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Undiscovered Thriftin' Paradise: Goodwill Online

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There are probably hundreds of ebay sellers out there who have made a pretty penny by selling items that they purchased at a Goodwill thrift store. Now Goodwill has gotten into the online auction game with shopgoodwill.com. The site was started by the Goodwill Industries of Orange County, CA and now sells items that have been uploaded by participating Goodwill thrift stores all over the country. Revenue from sales benefit Goodwill’s many charitable efforts across the globe—making it possible for buyers to help make a difference without leaving home.

When I accidentally stumbled across the site I was intrigued, and somewhat dismayed, by the array of items available for sale. While the vintage Gunne Sax dress, (a highly collectible item with “Buy It Now” prices on ebay starting at around $130), which had already received 8 bids and was up to $100, certainly made sense, I simply could not understand why anyone would post, or bid on, control top panties-- though the 5 bids that had already posted did give me pause. Isn’t it possible to find something like that at Target, without having to bid on it and possibly make it cost twice as much as it would in a store? Is there any entire population of people who prefer to buy all of their underwear online —trolling the pages of ebay and shopgoodwill.com for the perfect size and color? Perhaps Goodwill is actually fulfilling a need that I didn’t even know existed…

At this point, I’m not sure that very many people even know about this site so it may be possible to find highly collectible, even one-of-a-kind, pieces at very low prices with little, or no, competition for goods. I certainly saw some items (including vintage hats and shoes) that will be ending soon and had no, or very few, bidders. Registration is free, and though shopgoodwill.com does not allow buyers to use PayPal, credit cards, personal checks and money orders are all acceptable forms of payment. Overall, while the selection is limited in comparison to ebay, I would certainly recommend keeping an eye on shopgoodwill.com. You never know what will turn up and you may be the only person who wants it-- unless you’re looking for control top underwear.

-- TaRosa Jacobs

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