Katy Wolk-Stanley, Goodwill Huntress

by Katy on June 26, 2012 · 22 comments

I wrote yesterday about my frustrating search for a large rolling suitcase for my son’s impending summer exchange to Japan. Every thrift store trip for the past month included a look through their luggage section to no avail. I even priced new ones, and was on the verge of opening a vein buying brand new when I came across this lightweight Kiva brand 26″ rolling suitcase, which was exactly what I was looking for.

It’s in purr-fect condition, and at $14.99, (minus my 5% Goodwill club discount) set me back only $14.24. It originally sold for $150, and will be a great addition to our family’s luggage arsenal.

It just goes to show you that if there’s something you want to find used, chances are that it’s out there. As long as you give yourself time to hunt it down. Our planet is not enjoying the over manufacture of consumer goods, so buying used will always be my first choice.

Katy Wolk-Stanley, Goodwill huntress.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudia June 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

Yay! I admire your skills. On another note, how do you stay so amazingly youthful-looking while raising teenage sons???!!!


Katy June 26, 2012 at 9:23 am

I had a pretty bad malignant melanoma at an early age, and have been very good about staying out of the sun ever since.

And it’s not about skills to find what you need at Goodwill, it’s about patience.



Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land June 26, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Yes! Patience, patience! Probably one of the best ways to save money, ever! And to save resources, too. I love that thrift saves both.


Susan June 26, 2012 at 9:28 am

Amazing deal! Great find as well.


Katy June 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

I know! I’m still amazed that I found this suitcase!



meaghan June 26, 2012 at 9:46 am

Hey Katy,

That is a great find! I am wondering if you can give some me some advice….i am following in your footsteps because yesterday at my Goodwill I picked up a pottery barn rug for $14 that I hope to sell on criagslist. I googled it on my phone while in the store and found that it retails for $179. It is clean and without stains, and I am going to vacuum it well and maybe borrow a rug shampooer from my neighbor.

What would be your idea of a price to list it for on craigslist? I was thinking $75? any advice would be appreciated 🙂

thanks for the inspiration!


Katy June 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

That sounds like a fair price. Profit for you and a good deal for the buyer. Make sure to include a link to the new one or a similar one in your post and then don’t worry if you have to repost the listing a number of times. Find out the actual name of the rug. Take 4 good pictures and have a snappy title.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!



Reese June 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

If I can just add one thing I’ve noticed with craigslist ads–don’t say where you got it, or that you fixed it up and are making a profit from it. I always get turned off by those ads!

Just say it’s for sale, list the condition, your price, and a snappy title (like Katy said!).


Katy June 26, 2012 at 10:51 am

Ditto. That information is irrelevant.



Liz June 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I think your fortuitious find illustrates that one never gives up in the pursuit of items one truly needs. Maybe someone read your previous post and decided to donate the item to Goodwill? Just speculation.


Robin June 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm



Ellie June 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Congrats! Awesome find!!!


Beaner June 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm

How many times a week are you in a Goodwill type store? Just wondering how often one must visit to find these deals. I might be near a Goodwill twice a month, if that.


Diane C June 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Katie, you rock! The part about making your own luck applies in spades here. Now you still have that $100 JCP gift card. Perhaps it will buy new underwear for the whole family this Christmas. I hope your son’s trip exceeds only his wildest imagination and not the budget.


Jo H. June 26, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Hmmm … just got in under the wire that time, did you not?! That’s not just patience and dedication, but a bit o’ luck, I think 🙂 Whatever it is, congratulations on a great find, and a great price, just in time!


Katy June 26, 2012 at 8:03 pm

I do want credit for scoping out thrift stores while on my way to the mall though!



Jo H. June 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Granted, in spades 🙂


Brooke June 27, 2012 at 4:25 am

Just wondering how you clean thrift store purchases that can’t fit in the washer or dryer? I don’t buy used as often as I’d like to out of a fear of bringing home bed bugs!


Katy June 27, 2012 at 8:59 am

Well first of all, I won’t buy anything that’s “Dry Clean Only.” I do own a Bissell rug shampooer. I inspected this suitcase well before bringing it home, and it’s been sitting wide open on the front porch since I brought it home. Although that’s to air it out more than anything else. (The purfumey Goodwill smell is less than desirable.)



Paula in the UP June 27, 2012 at 9:31 am

Great find!!

I was the recipient of a very nice sewing machine due to my patience!! My daughter had mentioned wanting one a bit ago, so I, like you just kept an eye out for one. The one I bought was in “like new” condition, very simple machine perfect for the beginner that my daughter is. It was $12.50 at Goodwill, same machine was going for $55- $65 on few different sites I found online. It was missing the bobbin case(which is why it may have been brought there), but I found one online for $4.10 on Amazon. The same part from the mfg was going $11.99. so for $16.60 I got a decent sewing machine for part of my daughters birthday gift!!


Kimberly June 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Yes, the key is being patient and waiting. I’m not good at that, but am trying to be better about knowing it will come in time.

Right now, I’m on a thrift store quest for the perfect basket to make into a hanging file folder holder for my tickler file in my office. None yet, but I’m hanging on…one will come.


Beth December 24, 2015 at 3:13 pm

We drop into Goodwill maybe once a month or so. We have a list in the back of our minds about things we need. My best luggage find was a Hartman suit carrier for $5. Nice leather trim and it should last forever. Your luggage find looks perfect for your son and the savings over new is amazing!


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