Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will — Farewell, Goodwill Club!

by Katy on June 30, 2014 · 18 comments

Portland Goodwill shoppers are very lucky. Not only are our thrift shops fit to burst with bargain treasures, but we also have an awesome Goodwill Club program that tracks our purchases, gives us discounts and then lovingly obligingly spits out a $10 store credit for every $500 we spend.

Oh, wait a minute. Portland used to have a Goodwill Club program. Because as of today, June 30th, 2014, this program has been disbanded. I should have anticipated this catastrophic sad occasion, as this program has been systematically watered down through the years. But I knew I was very close to the $500 mark, so I stopped in at Goodwill on my way home from work yesterday. My goal was to spend my way to the $500, which I was only $24 away from achieving. (And before you get horrified that I’ve spent so much, keep in mind that I often buy Goodwill items for resale, so I actually make money when I shop.) I wanted a pair of non-flared jeans, plus whatever else I regularly keep an eye out for.

My eye was drawn by this $5 irresistible handmade vintage throw pillow. (I love the corner tassels!) It passed my sniff test, so into the cart it went.

throw pillow

And of course, there was the inevitable targeted savings bank. This time for “Mom’s Spare Change,” a new one to my imaginary collection!

Mom's spare change

And although I went down the knick-knack aisle, no dust collectors came home with me, although I was briefly enchanted by this Fiestaware dancing lady. I love my Fiestaware dishes, but a plastic tchotchke of the logo? Tacky!

Fiestaware dancing lady

And since I already have an almost excessive number of chairs to my name I also bypassed this sweet “Little Old Wood Chair:”

little wooden chair

See? Little Old Wood Chair!

chair detail

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a simple pair of black flats for months, and this actually-fits-me pair was only $4, so yup, I bought them too!


had to buy this new looking pair of $9 Danskos, which were sadly ever so slightly too small for me. (Damned big feet!) They’re $120 new, and soon to be $50 on Portland Craigslist.


I did find a pair of (unphotographed) $7 skinny-legged jeans which brought my Goodwill Club grand total to (drum roll please!)  $501!

So woo-hoo, I earned (okay, overspent my way) to a $10 voucher!

501 Goodwill points!!!!

Goodbye, dear Goodwill Club. I will miss you dearly.

Sniff . . .

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie June 30, 2014 at 8:04 am

More often than I care to admit, I have “spent up” to qualify to use the $7 off $25 coupons our local Salvation Army network has been issuing, so I can definitely relate to this post.

And the SA may be phasing out these coupons. At any rate, I have not yet seen a fresh set for July, and these should have been available by now. So I may get to feel your pain as well.


Margarita June 30, 2014 at 8:29 am

It annoys me when retailers stop their loyalty programs, especially ones that you adore.


Katy June 30, 2014 at 8:37 am

I know, do they not see how people spend so much more?



Cyndi June 30, 2014 at 11:57 am

What I find really annoying is that Goodwill has been asking for at least 2 years if people have a card. They weren’t taking new “members,” and wouldn’t even tell me what the card was, but wanted to make sure people used it if they had it. Ugh! Made me seek out other thrift stores…


Katy July 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

I lost my Goodwill club card years ago, so I’ve just been telling them my phone number ever since.


Jennifer N June 30, 2014 at 8:40 am

We have a couple non-Goodwill/Salvation Army thrift stores that have specials that change day-to-day, but neither of these are terribly convenient and nearly impossible to get to after work before they close. The Goodwill stores by me have pretty decent prices (for the most part), so I don’t really complain. Except for that they are exceptionally unorganized. That’s irritating for someone trying to keep a Goodwill trip to the confines of a lunch hour.


Erin June 30, 2014 at 8:44 am

It’s everywhere … my local thrift chain dropped their grocery receipt coupons from 25% to 15% a couple of months ago. 🙁


Jane F June 30, 2014 at 9:38 am

Yay for sensible purchases!

When I read the premise of the article I was nervous you would spend $25 in clutter to get a $10 voucher. 😉 I enjoy when you include items you passed over and why.

Congrats on finding black flats! I, too, have been on the look out for months but while I have found some in my size they all pinch. The difficulties of wide feet 🙂

How’s the resale-ing going?


Katy July 1, 2014 at 6:55 am

I haven’t been doing much resale-ing lately, as I’m setting stuff aside for a garage sale. However, I have the shoes all photographed and will put a listing together today.


April June 30, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I love the pillow!


Katy July 1, 2014 at 6:54 am

Yeah, me too! It has a bit of that “Megan Draper in Los Angeles” vibe. 😉


Vika June 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm

I have that little wood chair’s twin! What Goodwill is that at? I’d love a set. (We live in Portland too.)


Katy July 1, 2014 at 6:51 am

It’s at the Goodwill at 22nd and West Burnside, although I shot these photos on Sunday. Now I wish that I’d bought it so I could give it to you!

Good luck!


K D July 1, 2014 at 7:11 am

I have not shopped at Goodwill in years, really not at any thrift stores. The prices at them in our area are just so high. I guess there is a new-ish church thrift store in our area but I keep forgetting to check it out – I believe the hours are very limited. I do better just avoiding shopping, since I am attempting to get rid of stuff and have not resold items for at least a couple of years.


Katy @ Purposely Frugal July 1, 2014 at 10:54 am

Ooo! I love the flats! And I love their price!


Katy July 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

I know, right?


Ann July 1, 2014 at 4:58 pm

If you ever see a reasonably priced Fiesta dancing woman cookie jar, BUY IT. Those sell well on Ebay if you reprice them right. The figurines sell too, but not for much. If I find one for a buck or less, I’ll buy it and flip it but I do Ebay full time so I can mess around with the lower priced stuff. I know you wear several hats and prefer to concentrate on the higher priced items like those adorable Danskos. GIMMEE.

Our Goodwills are generally bad and seriously overpriced (Dollar Tree items for $2.99, ordinary paperback books for $3.99, Target rejects for double or triple the Target mark-down price) but I keep going back because every once in a while I find something amazing. My latest find: 50+ Vera Neumann “Sunflower” Island Worcester dishes in mint/near mint condition. I sold these locally because shipping large sets of dishes makes me cry.

I’ve never even heard of a Goodwill Club. They also don’t discount by tag color around here. (SF Bay Area) If it doesn’t sell at one of their stores, they pack it up and ship it to another store, so you can see the same crap at three or four different stores before someone finally breaks it or buys it.


Lisa May 3, 2018 at 10:09 am

LOL! That “tacky” Fiesta dancing lady sells for over $100 on ebay. Not a bad flip for $5. Should have gotten it.


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