Goodthings warehouse sale is bigger (and cooler) this year

Last year's Goodthings warehouse sale was the largest in its history -- until now. More than $190,000 in inventory will be 50 to 80 percent off (last year's sale had $100,000 in inventory), with continued markdowns throughout the sale. All departments are represented, including bath, bar, candles, home, garden, kitchen, women's clothing (small to large) and shoes, children's and jewelry. Brands that rarely go on sale will also be discounted 50 percent, including Mariposa and Julia Knight servingware, Baggalini travel bags and Built neoprene oven mitts and camera cases.

Shoppers who remember standing in the heat waiting to get in last year can take comfort in this year's larger air-conditioned warehouse. It's at 4444 Centerville Rd., Suite 115, White Bear Lake, 651-426-8006, www.shopgoodthings. com). Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday.

Cheap oil change? Your car might need additional work

About the time my car needs an oil change, I look around for specials or coupons. Anything around $20 is usually a good deal. But deal spotters pay a price for those bargains, said Pam Oakes, author of "Car Care for the Clueless." We can expect to be told our cars need additional repairs, she said, because nearly every service company loses money on oil changes at $20 or less. She's right. The last two times I had my oil changed I also got a list of other needed repairs, ranging from $250 to $2,000. My advice is not to avoid the places with good deals on oil changes but rather to get a second opinion before having any additional work done. Or return to your regular mechanic. For oil change coupons, check neighborhood shoppers or put in your ZIP code at and and search under the "Automotive" heading.

Are Thomas Kinkade and LeRoy Neiman prints more valuable?

Ask anyone trying to unload a relative's beloved collection of Franklin Mint plates: Some things have little resale value, no matter how much the person paid originally. Besides "limited edition" Mint plates, coins and medals, Precious Moments figurines, Longaberger baskets, and floral pattern china sets have also plummeted in value, said Terry Kovel, author of Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide.

Kovel also had bad news for collectors of Thomas Kinkade paintings. Despite his recent death, there hasn't been a run on his heavily reproduced work on eBay. A quick check of recently sold LeRoy Neiman works on eBay didn't show many buyers for his work, either. The vast majority are still unsold.

John Ewoldt • 612-673-7633 or If you spot a deal, share it at