The BUY of the YEAR!

So the recent media have covered the topic a little and I’ve given hints in the last week but here is the moment of truth about the BEST purchase during my Living the Goodwill Life 2011 challenge year.  In fact… I think this purchase is possibly the BEST of all my thrift purchases in my 20 years of thrifting!

So, with all “great finds” there is usually a story.  You see them on Antique Roadshow about how somebody found the $30k vase in Grandma’s attic or you’ve heard those stories at the dinner parties about the person that found an original Picasso ashtray at a 2nd hand store in the 60’s.  But how many “fish tales” do you know personally?  I know in all my years and those of my parents… there have been some good ones, but even I received kuddos from my parents for my find this year.

So here’s my fish tale (which is real).

I had already visited the Seattle Dearborn Goodwill once earlier in the summer to start the outfit selection for my modeling in the Glitter Gala so this day I walked into the store with both of my boys ready to be in and out quickly.  We went to the back and I tried on my dresses, the coordinators made their selections and took pictures and we were done.  Well, not really… my oldest wanted to look around a bit so we headed towards the back.  That’s when i saw the book, laying on the floor, all by itself.  It definitely caught my eye immediately because of the uniqueness of the cover.  Knowing rare books myself I could tell it was hand-bound and had care given to it’s creation so I dusted off the back that was all dusty from the floor and carefully opened the pages.  They were immaculate!  The pages looked to have no finger prints, no bending or damage… amazingly kept!  Then I moved to the back pages where I knew a signature would be and there it was!

This book, that the store charged me .97 cents for, is a gem to an art or rare books lover!  Rough estimates from two dealers (an art and a rare books dealer) put this piece into the thousands, possibly $8,000!  And one spoke about possibly putting it on display at their collection next year!

I will add that my 2nd place winner this year for the BUY of the YEAR was for this $350 retail watch that I picked up at the new Lynnwood Goodwill for less than $50!  This too has a great story… one of last-minute desperation to get the one item I was asked to find, the one item that I could not seem to locate even though I looked at different Goodwill‘s for weeks… a quality men’s watch.  But low and behold, one of the lessons I learned this year was to attend new store openings when possible because they stock the stores with quality items and that is indeed the case because one week to the day that the Lynnwood Goodwill opened, I found this beauty in the jewelry case!  Boy, when it was opened this last week was the recipient suprised!  And what a beautiful addition it makes to his collection!

So as I end out this last week of my 2011 Living the Goodwill Life challenge I want to challenge YOU about the BEST purchase you’ve ever received.  Was it worth thousands?  Was it something you once owned a long time ago?  Was it even your find?  Please… leave your comments on what you found (or heard somebody found) and where!



Filed under Thrift deals, Thrift-spiration

4 responses to “The BUY of the YEAR!

  1. Wow that’s really something.. best thing I ever found around here was a gold women’s watch with a diamond chip in it. It cost me $1.00 because they placed the wrong tag on it, placed it in the display with the junk jewelry. Boy was I worth about $150.00.

  2. mepperly07

    Love this post… I have yet to find a huge find like the book or the watch but I am always looking and now that I have 340+ items on my eBay store it all pays off after shopping at goodwill as is here in Vancouver WA.

  3. that’s incredible. I am beyond happy for you! My biggest find came today when I got a beautiful Calvin Klein dress that retails for $235 for $15…but wow. You’re such an inspiration!!!

  4. I just want to say that I absolutely love your blog. I’m quite envious. I’m known as the secondhand Answer Man and I’ve started a blog called and the best or shall I say the most valuable item I’ve picked up so far is a machine called a Ultrafast Cross Trainer which I payed a whopping $75 for. The original purchase price, which I know for a fact because I found the manual with the original receipt was $9,495.00.

    Thanks again for such a great blog and the inspiration you give us all.

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