Poppin’ Tags

A vintage sewing table that can be used for a desk or night stand for $7.99. Emilee Renwick/The Buzz.
A vintage sewing table that can be used for a desk or night stand for $7.99. Emilee Renwick/The Buzz.

By Emilee Renwick

With all this snow falling upon us it got me thinking. Goodwills are like snowflakes. They are all different. Sure there are commonalities, but no one Goodwill is the same on any given day. I took it upon myself to go check out a few in the area so the next time you go to your neighborhood Goodwill you can pop tags with cofindance.

Every place has different goods, organization systems and pricing. My map consisted of the Goodwills in Galesburg, Ill., Iowa City, Iowa and our own Davenport location.


From going to both sides of the river some distinctions have jumped out at me. The Iowa stores have prices that end in .38. As in this London Fog jacket my mom got, she declined to model it, was $5.38. The Illinois store prices used to end in .49, but have recently gone up to .99. As in, this L. L. Bean flannel was $3.99. Not a big deal since the prices are still very low in comparison to buying them retail, but something to notice next time you take a look around. All Goodwills have half off tags for the week. Every piece is tagged with a specific color and certain weeks that color means you get half of the normal price. Davenport’s store has an even better deal. The Wednesday after that weeks color, everything with that color (from the previous week) is only 25 cents. Yes, one quarter of laundry money can buy you a shirt, or pants, or a sport coat.


The goods at Goodwill are all different. Some days there is more furniture, some days have more dishes and glasses, other days there are an awesome pair of cowboy boots waiting for you on the shelf. It’s the luck of the day really, but some stores have specialties. The Davenport store always has deals on Isabel Blooms, those concrete statues your dad overpays for a Christmas gift, Ugg boots, and I’ve even seen The North Face in the glass case a time or two. Where as the Iowa City store has an 88-cent library full of books in all genres. Maybe next semester try thrifting before Chegg or Half.com. Every store has a find—it’s just waiting to be found.


All right, you’ve taken my advice and gone thrifting. You’ve made the bold step into the store and where the hell do you go from here. Check out the glass cases if you want something brand-named. They put their most expensive stuff there, but keep in mind it’s still a steal. Next, go check out the home goods—the dishes, the glasses, the picture frames. Recently I needed a vase so I went to the home goods section and picked out a beer stein for 88 cents. Double purpose. Now, if you’re searching for clothing you need patience and time. The Galesburg, Ill., store organizes their clothes by color and size, but both Iowa stores only go by color so it’s a bit trickier to find what you want. You just have to go through and take your time to find the deals. My advice can only lead you so far, but look for the potential in things. Get creative and give it shot.

So much money being saved. So many deals. May the sales be with you.


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