3 Real-Life, Jaw-Dropping Lucky Finds at Goodwill®

By Felicia Czochanski Bisaro

When it comes to thrift shopping, there are days when you walk into the store and get the feeling that you’re in the right place at the right time. Thrift store treasures can be the real deal at prices that won’t cost you a pot of gold or all the cash in your wallet. The thrill that brings so many second-hand shoppers back to Goodwill® time and time again comes with unearthing thrifted finds that seem almost too good to be true.

Finding Treasures at Goodwill

You don’t need to make friends with a leprechaun to find treasures on the racks and shelves at Goodwill. The more often you stop by the store, the higher the likelihood is that you’ll encounter an incredible find. Shopping smarter, not harder, helps as well. Research brands and designers before you thrift, and soon, you’ll be able to identify winning finds quickly instead of taking the time to examine every tag.

Shopping at Goodwill not only makes a positive difference in the environment, saving millions of tons of waste from going to landfills, but it can also save rare pieces of art and artifacts from facing the same fate. Over the years, you may have seen some incredible stories of items people thrifted at Goodwill for a few dollars just to discover that they were now the proud owners of authentic works of art. Take a look at some of these stories below. The next time you go to Goodwill, don’t forget to pick up those items calling to you on the rack — you never know what you might uncover.

Rare Murano Glass Vase

Photo: Wright Auction House via Martha Stewart

Rare Murano Glass Vase

Talk about an incredible find. A frequent Goodwill shopper in Richmond, VA, picked up this beautiful glass vase for $3.99. After a closer look and some research at home, the shopper figured out that she had a rare Murano glass masterpiece created by famous Italian architect Carlo Scarpa in 1947. The vase was sold at an auction for $107,100.

Pompeiian Marble Bust

Photo: Laura Young via CNN

Pompeiian Marble Bust

An Austin, TX ,Goodwill shopper went into her local store one day looking for anything “interesting.” When she came across a 52-pound marble bust, she knew she had to buy it. With a purchase of $35, she managed to carry the sculpture home, only to discover the incredible piece of art she had on her hands. It was soon confirmed that the bust was more than 2,000 years old, dating back to ancient Roman times. As a result of this shopper’s purchase and research, the artifact has since been on display in the San Antonio Museum of Art.

A picture of a rare 1959 Jaeger LeCoultre watch

Photo: Zach Norris via Yahoo! News

Deep Sea Treasure

A dedicated Goodwill shopper in Phoenix, AZ, knew he’d hit the jackpot when he came across this deep-sea diving watch priced at $5.99. The watch was a rare 1959 Jaeger LeCoultre, one of less than 1,000 ever made. After purchasing the watch and doing his research at home, this shopper was able to make back the price of his purchase and then some. He sold the watch to a collector for $35,000, plus his choice of a new $4,000 watch for him to keep as his own.