Monday, March 14, 2011

Why I Love Goodwill

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the local Goodwill... and by "local", I mean the 2, soon to be 3 stores closest to me.

PS: Who decided it'd be a good idea to put one within 2 minutes of my house? I thank you, dearly... but "thrilled" isn't exactly the word I'd use to describe McStudly's reaction to the news.

Now, Momma Bear and I don't play when it comes to Goodwill shopping. We are serious about our bargain shopping. Most of the people at our local stores know us by name (especially, Momma's). And we don't shy away from haggling attempts.

Example: I found a dozen of these mini Ikea mirrors at the store closest to Mom & Dad's house.

They wanted $3 a piece for these MALMA mirrors (regularly $2.99, direct from Ikea). Bump that ruckus! I told them I'd give them $1 a piece, and they agreed! Holla!! I haven't even used all of them, yet, but you'd better believe that all 12 of them came home with me. 1/2 are currently hanging in formation above our love seat, and the other are stacked away, just waiting for a purpose and/or to be refurbished into something more creative. ;)

So now fast-forward to this past weekend. We got some Panera for lunch (Yummm!), and then headed over to the Goodwill nearby. They had some great stuff!

For example, one great item that didn't make it home with me was this baby:

Brand new. In the box. And for how much? Only a whopping $69.99, baby. And that was BEFORE any haggling. Oh yeah... and did I mention that it could do this:

Oh yes. Yes it can. And if I had a place to put a coffee table, it would've been MINE! But, Studly insisted we didn't need one, nor have space for one. And as much as I argued that one day we WOULD need one, spending money on something you DON'T need, no matter how good of a deal, is a waste of money. And that's one of the biggest things to learn when thrift-shopping. *sigh

But there were a few things that did make it home with me from that store. And item was this awesome piece that I can't find a picture of. Oddly enough, as soon as I saw it, I remembered seeing it in an older pottery barn ad, not even that long ago!! But it's no longer listed on their site. Ugh!! Nor does it's picture exist anywhere on the internet by how I'd described it in google (not exactly rocket science, but not the easiest task, either). So the closest thing that I could find to the piece was this:

But here's how it differs - mine is a more clean-lined modern style than this more traditional version. Instead of the horizontal bar being rounded, mine is straight. And rather than the 5 vertical bars, mine has three - one of each length: small, medium, long. Also, none of the bars on my pieced are round, either, but flattened pieces instead, and the vertical bars literally hang on the horizontal bar.

Wow. That's super confusing. But I promise to try and post a picture when/if I hang it in this house. (Have I mentioned before that's it's UBER hard to muster up any desire to decorate a home that you know you won't be living in forever? Yeesh. Not easy at ALL!)

But my proudest purchase of the day came in the form of another brand new target furnishing, still in the box. Here she is:

At first look, I thought for sure that this beautiful cardboard box included 2 of these babies. But upon further review, I discovered that the box, although it said "set of 2", also said "60 of 120 pieces". If you do the math, which I did... that means only 1 of the "set of 2" was included in the box. No biggie. I wafted back and forth about whether or not to purchase the gorge brown leather parsons chair, and decided to go for it.

Now, this is where it pays to be observant. It was originally marked as $69.99. Which is still cheap, mind you, for a brown leather parsons chair. But examining the packaging uncovered a target discount sticker STILL stuck to the box. and it was marked $45.99. Woot! When Goodwill accidentally misses these babies, they have to honor the lowest posted price. Yeah, baby!! BUT they also saw me sweat. And this part is key. I "wafted" right in front of them. Which brings me to another important lesson in Goodwill shopping. Not only is haggling super important, and keeping things in perspective essential, but don't be afraid to let them see you sweat... even the small stuff. It wasn't an act. Believe me (I've done that, too...).

I was up near the register while deciding whether or not I was going to purchase the lone chair-nger, and after pointing out the beautiful red target-sale-price sticker, the fabulous lady at the register walked it back to the manager. When she returned, I really expected her to just give me the shiny sticker price, but Nnnooooo... she took out that GLORIOUS black Sharpie marker and crossed through the hand-written $69.99 on the box and wrote "$34.99".

*insert Hallelujah chorus*


I got that beautiful baby for $34.99. And you know what that means? Even if I purchased a matching chair at FULL price (which is SO not going to happen... for the record...), That would bring the brown leather parsons chair pair total to a whopping $170, and thus break down to only $85 a chair.

Eat that full priced box stores!! I mean you can't find that good of a price ANYWHERE, for parsons chairs. It was beautiful!! And even with the lone chair-nger, my dining room table will already look updated. And if I decide not to stick it in there (that'swhatshesaid), then it'd still look absolutely gorge in front of a desk or something to that effect.


Have I mentioned that I love Goodwill?

And the day almost got EVEN better after stopping at another local Goodwill store. I found 4 boxes... 4 BOXES, people!! ... of this beautiful hardwood flooring. REAL hardwood. And it was the absolutely gorgeous Antique Walnut color. Each unopened box included over 24 sq ft of flooring, and guess how much they wanted for them?

Oh forget it... you'll never guess...

A whopping $10.00 a BOX! Only $40 for over 96 sq ft of GORGEOUS Antique Walnut real hardwood flooring.

I scurried home toot sweet and measured, only to discover that I needed twice that much to do our kitchen, entry hallway, and half bath, which all share the same flooring and all need to be replaced. We even tried to find a way to just purchase the remaining amount needed, but they stopped selling that color. UGH! Do you know how CHEAP that is, people?! Less than $.42 a sq foot.

Helloo Goodwill. Goodwill... Das a nice name. Can I getcho numba? Can I?! Can I havit?!?! Can I have yo numba?!

Sorry... got carried away.

Along with the above-mentioned items, I also walked away with a cutesy green t-shirt that I was oddly drawn to, an absolutely aDORable little girl's leather jacket (for sweet baby Abby, of course!) and a coordinating pair of jeans, a brand-stinking-new pair of fabulous black dress shoes (with minuscule heels. wootwoot!), a super-cute full length summer dress (you know... that fun springy style you wear with flip-flops?), a few wrap-around headbands, and a couple of other things that I'm totally blanking on, but still loving, if for no other reason than their cheapness. :-)

Anywho - this is just ONE Saturday, and only 2 of our local Goodwill locations full of reasons why I love the place.

So what about you guys... got any favorite thrifty places? Any thrift store finds that you looove to brag about? Come on... spill. We're all friends, here. ;-)


Miss Southern Prep said...

Oh my gosh, you got such amazing deals! I love all of the items you bought, especially that leather chair!

Momma Z said...

well, sooooooooooo proud of you my dear, and YEP, your Momma Bear taught you well! Greeeeeeat to hear about your Goodwill finds! It is truly a remarkable place to enjoy decorating your house for SUCH DEALS ... Mee, Momma Z

Monica Dawn. said...

Ahhhh! I love bargain deals and shopping blogs! And I especially loved the that's what he said joke ha ha =)

April E. :) said...

I think I plan to make Friday afternoons my Thrift shopping day. First one is tomorrow!! hoorraahhh! Great finds Sis!

Robin said...

how do you find such good stuff?? I go all the time (yep 2 minutes away) and never find such good items! That coffee table is the exact one my husband wants. And how did you get them to haggle down a price??!? I thought they didn't do that - something about company policy or whatever. I wouldn't pay more than retail ikea price though. you are amazing.

Unknown said...

You won you won! Email me!!