Thursday, November 29, 2012

Top 3 Trends in the Thrifting and Reselling Community: 2012


The thrift community continues to thrive! New Thrift TV shows, websites, blog, books, clubs, and online social networks aimed at thrifting and thrifty living are being created. There are pros and cons, but I'm a cheapskate for life and enjoy being in the middle of the movement. Last year we saw the concept of thrift become a mainstream media fixture. This year, Thrift Stores are taking it a step further.

Here are the Top Trends I've noticed in the Thrifting Community:

1. The Number of Resellers Continues to Grow:

With the job market feeling unstable and the increase of Cash in the Attic shows that promise riches for selling vintage items, many people are flocking to reselling as a way to provide for themselves and their families. Not everyone succeeds, but you can't deny more people are joining the party every day.

2. Prices for Second Hand Goods Increase at Thrift Stores:

In a controversial big to strike while the iron's hot and get more income for their causes, Thrift Stores across the nation are raising prices. Sometimes printing out proof of the "eBay price" and taping it to antique or retro items. Prices even go up on clothing and other essentials some feel should be priced more reasonably to benefit the needy.

3. Thrift Stores and More are Taking it Online:

Along with an increase of self-employed individual online resellers, thrift stores are selling valuables online rather than in their brick and mortar shops. Websites, social networks and blogs on thrifting and living thriftily continue to surface.

It's important to evaluate and discuss the trends in your field to see where you should move forward with your business. I'm a frugal person for life, no matter where the trends take us, I'll be right here saving (valuable moolah!) and reporting from the trenches!

What are the top trends you're noticing in the thrift community? 
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Your Essential Top 10 Blog Checklist: Steps to Take Before You Blog


Running a stand-out blog looks easy, but ample pre-planning, time, and work goes into it. I've worked as a pro blogger and marketer for years and I'm proud to share what I've learned in this essential Top 10 Before You Blog Checklist. If you already blog, go through the list to refresh your mission. Save and bookmark the list, and check as you go!

1.)PICK PASSION: Choose a topic you'll NEVER get tired of.

2.)MAKE GOALS: What will your blog accomplish? Write goals and ACTION steps to accomplish them!

3.)ENVISION: Your blog is an experience. Write a list detailing the impression your blog should leave on your readers.

4.)CONSIDER READERS: Don't merely write for yourself. You'll gain hundreds of readers only when write posts that entertain and/or aid your audience.

5.)CHOOSE A DEMOGRAPHIC: Envision your ideal reader(s), knowing your audience helps you choose where to network and advertise.

6.)WRITE 31: Start with one month's worth of posts. You'll develop your voice and start ahead of the game.

7.)PLAN AHEAD: Schedule your first two months of posts. Struggling to come up with 60+ posts? You chose wrong! Back to step one with you!

8.)PICK YOUR POISON: Choose Typepad, Blogger, or Wordpress. Blogger is great for beginners, Wordpress is more advanced and powerful.

9.)NAME IT: Choose a name, choose it well! Reflect on the posts you've written if you need help.

10.)DESIGN IT: Make a unique banner. Experiment to develop an attractive layout that suits your style and how you post.

This is the check list I wish I had when I started my blogging adventure. Many early blog posts lack purpose, this checklist gives you a clear path and a head-start as a beginner. I'll be going through this list again to reboot and refocus for the new year, and you should too!

By the way, I offer graphic design and blog/online store marketing and start-up assistance services. If you need help, feel free to drop me a line! I'm passionate about helping others succeed with their small business dreams.

What do you feel makes the best blog? Any blogging tips of your own to share? I'd love to know what you think!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Winner of the Vintique Homes Safari Toys Giveaway!

The winner was commenter number 7, Kiki! You've been contacted so you can receive your prize. Thanks everyone who entered, more fun giveaway are a' comin'!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Increase Traffic and Sales: Detailed Advice and Updates

I have huge collaborations and content developments planned for 2013 and I'd love you to be part of it! The Christmas shopping season and new year is the perfect time to advertise on Thrift Core, I'm passionate about helping small business owners realize their potential and dreams! No banner? No prob, I'll make you one for free!

Testimonials: "I so appreciate your help. You're the best!" - Abbe, Abbe M Designs

"I am already seeing new traffic from your site!  Thanks again!" - Adrienne, Old Vintage Goodies

"Thanks for the promotion and support on your blog for my Etsy shop!" Jay, Vintique Homes

"I really wanted to say how awesome your sponsorship relationship is, it feels like an investment FOR REAL!" Moe, Five/Sixteenths Blog

"I just love the ad you created for me and I'm seeing an increase in site visits already!" Jolene, JoRetro

"So very excited! I have had a ton of traffic coming in from Thrift Core! Thanks Van! :D" Marcia, Art by Marcia Furman

"I have been getting great traffic these days! Thank you!" Cindy, elousions

"Vanessa is a detailed employee who is extremely task oriented and highly dependable...I can attest that her attention to task and commitment toward her job is unparalledled." Ron, TDN

"Thanks for being so easy to work with!" Hillary, HGTV

Secret Success Tip: This will be my last advertising plug post until next year, and I wanted to leave you with an important reminder: Strive to create THE BEST quality possible. Provide items YOU'D want to buy. Create content YOU'D want to read and share. Do this and you WILL be successful. 

I can't wait to help you start or promote your business! I offer not only advertising services, but services to help you start your blog/online store from the bottom up! Read about advertising here. Drop me a line if you'd like to work with me!
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thrift Haul: The Windfall of Toys and Whimsical What-Nots


Sometimes I don't have to hunt for retro swag; whimsy finds its way to me. My good pal Birdie moved across the country to and couldn't take much with him, so he left me with a sizeable amount of toys and useful goodies. Here's just a peek at what I've been slowly cleaning and sorting through the past few weeks.

Toys ahoy! The Domo-kun and ugly dolls are already sold, but let me know if you're interested in any of the plushies you see here.

Now here's a favorite windfall goodie and a riddle in one. Can you guess what era this gorgeous mother cat and kitten ash tray is from?

At first glance it looks authentically vintage, but it's actually a reproduction with the Urban Outfitter's Sticker ($14.99) underneath to prove it. This one really fooled me, it looks like the real deal. Either way, I love it.

One of the few non-toy goodies, this will be a nice addition to the gift selection in my antique mall booths.

And we have a nice Asian themed deck of cards and "The Little Black Book of Beer" which I'll stage with beer mugs and barware in my antique mall booth...unless you want to buy it from me first!

It's travel-sized and full of everything you could need to know about one of the world's oldest beverages.

And while we're on kitchenware and food, I love this enormous novelty sized paper mache chili pepper, fun foodie decor and a bold statement piece.

And now, back to the toys! I have many ideas and crafts planned for my growing collection of them.

These two Bulbasaurs (my favorite starter pokémon) round out my ever-growing Pokémon plushie collection. All for sale, of course. But they're fun to gaze at in the meantime.

And another blast from the past, legos! I'm half-tempted to bust these open and start playing with the "Ninja Knights" within.

As a fan/collector of all things from Japan, I get a large amount of requests for Domo-kun items. I don't find good one items, but these two tiny detailed plastic toys fit the bill.

To give you an idea of scale, here they are playing with a standard sized shot glass.

I'm selling the pair for $6.00 if anyone's interested, but I won't mind them hanging with me in the kitchen in the meantime.

And finally we're looking at a huge selection of picture frames, this is only half of them!

I'm going to use them in creative ways for Christmas gifting and creating merchandise for the shops. None of the art prints in my home will be without a frame, that's for damn sure.

And now I'm off to my new part time job in a raw vegan kitchen (more on that later!) If you'd like to buy anything you see in this post, drop me a line!

What did you find this weekend?

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thrifty Lamp DIY: Drippy Mid Century Modern Aqua Desk Lamp


Many people want to buy my mod-style aqua "drippy lamp" that appears frequently in blog posts. I'm not ready to let it go, but I did think of way you can easily make your own lamp like it! My version didn't come out perfect, but it's a good starter piece and I'll be making more from here.

Before: I can't find a picture of the original ugly lamp shade, it was quickly banished! Let's get started transforming this beast...

You'll Need: aqua craft paint, silver spray paint, an old lamp you won't miss.

Step 1) Start by spray painting the clean lamp base, taping off the parts you don't want covered in paint. Wait it until it dries completely before moving on to the next step. (I used Rust-Oleum Hammered in Metal Finish, the unique texture look really replicated the look of the inspiration lamp!)

Steps 2)Before you start the drip process, take some "practice swings" because you want it to drip down nicely. I tried different textures of paint on old drink bottles first. 3) To get the drippy affect, squeeze ample amounts the craft paint from the tube at the top of the lamp and let it drip down.

Here's the inspiration lamp, a gorgeous mod-type glazed piece with a straw lamp shade for a nice contrast.

The crafted lamp has the similar drippy glazed look and it was easy to replicate. I had the spray and craft paint on-hand. I found the lamp at a Goodwill for $2.99 and the shade at an indie thrift store for $1.00.

The crafted lamp has a similar appeal and provides lovely task lighting at my desk on an inspiring rainy day. I was in the market for a nice lamp and I'm glad I used what was on hand to make my own!

Good luck making your own sexy new lamp! Do you have a favorite way to transform thrifted items or make "drippy" items of your own?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back to Budget: The Envelope Savings Method - How Do You Save?


I love taking being a cheap bastard to the next level by setting a budget and sticking to it- or going the extra step by going under my budget. I started doing the envelope budget method at the start of the year but fell off it when my envelopes ripped apart from frequent use. Bad excuse, but I want to get back in the habit this December and into the new year!

Here's what I'm thinking of for December:

Groceries: $150 
Car's Gas: $40 
Thrifting:  $30
Fun Stuff: $25

I know that's super low for December, but a lot of my gifts have already been purchased- and  a lot my gifts are going to be prepared food items. (I'll share recipes later!) Want to play along and get back on track with savings? Here're the rules...

Envelope Budgeting Saving Method Rules:

1. Never over the amount in the envelope.
2. Never switch cash from one envelope to the other.Once money is out, it's out!
3. Make it a game, try to carry over as much cash as possible to the next month! 

I'll follow-up with how I did at the end of next month. It should keep me accountable and maybe inspire you to get reckless spending under control. I love using this method to save because it makes your spending tangible and forces you to get creative to keep on track. You look for free events, carpool, pack lunch instead of buy it, and hit the thrifts for essentials to save.

What Methods Do You Use to Save? Planning any financial new years goals already?
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thrift Core Animal Toy Giveaway with Vintique Homes


My love of toys shall never die! If you're a fellow toy lover you're going to love today's giveaway with Vintique Homes. You get to win the three safari themed toys above, upcycled and painted powder blue. Here's what you have to do to enter:

How to Enter the Vintique Homes Giveaway:

1. If You have Twitter, Follow vintiquehomes
2. Otherwise, visit the Vintique Homes Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item in the shop is in the comments of this post!
3. Leave Your E-mail in the comment so I can contact you if you win.

For Extra Entries: Leave a separate comment for each action you perform so they count as extra entries. Don't forget to include that e-mail address! 

- Follow the Thrift Core blog (you are here!)
- Follow Thrift Core on Facebook 
- Follow Thrift Core on Twitter
- Tweet About This Giveaway
- Stumble This Post

I will announce the contest winner here on the blog on November 27, 2012! So check back then. Vintique Home is a Thrift Core Sponsor. Please drop me a line if you're interested in becoming a Thrift Core Sponsor! 

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Kale Chips 3 Ways: The Best Kale Chip Recipes EVER


Kale's one the healthiest vegetables on the planet. Devour ONE CUP and you'll consume a mere 36 calories while gaining 5 grams of fiber, 15% of your daily calcium requirement, vitamin B6, 40% magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, 1,020% (!) of vitamin K, copper, potassium, iron, and phosphorus. This recipe contains TWO cups of health-promoting goodness and it tastes better than Pringles. Forget chips, you have a new lover with a satisfying crunch that'll treat your body good. Oh baby. Let's get to it!

Equipment: dehydrator or a toaster oven/conventional oven, salad spinner is optional

Shopping List: 2 cups of kale + Cheesy Chips: 2 cups cashews, 2 lemons, garlic, pepper. Classic: olive oil, salt. Yeasty: nutritional yeast, garlic, olive oil, tamari/soy sauce or liquid aminos, vinegar. Sesame oil  is optional.

Step 1: Wash your kale (any type, I use curly) thoroughly. You don't want gritty dirt ruining the magic when bite into your crisp chip perfection. Dry the leaves with a salad spinner or shake dry.

Dressing Choices: Use nutritional yeast dressing for savory yeasty chips, cashew "cheese" for cheesy chips, or 1 tablespoon of olive oil (max) per 2 cups of kale chips with salt to taste for classic chips.

Step 2: Thoroughly coat 2 cups of kale chips with 2 tablespoons of your desired dressing. Use 1 tablespoon of olive oil per 2 cups of kale for classic chips.

Optional: Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on top of your chips for added crunch, delicious cheesy flavor, and a B vitamin boost.

Step 3: Spread your chips evenly on your dehydrator tray or baking sheet if you're using a toaster or conventional oven. I prefer to use a dehydrator  it's fast, easy (no pre-heating), and preserves more nutrients than baking. It takes one to two hours for your chips to dry. Check on your chips every 30 minutes, they're ready when they're bone dry.

Kale Fact: Boasting an incredible amount of calcium, kale is ideal for vegans or the lactose intolerant. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K make it an anti-aging, cancer-preventing food!

Step 4: ENJOY! This is a guilt-free and nutrient rich comfort food; it's good for the body and soul. Store them in an airtight jar to preserve the crisp, but they'll be gone before you know it!

Bookmark, pin, and share this recipe! You won't stop at making one batch of these delicious chips. These chips are filling and delicious on their own, but they also add a nice crunch to other recipes. Try these recipes and let me know how you like it- and which one you like best!

What's your favorite way to get more veggies into your diet? 
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5 Short-cuts and Tools for Cleaning Thrift Store and Flea Market Scores


The main pitfall that comes with thrifting for vintage finds is the grime, dirt, dust, and stains you have to clean up. I hunt primarily in Florida flea markets where a good vintage find is usually caked in filth and grime!  Here's are tools and tips I've learned over the years for cleaning your scores:

1. Test the Stain: Bring a magic eraser, cleaning cloth, and other portable cleaning supplies with you when you thrift and test an item to see if the stain or mark can be removed. If it won't budge, leave it.

2. Let Goo Gone Sit: Goo Gone is a god send for removing the gooey residue stickers and tape leave behind. It works best when you pour an ample amount on the offending goo and let it sit for a few minutes before you wipe it off.

3. Magic Eraser Damage: A Magic Eraser, whether off brand or name brand, is an amazing tool for getting a vintage item to shine like new. The friction can remove stubborn tape residue goo gone won't, but be careful! It can remove the paint from porous surfaces, so test it gently before you scrub away.

4. Give Them a Bath: Many items are so filthy they'll need a few long soaks before you start scrubbing to get them really clean. Don't use too much soap and soak them several times, replacing the dirty water each time before you get into the grooves to tackle the rest of the filth.

5. Leave it Behind: We tend to want to bring home every "project" piece when it's free or next to it. I've learned to leave almost every project piece behind. They're time consuming and often end up cluttering the house for weeks before I get to painting or deep-cleaning them. If you bring one home, get to work on it as soon as you bring it into the house. If you can't dedicate time to it, leave it for the next person.

Favorite Cleaning Tools: I love magic erasers, goo gone, and any brand of cleansing wipes. I feel bad using the wipes but they're convenient when you're dead tired but want to clean your finds fast. They're portable for cleaning finds on-the-go, too.

Final Tip: I get all of my supplies from the dollar store and they last me for months. I don't spend more than four bucks at a time. You don't have to spend a lot to clean your scores, you can even get creative with what you have around the house. All you truly need is a rag and warm water. Retro items are typically scrubbed clean but leave some patina on those antiques, it's what tells the story and draws people to the item!

How do you clean your thrift finds? I'd love to know your techniques! 
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thrift Haul: Thanksgiving Scores. Cups, Plates, Cowboys & Indians!


I returned to the flea markets after a long absence last week. I might have went a little crazy. Now I have many more items to clean and tag, but they're gorgeous pieces I should have no trouble selling. This week's score has an inadvertent Thanksgiving spin!

First we have my obligatory planter purchase. These two were unique with an opening at their crotches for some (hopefully phallic!) tropicals or succulents to roost in. Cowboys aren't very Thanksgiving but I think this pair could still make fun centerpieces. I'm selling the pair for $20.00.

If you're local, I'm selling this gorgeous solid wood coffee table for $25.00. I'll put it back on Craigslist and in front of Southern Crossing Antique Mall or Treasure House today.

This is the pair of mugs on top of the table. I love the rich mahogany color, they're perfect for a morning cappuccino or tea. I'm selling the pair for $6.00.

This unique automobile themed matching thermos and cup couldn't be left behind. It was an impulse buy. I love the bright primaries and bold retro graphic design.

Selling this adorable little teapot for $7.00. More of a display piece, but it works perfectly and holds enough tea for one.

Also found this unique, I'm assuming, wooden ash tray? It has slots on the top that look perfect for holding cigarettes.

I certainly seem to have an ash tray fetish even as a staunch non-smoker. They just come in so many unique shapes. I'm selling this one for $7.00. It would make a great gift for dad.

And I also found this knife rack with four knives. I'm selling the set for $8.00. I have no information on this set, anyone have any clues?

This deer piece was in perfect shape. I try to avoid wall art these days, but couldn't leave him behind. I'm selling it for $15.00. The cute brown suitcase behind it is $8.00.

A favorite find is this set of three kitchen plaques. My aunt in Puerto Rico had two from this set hanging in her kitchen! She was missing my favorite piece from the set, the Lobster. Selling this set for $15.00, but I'm tempted to keep it for my wall.

These remind me of mod glasses but I'm not sure if they're really from the era. Anyone have any clues on this set? They're gorgeous! I'd keep them but they're doomed to break at my house. I'm selling the set for $25.00.

Everything pictured in these posts is for sale, so if you see something you love drop me a line if you'd like to buy it.

Special Note: Now I've got to get to work pricing and cleaning items for the antique mall booths and writing plenty of content for the week. I know I've been writing lots of thrifitng and reselling posts, but the intention of Thrift Core was always about sharing thrifty lifestyle posts, including gardening tips, DIYs, and recipes. Your feedback and support on these posts is appreciated, you and your feedback is what really makes Thrift Core unique and worth reading. Thank you!

What did you find this weekend?

Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

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