. Most of them have been purchased (sometimes won) for $3 or less as “excess” stock from dealers. Some are quite nice in quality. He’s a walking advertisement for the car, however, I spend very little for his clothing!


Tiffany May 31, 2017 at 7:47 pm

I currently have 2 things listed on ebay with no bites. I am always amazed how well your items sell!


Katy May 31, 2017 at 10:29 pm

I have so much that’s not selling.


Roberta June 1, 2017 at 6:03 am

I list lots, and only a percentage sells. But I keep putting it back up, and eventually someone will want it. I figure some demand is seasonal, and if I hang in there someone will want it.


Jennifer May 31, 2017 at 7:55 pm

The t-shirts reminded me of my recent soap box rant. I was complaining to my husband about the red noses that are being sold to raise moneyed drugstores for Rednoseday. I understand it’s a good cause but why can’t we just paint our noses red and donate the money instead? It’s just more plastic waste or whatever material they are made out of.


Katy May 31, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I had the same response.


ouvickie June 1, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I feel the same way. I don’t mind donating, but I don’t want anymore throw junk!


Jennifer May 31, 2017 at 8:35 pm

You really did score! I love seeing your finds from Goodwill. Those undies are hilarious….You will get more for the snow suits if you save them and list them in October!


Katy May 31, 2017 at 10:32 pm

I know, but I can keep listing until then.


Ellen June 1, 2017 at 4:55 am

Love the dishes, wish I was closer!


Sarah June 1, 2017 at 7:05 am

My dog has a thundershirt and it’s been a life saver. Or rather, a rug saver, as she would otherwise be peeing everywhere in fear. I am sure you will have no trouble selling it!

I will be in the US later this month and I’m excited to go to Goodwill, as we do not have any in Canada anymore. I’ve already scoped out the thrift stores around the area I will be staying!!


Bee June 1, 2017 at 7:11 am

I have a friend who is active locally and politically. Although she actually wears many of the t-shirts that she is given, she also made a throw from many of these. She cut them up saving the logos, serged them together, and then backed them with a soft fabric — a memory quilt. I think this is a cute idea for tourist tees too.


Jennifer June 1, 2017 at 7:58 am

Yes and a good idea for sentimental baby’s clothes.


Julie June 1, 2017 at 7:34 am

A local radio station stated that vinyl records are making a comeback. Maybe you should have picked up the stereo.


Mand01 June 2, 2017 at 1:27 am

They have made a comeback. My husband is a collector and also buys new vinyl if he’s planning on buying a new album- he prefers the sound. I also like the sound. Mostly we buy old vinyl but good secondhand vinyl is becoming harder to find now because the dealers have snagged it all – what used to sell for a buck now costs $20


Farhana June 1, 2017 at 8:16 am

Hello Katie,
Where is this gem of a goodwill located? If you don’t mind sharing the goodies ;D.


Katy June 1, 2017 at 9:47 am

This was the Milwaukie Outlet, but here’s a link that shows where they all are.


Nancy from Mass June 1, 2017 at 8:24 am

1. wearing an old pair of Levi red tag jeans (that are in good shape) to work today (paid $6 at Goodwill). Also wearing a brand new blouse that i bought on sale, free shipping and a discount, from Macy’s. I haven’t bought a new work blouse in a long time. and since i’m an xxl, i have the hardest time finding nice work blouses at thrift or consignment shops, that look good on me.
2. eating my leftovers that i didn’t eat yesterday for my lunch today.
3. drinking water all day. may have a cup of free tea later.
4. walking down 3 flights for the bathroom – free exercise!
5. found a great price on Bromalein on amazon – free shipping and it’s arriving today. (i thankfully don’t take any medication, only supplements). Bromalein is good for joints, digestive, etc and i take it with fish oil, turmeric, B3 and my WF multivite. (all other multivites – except for New Chapter – make me sick to my stomach. Since WF brand is cheaper than NC, it wins)


Katy June 1, 2017 at 9:48 am

Three flights to get to a bathroom? How does that comply with ADA regulations?


Nancy from Mass June 1, 2017 at 10:55 am

i work on the third floor but choose to walk down/up the stairs to the lowest level and use the ladies room there.

1: exercise
2: it’s dominated by men on that floor and therefore, the ladies room isn’t used as often as the other floors.



KJD509 June 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

I wish you’d talk to some of the women in my building, Nancy! In my dept, 18 women share a single-seat bathroom (6 men share theirs). You’d think half of us at least would walk elsewhere, right? And I do, often taking the opportunity to walk halfway across the building for the exercise. But lately, women in men-dominated areas (we’re a technology firm, there are lots of those in the building) have started trekking . . . to ours! God help you if you have an emergency, that facility is busy 23 hours a day. Why would anyone make the effort to come to what has to be the busiest pot on the block?

/rant over, sorry . . .


Nancy from Mass June 2, 2017 at 7:20 am

i got one of the other ladies in my office to do it also. we discussed how much cleaner the lower floor bathroom is!

Julie C June 2, 2017 at 4:02 am

I do the same thing, though it’s only 1 flight of stairs here. I have a desk job so the extra movement is really needed & appreciated.


ouvickie June 1, 2017 at 11:40 am

Woohoo! Love the GW scores. My parents had a stereo console very similar to that one. My Mom would put on an album while we cleaned house on Saturdays.

I visited the local GW closest to the University today, and as I suspected – it was FULL of unwanted stuff the students donated when they moved out after graduation a few weeks back.

*I found a small white cabinet I plan to put in my laundry room.
*A pair of nice, black leather mules. I needed a new pair, but was reluctant to spend the money on brand new ones. Glad I waited. I scored these for $3.
*One of those small storage cubes that doubles as a chair or footrest. That will go in the middle bedroom, to store the granddaughters dolls they play with at my house. It’s pink and matches the room decor perfectly.
*A couple of wire baskets I plan to use for cabinet organizers.
*An iPad carrying case for my granddaughter
I know there were a few other things too. I went in to find some forks and spoons for the office breakroom, but didn’t find any today.

I’m going into the city on Saturday, with my daughter, to the A-Z Discount store (discounted Rite-Aid & by-the-lot stuff). So I think we’ll make a stop at the Goodwill Outlet while were there!


Ava June 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

I just got back from Goodwill. I got 3 items that, with my senior discount, were .90 each. One was a round glass plant watering pick. I have a collection of them in my flower bed, like mini gazing balls. One was a pink depression glass candle stick. I see that they have sold for good prices on Etsy and Ebay but this one has a tiny almost invisible chip on the bottom, so I might use it for a craft project for sale instead. The other item was a vintage strawberry shaped jam pot. It will go to my granddaughter so I can tell her “your mom has one, your aunt has one, your grandma has one and so did your great grandma and great great grandma , and now you have one too.”


Mary in Maryland June 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm

As a quilter, I feel the only thing worse that a drawer full of logo tees is making them into a quilt.


Nancy from mass June 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

I agree!!


Mary June 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

I don’t accept t-shirts or other junk handed out by organizations. The only things I accept are coozies for soft drink cans. The kind that flatten. Need several more of those. A Sierra club in a town that I will not name recently handed out little plastic buttons, the kind that pin to your shirt…..the Sierra club should have known better. That kind of stuff only goes to the trash. So do most wedding favors. When will people realize that they don’t need to hand out that kind of stuff to be remembered? Thanks for letting me rant!


Marybeth June 2, 2017 at 4:20 am

We are in the middle of the Sweet 16 craze. The crap that she is coming home with is crazy. Right now they are sitting on her dresser but I know next year they will be in her garbage. That’s what happened with my older daughter. That is why I do a food favor. My daughter’s theme is Italy and her favor will be chocolate dipped biscotti.


Susan June 1, 2017 at 10:09 pm

My latest $11 haul from GW OUTLET:
2 like new name brand dress shirts for hubby
4 stuffed animals for my animal crazy son-2 still had tags the other 2 are also like new
Tissue paper for wrapping gifts
New looking white distressed jeans
Cute Disney sweatshirt
Vintage plaid blanket-snaps up to make a snuggly
A string of fat red/white and blue lights for holidays-only 29 cents because at our outlet, anything electronic is 29 pennies!


Michelle June 10, 2017 at 4:07 am

Wow! You are so lucky with your Goodwill finds. I live in Northern Wisconsin and our Goodwill is so pricey it’s sad! It did not used to be that way but over the years they have raised the prices so much it isn’t even affordable! Is it all about location, location, location?? Haha!


Cate July 19, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Isnt selling fraudulent products that blatantly infringe on copyright/trademark illegal? I know LV destroys all ‘replica’ items, especially if they say anything about being real… Just curious!


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