Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thrift Stores half off deal in Santa Barbara

I am visiting my parents in Santa Barbara this week and had the opportunity to visit some thrift stores while I was here. I was very lucky indeed as I rarely have the time to get away for "me" time, or should I say "thrift" time. To my wonderful surprise , the two thrift stores I was able to visit were having a half off sale. And wonderful Salvation Army already had good prices to begin with! I was lucky enough to find a cute polka dotted cardigan for 85 cents. Yes, I said 85 cents. A Cache sweater top with a rhinestone zipper for $1.87 (these retail about $80) and more. Thank you thank you Salvation Army for being the kind of thrift store we all love. And I think it's only in their best interest as the stuff just fly's off the racks. Isn't that what they want? I was saddened when I found this awesome bubble gum pink wool trench coach with a fur collar at only $8 to be stained (very little stained but nonetheless nothing I could resell). I probably could have tried. I'm sure many gals would love to have this original Paris label vintage coat with the little bit of stains and all however I had my hands full with other goodies.

My next store I found was real neat. It was located at the back of a Catholic support center. It wasn't a store really but more like a mobile unit with the front doors lifted up. Oooooh, real nice. I found the most awesome vintage purses. Those were half off too. Oh, and do you all remember my previous post on the pressure cooker my boyfriend asked me to keep an eye out for? Yep, you guessed it. Done.

I can now sleep well knowing my mission was accomplished.

Until next time that is.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Example of Best Thrift Stores and my day on Monday

I'm so lucky to have a thrift store not far from my home. And my favorite thrift store at that. This is the store where you can still find things for a dollar or two and many times 25 or 50 cents. Yesterday during my lunch hour at work, I was feeling the need to visit this store since I wasn't able to make it during the weekend. I found a vintage hat, a woman's hat I think they call bucket style. And for $2, it was quite exciting. I also found a vintage leather jacket that was custom made for $8 and a vintage lace apron for $2. They will all go on eBay soon. They are mine for now and I love that.

I had to take this picture of the t-shirts bin. I mean, what a deal! They're smart too. They get so many things you'd think they want inventory to go. Not like the GW's out there. I hate to say that as I love going there too but the prices have become outrageous.

So hooray hooray for the true thrift stores out there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hunting for Lucite Purses

So I'm back on the hunt for Lucite purses. I just love them. You won't really find them at thrift stores much. They are usually in the antique malls. From time to time I may see one but the price is outrageous but that is to be expected. If they are for me to keep then I may pay the price. To resell, it has to be somewhat low however these gems go for really high on eBay.

They have to be in pretty good condition to sell for a high price but the used ones are just as special.

Keep an eye out for these as they make great gifts too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Law to affect Thrift Stores

So you may have heard that starting February 10th, children’s products, whether new or old, can’t be sold if they contain a certain level of lead content.

Thrift shop operators say this will make it difficult for them to know whether toys are in compliance because they don’t have the resources to test for lead. Lead tests start at $100 but can reach well into the thousands.

Meanwhile, it is said that thrift stores and retailers caught selling toys that exceed the new lead limits will face a fine of up to $100,000 for each violation and possibly jail time.

So we'll probably see a lot of goodies go away in our thrift stores. This a bummer. I've not sold too many toy's on eBay but did like to see what vintage item I could find.

We'll see what happens!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

More thrifting and nostalgia lane

So after my wonderful find on Friday, Saturday was a must thrifting day too.

I went to my favorite thrift store, and lucky for me it is also in my own town just a mile or two away. This thrift store makes me look forward to getting old as I hope to be a volunteer at thrift stores with other elder gals. Let me set the scene. All the women that work there are elder volunteers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in their 80’s. They move slow and speak slow but that makes it all the better. They all wear the same top that looks like vintage nurses tops (they are volunteers for a local hospital) There is music in the background that is on an oldies station that sounds like AM radio. They have “boutique” days for items that are higher end but sometimes they are not, bless their hearts. The store is organized in a cute boutique like setting reminiscent of the 50’s and 60’s and best of all…this is one of those thrift stores where you can still find things for like a quarter or so. I get a lot of my jewelry there for a dollar or two. (However, they’re getting sneaking on me going up to $4 sometimes! How dare they, lol) They nicely arrange the shoes and purses, have a lingerie bin for $1. Nothing is ever messy or crazy as the people that go to this thrift store aren’t really off the street. I love to stroll around this store and listen to the conversation these ladies have. “Margaret, are you going to the church dance tonight?”, “Betty, did you remember to take your medicine?”…I love it. It’s like walking back into time when things were simpler. I get to escape the 21st century and enter into the 50’s. The way they have you pay is you give your items to one lady behind the counter where she writes down the prices in pencil on a little piece of paper and manually adds it up. “That’s two, carry the 1 that makes five, don’t forget there is tax dear. “ Then you hand that piece of paper to the next lady that adds it up on the machine and then the next lady bags it for you.

There were a few finds I sadly passed up today. A neat piece of artwork (yarn?) that reminded me of Dream of Jeanie or the artwork by Shag. I have nowhere to hang this myself and is not something I prefer to sell on eBay due to its’ size (although I easily could have). Also, I found these gold shoes that were darling! If they were only in a bit better condition. I would not have been able to sell them unless I disclosed all stains and scuffs and at my cost of $10, I wouldn’t have made much if even that. So they sat. But………….it still gave me my chance to go down nostalgia lane. I did buy a dress for myself and a brass Italian salad server set that I need to look into before listing.

Then into my car where I had to pop in my Down with Love soundtrack CD (I highly recommend thrift hunting music) and onto my next thrift shop.

Ah, what an awesome day.

My boyfriend asked that I keep an eye out for a pressure cooker while I’m out hunting. What? You want a pressure cooker you say? Aha, an assignment. Hm? I must map this out accordingly and attack.

Until next time……………….

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This is why I thrift

Friday night after work I decided to go to my local Goodwill. That’s what I do love about Goodwill and that’s their hours. They are open until 9pm so usually when the mood hits, they are available. What I DON’T like about Goodwill is their prices. Sometimes I get pretty frustrated, as their prices are higher than department stores. But…that makes it all the more fun for me to hunt for that bargain. And that’s what happened Friday. I don’t expect to find anything too exciting as usually they sift pretty well through what they get and put it in their “higher end” thrift store called Keepers where they charge even more. (Don’t get me wrong I still love it! ) BUT…not this time. I had the upper hand. (insert sneaky laugh. ) I found my all time favorite thing to hunt for……….VINTAGE SHOES from the 40’s and 50’s. And at $7.99, “I” was the winner! I’m walking down the shoe isle where I do see some decent shoes, and many I could sell but they are usually $10 to $20 and that’s too high for me to invest since I like to resell on eBay. But THESE puppies could have easily been in the $20 range (and should have been in their Keepers store. Neener neener) Ah, the satisfaction of knowing I had found the needle in the haystack. The rush, the high!

This is why I thrift!

What I had in my possession (must protect from lookers nearby, they may ambush me) were original Norman Kaplan’s from Las Vegas. So I researched online and find that Norman Kaplan started in Beverly Hills in the 50’s and became known for selling to stars like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Davis and the like. What? Could these have been Marilyn’s? Hey, you never know. And yet these were from the Las Vegas store. Ooooh a showgirl perhaps? The adventure my mind takes me on is what makes thrifting so exciting for me. The nostalgia I’m lucky to have come into my day is like a high I can’t explain.

I think you true thrifters probably understand.

So they are mine for just a little while (not my size, surprising a size 7 though! ) and then onto eBay where someone else can feel the excitement too. And hey maybe make a buck or two.

And then onto more thrifting…………………………..ah.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My latest addiction

So as of late, my new thing to hunt for is men's ties. Not necessarily vintage ties. I mean yes, I look for those first. There are some knock out ties out there. Art deco and retro patterns. Were I talented in the area, I'd make a quilt out of vintage ties. Could you imagine what a knock out that'd be? But no, I usually enjoy them for a bit and then onto eBay. Some of the buyers have emailed me saying how much they love the tie they've purchased so it makes it all worthwhile for sure. My latest find was actually a Versace tie. An original Versace purple tie with black dots. And for $2. Hello! I think those ties cost around $150 or so. Ah, the pleasure.

So keep an eye for ties as whether you give them to a male friend, use the fabric or'll get a kick out 'em I'm sure.

Here's a pic of one of my favorites.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What do I do with what I find at thrift stores?

Well, as I've mentioned before, selling on eBay has allowed my passion for going to thrift stores continue. I tend to search mostly for handbags as I do really well on those. Especially vintage purses. I do tend to sell designer bags too. For those interested, you can get them wholesale and resell them. My sister does very well with this. I enjoy the hunt though. And when I do find that treasure, it is truly like a high. My other passion is vintage shoes. You'd think that no one would buy used shoes but oh you'd be surprised. There are clubs and society's out there that dress up in authentic clothing head to toe in vintage era's so they are always on the look out for vintage shoes.

There are times when I do keep things for myself. Especially dishes and the like.

So I'll check back in soon with more tips and treasures. Make sure to subscribe so you can stay informed. I look forward to your comment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It all started when.........

I was about 9 years old when my mother and I were walking by a Thrift Store and she eyed a red vintage (well now vintage) vanity case. We went in and she bought it at a price of about $6. I'm now 41 and I've been hooked ever since.

It is truly a passion for me. There is never a case where I don't find something. And with finding things under a buck sometimes, you can see how easily the clutter can accumulate (how dare I call it clutter!) This led me to slow down on the thrift store shopping and at first that was okay. But I found myself getting a bit depressed and missed my thrift shops. Especially the ones that offer coffee and cookies and what not. You might think "Do I HAVE to buy something every time?" Well, yes I do. It is about impossible for me to let treasures pass by and such a bargain. This is where eBay comes in for me. I've eBaying since 1997 and at first, was just all fun and games. But what it has done is allowed me to continue to go to thrift shops, by up what I find and make it mine for just a little while. Then, I can post it up for sale if I want. (A lot of stuff doesn't quite make it out of my hands though.) And making some extra cash doesn't hurt either.

So I wonder how the rest of the thrift store shoppers handle this obsession. I'd love to hear your stories.


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