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Goodwill auctions: Saving secrets revealed

By Matt Boyce - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Any good penny-pincher knows that thrift store shopping can save you big bucks. But there is a way to get those great deals at even deeper discounts.

The deals at Goodwill auctions are no secret to Melvin Ward, 10 years ago he saw the savings and has been coming back ever since.

"I've gotten items for a dollar," Ward said.

Items like a two piece sofa set, for just a $1!

"You can walk and spend $20 in here, walk out with a whole truck load of furniture for $20," Ward said.

And the deals aren't just limited to furniture.

"Everything from furniture, oriental rugs, electronics, household items, you name it you'll find just about anything at our auction," said Ellen Thornhill, Communications Manager for Goodwill.

The items come from goodwill donations that have been cycled through stores without selling.  This is the last stop before heading to the landfill so prices are cut to the bone.

"Typically you're saving 90 percent off the retail price," she said.

"It's always different, you never find the same thing.  If you miss one thing don't worry about it cause it will be back in here again," said Frank Banes, auction bidder.

Frank banes has been perusing these auctions for 15 years.  He finds the best deals at the bi-monthly Goodwill auto auction.

"I bought three vehicles from here, still got 'em, still runnin.'" Banes said.

Frank's favorite buy -- a four-wheeler that he uses for hunting.

"I got about a $6,500 unit for $1,500," Banes said.

To start bidding you'll need to purchase an auction card for a dollar and then get ready for some fast paced action.  They auction off three items every minute.

And with crates filled with just about anything you can imagine, it's a good idea to come early and preview the items up on the block.

Deals so good that Melvin Ward made a career change.

"It made me quit my job to come here cause I said, "Wow, If I can get things like that and turn it over for a high market value then you can work for yourself."

The auctions are held every week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the auto auctions run twice a month on Wednesdays.

(c) 2010. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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