Friday, May 18, 2012

Goodwillism = great find ... maybe.

Goodwill stores always amuse me.  They seem to have a split personality.  Are they a thrift store, or an upscale boutique, as they like to call themselves?  In addition, pricing has become a joke, whether it’s putting a $1.01 price tag on a dollar store picture frame, with the original $1 price tag still attached, or printing out an eBay listing for an item, and attaching it to an item in their store, and charging the same price as on the listing.

My favorite Goodwillism (my new word), though, is when they put supposedly high-end items in their display case, where they languish because they are really not valuable, and let the valuable merchandise sit on their shelves, where it still is over-priced for a thrift store, but still a deal for a bargain hunter.

Case in point, during a recent thrift run, I casually strolled by the electronics isle, and noticed a small electronic device in a plastic bag with a $30 price tag on it.  Crazy, I thought, but took notice of the name, “Broadcastvision,” and decided to look it up on my phone as I walked toward the book section.  Completeds showed it selling in the $140 range.  Intrigued, but not actually “sold” yet on the item, I looked over the books (pathetic selection … don’t get me started), and then the toys, where $8 spent on a puzzle and a woodburning kit should net me about $80 (but, I digress).

I strolled back over the electronic aisle, and looked at the device again. It was a remote stereo transmitter with adjustable frequencies.  But it was missing the power cord.

It was then that I noticed the other boxes, each priced $8.08, with the same name, “Broadcastvision,” and serial numbers on the sides. Several had been opened, so I put my toys down to look over one of the items.  Sliding it out of the box, I couldn’t figure out what it was.  It was black, about 9 inches tall, had an on/off-volume switch, and obviously rechargeable because of the metal strips across the bottom. It had the name “Sports Select” in addition to the “Broadcastvision” label.  There were nine of them in all, some opened, obviously, and some not.

After some internal debate, and mental calculation ($30 for the transmitter, and $73 for the matching items … ouch), I decided to grab them all.  So, I pulled them off the shelf, and laid them on the floor, since I didn’t have a buggy.  Between those items, plus my toys, I had more than an armful, and was trying to figure out how to get them to the register.   As I was trying to figure out a way, including trying to slide the whole pile, I noticed an older lady watching me.

“Will you do me a favor?” I asked her.

“Probably not,” she said.

Sheesh, so much for that, but I persisted.

“I need to get a buggy.  Would you watch this pile for about 30 seconds while I run to the front?”

“Hurry,” she said.

So, I did, and got back in less than 30 seconds, and proceeded to put the items in my buggy.  Then, this woman had the nerve to pick one of my items up, open it, and ask what it was. After stifling several smart remarks, I had to admit that I had no idea, which, for some reason, seemed to irritate her, and she walked away muttering something about me selling them.  I bet she’s some kids favorite grandma ... not.

After paying, I headed back to work, still unsure of what I had.  Taking a few minutes away from printing slides (yeah, I know, putting my college education to good work), I looked the unknown items up online.

Holy {expletive deleted}.

They were wireless speakers for the transmitter, and I had nine.

The only problem is that I need power cords for the transmitter, plus the wireless receivers.  So, I have to hit Radio Shack for the cords before I can see if they all work.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Have a great thrifting weekend!


  1. Can't stop laughing at the lady saying "Probably not." I guess at least she was being honest, right? Great find..hope those cords work out for you!

  2. I hope your gut instinct proves profitable! I must admit, I've never heard of a shopping cart referred to as a buggy. It's sounds so very English. :)

  3. Good luck! I hope it works out! I live in the South and we call them buggies!

  4. Yup, they're buggies here in southwest va, although I'm shocked someone in a southern GW was so rude. People usually try to help me find stuff at ours! Awesome finds!

  5. We say buggy occasionally up in Canada.