PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Thrift stores are packed with odds and ends, and maybe even a few gems if you’re willing to dig a little.
Many people dream about stumbling upon a hidden treasure, but one Phoenix resident didn’t need a treasure map to hit it big last week at a Goodwill store on 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
When Zach Norris visited the store in search for a golf cart, he found a Deep Sea Alarm watch from Jaeger-LeCoultre with a modest $5.99 price tag. Lucky for Norris, he knew enough about watches to see that this was a rare diamond in a box of dusty clocks. The 1959 LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm watch was one of fewer than 1,000 watches of its kind made for sale in the United States.
He snagged the watch and sold it for $35,000. At a gain of about 6,000 percent, Norris’ thrift shop find turned out to be a treasure-trove.
"We see so many awesome finds go through here," Goodwill associate Lea Soto said. "While it’s surprising to hear something selling for that much, it’s not something that’s unheard of, and it’s not something that can’t happen again."
Goodwill stores put 5,000 to 7,000 new items out on the sales floor every day. With so much merchandise flowing through their doors, a few prizes are bound to end up in the jumble.
Goodwill has sales every day, and every other Saturday the entire store is 50 percent off. With a little research and a lot of hunting, you never know what you might find.