Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will

by Katy on March 19, 2015 · 31 comments

Because I do The Compact and choose to only buy used, thrift shops are my go-to resource. I hit them up when there’s something that my family needs, and I certainly have been known to bring home a few items that I want.

And the other day my son needed a new computer mouse, so off to Goodwill we went. Finding a perfectly serviceable mouse was a matter of just a few minutes, which left us time to browse.

Used mouse

I was tempted by this vintage Tiki-style footed bowl, but I already have more than enough cool knick-knacks to contend with, so I left it for someone else to snap up.

vintage ceramic piece

I also appreciated this adorable Humpty Dumpty children’s lamp. So sweet, but not exactly age appropriate for my 16 and 19-year-old sons, so I left it on the shelf as well. (Fun fact, The Humpty Dumpty nursery rhyme does not mention that he’s an egg. Seriously. Think about it!)

Asked of obnoxious teenagers

Of course, this targeted savings bank caught my eye. I do love how varied the savings goals are. Vacation, Cadillac, fishing, and of course the all important “golp.”

Golp, people. GOLP! Is your golp account fully funded?

Savings bank man

No shopping trip would be complete without the opportunity to purchase an opened box of thrift shop tampons. Yes I know they’re individually wrapped, but still . . .

Used tampons

I always take a stroll through the furniture section, as there are often diamonds in the rough that whisper my name. I was slightly tempted to pick up this set of vintage dinette chairs. As a frequent furniture reseller, I know that having the full set makes them much more valuable.

But do you see who’s also checking them out?

Dinette chairs

Look closer.

Bush afar

That’s right, it’s former U.S. president George W. Bush, taking a break from his watercolors to do a little thrifting in Portland, Oregon!

Bush close up

Kind of a surprise, but he’s probably just visiting to enjoy my fine city’s cycling culture, food carts and maybe even make a cameo in the TV show Portlandia.

Hey, you never know!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Maggie March 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm

I’m also a little weirded out by the thrift store deodorant… eww!
I do love those chairs, though.


Katy March 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I think the deodorant is a donated from Target item.


Maggie March 20, 2015 at 6:30 am

Whaaa? That’s pretty awesome- I wish we had a Target nearby that donated to thrift stores!


Lilypad March 19, 2015 at 1:10 pm

That Humpty Dumpty lamp brought out some sort of flashback or repressed memory, I swear I had something very similar when I was a little kid in the early 70’s! I’ve got to call my mom and ask her now. And those chairs are very similar to the ones my grandmother had in her 1959 house. Sigh. Love them.


Katy March 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm

I might have bought the chair, but they were $12.50 each, and I don’t want all my petty cash tied up right now.


Jennifer March 19, 2015 at 1:19 pm

Katy, you are too funny! I’m cracking up here. Oh, and my daughter said you can just add an “H” to the end of Golp . . .


Katy March 19, 2015 at 2:19 pm

Or make it Hebrew, as the letter for “F” and “P” are the same.


cathy March 19, 2015 at 1:24 pm

What, no Mrs. Butterworths?!


Katy March 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm

There’s been dearth of them lately. I’m starting to worry. 😉


Grace March 19, 2015 at 3:11 pm

Your Goodwill always has way cooler stuff than mine!


Katy March 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

There’s less enticing stuff as well. I’m just not photographing it.


Lori in Michigan March 19, 2015 at 3:22 pm

I am seriously creeped out by thrift-store tampons. Wrapped or not – yipes!


Katy March 19, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I’m there with you on that one, Lori.


Carol in Ct March 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

If for some reason I wanted to donate an opened box of girlie supplies, I would have offered them up to a women’s shelter.


Maggie March 20, 2015 at 6:31 am

When I switched to cloth pads I put all the non-cloth ones in the bathroom at work. There’s two left, so they’ve been appreciated!


Betty Winslow March 19, 2015 at 4:51 pm

I put the thrift shop tampons right up there with the Dollar Tree pregnancy tests..


Maggie March 20, 2015 at 6:32 am

They’re actually accurate! A Dollar Tree pregnancy test told me I was pregnant with my daughter. I was curious if they worked, so I bought one from DT and a regular, name brand one when I was pretty darn sure I was pregnant.


Stacy March 20, 2015 at 7:21 pm

When we were trying to get pregnant we spent a lot of money on the tests until I found them at Dollar Tree! I always liked to have a few on hand so bought a few. It actually worked and gave us our ++ test! Yay


Valerie March 19, 2015 at 5:53 pm

You all are making me laugh. I have to admit I have never been in a Goodwill but I might have to check it out now just so I can see whats in there. Not even sure if we have a Goodwill close. Salvation Army?


Linda March 19, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Regarding the Gol(P)f fund. I think it’s a situation where “something was lost in the translation”. All those knick-knacks were made in foreign countries. I have a 12 days of Christmas mug that features “5 collie birds”.


Linda March 19, 2015 at 7:34 pm

oops its 4 collie birds. They got 5 gold rings correct.


Hilary A March 19, 2015 at 8:09 pm

I think Golp is a great word since most Golfers combine their sport with gulping, especially apres Golf…and $$$ is definitely needed to Golf and to Gulp…thus, the past time of “Golp” is hereby coined…literally and figuratively.


Katy March 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

All hail the golp!


Elise March 20, 2015 at 5:26 am

Ha! I laughed out loud at the tampons! I think maybe I can spring for a new box! Hahahaha!


JD March 20, 2015 at 7:23 am

I was in my local Goodwill the other day and found three rather worn out bras — I think that’s the first time I’ve seen that in my Goodwill. Tampons? Um, not yet — whew! I haven’t run into any celebrities, either, cardboard or otherwise.
I have a pet peeve about my Goodwill. In the past, we could buy one dinner plate, so if I wanted one for my work lunches or to make a giveaway platter for my baked goods, I could just buy one there for fifty cents or less. Now they package them up in groups that somewhat coordinate, so that to get one plate, I have to pay $10.00 or more for an unmatched set I don’t want. It ticks me off! I hate to drive all over to yard sales, burning gas for one ten cent plate, too, so I’m having to pay a dollar at Dollar Tree unless I get lucky and find a cheaper deal elsewhere.


Paula in the Yoop March 20, 2015 at 8:34 am

I had a Humpty Dumpty lamp like that as a child and there was also a Jack and Jill lamp. I completely forgot about them until I saw your picture.

A friends who works at a food pantry said they had a 13 year old girl looking for feminine hygiene products. At the time all they could give her was some diapers to cut up. My friend gave the mother $10 so they could go buy her something. So there is a need, even if it seems odd to us.


Katy March 20, 2015 at 8:51 am

Yes, I am fully aware how privileged I am to be able to not see the opened box of thrift store tampons as something that I need.


Isabelle March 20, 2015 at 11:20 am

All the negative on a open box of tampons, ouff. I gave open bags of unused sanitary pads before. Bought the wrong kinds and figured it out once I opened the package. 49 left in a pack of 50. Should I just have thrown it out? I’m starting to think so. Too bad. But like you say, we are looking at this from a privilege point of view. Would I buy a bag of opened tampons? No. But I bought baby diapers at goodwill before, is this the same? I would think so.


Isabelle March 20, 2015 at 11:21 am

I meant an open box of tampons, oops


Diane C March 23, 2015 at 9:49 am

The great Amy Dacyczyn of Tightwad Gazette fame had a great term for this. She called it “selective squeamishness”. If I was short on funds and the tampons were something I could use and were priced right*, I’d buy them without a second thought. As to how or why they turned up at goodwill, sometimes people donate their entire estate to charity. The charity removes literally everything from the donor’s home and then tries to make as much money from the donation as possible.

*I’m inserting a pet peeve here. I hate it when thrift/consignment/charity stores price their items as high as they might have been purchased for new.


Katy March 23, 2015 at 9:52 am

the way I see that pricing thing is that yeah, some things are priced too high, but other things are priced ridiculously low and this is how it balances out.


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