Find a gift in our Valentine’s Day Online Sale

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
January 25, 2017

Valentine’s Day is less than two weeks away—and finding the perfect gift doesn’t need to break the bank. To celebrate the holiday this year, we’ve put together a selection of Valentine’s-inspired jewelry in our eBay store. It includes necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, cufflinks—and more. You’ll find vintage, unique, and designer brand jewelry in the collection.

ALL #GWValentine items come with free shipping—but if you need it fast, you can always select local pickup and pick it up next day at our Flagship Seattle store on Dearborn.

The best part? Every purchase supports Goodwill’s free job training and education programs—your gift to your loved one will make an impact right here in our community. 

Click here to peruse the #GWValentine selection.

Here are a few of the items in the sale:

Valentine's Day Sale: Red Rhinestone Necklace

Valentine's Day Sale: Floral NecklaceValentine's Day Sale: Yellow Butterfly Brooch & EarringsValentine's Day Sale: Vintage Floral BroochValentine's Day Sale: Giraffe NecklaceValentine's Day Sale: Red Rhinestone BroochValentine's Day Sale: Red Rhinestone Choker

Add a Comment | Comments (0)

An easy solution for computer disposal

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
January 20, 2017

There’s myriad reasons to purchase a new computer or computer equipment: slow speeds, outdated features, the dreaded blue start-up screen. Most of us have encountered these problems, and more often than not, the solution is simply upgrading to a newer PC or Mac.

That’s the easy part. But how about computer disposal? What’s the right course of action when it comes to getting rid of that outdated computer filled with personal information? How does one go about recycling an item and still preserve the raw materials used to make the computer? Could someone else benefit from the device?

It’s as simple as taking a trip to one of Seattle Goodwill’s many donation sites scattered across the Puget Sound from Bellingham in Whatcom County down south to Renton.

We gladly accept computers, tablets, smartphones and their accessories and take the steps necessary to protect our donor’s privacy, extend the computer’s lifecycle as much as possible and recycle in a responsible manner.

When our Online Department receives a donated computer, the first step is powering the computer on and entering the BIOS screen, where we check out the computers specifications. Next, if a hard drive is present and the computer is good for resale, we wipe the computer clean with reputable cleaning software. Not only does this clear everything from the hard drive, it also wipes out the operating system. This is done in an effort to respect the privacy of Seattle Goodwill’s donors.

If the computer is less than five years old, there is a good chance somebody else can get good use out of it. Typically, the lifespan of a computer is seven to eight years. Extending the computer’s lifespan through reuse provides the highest environmental benefit of all electronics disposal alternatives.

Some more reasons to donate:

  • When you discard a 5-pound laptop, you are throwing away the 20,000 pounds of raw materials it took to make it.
  • Even if a computer cannot be reused, recycling ensures valuable raw materials are recovered and that waste is disposed in an environmentally-sound fashion.
  • Goodwill works with licensed vendors that recycle materials from broken equipment.

When bringing a donated computer to Goodwill, here are some helpful tips:

  1. If you want to save documents and pictures that you have stored on your old computer, make sure you backup all of your important documents and photos or simply remove the hard drive before donating.
  2. If possible, include the keyboard, mouse, printer, modem or any other packaged software with your donated computer. The accessories can almost always be utilized by schools, nonprofits or other charities.
  3. Pass along the original disks, media, user manual and certificate of authenticity sticker if possible. Keeping the authenticity sticker intact allows refurbishers to inexpensively license and reload Microsoft Windows and Office software on the donated machines.

Because Seattle Goodwill has so many generous donors and is home to some of the premiere tech giants, our online shopgoodwill and eBay store is a great place to shop when looking to replace an old laptop. All the proceeds from your online purchases also help support our free job training and education programs as well.

Add a Comment | Comments (0)

Understanding art: A matter of perspective

by Bennett Tiglao, Seattle Goodwill
January 13, 2017

Walton Butts ArtBy now, most of us have come across stories of people picking up bargain-basement paintings at thrift stores and garage sales only to find later that they’ve been sitting on highly valued works of art by notable artists.

While these pieces often are subjected to exhaustive verification procedures, many buyers still end up the owners of valuable paintings worth a small fortune, which is not bad considering most shoppers were just looking to find a painting to fit their living room color scheme.

Although finding a masterpiece done by an art legend is rare, finding a painting or sculpture that pleases you aesthetically for a great price is common. The value of art is completely subjective. To one individual, a piece might mean nothing, but to another it could represent a time in one’s life or trigger emotions and inspire ideas. 

Seattle Goodwill often has a healthy stream of donated art either in our stores or online. You’ll find the higher valued pieces on our eBay store and on our online store The pieces listed online are generally researched by our trained staff and for the most part recognized as art by notable artists.

Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso are some well-known artists who’ve had pieces pass through our donation stations. Also, here in the Northwest, we get plenty of art by local artists which is known for various art styles including native/tribal, modernism and art glass. 

Here are some tips of what to look for when art shopping:

Original artwork

Is this artwork something that the artist physically created, or is it a work made later, or an exact reproduction? Many artists would create a piece and later allow for copies to be mass-produced, typically in the form of prints. This isn’t to be confused with something that the artist has signed, which would indicate that they knew of their production.

Signed artwork.

Is there a signature somewhere on it? Signatures are usually on the lower-front corner or upper-back part of the piece. Is it signed by hand or as part of a machine process/stamp? Signatures can be hard to read. Authentication is challenging. Many 18-20th century artists produced hundreds of prints, some as part of a series or sketches and many are hand signed.

Numbered artwork.  

Is this piece one of many, but with a specific number assigned to it? Artists often produced prints of their work with limited edition runs, and each is hand-signed and numbered by the artist: #12/250, etc.


Anything created with an artistic intent could be considered art. Everyone has specific taste – make sure to separate what you like from what may or may not have high value. (For example, some artists were not particularly famous until after their death, including Vincent van Gogh.)


Is this piece odd, weird, or interesting? We get a lot of landscapes, bowls of fruit and portraits of people.

It’s not all about monetary value! If a piece still has a price tag, that is essentially a brand new price and not to account for age, artist or desirability. Sometimes pieces of low financial value have stronger historical value. Not everything in a museum is worth millions.

Sometimes great artwork has a terrible frame and sometimes bad artwork may have an amazing frame.

Period-related terms get thrown around a lot, but often are as follows:

  • Contemporary: Made today, or within the last decade or two.
  • Modern: An art movement most closely associated with 1900-1960.
  • Post-modern: An art movement most closely associated with 1960/70-2000.
  • Vintage: 20+ years old (pre-1997) usually 1920-1990’s.
  • Antique: 100+ years old (approx.).
  • Retro: Anything in the past, typically associated with style pre-1990
Add a Comment | Comments (0)

How 140 Characters Benefited Goodwill

by Kim Merrikin, Seattle Goodwill
January 10, 2017

At Seattle Goodwill, about 3% of all donated goods wind up in our online stores—including eBay, Amazon,, and Etsy. Like our 24 brick and mortar stores, the proceeds from our online sales fund our job training and education programs.

XBox Launch Team GiftThat’s why we were elated last month when we saw a seemingly random user tweeted a link to this item in our eBay store, noted that he had bid $1,000, and invited others to outbid him to support Seattle Goodwill. Quite frankly, we had no idea who he wasor why he was inciting a bidding war—but we were excited for the support! Even $1,000 goes a long way to help our students. That’s enough to give 20 students a voucher to purchase clothing for a job interview, or 100 students emergency food cards when they’re struggling to feed their families, or cover the transportation costs for six students while they attend one of our 8-week programs.

The original tweeter, who raised the bid to $1,000 was Seamus Blackley, “the father of the Xbox”—who told us, “I’m the guy who had an idea on an airplane and wrote the initial proposal for Xbox. Back then we called it the DirectX Box because Direct X was a multimedia technology that Microsoft was trying to popularize. I was a new hire who had come from the games industry as a creative person, so it was a big switch. I ended up spearheading the project.”

The item, listed as “Microsoft Xbox Light-Up Weighted Desk Décor X Model Sculpture Weight Gray Silver,” was a launch gift, given only to the team members on the original Xbox project. “They are miniature versions of the Xbox prototype/demo units that me and a few friends hand built at the start of the project. The shape became iconic inside (and apparently outside) the team,” explained Blackley.

A twitter friend had pointed out the item on Seattle Goodwill’s eBay auction site, and Blackley, familiar with the work Goodwill does in the Seattle community, realized “it was obvious that it was a chance to help [Seattle Goodwill] out.” Ultimately the Xbox launch gift sold to Blackley for $3,060—a major contribution for our job training and education programs.

Once he won the item, he immediately donated it to Ryan McCaffrey, the Executive Editor at IGN, a game news site, who hosts Podcast Unlocked, the #1 Xbox show on the internet—the Xbox launch team gift was featured as a giveaway on episode 277 of the podcast and one lucky podcast listener will get to keep this piece of Xbox history.

When asked why he supports Goodwill, Blackley answered, “Because the way you handle helping people in need is by empowering them. I love that message and method. Please keep doing what you’re doing.”

THANK YOU, Seamus, for your generous support of our mission! 

Add a Comment | Comments (0)

Top comic books through the ages

by Andrew Lang, Seattle Goodwill
January 6, 2017

Comic BooksAmerican comics have come a long way since being introduced to the U.S. in the 1930s. Originally made to help sell newspaper copies, comic strips have evolved into comic books and full-fledged Hollywood movie features have been paramount into defining popular culture through the superheroes they’ve spawned.

Since 2012, seven comic book-based movies have ranked among the top five yearly grossing movies in the U.S. That should prove something about comic book culture and today’s popularity of superheroes.

And while movie makers have extracted content from comic books for film usage, movies and the marketing that goes into major films has driven more fans back to comic books.

Seattle Goodwill offers a wealth of new, old and highly collectible comic books on our online and eBay store.

With so many comic books made during the past 80 years, what should new collectors look for when hunting for valuable comics? Here is a list of top selections broken down by comic book eras:

The Golden Age (1938-1949): Funnies on Parade, published in 1933, is widely regarded as the first ever comic book. It was mainly a collection of newspaper strip reprints. But what catapulted comics into mainstream was the publishing of Action Comics No. 1, which introduced the U.S. to Superman himself. Here are some of the era’s most valuable comics:

  1. Action Comics No. 1 (June 1938)
  2. Detective Comics No. 27 (May 1939)
  3. Superman No. 1 (June 1939)
  4. Batman No. 1 (April 1940)
  5. All-American Comics No. 16 (July 1940)

The Silver Age (1956-1970): With the comic book landscape not looking good, many superheroes were reborn and modernized, which led to a rebirth of sorts within the popularity of comics. Marvel created the Fantastic Four and added mainstream heroes such as Spider-Man, Thor, Hulk, Iron Man and the X-Men. Here are some of the era’s most valuable comics:

  1. Amazing Fantasy No. 15 (August 1962)
  2. Fantastic Four No. 1 (November 1961)
  3. X-Men No. 1 (September 1963)
  4. Tales of Suspense No. 39 (March 1963)
  5. The Avengers No. 1 (September 1963)

The Bronze Age (1970-1980): This new era of comics ushered in new creators, and comic book heroes began questioning their own motivations, exploring topics from Vietnam, to drug abuse, pollution, racism and poverty. The Green Lantern and Green Arrow were big and so were household names such as Spider-Man. Here are some of the era’s most valuable comics:

  1. Green Lantern No. 76 (April 1970)
  2. Star Wars No. 1 (1977)
  3. Incredible Hulk No. 181 (November 1974)
  4. X-Men No. 94 (August 1975)
  5. Giant-Size X-Men No. 1 (July 1975)

The Modern Age (1980-Present): There have been a lot of ups and downs for comics during this age. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a large hit, but the industry struggled as the end of the century saw the rise of paperbacks. This changed how comic books were packaged and marketed. One of the biggest hits or the era was the Watchmen. Here are some of the era’s most valuable comics:

  1. The Walking Dead No. 1 (October 2003)
  2. Bone No. 1 (1991)
  3. Spawn No. 185 (2008)
  4. The Walking Dead No. 27  (2003)
  5. The Maxx Ashcan (1993)

Seattle Goodwill’s Online stores sell individual comics and various themed lots. When you purchase from Goodwill, you’re helping create jobs by supporting of our Job Training and Education programs.

*Comic book information obtained from and

Add a Comment | Comments (0)

700 Dearborn Place S, Seattle, WA 98144 • (206) 329-1000 • 1 (877) GIVE4GOOD • View Mobile Version of Website
Copyright © 2017 Seattle Goodwill. All Rights Reserved.