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Man buys Goodwill watch for $6, sells for $35,000

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Phoenix, AZ (KTVK) — A Phoenix man found quite the thrift store treasure at the Goodwill at 43rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road. He bought a watch for $5.99 then turned around and sold it for $35,000.

And now, after lying low for a few weeks, Zach Norris is talking about his find and what he’s doing with all that cash.

“I’ve found some stuff in the past that I have been really excited about and stoked, but this is one of those things you’re like, one day, one day it will happen, and it happened for me,” Norris said.

Norris collects watches but had gone into the Goodwill looking for a golf pull cart. He happened to take a look in the watch section and found a rare 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre diving watch with a tag that read $5.99.

“I didn’t even want to give it to her to scan,” he said. “I was like, you can scan it in my hand if you want to. I just didn’t want to let it go.”

He explains how Goodwill could have missed the rare gem.

“Sometimes they just miss it, they don’t know,” Norris said. “It’s not a very fancy-looking piece. You have to know what it is.”

Norris said there were only about 900 of the diving watches ever made.

“I knew I didn’t want to keep it because it’s kind of above my means to have a piece like that,” Norris said. “I had a couple of good offers.”

After his find ended up on, a watch collectors website, a collector in San Francisco bought the watch for $35,000 and threw in a $4,000 Mega Speed Master watch to sweeten the deal.

And so what has Norris been doing with his unexpected windfall?

“We are planning a wedding,” he said. “We’ve been planning a wedding for a while, but now that we have the extra funds we’re going to go ahead and start taking care of everything. We’re excited.”

He also donated some of his profits back to the Goodwill.

Norris’ advice for anyone hoping to also hit it big trolling thrift stores?

“You can do it. Research everything. Just take your phone in there and if you see something that looks goofy, you haven’t seen it before, Google it. You never know.”


  • William Klebesadel

    An American multi-national corporation, which accepts millions of dollars in government funds, pays its top executives more than half a million dollars per year in total compensation, while simultaneously paying some of its employees less than the federal minimum wage. Some employees earn just 22 cents per hour.

    And the entire racket is perfectly legal thanks to a Depression-era loophole in federal labor law. Is now a good time to
    mention that this corporation also doesn’t pay any taxes?

    “Goodwill Industries is one of the most well-known charitable organizations in the United States, but most members of the general public are unaware that Goodwill exploits people with disabilities,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, which has organized a nationwide protest of offending Goodwill organizations. “We are conducting informational protests to make the public aware of this practice that, although sadly still legal, is unfair, discriminatory, and immoral.”

    • lolsmack

      The entire Goodwill business model is a massive scam.

      “Give us stuff for free so we can put a price tag on it and sell it back to poor people”.

    • JOHN

      Get your facts straight, Bill and quit cutting and pasting what other internet trolls have pieced together. You’re spouting from the internet geyser of Goodwill untruths and spreading ignorance across the interwebs. While not everything you said is 100% wrong, your post is grossly exaggerated and skewed. You fail to mention many important facts:

      1. Goodwill is a network of 180 world-wide autonomous non-profit charitable organizations governed by local volunteer boards of directors. Goodwill Industries International is a governing body of those 180 independent organizations. Not all Goodwill organizations employ programs that utilize the Special Minimum Wage Certificate, or as you call it, ‘a Depression-era loophole in federal labor law.’ There are literally hundreds of organizations that use this perfectly legitimate program; Goodwill was simply singled out because it is such a well-known organization.

      2. The Special Minimum Wage Certificate program gets a lot of negativity in the media. I do not know enough about it to campaign for it, but I don’t think it’s a 100% bad thing. It’s definitely not a black-and-white issue and should not be universally deemed fair or unfair. I have personally heard many encouraging stories of its practical implementation that led to an increased quality of life for the persons involved in it. I’m sure it’s not a good fit for everyone though. It’s critical to note though that most, if not all of the disabled workers that are hired under this special program would otherwise be unemployable. The Special Minimum Wage Certificate encourages employers to work with folks with serious disabilities, allowing this under-served population to find a job, have a greater purpose, and build self-esteem that they otherwise may not have had the opportunity to do without this program.

      3. Before you criticize executive salary, confirm the truth to your claim from a reliable source, then compare the salary of a Goodwill Industry International executive with other comparable ‘multi-national’ organizations. It is absolutely necessary for a high-functioning organization to attract and retain top talent that will help implement its mission, and competitive pay is one way to do that. Do you get paid for your job? Isn’t it fair to be paid a competitive wage commensurate with education, experience, and the demands of the job?

      4. I find it interesting that the quote about Goodwill exploiting people with disabilities comes from the President of the National Federation of the Blind. Is Dr. Maurer aware that the current president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International, Jim Gibbons, is also blind? Doesn’t sound like exploitation to me. Unless they are not paying him a competitive executive salary due to his disability? It is also curious to note that prior to Goodwill, Gibbons was the president and CEO for the National Industries for the Blind (NIB), a United States-based nonprofit organization that works to enhance economic opportunities and professional development for people who are blind. Doesn’t sound like the type of guy that would run an organization that exploits people with disabilities.

      No company or organization is perfect, and you have the absolute right to your opinion. I just ask that it be a rational, fact-based opinion. If you say you hate Goodwill… fine. I can live with that. I probably hate some organizations that you support. That’s life. If you’re going to bash an organization, at least understand what you’re talking about before you do it. These half-baked, ignorant perspectives that circulate online (like the anti-vaxxers) are interpreted as truths (because someone reads it online, so it must be true) and can cause drags on real issues, real progress, and undermine the good outcomes of hardworking people and organizations.

      Please stop spreading ignorance and educate yourself. Call your local Goodwill office and set up a meeting to learn what they are doing to help people in need in your community. You might be surprised. I know I was surprised to learn all of the ways that my local Goodwill was supporting my community without me ever noticing.

  • Zjedzeni żywcem (1977) online

    Everything composed was very logical. However, think on this,
    suppose you added a little content? I mean, I don’t want to tell you how to run your blog, but what if you added
    a post title to maybe get people’s attention? I mean Man buys Goodwill watch for $6, sells for $35,000 | is kinda boring.
    You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news headlines to grab viewers interested.
    You might add a related video or a related pic or two to grab readers excited about everything’ve written.
    Just my opinion, it would make your posts a little bit more interesting.

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