I recently shared how I had the opportunity to attend an event by Goodwill to learn all about Shop Goodwill, their online auction. As part of the event, we were given some pretty cool tips for how to shop the auction. I decided to put these to good use and try my hand at winning something.
Now, this might come as a bit of a surprise to you, but I’ve never done an online auction, of any sort. Including ebay! You think I’d be hip to the times, but in this area, I’m woefully lacking. So maybe if you’ve never done an online auction before, you’ll find my post particularly interesting (or just amusing?).
My Auction Adventure
I decided pretty early on that I’d like to win a vintage Viewmaster. These things are awesome and I loved playing with them as a kid! On the Shop Goodwill site, I did a quick search for “View Master” and found several options. (Incidentally, I also did a search for ViewMaster, no space, as different employees may have typed it that way.) I immediately found one I loved, and put it on my “Watch List.” However, I totally forgot to bid as the auction drew to a close! FAIL.
I decided that with my busy life, it might just be best for me to enter a bid, in case I forgot to watch the auction as it drew close to ending. After doing another search, I found the Viewmaster set above. In some ways, it was even better than the previous one because it came with 6 Viewmasters as well as a bunch of reels! I did a quick search for closed auctions in the last 90 days to see what other, similar sets had gone for. I put in a high bid of $40 and forgot about it.
Until the next day, when I realized I’d won! Since no one else had set a bid after me, I only ended up paying $1 more than the previous bid. So I got the entire lot for just $33!
The only bummer was that I ended up having to pay about $12 in shipping and handling. This was my mistake, so this is going to be a “do as I say, and not as I do” situation. When you are looking to place a bid with Shop Goodwill, you can get your estimated shipping ahead of time:
See how the seller in the example above is Goodwill Industries of Duluth, Minnesota? This may be great news if you live in or around Duluth. But if you live in my neck of the woods, you might try to do an advanced search for items coming from Goodwill of Pierce County. They offer free shipping on all orders (or, you could probably arrange to just drive and pick your item up).
So now you know how to score free shipping on your Shop Goodwill auction, something they said at the event, but I failed to do. DOH.
About a week later, my special delivery arrived! It was all very well packaged.
It was kind of a grab bag, and we were excited to see which reels were included! There were lots of Disney movies, and some vintage travel reels (my favorite).
I love that I ended up getting 6 really cool vintage Viewmasters! That means a whole group could enjoy this as an activity, as opposed to waiting for one person to hurry up and pass it around.
The kids and I had a ton of fun looking through them, and I am actually hoping to add to our collection of reels! I may be haunting Shop Goodwill again sooner rather than later to see how I might expand this new-found hobby.
To store them, I picked up a simple container from Fred Meyer for about $6. Everything fits perfect, and I’m thinking of storing it in our game closet. (Though it will probably hang out in the Family Room for awhile.)
So there you have it! My first adventure making a purchase with Shop Goodwill’s online auction. I think I learned a few things to help my next purchase go even better. I also gained the confidence that I can do this – it’s not actually that scary or intimidating, you just need to dive in.
If this post has intrigued you, I encourage you to read my initial post about the Shop Goodwill event I attended. In that post, I explain more about how items are procured for the online auction as well as the programs it benefits. Then, sign up for a free Shop Goodwill account and give it a try yourself!
I’d love to know if you have any tips for using Shop Goodwill or any online auction! I’d also love to hear about some of the best items you’ve ever won on an auction – leave a comment below!
Disclosure: this post has been sponsored by Goodwill Industries. In addition, they supplied me with a VISA Gift Card to try out Shop Goodwill to write in a blog post. For more information, please see my Disclosure Policy.