Friday, January 27, 2012

What I Didn't Buy at the Thrift Store: Damn You and Your Prices!

After being been spoiled by flea market prices, thrift store is intense. Visiting the thrift store last week was torture. I was dying to fill my cart with treasures, but I came home with only three items. I'll show you what I got for $2.25 at the flea market on Monday, but 'til then, here are the pleas from my abandoned quarry:

 

Damn, I really wanted that red wagon for store displays. And those cups! And, hell, everything! But I'm glad I held out and spend less and got more at the flea market.

Oh, and about that Raggedy Ann doll. My mom bought me a life-sized one. I was so terrified of it that I begged her to banish it to the basement. I grew up watching horror films yet the soulless black eyes of that giant doll were scarier than any Jason or Freddy. I can never resist vintage Raggedy Ann goodies despite the childhood trauma. I classify them with clowns; fun kitschy horror!

What's your limit for spending on individual second-hand items? Do you think thrift store prices are getting out of hand lately?
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60 comments:

  1. lol! i'm glad i'm not the only one who hears voices while thrifting.

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    1. We thrifters are crazy, crazy people.

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  2. I wouldnt of brought the wagon either because of the price but oh how I would of regret it for a week after. It is gorgeous. Prices are getting a little inflated in the UK also but its the bootfairs where we get our bargins x

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    1. Bootfair? Is that the same as a flea market here?

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    2. Yep, I've heard it as "Boot Sales" too. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_boot_sale

      It's named after the car's boot/trunk where people sell their wares from.

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  3. Love, love, love those captions! Too funny!

    I'm not alone thinking thrift stores are getting a bit pricey, huh? We have one that sells what they think is vintage in a special section of the shop and ask exorbitant prices for things I can buy at auction for a quarter of the price. Lladro, Hummels, not even hot or trendy anymore, but they're asking BooKoo bucks for them!

    And, they sit there for months...places that do resale have to remember that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it! A pair of Waterford crystal wine goblets...$54? Whaaaa??? I don't think so!!!

    Can't wait to see what you got on Monday's posting! Love bargains!

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  4. Love, love, love those captions! Too funny!

    I'm not alone thinking thrift stores are getting a bit pricey, huh? We have one that sells what they think is vintage in a special section of the shop and ask exorbitant prices for things I can buy at auction for a quarter of the price. Lladro, Hummels, not even hot or trendy anymore, but they're asking BooKoo bucks for them!

    And, they sit there for months...places that do resale have to remember that an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it! A pair of Waterford crystal wine goblets...$54? Whaaaa??? I don't think so!!!

    Can't wait to see what you got on Monday's posting! Love bargains!

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    1. I hate it when thrift stores do that- and won't mark it down even when the items don't move for months. If they want to sell it for high prices, try eBay or Craigslist. Thrift stores are supposed to be "thrifty"- it's in the name!

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  5. $7.99 for the red wagon? Could have bought it with candy or flowers inside RETAIL for that price. In fact I have several of them (can not resist at garage sales) I paid less than a buck a piece for. Keep thinking I'll do a display with wagons in 5 different graduated sizes. Now you have me brainstorming. Wagons and little kids yellow rubber boots. (another odd collection)
    I figure the thrift stores increase prices over winter when they don't have competition (flea markets, garage sales, church sales etc) but now it seems they are pricing themselves out of business. They need to realize they can help MORE people (if a charity thrift) by selling more, keep the stock turning over. It's all donated so 100% profit! Don't get greedy, store managers.

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    1. As thrifting and online reselling becomes more popular thrift store prices may continue to rise. This store in particular is always so busy I can never find parking. It's massive and hundreds of people from all walks of life shop there frequently. I guess that's why they feel they can mark things up so high- with the amount of people shopping there, someone will likely buy it.

      ...Even if they buy it NEW for less in a retail store.

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    2. Hmmmmm, never thought of that DogsMom...competition. Yeah, you may be right! I'll have to remember to keep and eye on that. Going to an auction today! Jewelry...so we'll see what happens there! Been a dry spell on that for a while here, so would be interesting to see if prices fly.

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  6. Van - your posting was hilarious and so entertaining!!!! Love it!

    ITA...I have gotten so frustrated with Thrift Stores and their inflated prices that I have stopped going to many of them. Sometimes, I have found stuff cheaper at Antique Shoppes than Thrift Stores!

    I think many of the Thrift Stores are jumping on the resale bandwagon...forgetting that they are supposed to be "not for profit" trying to compete with the resale market.

    Most of the stuff is donated...I know they have employees to pay, but much of their prices are outrageous! I have seen several IKEA items at Goodwill that were priced higher than what Ikea sells it for brand new! WHat's crazy is that someone is actually buying it! xo

    -pamela :)

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    1. I've seen the same thing. The antique mall I'm in has cheaper prices than some thrift store items- and those are usually already pre-picked and selected with care!

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  7. You're right the thrift stores are hiking up the prices. My favorite thrift, which has the best prices in town, raised their prices a couple of months ago. I think things are starting to even out again, the prices are going back to normal now. Maybe yours is doing the same thing? I bet they have so many less sales with the higher prices, is probably worth it to sell volume.

    Hoping yours gets better!

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    1. There are many different thrifts here with varying price ranges, so I always have a great selection to choose from at least!

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    2. There are a decent amount of thrift shops here, within a 50 mile radius, but sometimes I have to consider the gas I'm spending against the prices I'm paying...that's why I do auctions...can take more home for one-stop-shopping, but there's time involved. The one thing that's really cool is it's a whole social thing...you see people and chat and have fun...it's not just a solitary thing like thrifting can be.

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  8. Too funny! I agree some thrift store prices are going way up! Can't wait for yard sale season to start again up here in Maine!

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    1. Luckily it's always yard sale and flea market season down here ;) The hunting is good in Florida.

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  9. yes, prices are getting high!

    i totally would have bought that wood deer thingy.

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    1. I was veeery tempted to bring it home.

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  10. Prices are crazy high! They are priced for retail. There's not much profit margin with thrift stores anymore. I think they forget they get it for free.

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    1. Yup, it's tricky as a reseller. You want to get your merch for the lowest prices possible.

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  11. Your captions are hysterical. Does taking a photo make it easier to resist their siren songs, knowing you can go home and make fun of the Thrifts You Left Behind?

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  12. Good on ya for not buying the wagon! I agree with the above poster, you could find it retail for about that price. I've seen brand new radio flyer branded ones for not much more.

    I've been doing a lot of my thrifting with coupons, just to knock down the prices a little. And I've been paying attention to which stores are higher than others.

    Im gearing up for a thrifting day tomorrow, so this is a good reminder to only get the GOOD deals.

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    1. I wish we had more thrift coupons down here! But I do know which stores are cheaper than others. And the flea markets and yard sales really help...

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  13. Ain't that the truth? I quit going to the goodwill years ago because their prices were way too high. My favorite Salvation Army has been doing more 50% off days which is fantastic. The flea markets where I live are no good, its all cheap dollar store type crap and probably more than a few stolen goods. I would have to go all the way to San Francisco for anything decent.....

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    1. When I'm back in the acquiring stage I may have to start marking all the thrift discount days on my calendar. Our local Salvation armies have different discount times, too.

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  14. Yes, here in Michigan they're getting high, too. With people buying less (and thus discarding less) and more people buying secondhand because of the economy, it only makes sense that they'd raise prices. They probably have the choice of nearly empty shelves or higher prices. If I were selling, I know which I'd choose! I don't LIKE it, but I understand why it's happening. Thankfully, we still have the option to walk away.

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    1. Thrift stores in the south are always overflowing with junk so they can't use the "people are donating less" excuses here ;)

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  15. Oh, my. Haha! I know what you mean about thrift stores putting high prices on some items. Eek! My local Value Village is so crazy expensive, my $30 would probably only get me 3 items or so!

    LOL @ the captions, ahah! I like the stacked carved table though. Very interesting and very ornate.

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    1. I've seen some items at $30 for one alone, eek indeed!

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  16. Too funny. Looks like you had some fun.

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  17. So funny this post, especially the last one. Made me smile.. don't happen to often. I'm saving this for a post on my blog... but we have a thrift store that just started pricing books individually. EXPENSIVELY. Like outrageously expensive. You can buy it at a used book store for cheaper.

    As for how much I will pay, it all depends on the item & how much I want it. I factor in shipping on eBay if I were to buy it on there, how likely it is I will come across it again, condition, how much I've spent that week on stuff already & maybe some other factors I forgot. I see some prices that are like WTF, but many are still pretty decent. Maybe my city is different than other cities, since we have a lot of thrift stores, off the top of my head I can think of about 20 thrift stores I can visit using transit & there are over 30 vintage shops that I know about within the city, probably a few more out there too.

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    1. OMG! I'd love to be your neighbor. Here in PR you pretty much can only find Salvation Army's Thrift Stores and if you venture on a road trip you might find a couple others around the entire island. We do have a few Flea Markets (that are now mostly flooded with resellers) and some antique stores and vintage stores that are super high priced. I'd love to have that many options for my thrifting adventures. You are so lucky!

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    2. Glad it made you smile, Jackie! I'll be writing more comedy this year. We have a huge plethora of vintage and thrift stores to choose from, too.

      Sorry the selection isn't as good in Puerto Rico, Yadira. From my talks with family there and with Miss Lou there isn't a huge 2nd hand culture among locals.

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  18. This cracked me up. When it comes to thrift stores I think some things are over priced and some under priced. Sometimes the people that work there don't really know the materials they're marking (which is very good for us as treasure hunters).

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    1. Aah...gotta love it when things are underpriced. I paid .25 cents for vintage goodies in a giant junk pile at the flea market...

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  19. Some of these items also talked to me. I can't share what they said though, they're too naughty. LOL

    It's been a while since I last went thrifting but I had the same feeling about inflation the last times I went. My mental limit for about everything is around $5 but if I see anything that is too cool/nice/vintage/awesome/useful for me to live without it I'd probably expand my limits. Have a nice weekend!

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    1. I will occasionally splurge on that "special" item. But less often lately as I'm trying to downsize. It helps to remember that another special item will come up in my hunts soon enough...

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  20. LOL. Yer like, in my head!
    UGH. Inflated thrift prices. What the hell. The owl painting was dope! Like you, I would have passed by with an upturned nose at that price. This last month I pissed off Goodwill Industries enough to comment on my blog because I said $7 was too much for an average used show. WELL, I'm just objectively telling the truth over here! AND...they've decided to stop selling jewelry in store and only sell on line to make more money. BARNACLES. So grumpy about it.

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    1. As much as I like Goodiwll, I'm passing it up more often these days in search of places with lower prices. I left a Goodwill today without spending anything.

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  21. I was tempted by that same wagon. It is hard to resist what reminds me of being a kid.

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    1. Same here! As a kid I wanted one of those so badly. I still love all kid-nostalgia and colorful things like that wagon.

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  22. YOU SO FUNNY! :O) I only shop the thrifts on half price days now. I think they actually price things with half the price in mind. Um..I think I have a bitty wagon like that rusting in my back yard. :o/

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    1. We have a couple of thrifts that seem to have a perpetual 50% off deal. Why not just mark things cheaper? :)

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  23. LOL, thanks for the laughs! Yes, same thing up here (both in the north South and the south North). Louisville has particularly high pricing (yet, the books are almost ALL 50c and I have found some great titles). Indiana has less great stuff; I overheard staff telling a woman they send all the really good stuff to the online facility. Sadly, as much as I love Esty and EBay, online will never, ever replace the thrill of finding it in the thrift jungles!

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    1. Agreed: the thrill of the hunt is addictive!

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  24. You're too funny. Love the captions.

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  25. I've noticed the price creep as well. If there's one thing that drive me nuts more than anything else when thrift store shopping it is when the thrift store has an item marked super high to which I then find a paper taped to it which shows a ridiculous overpriced ebay listing with the price not only highlighted but circled as well! As if I couldn't see the insane price already they insult me by highlighting and circling the price, my response is usually WTF...lol!

    I walk away but for whatever reason this just rubs me in all the wrong ways!

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    1. Woah! I've yet to witness that! If they want it for the eBay price....sell it on eBay!

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  26. Found you off of Thrift Share Monday (saw your latest post and then saw the link to this one!). I LOVE IT. I feel the same way you do, I've noticed prices go up at certain thrift shops, and I actually avoid them. We have a new thrift shop in our area where they literally price everything "+$5 the ebay price". It's gross. For most of my thrifting adventures, I don't like to pay over $5.99 (and that's if I REALLY WANT IT). Since most of the Flea Markets in my area have shut down, I'm constantly researching other ways to find unique Thrifty or Second Hand sources for my inspiration. Love your blog, and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for all the kind words and feedback! I agree, completely gross way to price items at a thrift store!

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  27. I would have caved and bought the green glasses in the carrier! Which thrift store was this? I want to send my sister there and get it for me!! LOL We try and visit Jax every year and I make her take me thrifting for the whole day!

    I've noticed it here, too, the thrift store prices inching higher. I don't go to Salvation army anymore-- last time I was there, it was riduculous! Smaller mom and pop style places seem to be still reasonable and I stick to those, but I sure am looking forward to yard sale season again!! Come on Spring!!

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  28. I've had to learn to pay more and make less. Ah, economics.

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