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A Look At Five Unique Thrift Store Finds As Pioneer Online Auction Site Turns 15

Companies mentioned in this article: Goodwill Industries International

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- America's favorite online thrift store -- and the nation's first nonprofit online auction site -- is celebrating its 15(th) anniversary, proving that Goodwill® is not only a leader in job placement but also an innovative social enterprise through its use of e-commerce and sustainability. The site has auctioned off an array of art, antiques, musical instruments and collectibles as well as new and nearly new donated goods to millions of shoppers. Revenue from the sale of these goods go to furthering Goodwill's mission of providing job training programs, employment placement services and community programs throughout the United States and Canada.

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Since its launch on August 31, 1999, the site has sold more than 11 million items, yielding nearly $270 million in funds for job training programs for anyone struggling to find employment in today's economy.

To celebrate 15 years of success, here are the top five unique finds sold on shopgoodwill.com:

    1. Frank Weston Benson Watercolor: $165,002, sold by Goodwill Industries of
       the Columbia-Willamette (Portland, OR)
    2. Steinway & Sons Model L Living Room Grand Piano: $6,505, sold by from
       Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainer Regions (Tacoma, WA)
    3. Vintage Motorola Aero-Vane Bakelite Tube Radio: $1,658, sold by Goodwill
       Industries of the Columbia-Willamette
    4. Pair of Matching, Hand-Signed Rene Lalique France Ronces Red Vases:
       $6,210.00, sold by Goodwill of Central Indiana (Indianapolis)
    5. 18K White Gold Diamond Ring, Size, 5: $32,616, sold by Goodwill of
       Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, NV)

The Frank Benson watercolor is the highest valued item sold to date since the founding of shopgoodwill.com. More than 80,000 unique items are available for sale right now to bidders across the globe, including rare paintings, jewelry, electronics, furniture, antiques, clothing, books, collectibles and other desirable items.

"The auction site hasn't only been successful in selling quality items to consumers, but it is rightfully recognized as a platform used to fund job training and critical support services, such as financial education and transportation, for families in need," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Shoppers can be assured that 83 percent of the revenues from shopgoodwill.com, as with all Goodwill stores, goes directly to helping people in their communities train for and gain good jobs."

There is no fee to sign up or bid on items. All items on the online auction site are collected from the 165 independent, community-based Goodwill agencies across North America. With an average of 112,000 visits per day, shopgoodwill.com continues to be a popular online shopping destination.

"You never know what you'll find on shopgoodwill.com, and that's what makes the site interesting for buyers. In honor of the 15(th) anniversary, the site will be revamped to include a better user experience to help shoppers quickly find the items they're interested in," said Gibbons.

About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in its stores and online at shopgoodwill.com(®). Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government agencies to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2013, more than 9.8 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill's career services.

To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and@GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.

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SOURCE Goodwill Industries International