We always have a Goodwill stack going. I do, at least. I am an aggressive purger (you can only be an aggressive purger if you’re an aggressive buyer, right……) When I get going, I might throw out half of my closet/our possessions. Some things I sell, but the things that aren’t worth the time/effort, we take to Goodwill.
Last Sunday we had a small stack going, and Parker told me he would drop off after work one day that week. I suggested going right then because once I get going I want it all out of the house immediately. So off to Goodwill we went….
We dropped the stuff off, and I jumped out of the car and told Parker I wanted to run in for “one second”. I’m sure he expected that. He stayed in the car, and I ran out.
Our neighborhood Goodwill is one of the best in Austin (imo). I can’t say I’ve been to all of them, but the ones that I’ve been to…. Lake Austin Blvd kills them all. I always go straight to the furniture section, then the kitchen/junk and then the auction items. I got halfway to the furniture and saw these from about 15 feet away.
I stopped walking once I got close and my stomach dropped. The kind of drop where you’re not sure if something good or bad is happening. A man was casually looking at the chairs. I could tell he didn’t know what he was looking at. He saw an incredibly cheap pair of outdoor chairs ($4.99!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Why not take a look?
At the moment I didn’t think about what I would have done if he would have picked them up to purchase, but now, I know that I wouldn’t have allowed it.
I knew what they were from halfway across the store and almost fell over when I saw the $4.99 price tag. I immediately picked both up (no man left behind) and started dragging them to the check-out. At this point I hadn’t seen the rest of the store, so I did a walk-run around the store to make sure I wasn’t missing anything else. Got back to the check out and couldn’t get out of Goodwill fast enough. As I was dragging them out (Parker sees me at this point and gets out of the car to help me), a lady comes running after me yelling at how insane “those chairs” are. I nervous chuckle, “yes………pretty great!”. “You know those chairs are like $400???”, she says. I’m really not sure what her intentions were at this point. Was she going to try to buy them from me??? No chance, lady, I know what I just bought!!!
So, no I didn’t ACTUALLY cry in Goodwill but I came pretty close on the ride home. I didn’t shut up about them all night.
I learned a pretty awesome Goodwill thrift tip that evening:
GO ON SUNDAY EVENING.
I had never really thought about it, but it makes total sense. They have their auction on Saturdays and then restock on Sunday. If there is anything crazy at Goodwill it’s going to be gone Sunday evening or Monday morning. Those chairs wouldn’t have lasted 2 more seconds after I purchased them. I even went back on Monday morning to get a half way janky frame and that was gone!! Stuff goes fast, people, so go during prime time if you want to score.
The craziest part of this steal is that Goodwill missed it. They are usually SO good at putting all of their half way good items in the auction. One time I found an incredible piece of art set to be auctioned that weekend. I HAD to have it. I planned the whole living room around it. I had a workshop during the auction, so I explained to Parker how important it was to me to get that piece of art and asked him to go in my place. The book was at $30 for the art when I saw it mid-week. I told Parker I would pay up to $100 (thinking that was a fortune for a Goodwill auction). There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Parker would come home with that piece of art, but when he texted me that someone outbid him and he stepped off at $200, I couldn’t believe it. All that said to show that Goodwill BANKS from the actions. If there is anything semi-precious they save it for the auction. They really missed out on these chairs, though.
I knew they were bamboo chippendale chairs but didn’t know much more. I found these on Ebay but can’t find a chair that has the same shape as mine. Anyone know out there what I have on my hands? I’m no vintage expert!!!
They’re in pretty bad shape… I called around to get a few estimates for refinishing/reworking/restaining and most were around $300/chair. I’m obviously not wanting to put that kind of money into them when I don’t even have a place for them.
Now that I’ve come down from my awesome vintage find high, I’m stumped on what to do with them? Sell on Craigslist as is for some kind of profit (I did pay $10 for both), keep them for myself and ____________ or put money into them and resell as a high-end vintage find. I can actually tell you I’m not doing the third option, but I’d love to know what you think.