Goodwill Industries, one of the U.S.’s largest non-profit organizations, has developed a website for the savvy shopper. Started in 1999, the Orange County Goodwill of California, the website offers shoppers the chance to find those awesome deals, without leaving their home.
Registration is free. The site offers great deals on collectibles, household goods, clothing, and even electronics. Check out the Sony Playstation for $4.00. The variety matches that of many of the online auction houses. Goodwill.org boasts an amazing 11,000 items on the site at any given day. With over 500,000 hits globally, this site is growing more and more each day.
www.shopgoodwill.com is just like E-bay in that it acts as only a venue for the seller. However, the sellers are all members of Goodwill Industries International. In the “help” section for new users, it is stated that ” shopgoodwill.com offers a wide array of antiques and collectibles as well as new and nearly new items pulled from participating Goodwills’ vast inventory of donated goods.”
The bidding process is quite simple. Log on and sign up. (When you register, you will be sent a confirmation e-mail.) Find an item you are interested in. Bid on it. Input your password, used for security purposes on every bid. You will then get an e-mail notifying you of your bid status. You will either be the highest, or outbid, or not allowed to bid.
High bid does not mean that you won. It just means you are the highest bidder at the time. If you are outbid you can go back to the bid page and submit a higher offer. Not honoring your last 3 bids, subjects you to not being able to bid.
If, because of an emergency, you can not accept a winning bid, you can notify the seller by e-mail. Asking for a retraction does not automaically get you off the hook. It is the seller who decides whether to release you from your winning bid. ShopGoodwill suggests making sure you can pay for the item when you bid.
The site also offers automatic bidding. This allows you to start at a low bid and set a high bid cap. The bids are automatically submitted in increments set by the auction.
Reserve prices are also allowed to be set by the seller.
There is a dutch auction when two or more of an item exist. This is when “the early bird gets the worm” can really be seen. If there happens to be a tie, the earliest bid is the winner.
As with any auction site, there are some buy now deals. You have the option of clicking on the “BUY NOW” icon and completing the purchase. The “Buy Now” icon will not be present if the current bid is higher than the buy now price.
The items listed on this site are from Goodwill Stores all over the country. Normal shipping charges do apply. There is also a handling fee for your purchased items.
The deals are great though. So the next time you decide to go thrift store shopping, but the weather is bad or the kids are not behaving, log on and browse around. You may find some hidden treasure you have been looking for.