Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Open Letter to Goodwill

Hey Goodwill,

So...how are things? I'm good. I made a roast the other night. It came out well. Not well as in "well done," but well as in "good." It was actually medium rare. Wasn't sure about the grammar on that one.


OK, OK, we're both thinking it, so I'll just throw it out there: this is awkward. We haven't seen each other in a while, and when we do, it's not the same. To be honest, yeah, it was something you did. You've changed. I mean, I used to see you almost every day. I'd buy a thing or two, often vintage and/or designer, and then I'd wear it the next day and get tons of compliments and brag incessantly that I got it at Goodwill for two dollars. I once found a Moschino Cheap and Chic dress that you let me have for five bucks. FIVE BUCKS. I bought it and wore it even though it was so small that it squeezed my stomach fat into my neck. Life was sweet.


Life's not sweet anymore. Do you want to know why, 'will? Because you jacked up your prices through the damn roof. And not only that, but you've started pricing designer items way higher than regular items. Maybe I can still find a pair of Target heels for a few dollars, but those rad Michael Kors flats on the shelf next to them? Forty to fifty bucks, no matter the wear and tear.


This would be totally cool if you were a hip vintage boutique, but come on,
you're Goodwill. I once saw a woman squat and pee in your housewares aisle. Selling fifty dollar shoes in that kind of atmosphere just doesn't feel right.

See, you used to be about equality. Diligent shoppers could push aside a basic jacket to reveal a pristine DKNY peacoat, and both would have the same glorious, one-digit price tag. There were thrilling finds to be had! Gems to uncover! Bargains galore! Nowadays, even the basic jacket is ten or fifteen bucks, and the designer prices...it's too upsetting to discuss. And think about it--if a middle class shopaholic like myself can barely afford you, what about the people who shop at Goodwill not because they want to, but because they have to? You've lost sight of your purpose.


You once told me that your name was an old Celtic word meaning "good will." Think about that, my friend.


Much more of this, and I'll be forced to find comfort in the arms of your slow, unattractive brother, the Goodwill outlet. I guess I could get used to the pay-by-the-pound thing; actually, I kind of wish Nordstrom did things that way. But digging around in those bins is shit. Like, literally. It smells like poop.



Please don't make me do it.

Regards,
Winona

36 comments:

Delilah said...

Amen, sister. Amen.

Penny said...

The same I can say for Oxfam in the UK... I shall always be a fan of my local Salvation Army, the 60+ year old owner actually says "I keep it real in here"

ms. spinach said...

It's like you read my mind. Except for the whole peeing-in-the-aisle part. I have, rather fortunately, never been witness to anything like that.

Isabella said...

I probably shouldn't have laughed at the peeing in the aisle.

I haven't been to a goodwill lately, and now I doubt I'll bother going back.

:(

Goodwill Outlet sounds horrifying. Seriously.

susie_bubble said...

Goodwill seems to be going the way of UK charity shops.... except there are no aisles in charity shops for ppl to pee in discreetly (perhaps there is open peeing going on....?)
Why did charities suddenly have to get fash-savvy eh?

Katie said...

i absolutely agree!

Catie said...

Well put.

And yes, The Bins! I miss PDX's Bins. I once got a shirt there for 35 cents that I wore for years and years until just the other day when it literally, completely, fell apart. That was back when 35 cents for a shirt *meant* something!

Lily said...

Come on, no love for the Bins? More unbelievable finds for me, I guess!

Elisabeth said...

Well said.

Lady Language said...

So I am not the only one! I felt bad for giving up on them, but now I feel less guilty :)

jennine said...

i couldn't agree with you more... but they've always been on the pricey side for thrift shoppes. i remember back in highschool i never went to goodwill b/c it was way more expensive than the other ones. and i'm not even sure where the proceeds go.

i've always been much more of a salvation army girl... but then again, lately i've been frequenting old lady designer clothes charity shoppes. at least it smells nicer.

Isabel said...

Are you serious about the peeing thing? Wow. I hope there's a St. Vincent de Paul's in your area - they are the best!

AmyO said...

You are the funniest person I have ever read on the internet. And I love the new look!

SGM said...

Oh YES! I give plenty of good stuff to Goodwill and I expect something to come back around on the cheap. Does it? No.
That's bad karma, Goodwill.

Lady Smaggle said...

Please feel sorry for us poor Australians who never unearth designer bargains simply because they aren't sold here. Lame. Oh and we don't have Goodwills but we do have a few cheeky Salvos.

Melanie said...

damn girl, you said it, seriously. maybe they're realizing that a lot of their customers can afford higher prices, but i thought it was to provide low-cost clothing, etc. to those who can't afford regular retail stores? hence, the "Good Will."

Anonymous said...

Is there another goodwill store in or around your town you can go to? $50 for shoes at goodwill is daylight robbery...Michael Kors or not!

I'm still missing the old "Daddy Likey" sign...it was more stylish and chic! Could you at least jazz this one up a little...please?

Anonymous said...

I volunteered at Goodwill for several days for my scholarship and it made me never want to come back. I felt so gross after a few hours in there and I was the only one not doing community service for a court sentence.

Kaume'alani said...

HAHAHAHAHA! I love this post. I just wrote something similar about Nordstrom Rack. I mean seriously, where are the deals nowadays? I heard that people are like starving Ethiopian children at the Goodwill Outlet, scooping up and snatching away all that they can from every newly filled bin. I can say this because I have been to both Ethiopia and the Goodwill Outlet, and I find the people to behave the same.

Paulos said...

There was a salvation army that was nearby, but last year it got closed down and turned into a furniture store... now it seems like the only 2nd hand stores in the suburbs are good will!

applediva said...

Damn, I did not realize that Goodwill has become upscale. That is very unfortunate. I guess if you cannot afford Kors @ TJMaxx, then you should not be able to afford Kors @ Goodwill (I guess that is the thinking of the Goodwill management.) VERY SHAMEFUL!!

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Shame on Goodwill...surely poor people deserve to have a chance at getting the odd really nice bargain too? Poncey charity chains really are the worst.

Anna said...

The same thing has recently happened in Op Shops (Thrift shops) in Australia. Sad, no more $3 YSL cocktail dresses to be found...

p.s. You are actually going to post this to them, right?

mollymolly said...

I've been thinking the same thing myself, but could never have put it so eloquently.

The final turn-off for me was finding a skirt I had purchased at Target a week before for three dollars priced at six dollars in the Women's Skirts aisle at Goodwill. For shame.

Joanna Goddard said...

winona, i would like to present you with a "you make my day" award. you can see my blog for the details. you are fabulous! xoxo

cinderella said...

amen.
however, i bought an authentic gucci tote the other day at goodwill for 6 bucks :]

notsocrafty.com said...

I'm so glad you said something, I had not been to a good will in sometime and was suprised when I went in recently. It's not just clothes and shoes but everyday household items that they are selling practically for the same retail price. I guess there's always the salvation army.

akaveronica73@yahoo.com said...

Whoa! Please don't let that happen to my local Goodwills! (Which, there happen to be 6 of in a 10 mile radius of my house). I was just there two days ago & although I didn't pick up anything "designer," I did find some great Anne Taylor and Kate Hill clothing in pristine condition. All the clothing/shoes at my local store is still priced at whatever the big board hanging at the checkout says. (Usually $2-$5).
Please don't say this is the fate of all the Goodwill stores!
...(screaming) "NOOOO!"

Oriana Zens said...

i am laughing so hard right now...
you are so witty and so right!
i love your blog, do you mind if i link you?

Mme. Fabuleux said...

I.Love.Your.Blog.

I can't wait to sift through and read all of your entries.. hopefully it won't smell like poop.

the iron chic said...

Yeah, Goodwills are getting too smart for their own good.
Sometimes I like to switch around their price tags. *diabolical laugh*

biztheinsane said...

As someone who even worked in Goodwill for five years and paid far too much half the time even with her employee discount, I feel your pain. Despite the harm done to my wallet, though, I am still forced to agree with their new policy of charging more for designer items (though the old foogies in charge of the pricing will never understand that if a Marc Jacobs bag looks like it's been chewed up and pooped out by a polar bear, no one's going to buy it for fifty dollars).

For The Official Blogging Record Goodwill's new-found prices are not an attempt for the higher-ups to line their own pockets, it's so the company has the funds to pay for and supply jobs in and out of the company for the mentally and physically incapacitated. Goodwill mostly uses its revenue to fund homes that can simultaneously provide round-the-clock care and a feeling of independence for those who might otherwise be bound to their homes and left without social interaction.

Why this requires a pair of Nine West shoes with the broken heels to cost me nine-ninety-nine, I do not know. But at least the money is going to a good cause, right?




... this comment turned into a soapbox statement. I UNDERSTAND AND BELIEVE YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT, DARLING, really!

Queen Michelle said...

I see things in charity shops that are actually MORE expensive than in the shop they originally came from! It's wrong on many levels. You go girl!

propriatrix said...

mmm, yeah. I do understand that charity shops need to make money. but. as as been said, charging as much as a Real Store is just dumb! and broken, smelly, wrecked stuff at such high prices, is just bad business. I used to spend waaay too much money and I have all but stopped hitting the thrifts or only going on 99 cent Mondays! or only buying what's on sale. Ha!
I give loads of good stuff to the charity shops too.
Hey, I've been to the BINS....
I never really found something worth the Hellish Battle that is the BINS ! so as usual, I agree with Daddy Likey.

Dot Went Shopping said...

Same goes for local thrift stores here in Manila where they charge almost 85% of the brand new price on more popular items like Mango (not even a high-end brand, UGH!), Vivienne Westwood... It's a good thing they don't know Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Tam, Moschino, Prada and a whole sh*tload of other fabulous designers. hahahaha! ....Because I saw them all on the "sale" rack. :p

I've gone shopping at Goodwill only once but I FEEL YA!... Everything was under $10 when I went there. Boo.

Love your blog, you're so funny! Will be reading it religiously from now on :) Hope you don't mind me putting a link to ur site in my blog!

rubybastille said...

Went tags diving and found this. Did you seriously see someone pee in a Goodwill? Because if so I will never go to Goodwill again.

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