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Goodwill and the cheap Atari 2600

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Name redacted if he doesn't want to participate. If he does he can reply.

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X posted in a discussion group that he found a complete Atari with five games and two joysticks at a Goodwill for $13. He asked if this was a good deal. Before I had even replied he decided to make the purchase. The cashier rang it up at $1.18 for whatever reason. I asked him if it worked. He said he didn't know but something was rattling around inside it, however X is pretty handy with a soldering iron -- so I said good deal for $13, outstanding deal for $1.18, congratulations.

 

Next thing I know I'm being raked over the coals by someone for saying that I was rationalizing theft because I had said Goodwills don't have consistent prices from city to city, state to state, and store to store. Keep in mind I'm not the buyer, had no part in the transaction other than offering my opinion, and my opinion was it was a good deal whether it worked or not - $13 or $1.18. Even at the higher price you could part it out and do no worse than break even -- probably way better. If it's for X to take home and personally enjoy (which is the impression I got) so much the better, but either way kudos to him.

 

What's your take on the matter fellow AA members? Is he "stealing" from Goodwill because he didn't correct their error? Am I "rationalizing" theft for saying he got a good deal either way? A lot of people got sidetracked on the issue of whether or not Goodwill is an ethical retailer in the comments section. That's not where I'm coming from. It's not okay to steal from a store because you dislike their corporate policies or ethical standards. To me X did not steal. That would be walking out without paying. They charged him a price, he paid it, he left with what he paid for. If he feels bad about it he can go back and give them $12. I don't know that he needs to though.

Edited by MegaManFan

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AtariAge has a Facebook group? That's odd.

 

It's kind of like those trucks that are loaded with millions of dollars and then something happens and then there's money all over the roadway. Do you get out of the car and start picking up the money to keep for yourself or do you move along because it's not yours?

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Don't they scan all of their UPC labels anymore? Perhaps the store was having a sale on a particular color of price tag he was (has happened to me) unaware of... 90% off though, wowie zowie!   🤣

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A Bray Wyatt reference? Cool. 😎 Yeah I would have to think they scanned SOMETHING at Goodwill when they rang him up but I wasn’t there so I really don’t know. 

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8 minutes ago, MegaManFan said:

A Bray Wyatt reference? 

No. Never heard of him, so looked him up. WWE Wrestler... yes, cool! But I was making a Mothers/Zappa reference.   :grin:

 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, MegaManFan said:

Ahh! In all likelihood that’s where Bray got it from. 👍

Hahaha, looks like he says 'Yowie Wowie'... not Wowie Zowie. BIG difference there!   🤣
 

 

F49B1CFC-6495-4A6A-A169-78101BDC0CA9.png

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I could rationalize it the other way. The buyer saved it from the dump and Goodwill got a small (really small) donation. 
 

There's waste and shrinkage up and down in stores like that. Ain't no big thing. 

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3 hours ago, save2600 said:

Don't they scan all of their UPC labels anymore? Perhaps the store was having a sale on a particular color of price tag he was (has happened to me) unaware of... 90% off though, wowie zowie!   🤣

All Goodwills in my state don't use scanners. They ring everything up manually. 

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I recently found two end tables and a coffee table by Broyhill at my local Goodwill.  They were in perfect condition and priced at a total of $17.  One end table was priced at $5 and the other was $3.  There was no difference in them and yet they were priced differently.  No consistency.  I don't feel bad for getting an entire living room set for so little either.  Someone probably paid upwards of $1000 for the set new.  I don't think you are rationalizing theft at all.  Some people just don't know what they have.  Maybe it was on super clearance!  More power to the consumer!

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Goodwill is a for profit company that takes the free shit you "donate" and sells it. If they got $1.18 for that atari, then they made 100% profit. It was probably a color price tag discount day too.

Whomever lambasted you is a total fucking asshole.

Edited by Zonie
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I amassed a great deal of my collection about 20 years ago at local thrift stores when things were priced that low on purpose. Prices didn't go up until they realized ebay existed, and then suddenly nobody was donating it anymore. The last system I bought a few years ago for around $50, and I really only bought it for the box. How times have changed.

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2 hours ago, Zonie said:

Goodwill is a for profit company

um, goodwill is a federally (US) registered nonprofit.  not sure where you are getting that from.

 

If you donate items to goodwill (and you itemize your taxes) you can take a deduction for the fair market value of the items donated.

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10 hours ago, MegaManFan said:

Next thing I know I'm being raked over the coals by someone for saying that I was rationalizing theft because I had said Goodwills don't have consistent prices from city to city, state to state, and store to store.

Seems a bit of an over reaction to me.

It would seem logical to me for there not to be consistent pricing where used goods are concerned as it is variable primarily upon the condition and to some extent local demand.

 

Not being in the US I am not entirely sure what Goodwill store are all about, but I it looks something like charitable foundation of sorts. Thus I would say the purchaser in question was not stealing as they  paid the price they were charged, however by not querying if the price charged was correct it could be argued that they potentially (as it may have been on offer & so the correct price was paid) deprived them of funds that could have been used to help others.

 

$13 does not sound like much to ask to me, so I personally would have queried it, particularity if they are using their profits to help other just so I could enjoy it guilt free.

Ultimately, I think it is more of a moral than legal issue. By paying the price charged the purchaser has fulfilled their part of the transaction in good faith and so are good to go as the error lies with the retailer. However, if the purchaser subsequently feels that not querying the price at the time was morally ambiguous and that they took unfair advantage of the situation then they can, as you said, choose to redress the issue by going back and making a donation equal to the difference.

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4 hours ago, D Train said:

um, goodwill is a federally (US) registered nonprofit.  not sure where you are getting that from.

 

If you donate items to goodwill (and you itemize your taxes) you can take a deduction for the fair market value of the items donated.

https://www.countryliving.com/shopping/a18198848/is-goodwill-a-nonprofit/

 

They are supposedly a charity, but the only thing Goodwill provides is a website for online training, a place for lesser law offenders to complete community service time and hiring disabled people.

 

If they hired better employees and did not rely upon free labor, maybe they would not ring up an item incorrectly.

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Goodwill is such a weird thing anymore. At least the locations near me try to charge damn near as much as new for stuff they a) got for free, b) have no real idea if it even works, and c) is probably missing parts (like remotes). As an example, I wanted an S-Video cable and they had one. The date on the price sticker was from 2008. It had been sitting in the store for 11 years at $5.88. I had been told previously that after 90 days they automatically do half off, but when I asked about the cable they were quite crappy about it and insisted I pay $5.88. That cable is still hanging in the same store and can until the end of time as far as I'm concerned. So between that and the employees stealing all of the "good stuff" that comes in I really don't care if they get screwed out of a few bucks. I donate to the Salvation Army or the local shelters long before I do Goodwill.

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Goodwill is a legalized "non-profit" scam.

 

They don't pay money for inventory and they claim to provide "jobs" as their non-profit goal. And their CEO makes almost 3/4 $million per year.

 

Companies that fork out money for inventory and product development have to pay taxes, and they may provide just as many jobs and job-training as well. But they are labelled "for profit."

 

Maybe Apple should file to become a non-profit because the provide job training and technical advances for the good of humanity. Would that make sense?

 

As a business owner, I admire their work-around to get out of paying certain taxes, but it is TOTALLY shady.

 

Edited by keithbk

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The price is whatever it comes to at the register, no more and no less:

 

I recall once going to a bankruptcy sale at a technical bookstore -- it was being run by the bankruptcy trustee rather than (former) store management.  I selected an item that I wanted and went to the cashier, who told me that the price sticker was actually incorrect and it was really significantly more. (Perhaps that is why the store was bankrupt.) In that case, I decided that it was not worth the higher price and left the store without making a purchase.

 

On the other hand, I recently had dinner at a nearby restaurant. The (none-too-bright) server did not charge me for my dessert. I felt no obligation to correct her mistake. 

 

 

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Even as a non-profit, they still have to pay something in local taxes for the building, their utilities, and employee wages. So though the item is donated, everything sold is not 100% profit for them as they still have operating expenses that come out of their sales.

Honestly, if it was myself I would have inquired on the sizable difference in sticker and paid prices. At most it would have cost an extra 12$, and still would have been one hell of a deal. I recently bought a untested 2600, with a few common games for 30$ off kijiji and thought I had made a great deal. If it was on some sort of special, then ones conscience is clear on the matter.

If it was a Walmart or other big box store, I probably would not think twice about taking advantage of a pricing discrepancy. But for a non-profit/charity I personally would feel bad about exploiting a possible error on their part.

But it is 12$ in the end, and I doubt Goodwill will fold without it. As others have said, it is more a question of ones personal feelings and morals in the matter.

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Someone has a garage sale.

 

The stuff that doesn't sell goes to Goodwill.

 

The person who owned it gave it away.

 

Goodwill made a couple of bucks.

 

More power to ya!

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On 12/11/2019 at 4:59 PM, VectorGamer said:

AtariAge has a Facebook group? That's odd.

 

It's kind of like those trucks that are loaded with millions of dollars and then something happens and then there's money all over the roadway. Do you get out of the car and start picking up the money to keep for yourself or do you move along because it's not yours?

Nothing odd about a group on Facebook.  Social media has lots of groups these days.  There's even a group for Atari 2600 homebrew which is great because they share their roms.  Some of them don't show up on Atari Age.

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