New Game Show — Goodwill Guesses

by Katy on April 5, 2013 · 31 comments

I have a new game show here on The Non-Consumer Advocate called Goodwill Guesses. The object of the game is to guess whether I bought or didn’t buy particular Goodwill items.

Let’s start!

Contestant #1 is an original art print for the low, low price of $2.99. It’s signed by the artist and is numbered 40/500.

Art print

Heres a detail shot so you can fully appreciate the artistic aesthetic:

Art detail

Sooo . . . Did I buy it?

Sadly no, as it didn’t really fit in with my current decor style. Plus I feel it would look better in a dentist’s office than a private home.

Let’s bring on contestant #2!

She’s a mini muscle massager that’s only slightly used.

Personal massager

Sooo . . . did I buy it?

Also no. Just no. No.

Contestant #3 is this beaut. Not the fake plant, not the glass inset coffee table, we’re talking about the antique blue dresser. She’s $30 and sturdy as can be.

Blue dresser

Sooo . . . did I buy her?

Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Not only did I fork over the $30 for the dresser, but thanks to Craigslist she found a new home in under 24 hours. And my son’s college account is $50 richer from the transaction.

Contestant #4 is a special guy, kind of a trickster. He’s been known for pranks that end badly, but could still be a great addition to your carefully curated home. (Although you might want to follow Reverend Pat Robertson’s advice and say a prayer over him.)


Sooo . . . Did I bring him home?

You may be thinking “Of course Katy brought home this special object d’art,” but you would be wrong. I’m not really into the color grey.

Contestant #5 is another piece of art, and although it too features nudity like contestant #1, it’s somehow just a wee bit classier.

Maxfield Parrish print

The glare makes it hard to see the detail, so here’s a second photo:

Maxfield Parrish -- Daybreak

This was a hard one, but YES I did buy the 1922 Maxfield Parrish Daybreak print in original frame. And then I sold it to blog reader Renée. More money for my son’s college account!

(Here’s a helpful financial tip for all you parents out there. Don’t wait until your kids are 17-years-old to start their college accounts!)

Contestant #6 is a Geisha with attitude. Although most geisha souvenir figures have a serene, non-violent quality, this lady is looking for any excuse to kick your sorry ass! Her stance and hand formation tell you that she more than happy to squash any misconceptions you may have about geishas.

Kick-ass Geisha

Here’s another picture of her from a different angle:

Geisha Laurence Fishburne

Sooo . . .  did I buy her? Of course not! I have enough in my life to inspire nightmares, arigatou gozaimasu!

So, how’d you do? Were you able to accurately guess which Goodwill treasures came home with me? And don’t feel too badly if you got many of the questions wrong, this game show was insanely difficult.

Well, insane is right.

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 }

Joy @ Joyfully Green April 5, 2013 at 9:29 am

You already know how much I enjoy your blog (and this post is hilarious, as usual…ugh, the buttcrack art!), but I have an honest question for you that I keep wondering about whenever I read your thrift store posts: How is buying thrift store items not consuming? Because you’re not buying new things? Isn’t it still being a consumer when you’re buying old things? I’m honestly curious about your take on this, so please don’t take it the wrong way. I feel like you have a whole separate blog in you which would be fantastically and hilariously entertaining–“The Thrift Store Advocate!”


Katy April 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

Because I’m only only buying from thrift shops, my purchases are not triggering the manufacture of any new goods. I suppose everyone is a consumer is one way or another. You have to eat, and if you have a home, you’ll need stuff.

Just yesterday, I went to two different thrift shops, but all I bought was a nice $1.99 glass food storage container.

Also, you’ll notice that everything I bought, I then sold.



Joy @ Joyfully Green April 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

Got it–thanks for explaining your take on it, and glad the goods contributed to the college fund!


JaneUlness April 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

I think that when you buy second hand you are buying green. That stuff is being saved from the landfill and you aren’t adding something more to the landfill by buying new.


Katy April 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm

I think less of the landfill and more about the materials that would be required to manufacture said item in the first place.



JaneUlness April 6, 2013 at 3:42 am

That too. Manufacturers base how many items they make by orders . If we don’t buy them, they won’t make them. By not buying new, you break the cycle.


Joy @ Joyfully Green April 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm

I totally agree with your green assessment, Jane. My original question was more about Katy’s take on the “spending money” part because I don’t think she focuses on the green angle, just the non-consuming angle. I was just curious how the thrift store shopping fit into her whole viewpoint here, and now I know! (:


dusty April 5, 2013 at 10:35 am

I really think some people have it (that would be you katie) and some people don’t (that would be me). I have multiple items on Ebay from cleaning out my mom’s condo and so far I have spent $15 to list them and have made, wait for it, $4.99. I have lots more to go, but am getting kind of discouraged. I really think there is an art to figuring how much something is worth. I have to stick with it though cause our dining room is full of boxes. Hopefully, I get the hang of it.


Katy April 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

Check “Completed Listings” on eBay (it’s under advanced search) before listing anything. The things I sold in this post were through Craiglist, which since it’s free is risk free.



Paula April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

DING, DING, DING…I win! Scored 100%. Love the new game show!


Alison April 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

#1 really “cracked” me up!!


marie April 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm

As for Joy’s comment about buying second hand rather than new, I feel that it feeds the need to shop. At least it does for me.
In the old days I would “shop” the mall and think nothing about spending tons on useless things, that I didn’t really need. I used to have clothes in the closet with tags still attched I never wore.
Thrifting, on the other hand. I usually go only when I am looking for something, If I find something special, it is special. I won’t let myself bring home other peoples junk, unless I have a space for it, a need for it and the price is awesome.


Joy @ Joyfully Green April 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm

marie, that’s a very good point about the malls–they totally reel us into spending much more money on things we never even thought we “needed.”


JaneUlness April 5, 2013 at 2:20 pm

The last maxwell Parrish I sold was upwards of 200 dollar . Good fine.


Family Fandango April 5, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I am a Goodwill fiend! We have a really great one near our house, used to have a guy working there named Wayne that was super famous in the community. I would go once a week when I was on maternity, just for a little “outing”…sometimes twice a week. Great people, great prices 🙂


Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage April 5, 2013 at 4:17 pm

I love the dentist print. Eclectic is my style, so it’d fit perfectly in my house.

You know, I haven’t been to Goodwill in a long time. I rarely go to stores except for the grocery, though. Just no purchasing whatsoever going on around here!


cathy April 5, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I’m impressed with your ability to flip Goodwill items for resale on Craigslist. Do you have any tips on figuring out how to best price items for resale? If I’m reading you correctly, you sold that blue dresser for $80. Just wondering how you determined what you could ask for it (or anything else for that matter).


Katy April 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I just figured I would be happy if I made a quick fifty bucks. I didn’t want to price it so high that it would be at my house too long, as it was pretty big. For a smaller item, I would have been happier to keep it around for awhile. As it was, I had a buyer plus two backup buyers within a day of listing it. Also, my initial investment of $30 was minimal, so I could take a risk. (I would not buy a $100 item hoping to sell it for $200.)

I’m sure there are lots of underpriced items that I pass by on every Goodwill trip, but they’re not in my area of expertise. So what I do is buy stuff I KNOW ABOUT and is significantly underpriced. It’s not a science, but it generally works.



Rowen G. April 5, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I find a lot of things, some of them re-sellable, but so far no Maxfield Parrish. (sigh) Good going!


Bonnie April 6, 2013 at 7:52 am

You have no idea how happy I am that you are back!! I could type all day about my delight in your blog, but I won’t as I have a lot of you great ideas to put into action.


pegtroll April 6, 2013 at 9:07 am

I have followed you for a long time, but rarely comment…
This was hilarious!! I got them all right.
Keep “em coming,


PoppyEcho April 7, 2013 at 7:22 am

Funny gameshow! I want to play again next week!
Yesterday I sold on craigslist 3 chairs that I’d found in the garbage. $40 pure profit. I walk my dogs a lot and I just find so much great stuff, usually when people are cleaning out their basements, garages or moving. It took a long time for the chairs to sell and I was getting discouraged.


Joy @ Joyfully Green April 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

PoppyEcho, I have the exact same thing happen to me during my dogwalks–rescuing perfectly good stuff from the curb before the garbage trucks take it away. I found the two amazing chairs in the included link below while dogwalking and intend to put them in a yard sale next weekend. How much do you think is a fair price for them? I don’t care about the profit as much as just making sure they get taken away to a new home instead of the dump.


Katy April 7, 2013 at 8:02 am

Wow, I would have brought those chairs home as well!



Joy @ Joyfully Green April 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

I know, right?! People throw out the strangest things. What would you charge for them, since you have such a talent for pricing resale items?


Katy April 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I would charge $50 for the rocking chair, and $30 the for the regular chair. Then, I’d be willing to bargain a bit.


PoppyEcho April 8, 2013 at 5:44 am

Yeah, those chairs are great! I’d probably sell them for a low price at a yard sale- what about making a sign for the rocker- “This needs a good home- make an offer!”.


psmflowerlady/Tammy April 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

I kinda like the picture of the girl hoola-hooping – was it an oil?


Katy April 9, 2013 at 10:46 am

It’s a print, but made to look like a painting. I think it was from Target.



Betty Winslow January 16, 2017 at 7:58 am

Our local GW is beginning to think it’s a retail store – prices are ridiculous. I’ve seen used items that I KNOW were from Dollar Tree (not only have I seen them there, but I know the label address) selling for more than a dollar! And when my daughter worked there, the shelves looked curated, since she placed things like with like and in nice little vignettes, but now, it looks like things were placed by the armload or thrown from several feet away. Sad.


Joy @ Joyfully Green April 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Thanks for the consultation!


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