Art collectors might want to spend a little more time perusing their local Goodwill.
In 2012, customers at at least three separate thrift stores have discovered masterpieces among the piles of dusty books and used clothes.
The most recent discovery was a Salvador Dalí etching at a Tacoma, Washington, Goodwill, the Huffington Post tells us.
An unidentified donor dropped off the recognizable sketching (a melting clock is one of the main images on the page), and an employee immediately figured out that this was a Dalí creation.
The original, colored etching, titled "Reflection," was listed on the store's online auction site. The bargain-basement starting price: $999, though at last check the bids had soared to more than $13,000.
In this case, Goodwill benefits from the transaction. But oftentimes, it's lucky bargain-hunters who end up hitting the jackpot.
Case in point: A South Carolina man who bought a $3 oil painting at a thrift store in March.
The man, who will only go by Leroy, bought the painting because the frame looked like it was worth a least $50. He figured he might earn $100 or so for the piece on eBay, AL.com tells us.
Before he did that, though, his daughter took the painting to Antiques Roadshow for an appraisal. The initial results: The painting was from around 1650 and was valued at $20,000 or $30,000.
That would be enough reason for celebration, but the final sale was even better. A Massachusetts auction house sold the painting for a whopping $190,000.
Beth Feeback was another very lucky shopper.
In September, she popped into a local Goodwill store to look for a blanket, ABCNews.com reports.
She saw two giant paintings on sale for just $9.99. Although the modern pieces weren't really her style, she decided to buy them to use as canvases (Feeback paints a variety of cat portraits).
Before she brought out her brushes, Feeback took a look at the name of the artist on the back of the piece. Good thing. Feeback had bought Ilya Bolotowsky's "Vertical Diamond"--and it sold for $34,375.
Feeback is planning to paint a series of "Vertical Diamond" homages; they will each have giant cat heads in the middle.