Search results for "overpriced goodwill item of the week"
Here’s one for you comic book fans out there!
How much would you pay for a big bunch of comic books — indeed, a laundry basket full of comic books?
Wait, before you answer: What if I were to sweeten the deal and tell you that they all appear to be fairly recent — oh, between ten and twenty years old? None of that musty old “Golden Age” and “Silver Age” crap here, no sir!
Got a price in mind?
Well, don’t tell me yet, because there’s more: It’s a veritable grab bag! And they’re all packaged up tight as a drum — so as to the actual titles, you won’t know until you get home! Fun!
Now what would you pay?
Hold on! Because you should know that a generous, nay, inordinate amount of packing tape has been used to securely seal them in their plastic tomb, er…tote! That is to say, you don’t have to worry about any of them falling out on the way to the car! Especially the ones on the top, to which the tape is directly, permanently and irremovably adhered to!
So, whaddaya thinking, price-wise…?
Well, what if I were to tell you that you’re wrong, and this treasure chest of comics is available to you for the incredible, amazing, fantastic, uncanny low, low price of…
And don’t forget: You’re getting that laundry basket, too!
Here’s one I’ve been saving for the summer, when the winter-themed imagery below will help everyone enjoy a much-needed break from all the hot weather!
It’s a snow globe!
At least I think it’s a snow globe. Here, let me shake it up to be sure…
Yep, yep — it’s a snow globe!
Unfortunately, I have no idea what it’s a snow globe of!
There’s something in there, I think, but God only knows what it is, for all the dirty water!
Now get this: It was originally priced, on February 10th of last year (I told ya I’d been sitting on these pics for while!), for $3.99. You’re a reasonable person so you’ll concede, won’t you, that a secondhand snow globe with water so filthy-dirty that you can’t tell what’s inside is, shall we say, a tad overpriced at $3.99, right?
But it didn’t sell!
So they re-priced it on March 2nd…
…for four dollars more!
Would you pay $2.99 for a record album – an LP! – in this day and age, when we’ve long ago transcended such antiquated audio technology and moved on to
compact discs?… MP3s?… MP4s…?
…some other sort of digital format the specific name of which none of us are quite sure of anymore?
Okay okay okay – but what if it’s this album:
…and you have to go up and pay for it eating a Jell-O Pudding Pop and humming the ‘Fat Albert’ theme and wearing a colorful sweater and and and the cashier is a laaady?!
Like I said, overpriced!
Hold onto your Swiss Rolls, folks – it’s a fan painting of spokescake snackperson Little Debbie!
Wait a minute – strike that! Reverse it.
Looks like someone was eating some Cosmic Brownies – if you know what I mean! – when they took paint to canvas for this nuttier-than-a-Nutty-Bar portrait!
Judging by those lopsided old-lady-eyes, lack of bottom lashes, asymmetrical arrangement of her features, and somehow wrinkle-free skin, this is not of the original, iconic four-year-old Little Debbie, but rather an imagining of Little Debbie in her mid-eighties after she’s had some work done and suffered a stroke or two.
$14.99 at Goodwill!
And frankly, for a painting this size (it’s at least 18″ x 24″) and this bizarre, I almost have a hard time naming it our Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week.
But then I think of all the Zebra Cakes you could buy with that money…!
LADIES, we’ve all been there, haven’t we…?
You’re in Goodwill, standing there in your drawers and about to try on someone else’s discarded, unwashed fleece lounge pants with that hideous Paul Frank monkey on them.
Suddenly you realize that although it seemed like a good idea at the time, ordering Lunch Special #4 (spicy red curry pineapple/carnitas-stuffed chile relleno with extra jalapeños, steeped in Sriracha sauce) at the Mexican Thai place on Reseda (with the ‘C’ rating in the window, no less!) proved to be a serious mistake.
That ominous rumbling down there is signaling you’ve got mere moments to decide whether to crabwalk from the dressing room to the unisex bathroom with the broken lock on the door or to secrete yourself into the middle of a densely-packed circular rack of blouses, sweaters and various other stained, out-of-season tops and make do with the uncertain privacy it may or may not provide before Mother Nature hits you full force with your monthly visit from, yes, your period!
(That’s what happens, right? I’m not a woman myself, so I’ve had to cobble together bits of information I gleaned when I was a boy and brought in the mail the same day we got a bunch of takeout menus from local restaurants and my 13-year-old sister received a big box from Kotex that I fixated on but no one would talk about.)
Anyway, what to do?
I’ll tell you what to do: Head on over to Goodwill’s bric-a-brac section and pick up yourself some Sure & Natural Maxishields!
A box of five pads with superabsorbent fibers will stem any tide, from neap to tsunami. Like Josephine the Plumber used to say, they’re the quicker-picker upper!
And how much would you pay for this box of free samples from the mid-1980s in your hour of need?
Damn the cost! Those hot peppers want out! Believe me, brother, it’s $3.99 well spent!
And there go the last of the women to ever visit this blog, I reckon. Likely the rest of you, too.
Here we go. Little glass canning jars from the 1970s:
They hold about ten ounces. Does $1.99 seem reasonable to you?
Each. $1.99 each.
Okay, now, what if I were to tell you that most of them are missing the little rubber rings inside the lids, the rings that are there are in various states of disintegration, and the rest we can’t be sure of because the rusty lids seem to be permanently fused to the glass?
Still a good deal, huh? Hey, you’re the jam expert.
Let’s leave that Goodwill, and head to another.
Oh, but let’s stop at the store first – this reminds me: I need to pick up marmalade. Sweet orange marmalade.
Here we go.
$2.78. Hey, that’s the price of sweet orange marmalade these days.
All right then, on our way!
And now here we are in a different Goodwill. Oh, what a coincidence – another jelly jar.
An empty one.
For a dollar ninety-nine! The jar full of preserves only cost 79¢ more!
It’s like I’ve always said: You’re not paying for the sweet orange marmalade, you’re paying for the jar.
IN SPITE OF – or due to – having lost an arm when the Luftwaffe destroyed her school during an air raid, little Madeline is seen welcoming German troops into Paris in a hasty show of allegiance to their Führer. Immortalized here as a wooden push-puppet, this whimsical toy – of interest to both collectors of classic children’s book characters and World War II historians – was discovered at my local Goodwill for $1.99.
We’re doomed to repeat history unless we learn from it. And what we’ve learned here is that Goodwill really has no qualms about putting broken crap out on the sales floor. Who the hell do they think is going to buy this thing? Someone with another broken Madeline push-puppet who would cannibalize this one for spare parts?!
On that note, any readers looking to unload a Babar from the same line, please contact me. I need to rebuild the trunk on mine. (Yes, again!)
HEY, LOOK, I’ve decided, on a whim, to start yet another new feature on this blog. My God, how do I manage to keep so many different topics and themes up and running simultaneously? Believe me, pal, it’s like spinning plates while juggling chainsaws, a career and motherhood.
Anyway, I could, with very little difficulty, write an entire blog not just on thrift stores, not just local thrift stores, but on local Goodwill thrift stores. But then, I’d have even less traffic to this blog (if that’s even possible) so I’ve opted not to.
Or maybe…maybe I’d have many, many more visitors.
Aaah, then they’d all be thrift store people and they annoy me enough as it is in the stores. Christ almighty, I don’t need them visiting my blog, too.
Now here’s the thing about Goodwill Industries: As you know they operate an enormous chain of thrift stores that raise money for charity – feral cats or something, I think. But ultimately, it’s still a bunch of stores run by a big corporation. Big corporations don’t bother me (being part of the 1% and all) and I love capitalism, but I do have a problem with dumb decisions.
Goodwill has made a point over the last few years, as the economy’s been tanking, to promote the idea that shopping in one of their retail locations is a sensible and frugal alternative to buying – brand new – everything from a severely dented metal IKEA side table to a Hilditch & Key dress shirt with an indelible stain that’s somehow completely invisible under fluorescent thrift store lights to personalized coffee mugs featuring photos of complete strangers’ ugly children. Buy it used at Goodwill and save-save-save, they say.
Yeah, well, someone needs to tell the people who price the donated items that.
My local Goodwill has this shelving unit that’s about ten feet long. There’s four shelves plus the bottom of the unit. That’s about fifty linear feet and it’s dedicated to…
So in the highly unlikely chance that anyone from Goodwill Headquarters is reading this, here’s a newsflash, friend: VHS is a dead technology. No major studio is releasing anything on VHS anymore because we’ve all moved onto DVD and Blu-ray. And while you can still find one or two DVD/VCR combos for sale at major electronic stores, the last standalone VCR was manufactured in 2008.
VHS is no more!
The only reason any of us are even keeping our VCRs is so we’ll have something to play our homemade porn on. There’s no way I’m having all these tapes converted to DVD, I don’t care how good my abs looked then. Plus Sharon and I promised Heather, our neighbor at the time, that we destroyed the tapes. (She and Cliff finally got back together, they’ve moved up to Corte Madera and she volunteers at Via Cordova Elementary where their kids are enrolled so the last thing she needs is some asshole at the transfer service to post everything on the internet and then Cliff finding out when one of his buddies at Firehouse 22 – Cane St. Station – sees her on Pornhub, yells “Guys! Guys! Holy crap, come here!” and then everyone else on that shift gathers around his netbook so they can watch, too.)
Where was I? Oh yeah.
Furthermore, it’s unlikely most pre-recorded VHS tapes are ever going to have any kind of serious collector value in the future. The tapes naturally degrade over the years, and even at its best, the quality is lousy compared to everything that’s come since. Plus the whole process of inserting the media into the player, and the fast forwarding, pausing, rewinding – it’s interminable compared to DVD or Blu-ray. Oh, sure, there will always be collectors who’ll want to own every single different videotape release of Star Wars likely for the sleeves alone, like idiots, and then you’ve got your jackass hipsters who might have some ridiculous 80s-themed party where part of the supposed ironic fun is watching Sixteen Candles on an old VCR while sipping old store stock drink boxes of Hi-C Ecto-Cooler spiked with vodka, and maybe I wouldn’t have called the police about the noise if I had been invited since I live right next door, but to you and me and 95% of the population, these tapes are worthless.
But apparently not at Goodwill, brother! Not at Goodwill!
No, here they’ll each run you a buck ninety-nine!
So I was pleasantly surprised when I visited another thrift store just down the street, an independant thrift store benefitting pregnant homeless women or homeless pregnant women or some such nonsense, and I saw this:
Three VHS tapes for 99¢! See, they get it! And by the way, when they’re not on sale at this place, they’re charging half of what Goodwill charges – just a buck! (Interestingly, the videos in clamshell boxes – virtually all children’s movies – weren’t on sale. Was this because they realized parents were more willing to pay “full-price” for a kids film that their child will likely watch over and over and over, or because whoever priced them wasn’t too bright and thought that the larger plastic cases made these movies inherently more valuable? We’ll never know, because I didn’t ask anyone, not really caring about the answer and knowing you wouldn’t, either.)
Now what you’re saying is, “Ted, so Goodwill charges two bucks a tape. Would you deny them this, knowing the money goes to a good cause – shoes for the blind or whatnot?”
No. The point is that no one buys them! The tapes just sit there and each week there’s more! These things multiply nearly as fast as most of the people who shop there! All these VHS tapes are taking up valuable thrift store shelf real estate that could better be utilized displaying donations that shoppers (i.e., me) would buy.
Namely vintage tiki mugs, Sillsculpts, and any sort of cast and crew item from the production of a popular TV show or film that I can turn around on eBay for twenty times its (already high) Goodwill price.
If I had a nickel for every item I’ve seen at 99¢ Only for 99¢ only and then later at Goodwill for a much higher price, I’d be a rich man, indeed. And not just rich in good health, family and friends as I am now, but rich in nickels which is of course what I prefer.
But I’ll be generous and cut the people who price the donations at Goodwill some slack on that, because not everyone can be as well-versed in 99¢ Only store merchandise as you or I.
However, I won’t be as magnanimous with this:
It’s a Kitchen brand Microwave Splatter Screen. Brand new — never been used, by the looks of that label! Not sure where it came from originally — could be a dollar store item, could be from one of your larger retailers. Who’s to say?
Regardless, we all can see this on the label, can’t we?
And then, a few inches away, we’ve got Goodwill’s price:
Now, I think the problem here is that at least a while back — from what a cashier told me — the Goodwills in my area weren’t pricing anything lower than $1.99. Which, frankly, doesn’t make a lot of sense (especially for this area, hoo boy!), but if that was their policy, then stuff like this shouldn’t even make it out to the sales floor [industry term].
Goodwill oughta just re-donate such merchandise to thrift stores — good thrift stores — that do price things lower than a buck. Or just give this stuff away. Or throw it in the garbage.
Because when you, Goodwill, try to sell something for two bucks in a thrift store that retails for half that (and is marked as such), you’re going to end up with customers at the counter arguing with the cashiers and trying to get them to sell it to them for the original price — and then when the cashiers don’t, you’re going to end up with customers using filthy, filthy language, possibly throwing things, and probably invoking some sort of peasant curse against the employee. (Most customers other than me in my area thrift stores, I’ve noticed, are pushy, awful, awful people who, I think it’s safe to assume, dabble in black magic.)
What’s worse — you’re going to end up showcased on my popular “Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week” feature and mocked mercilessly by my, what, six regular readers. Probably.
NOW HERE’S some fun: A good pal of mine, sure – that handsome devil Scott Maiko – recently had a piece published in MAD magazine.
MAD #523, to be exact – on stands now! It’s an hilarious spoof of the Williams-Sonoma catalog. And though he makes such hilarity look easy, he admitted to me that it was difficult coming up with an angle.
“I just couldn’t think of the right approach,” he tells me. “I was going crazy trying to think up how to handle it. I even began talking to myself, that’s how crazy I was going.”
“You talk to yourself? I do that too!” I told him.
Eventually, he explained, inspiration hit when he was wandering through a local thrift store – just like I do! (Surprised I don’t bump into this guy more often.)
Instead of Williams-Sonoma, he thought, how about…
…and write up the catalog as a ‘mash-up,’ if you will, of actual Goodwill thrift store merchandise, and hoity-toity Williams-Sonoma-style catalog copy!
The rest, as they say, is history: His editors hated it so he ended up writing something better for them.
However, they were kind enough to let him take his original misguided, half-assed, mean-spirited, scattershot, who-did-it-and-ran attempt and “piss it away on his blog,” as he likes to say. Turns out, he doesn’t have a blog on which to piss it away (which begs the question ‘Why does he like to say that?’ and I’d ask him but he, uh, left).
Anyway, it seems I have a blog and he asked me to post it here.
Click on each image to see it larger in a new window/tab.
Pages 1 and 2. (Descriptions of items on p. 1 appear on p. 2)
I think we all agree MAD made the right call by passing on this especially because this works out great for me: I’ve bought the entire concept, lock, stock and second-hand barrel from Maiko for three dollars worth of food from Del Taco’s Buck & Under menu! Heh heh…sucker!
Those of you, what?, six regulars who have been coming here for my popular Overpriced Goodwill Item of the Week feature can now look forward to, oh, perhaps the occasional new catalog item as well! So how about that!