Feeling the economic blues? Lost the will to shop? It’s time for a new will, the Goodwill. Today I went behind the Orange Curtain, deep into the recesses of the Orange County (Costa Mesa & Huntington Beach) to do a little Goodwill hunting. Clearly, not all Goodwills are created equal. I was amazed at the values I saw. Oh, there is lots of junk too, but there are also some great finds. The stock at Goodwills has changed as retailers are donating their clearance items that don’t sell to the stores (props to them for not dumping items.) Goodwill staff told me they receive many new items from Walmarts and Target stores every week. The charity stores are no longer the place that old, decrepit, stained items go to die. The shelves are teaming with items that are still in the box, and new with tags. And because the items are new, and some are designer, there didn’t seem to be any embarrassment among the Goodwill shoppers. No one seems to be looking around to make sure their neighbors or co-workers are lurking in the store, and will see them. The day has finally arrived when frugal is the new black.
The OC Goodwills offer much more upscale merchandise than many of our Los Angeles stores. I saw Lily Pulitzer shoes for $7.99 (above), Burberry (a rare UFO like sighting), Vera Wang Lavender Label, Target’s Liberty of London comforters and rain boots, designer handbags, Zack Posen for Target, Target Home collection items, Perrier Jouet hand painted champagne glasses, Betsey Johnson, plus clothing from Talbots, Loft, Anne Taylor and Banana Republic. For some time my friend Robin has been telling me about all the great things she has been finding at the Goodwills. Robin’s house is full of Goodwill treasures. Her closet even has Moschino and a Louis Vuitton Vernis bag from Goodwill ! It was hard to believe when she would talk about the items from high end stores with the tags still on that she was able to pick up, but seeing is believing.
Since Robin is such a Goodwill expert, I decided to take her up on her Goodwill tour offer today do a little Sunday shopping. It’s not a quick trip to go through all the items at a Goodwill, but if you have the patience, some amazing values can be found. I spent about 4- 5 hours today digging through the Goodwill racks. Check out some of today’s bargain sightings:
So after a hard day of bargain hunting, I ended up with the following : Liberty of London Target rain boots for $ 5.99, a Vintage black sweater made in British Hong Kong for $6.00 (will look great with one of my vintage Chanel Pins), a 3 piece wrought iron Bistro Patio set new in the box for $44.99 (retail over $200.00), 3 hand-painted Perrier Jouet Champagne Glasses for $1.99 each, new “Classic Home” bathroom shelves for $39.99, BCBG shoes for $13.99, Lily Pulitzer shoes for $7.99 and a 45 piece set of new flatware for $7.99. Pretty incredible, huh? Best of all, there is no sales tax at Goodwill. Some additional perks are Sundays and Tuesdays seniors (age 55 or over) get an extra 10% off. There are also racks with color codes on them, that offer additional savings. Look for the color coded racks. Of course, as I witnessed today, Goodwill can be addictive. You may think that because everything is deeply discounted, that you need to load up. I would discourage weekly trips
To find out where the best Goodwills are in your area, have a look at YELP! The reviews can give you the low down by location. Of course, not every trip can be a great one, but if you have the patience, you’re bound to find some good deals. My new wrought iron Bistro set was heavy, so one of the Goodwill employees helped me load it into my car. I told him, I couldn’t believe how many great things I got for just a little over $100.00. He said, “It’s almost like stealing isn’t it?” Yeah, almost
Best of all, when you shop at Goodwill, your purchases create opportunities for people with disabilities or other barriers to become independent and support themselves, and their families
PS: I didn’t go to the Goodwill empty handed. I donated several items at the store, that I haven’t made use of, some new in the box. If you need help Goodwill hunting in Southern California, leave a comment here for Robin on the blog.