Share story

In the backrooms of a warehouse in South Seattle, a treasure trove awaits its moment. The Goodwill Glitter Sale celebrates its 30th anniversary this weekend, and more than 40,000 items are ready for action: shoes organized in rainbow rows of color, jewelry lined up in sparkling assembly, handbags standing erect along tidy shelves, frothy holiday dresses overflowing from their hangers and trailing into the aisles — all donated, all ready for new homes.

Goodwill staff have been pulling clothing, jewelry and accessories for the sale since spring, said communications manager Katherine Boury. From the mountains of goods donated, they look for items with designer labels, festive holiday style and/or vintage flair, in good condition (some still bear original store tags). Prices are a fraction of what they might be in stores: a baby’s plaid Burberry jumper is $19.99; a chic suede vintage Yves Saint Laurent jacket is $129.99; a pair of sparkly Jimmy Choo pumps are $39.99.

Boury offered a few tips for navigating the sale, which attracts thousands of shoppers (a few of whom camp overnight, to be the first ones in). When you arrive, collect a number at the door and wait for it to be called; you can also receive text messages letting you know what numbers are being admitted. Lines are longest early Saturday, but consider coming later in the day or on Sunday; you won’t miss out, as the sale is constantly restocked with new items.

Your number is also your number for the jewelry counter, which offers only one-on-one service; wait in line there. Note that there are no fitting rooms, and not a lot of room for stripping in the aisles. (Wear a leotard, Boury suggested.). Bring a bottle of water; the warehouse gets warm. Remember that this is a fundraiser, with all proceeds going to Goodwill’s free job-training and education programs.

This week, save 90% on digital access.

This year’s donations, Boury said, brought an unusually large collection of vintage fashion, hats, menswear and handbags in popular brands: Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Burberry. But she emphasized that it’s best not to go to the sale with a particular find in mind. You may not know that you need a beautifully tailored lime-green St. John suit (size 12, $199.99), but it’s there waiting for you, quietly glittering.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.