PASCO -- Collectors, treasure hunters and the curious have a new way to shop for used and vintage items online at shopgoodwill.com.
Whether looking for ceramic figurines, designer gowns from the past or a new or gently used coat, you likely will find items at bargain prices.
The shopgoodwill.com website works just like eBay. You sign up, scan the offerings and place your bids. In a few days, you will be notified -- yea or nay -- and will have a set time to pay up. The difference is the dollars you spend go to the Goodwill store where the item was donated.
Once you open the www.shopgoodwill.com homepage, you have several options. You can search nationwide by category or individual Goodwill organization. Click on Pasco, WA, and you will bring up everything available from the three Tri-City stores and stores in Walla Walla, Wenatchee, Hermiston and Sunnyside.
"We're all affiliated and run out of the main office in Kennewick," said Michelle Price, e-commerce manager for the Mid-Columbia region's Goodwill stores.
It is her job to sort through the items sent to the Pasco Goodwill warehouse from the various stores, something she has been doing since January, when the local Goodwill organization joined shopgoodwill.com.
Once she has gathered her day's choices -- and they can be as diverse as a Singer hand-cranked sewing machine to a group of eight Star Trek plastic figures -- Price and her staff of four photograph each one, write up a description and price them.
Check the website often as Price and her crew post new items five days a week.
"Most items begin at $5. That is pretty standard across shopgoodwill. Some things, like the Fender electric guitar (currently being auctioned), I set higher. The guitar I set at $50, and it's now up to $75. Because, what if only two people bid on it and it goes for $10? That would be sad," she said.
The website is easy to navigate and a fun, easy way to shop, maybe too easy, Price said.
"I'm on it every day for work and at home too," she said, adding, "I've personally purchased from Goodwills across the country. I tell my husband it's for research, but he doesn't believe me."
"I bought the vintage glass bead necklace I'm wearing today from the website and the dress I wore yesterday too," she said Friday. Other items she has bought include a purse, tea cups, some brand new clothing with the tags still on and jewelry.
The shopgoodwill.com site isn't new.
Workers at the Goodwill in Orange County, Calif., came up with the idea 11 years ago. It worked so well, they offered it to stores across the nation. To date, 78 Goodwill organizations participate in the online auctions.
Some of the best sellers are vintage linens, handstitched quilts and embroidered pillowcases as well as vintage buttons.
Starbucks mugs from when they first started are worth quite a bit of money and so are Legos.
"A lot of people collect Legos, specifically the Lego people figures, and they're pricy. But you can buy Legos by the pound from shopgoodwill," Price said.
On the other side of Goodwill's e-commerce, Price and others like her often sell used books through Amazon's website. Scroll down through all the used books, and you will find the source is shopgoodwill.
You can scan the offerings at Goodwills across the nation, but there is a big advantage to shopping locally -- you save on shipping.
There is an option as you check out to say you will pick up your item from the store. In the Mid-Columbia, that's the Pasco store.
"Add $15 to $20 shipping on a $5 vase and it's not a bargain anymore," she said.