I found my new favorite place. Maybe you have this type of Goodwill Store by you, but this is the first one in Wisconsin - that I know of.
A family in our 4-H group told me about it. To be honest, I thought Leon was exaggerating in his story. Sorry, Leon - you were right!
When we first got there, I really didn't understand what was happening or how to figure out how much something would cost. Now, I just wish I would have been more alert when I first got there...as I wasted some time.
Al said to me "why are you telling everyone about this place? This should be a secret..." I told him that this type of shopping isn't for everyone. So, many I'm sure, won't like it.
As a kid, I loved to buy those "grab bags" - do you remember - the paper lunch bag with who knew what was in it. My addiction to this "junking" lies in that - the hunt. When I set up an auction or estate sale - I don't have to buy the stuff - my pleasure comes from being the one who found it.
Some dealers are in the antique business to make money. This is my job, so I do like to make money. However, I enjoy my job because to me it is a treasure hunt. Had I been born another century, I'm sure I would have been a pirate.
Anyway, this Goodwill is in Appleton, WI. You buy your items by the pound. The per pound price is based on what you are buying. Textiles - clothing, sheets, linens, fabric and such were $1.49 a pound. The "hard goods" items were $0.79, blankets, pillows and comforters are $0.79. Books, shoes and some other items were like $0.49 to $0.99 each. The furniture was also marked and in a separate area.
What happens is, they roll out these huge blue bins, covered with a blue sheet. They bring out like 10 or 12 at a time, roll them in a double row - the customers are already standing in front of them waiting for them to say "you can now shop" and then you throw off the blanket and dig. You could tell the "pros" as they were wearing gloves. Then they roll away another row of bins to the back to make room for the next round of bins. I heard someone ask one guy "what do you do back there - just bring out these bins again?" "No," he said "once they go back they go..." where? I don't know. I heard someone say to another country? Not sure. As they were rolling them away, people were still digging for the last treasures that might be in them. This happened like every 15 minutes.
So, some of the bins were just junk - even for my standards. Some of the clothes were dirty - now I know why they wore gloves. Al said he saw a wasp fly out of one of them. Keep in mind, if there is a wasp, fruit fly or mosquito in a 10' radius - Al will see it. Me, I've been known to come out of the creek with leaches on my legs and not even know it - or care. So, I didn't see any bugs - I never do - I'm too focused on the junk or having fun.
It was a total work out digging in those bins. And dig is what I mean. My arms were actually sore. I found a Born shoe in one bin along with a knock off Gucci purse. I showed the shoe to another family shopping and they actually found the match in another bin on the other side of the room. They were in really good shape, just my size and only $0.99. That same girl found a Coach purse - probably a knock off too. We found Carhart, North Face, Lands End, Eddie Bauer - just some really nice things - but, you have to dig. I also found some vintage linens, granny square afghans, vintage sweaters and clothes - not a lot of this type of item, but I did find it.
Then we put all the textile items in one cart and pushed it on the ramp scale. Yes, I said ramp scale - like at the landfill when they weight the garbage trucks. They do have a smaller scale on the counter. They weigh your items by groups and charge you the price per pound of each. They have tables at the end of the check out area with boxes and bags - you know like Aldi's for you to bag your purchases.
We had so much fun. I'm almost tempted to go back again today....I know...I'm a hoarder, I'm a hoarder, I'm a....in recovery! By the way, it's not just me either....Al is just as bad.
Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.