Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What I Didn't Buy at the Thrift Store: Funny Sexy Books and Retail-Thrift-Hatred


After a long, long break from Thrift Stores (Two months is FOREVER. Or was it one? Whatever. Too long.) I broke my fast, exploring local infamous Thrift superstore The Thrift Store, which I don't favor as houseware prices are steep. They've relocated to a retail setting that my hunter soul dislikes.


You gotta admire the bold typography on the front of the store, you get what you're asking for. It's a Thrift Store. No bullshit in that title. Or...is it? When you walk in there's a line of shopping carts to the left, a huge shoe rack to the right, it reminds me of the sterile shopping environment  you experience in Ross, TJ Maxx or whatever outlet stores are near you. I prefer an eclectic junk stop, where you don't know what you'll find in boxes and piles and finds cost dimes and nickles.


Still, as a Thrift Store it had some of the oddness I like to see, like stuffed animals in suspended animation waiting for their new homes.


And huge novelty mugs that wanted to come home with me, but not for $6.00+ each! The purple one says "Mabel's Whore House," a gem, that one.


More lovely beer steins that can never be mine. Sit on that shelf forever at that price, damn you!


A lovely Last Super Paint by Numbers for only $21.00+ ! Nope. Do not want that price.


A fun piece at not-too-bad of a price at $12.00 but with faux laminate damage I don't have the time or care to attempt to repair. Would have loved to add it to my booth, though.


This heavy wall hanging duo Made in Japan almost came home with me. So beautiful and kitsch, but $3.95 each is a bit pricey. What do you think? Should I go back for them? Do you think they'd look better as-is or spray painted? What colors? I think black or dark navy would be gorgeous but may hide the detailing.


Another tempting buy, but I'm forbidden to buy books for...forever. Gotta read what I have. You can make your man look like...


SHAFT! Yes, it wasn't the attitude oozing from every molecule that made Shaft a bad mother fucker, it was just the leather trench coat, billowing behind him like a Pimp Daddy Batman's cape. I need two of those. And Jackie Brown's blue pant suit while I'm at it.


In more examples of Jacket making the man, we have iconic looks combined with...early 00 already dated Puffy's (P Diddy at the time) sloppy White Party look. One of these things is not like the others. That's perhaps my favorite MJ look, with the flair a pop star should have in the jacket but the t-shirt and jeans made it DIY and down-to-earth.


 Just Star Jones and three sexy models getting pedicures and such. Carry on.


And look, Donald Draper's panties! Not sure if those are underwear, look like normal shorts of the era to me.


As tempting as this book was I already have a personal library that needs reading. I left The Thrift Store only buying one $2.00 toy. Which I tried to talk down to $1.00 but they NEVER do deals at The Thrift Store. Damage but damned, this is the Ross of Thrifts! Without the good customer service.


Off to The Hubbard House thrift store I went, which is an organized little Thrift Store I can recommend. There I was tempted by these faux laminate set of mod-shaped side tables. Just what I need, but not for $25.00 with lots of visible scratched and nicks!


I do well with vintage typography kitchenware and it fits my changing aesthetic, but meh, trying to avoid most smalls these days. Especially not something useless, I believe this is a cheese tray missing the glass dome.

*Forgive the post of phone photos. I can sleuth better with the phone than with my bulky SLR camera.

And of course, I'll finish with a beautiful display of colorful toys. I thrifted for a while and spent $6.00 on four quality finds. I love thrifting after a long break spend sorting, cleaning, and organizing merchandise. It'll be fun having thrift stops back into my routine!

What do you think about Super Retail style Thrift Stores? I think there's a fine line between being clean organized and just making a store eerily like Target or Walmart.
Daily thrifting updates, information, & Inspiration: Follow Thrift Core on Twitter and Facebook.

57 comments:

  1. That Gossip chair is too cute! But it being laminate is kind of a bummer. I'm a fan of thrift store chains but sometimes the prices are way off.

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    1. I stop into any Thrift for a quick look, never know what you'll find even if it's not a favorite stop. So that's what that type of chair is sometimes called! It's a telephone table, right?

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    2. Yes they were a staple in any household in the 50s to the 70s.My parents still use one my dad made of 2 old kitchen chairs.

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    3. That's awesome! Thanks for the history Lisa, I didn't know that.

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  2. I so agree with you about finding more of a "junk shop" style thrift store. I like it when they just throw it in a pile to dig through. Like they have no concept about what the good stuff is! Places like Goodwill etc, take out all the good stuff and put it in auctions or behind their glass cabinet. I hate places like that! I like to shop ghetto style at my thrift stores. The messiest and disorganized the better! That's how you get the good stuff!

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    1. Hell yes, you hit the nail on the head. And it's just funner and more relaxed, I can take photos without getting yelled at and shop owners can be fun to chat with.

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  3. Prices at chain thrift stores keep going up and up...no longer "thrifty" prices. Plus, the stuff is donated! I have seen USED stuff that is priced higher than NEW! Sometimes, thrift store prices are HIGHER than what stuff sells for at antique malls. I think the sorters are watching too much Storage Wars/Auction Hunters, etc... :(

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    1. That's another reason I tend to hunt elsewhere. I discovered the wonder of Church Sales this weekend! Bought things for pocket change! Need to hit up more of those.

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    2. Church sales & school sales are THE BEST! Church/school BAG sales, where everything you can strategically pack in a paper grocery bag is $2...ECSTASY! ;)

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    3. Gotta check out some of those! I've been to flea markets with $1 bag deals, love it!

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  4. I've never been in a thrift store like that. I see those end tables have visible dust too. At those prices, they could clean up the merch a bit.

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  5. Love the end tables, but those prices are a NO!! Ridiculous, especially for items in non-mint condition from a THRIFT STORE!
    Becky :)

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    1. I remember the days when you could get couches for the same price as those end tables. Those stores are still out there but harder to find.

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  6. My last day as a manager at a major thrift store was Monday and their movement away from the thrifting experience and towards a target atmosphere is one of the top reasons I had to leave. It breaks my poor little thrifting heart.

    It's ridiculous the way thrift prices are climbing, across the board. Even with the discount days, at some places, the prices are beyond reason. And I'm so not in love with the new merchandise all of the stores seem to be purchasing for sale. It's not why we thrift.

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    1. A lot of people thrift for modern housewares they can't afford at retail price, so I understand that. Two friends like the store above because the abundance of modern stylish clothes (when you hunt, ha!) available, for instance. But the prices are rising to meet retail prices, making it redundant. I have scored necessary clothes and new housewares for less money at retail stores.

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  7. Our only Goodwill store is across town so I have not been there yet. We really only have our local Salvation Army thrift stores and Rescue Missions Thrifty Shopper. Depending on the item, certain things seemed to be priced high. One of my favorite Thrifty Shoppers even separates its "Vintage Clothing" items and are priced much higher. I used to love to search through racks and discover vintage frocks. Same with mid century furniture, priced high. Someone in their employ is reading too many design and vintage clothing blogs!!! It's not as fun anymore!

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    1. Aw, that would break my heart to return to a favorite store to see the vintage I want separated and priced high.

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  8. Those types of thrift stores are the norm over here. Value Village, Savers, Family Thrift, Goodwill, Salvation Army, are all located in what I'm guessing use to be a huge grocery store or department store building. I dont mind though. It's good cause that means they have lots more stuff, it's bad cause prices are usually higher. Maybe to make up for the rent/electricity bills they pay on their massive space!

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  9. Could be, those megamart sized buildings cannot be cheap. I know The Thrift Store's gotta be making big bank, that store used to get so crowded there would be NO parking by midday, every single day.

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  10. Good post - just got home from a little thrift run to Goodwill myself, and I got tons of good stuff for cheap - so much depends on who is pricing the goods on any given day. I happened to hit it on a good day. Every other thing the cashier rang up she grumbled: This is not priced right, it really should be higher. Well, tough lady! At least you have a lot more space to stash your higher priced items, lol.

    I am glad you are back on the thrift hunt :-)

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    1. Glad to be back, too. This time with far more restraint and discerning taste, haha ;) Glad you scored, I'll be looking for some good deals tomorrow. After some extensive listing first! Gotta make room.

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  11. Wow! I don't know how you made it so long! I would have caved long ago......

    Thankfully the majority of the thrift stores here still offer reasonable prices but they are moving in that "high end thrift" direction. There are a couple of stores I just refuse to go into as the prices are ridiculous! $25 for a sweater that is pilled and well worn! Housewares that are priced out of this world!

    The Salvation Army here has their main store and around back they have a smaller store where they put what they think is all the good stuff. Anything that they think is vintage is automatically priced well over $10 whether it's worth it or not. I find better items at the flea market and antique stores at more reasonable prices.

    Welcome to church sales! There's no going back now! :-)

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    1. I must have more church sales, more! 10 and 15 cent items, that's my kind of deal! I love antique malls and flea markets for hunting, too.

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  12. I really prefer the "junk shop" style thrift stores. There are so many more hidden jems, and the prices are generally reasonable. There is a chain here in Nashville called Southern Thrift, and they love to mark items as high as they can, especially if it it new with tag. I must admit, it annoys me a bit, haa haa.
    Adrienne
    What Lola Wants

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    1. Yeh, I've been to similar ones. Not too bad for the collector, but still...

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  13. Oh those poor stuffed toys. I think of Toy Story and them all in there suffocating.

    Prices at chain store thrifts (op shops as we call them in Australia) are much the same here Van. Places like Lifeline and Salvos (Salvation Army) you really need to have a keen eye out for something they have missed and not placed much value on. In fact the other day I sent my husband on a mission. We are trying to help a local women who is in a difficult situation, pregnant and due to have baby in five weeks and has been left with nothing. I have got a bunch of contacts keeping an eye out to pick up pieces to help this women. So I sent my husband on a pram (stroller or push chair not sure what you call them) finding mission. It really shouldn't be hard at the right op shops to find one for about $10 if you pop into a church based op shop. But my husband only had time to pop into one of the chains store op shops. He came home utterly disgusted saying he saw a pram for $100 (when you can buy cheap new ones for around $120 here). He told me he also saw a timber cot/crib for $300 (you can buy cheap new ones or Ikea ones here for $100). He was furious at the prices and how it can not appear or seem they are helping the community and the needy with prices like that.

    Chain store op shops here now have what is in affect merchandising managers, savvy young men and women who particularly know the trends with vintage, retro, pop culture clothing and homewares and price them and market them at boutique prices.

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    1. yes, I don't like it either. I think they fail to realize that a thrift store can not offer the convenience of other 2nd hand retailers like Ebay or antique malls. Those stores tend to repair/clean items and also offer a wide selection. I think its ridiculous to think that your donated, dirty items are worth boutique prices without the boutique atmosphere. so silly. glad there are still some for real thrift stores near me.

      I worked retail a bunch last year and often would find items at chain thrift stores that cost MORE used and dirty than brand new from where I worked. ridiculous.

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    2. I've noticed the same thing, pretty redundant when you can get brand new furniture for less at retail stores...

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    3. Oh, btw Trudie, super kind of you and your husband to help a friend in need. Ironic the "charity shops" didn't help.

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    4. Oh but my contacts at my favourite op shop who actually have amazing prices and care about the community have helped and are continuing to source the other items we need. But as for chain stores thrifts, forget about it.

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    5. I love checking out indie thrifts where you can get to know the owners, they usually give good deals and will usually dig out stuff that suits your style. :)

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  14. I just went to a Goodwill "boutique" today and instead of being stocked with the best vintage goodies, it was mostly last season's overstock from mall stores. It was 80% new stuff that I could have bought on clearance a couple of months ago for less money. I was dreaming about it being filled with wonderful vintage goodies, but alas, no. Another dream dashed. I DON'T GO TO THRIFT STORES TO BUY NEW CRAP! Excuse the shouting, but I know you feel my pain.

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    1. I'd have thought the "boutique" ones would have more vintage items, that's the way seem to be advertised anyway.

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  15. That telephone table is so cool! For some reason I have been looking for one of those, though I have no idea what the hell I would do with it!
    Sounds to me like that new thrift store is already too big for their britches. What a bummer!!!

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    1. You could sit at it and talk with a cell phone :D Would make an okay uhh, sideways laptop table. :D

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  16. I was just at The Thrift Store as well! I check in there every once in awhile because I have found some treasures reasonably priced. Although it is getting rarer and rarer. I saw some of those same items and rolled my eyes at the prices. That paint by number may have been the most skilled I have seen! In fact I had to look close to make sure it wasn't a print. I went to the new location with no cash assuming they would finally take credit or debit cards. But no they still just offer an atm (which charges a fee on top of the bank fee). Oh well- did not want to buy anything anyway!

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    1. I wasn't too surprised to see the ATM there still. Somehow sensed they'd keep the inconvenient tradition. Perhaps they have such a huge following they know they can just demand cash and avoid paying credit card fees?

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  17. I have also made myself stop going to another Thrift Store until I clean and repair the items I've already purchased. It's good discipline and I hope will motivate me to deal with what I've already purchased. I'm not into reselling yet, but just thinking about it. I love vintage housewares and kitchen items, but I have been shocked at how much higher the prices have been these past few years.

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    1. It's definitely good to get into a habit like that BEFORE you start reselling. Had to learn that one the hard way...

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  18. I really like the paint by the number. I probably would have not purchased it at that price though.

    The thrift stores have been pretty slim on pickings lately around here and I haven't made it to a good estate sale in a while. I'm dying to find some good items to resale!

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    1. And here I am avoiding the thrifts and sales loaded with goods ;p I need to take advantage. Good luck hunting, hope you turn up some goodness soon.

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  19. That was my exact response to the new thrift store too! I said it's like Ross but dirtier! I was so disappointed in the prices when they reopened. It was one if my favorite places to go before the move.

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    1. The prices were high for me before the move, but still worth a stop as some treasures slip through without a big mark-up. Their dishes/cups weren't badly priced.

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  20. $6 for those mugs? Fucking idiotic bullshit. You can buy mugs for fucking $.99 in actual retail!!!

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    1. Thrift store prices be crazy sometimes. I've seen stores mark up dollar store items when there's a dollar store selling the same stuff RIGHT NEXT to it.

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  21. I too am burned out on thrift stores. I use to love Savers, but not too long ago they implemented a huge price increase in their stores. I can't fault them for wanting to profit, but they lost me as a regular customer.

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    1. Same here, I know stores can charge what they want and hopefully the money's going to good causes. But I will shop elsewhere.

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  22. I'm so torn on the junk-thrift vs. retail thrift issue. When it comes to secondhand fashions, a little sorting goes a long way for me. But when it comes to the grand mystery, the thrill of the hunt, and the usually low prices...junk-thrifts are the way to go.

    That's a real shame about "The Thrift Store." That font on the front of the building looks so promising, but not at those prices. As for me, I've been having a lot of Goodwill luck lately.

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!

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    1. A big store full of clothes like The Thrift Center can be excellent if you need work/day-to-day clothes at better prices that retail, I used to hit them up for work clothing replacements. Certain Goodwills here in Jacksonville are still good for finding mod goodness, it's where I found my amazing mod stereo council for cheap!

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  23. I am SO with you! I much prefer grungey op shops, and I avoid ones like the ones you talked about. Prices! OMG they've gone nuts! We have a chain of second hand stores called 'Savemart' here. LOL. To be avoided! Ridiculous when you're expected to pay more for a second hand item than for something brand new.

    I figure that there will always be garage sales and jumble sales if all the op shops go that way!

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    1. Yep, at least there's that. Need to schedule more garage sale in the routine!

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  24. Our thrifts lately have been pricing like an antique shop! Pyrex and Fire King for WAY too much!

    However, I did walk away with a $4 afghan today!

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    1. I'm excited to try the thrifts out again tomorrow. Need me some housewares.

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    2. But for cheap! Will pass over the expensive crap.

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  25. As long as they have reasonable prices (which this one didn't), I love them. I love any thrift with good prices, big or small.

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