I have occasionally looked at the Goodwill site and haven't yet stumbled into anything I needed, but I would trust them to do a decent job of packing. They are professionals and they probably understand how much competition they are up against. If you can discuss it with them, all the better. I would not expect them to actually know how to judge whether a sewing machine functions or not. Most people think if the motor runs and the needle goes up and down it's fine. However, if it seemed like a great bargain, has good pictures and shipping cost is okay, I might not rule it out. I do shop my local Goodwill and have found some interesting things. For some reason they never, ever have had any fabric or sewing paraphernalia that I've seen. There was a late model sewing machine one time, but another customer had already claimed it.