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Trash & treasure aficionados - seekers of pre-loved stuff of all sorts, enter here!

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:41 am
I hope I’m not the only one here.

No, surely I couldn’t possibly be?

I love rummaging around second hand goods shops, or “opportunity shops” (op shops for short) as they’re called here in Oz.
I never know what I’ll actually find & when I find something that I actually need (or that is very appealing! At a bargain price) that’s pretty exciting!

Earlier today I went on a leisurely op shop walk down Sydney Road. (A tried & true op shop mecca in Melbourne!)

This is what I came home with:

* a big Chinese sand pot cooker. The type with metal reinforcement on the outside. Totally unused, with the price sticker from the original shop still attached. $8 (Oz) dollars at the op shop. Not bad?

* A couple of books:
No 1: Cooking with Fernet Branca. “a work of comic genius” according to the Independent on Sunday! Price: $1 What a bargain! Very Happy

No 2: The Bloomsbury Book of the Mind. “Key writings on the mind, from Plato and the Buddha through Shakespeare, Descartes & Freud to the latest discoveries in neuroscience. “(! ) Hardbound. Priced at $2.

Anyway, anyone who enjoys the op shop experience, knows full well that they can never be exactly sure what they might come home with. It’s generally quite a surprise to me! Surprised

So, may I ask you fellow op shoppers (or what ever you’re called in your own country) a few questions?

• What was your latest purchase & what did it cost you?'

• Are there any particular items that you have a real weakness for & buy more of than you might actually need (because of your weakness)? Smile

• What is the best op shop bargain you ever had the good fortune to find?

Hoping to hear from fellow op shoppers to share your stories & hear of your amazing finds! Very Happy

~
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Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 6,511 • Replies: 69

 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:46 am
Alas I spend altogether too much time trying to remove stuff from our house to contemplate going to one of them stores; if Mrs Chum ever got habituated to visit secondhand stores, my efforts to keep the house half-way organized would be doomed!
msolga
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:49 am
@Chumly,
But you remove the old unwanted stuff before replacing it with new, wanted stuff, Chumly! Or as you go. Very Happy

That's my working theory & I'm sticking with it! Smile
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:57 am
@msolga,
I go a step further. I frequent the tip (dump). I have gotten so many wonderful pieces of furniture that the guy in charge (Mike) asked me if I have my own store where I sell this stuff after I refurbish it.

I've gotten a really solid set of bookshelves, a semi-circular side table with real wood inlay, a lovely desk, a wood chest the perfect size for me to store linens , a really classic looking set of glass-fronted shelves.

It's very handy, since because I had to pay for everything I was shipping over here, I had to really pare down my furnishings. This tip has been so wonderful. All I've had to do is refinish or paint this stuff and it all becomes servicable and beautiful treasures.
And I enjoy doing that so it's a win/win situation.

And it's free (as long as Mike is there - if the woman who runs it is there she makes me give a small 'donation').
I can't believe what people throw away!


At a charity shop I got a rectangular wooden mirror with coathooks. It's one of my favorite pieces. I think I paid twelve pounds for it.
My last wonderful find at a charity shop is a red sweater. It still had the tag in it- which said it usually sold for 35 pounds. I got it for 5.

I almost never shop for new stuff anymore.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:59 am
OK, I will reveal an irresistible weakness for me: teapots.

Yes, teapots.

I cannot walk past a beautifully designed tea pot, no matter how many of the little devils I might already have at home. (And I have many! Neutral )

Something that might look like this, but not quite so floral:

http://www.english-teapots.com/england/sm_image/mbm09.jpg

I think I have something like 6 teapots now. All sorts of shapes & sizes & designs. None of them could I possibly afford if they were brand new! I hope I don't come across any more beauties in my op shop travels because, well, you know ... Neutral
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:01 am
@aidan,
Quote:
I go a step further. I frequent the tip (dump).


Yay!
Now that's what I call positive recycling, aidan! Smile

I don't do it myself, possibly because there's no dump nearby. Plus I have zero space for biggish items. But good on you! Very Happy
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:04 am
(Oops, just checked the time. I'm late for dinner at a friend's place. Back later.)
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:05 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

OK, I will reveal an irresistible weakness for me: teapots.

Yes, teapots.

I cannot walk past a beautifully designed tea pot, no matter how many of the little devils I might already have at home. (And I have many! Neutral )

Something that might look like this, but not quite so floral:

http://www.english-teapots.com/england/sm_image/mbm09.jpg

I think I have something like 6 teapots now. All sorts of shapes & sizes & designs. None of them could I possibly afford if they were brand new! I hope I don't come across any more beauties in my op shop travels because, well, you know ... Neutral



TEAPOTS!!!! I used to collect them, too....but the cats smashed my favourites, and I gave up.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 02:11 am
@dlowan,
Quote:
TEAPOTS!!!! I used to collect them, too....but the cats smashed my favourites, and I gave up.


Aw, you give up too easily, Deb!

You've gotta have more passion about them than that! (Like me!) Very Happy

Anyway, back later, after dinner ...
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 05:23 am
I do some antique "picking" for sport. Picking (and being called a picker) is almost a trade. We go out and about and search peoples stashes (by appointment or chance) and offer to buy **** for which we have standing orders for from antiques shop owners and collectors.

I started many years ago when my wife and I acquired a deep passion for AMerican ARts and Crafts pottery (Pottery produced primarily from 1900 to about 1930). We collect Fulper, Newcomb College, Robineau, and early Roseville. My wife also collected "Niddy Noddies" > so my trips to shops and yard sales and swap meets always occupied some portion of a summer Saturday Morning.

I always turn my "picks" over to customers and usually sell for a nice profit that pays for my own purchases. I usually have a list of "wants" that antiques traders want. (my biggest wants are good prints of the Audubon series, ship and nautical items, primitives and "folk art".
Most of that stuff I can take or leave without any competition with our own passions. (Thats important---Never fall in love with stuff youre trying to sell because youll never get rid of it).

In the last month, the HISTORY CHANNEL has produced a show called "AMerican Pickers" with these two losers who travel all over and buy just about anything. Im sure they have lists of ultimate customers and are often taking a chance that their "Stuff" may not be marketable so they wind up keeping it. The show is pretty accurate because, rather than just foxcusing on the "pickers", the show fetures the kinds of people who obsessively hoard stuff, like car prts, bicycles, old gas pumps,general store merchandise etc. The show lets us peer into the lives of many of these people who are really compulsive hoarders and live among their stuff like pack rats.
A recent show featured this little rodent of a man in a purple "hoodie" who had tunneled into his property creating vast expnses of warrens and mole runs which connect into rooms where he stores his stash. He was really disturbing because they got one close-up and his fingernails were just black with grime and he looked like he smelled like a pile of mushroom compost.
GAve me the creeps .

If you can get the show as a Netflix or some other on line service, Id strongly urge you to atch one of the shows so you see what hoarding can lead to, and what "pickers" have todo to make a living.

PS, last year, I think I made a fortune in my own picking . I sold almost 2000$ of **** , for which I probably paid 1000$ for. As you can see, it hasnt made me rich nd I havent found the NAtional Treasure (like a little guy who bought a copy of the Declaration of Independence from a swap meet booth, and ultimately his 7$ purchase grossed him over 8Million dollars).

Nope, If I hadda rely on picking, Id be many years dead from malnutrition and a severely busted bank account from filling my truck with diesel.

I still love the hunt and I look forward to spring because Im in the middle of my text book reserach(which involves trips into the Appalachians). WEVery weekend from April to October are yard sales, swap meets, Flea Markets and all sorts of junk-a-thons for me to wallow in.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:12 am
@farmerman,
Farmer, you make my forays into op shops look very amateur compared to what you've been up to! Wow, you're in a much more serious league!
Any examples of any of these you could post here? I'd love to see some.

Quote:
I started many years ago when my wife and I acquired a deep passion for AMerican ARts and Crafts pottery (Pottery produced primarily from 1900 to about 1930). We collect Fulper, Newcomb College, Robineau, and early Roseville. My wife also collected "Niddy Noddies" > so my trips to shops and yard sales and swap meets always occupied some portion of a summer Saturday Morning.
shewolfnm
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:18 am
Ohhhhh teapots!!!!

Mine used to be rolling pins. Now I have just one ( from almost 2 dozen) that is exactly what I actually need and not something I bought just because it was puuurty.

Now, I am looking at teapots. I would love a solid antique, or a modern iron one that was a stand alone piece like this -

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_j6pSqvY6cd0/SPp_-JGgrMI/AAAAAAAAAd4/cFBE0r0dDTo/s400/Raku+Teapot+1E.jpg

Not that I adore that style... but I really enjoy teapots that are different.. that really stand out and I would love something like that now. So I go hunt.

I am a goodwill ( major thrift store in USA) lover! Before I shop for anything I need, I will browse those stores for a week hoping to find it there first.

I have gotten shoes that were 300.00 + for less than 10.00
pants and jeans 200.00+ 7 .00

Handbags. OH GOD. Im not a handbag kind of woman, but I tell you.. sometimes there are ones that just make you smile because they fit YOU well, they carry exactly what you need and they are a style that goes along with everything you own.
I have found handbags that would normally go for 200-300.00 for 4 and 5 dollars.

I have not had a lot of luck with furniture but I am in love with Aidens idea. I have never thought to look at the dump drop off. I do go around to garage sales though.. and I do look through for sale sites like Craigslist.. but that .. well that one takes the cake. I love to repaint and repair things to make them my own. Another thing to keep me going Very Happy

Since I am in need of furniture and quickly.. like in one month!! Im absolutely going to look at a place that like that here.


My best finds are always cookware.
http://www.lecreuset.co.uk/en/global-landing-page/

That is my favorite cookware on the entire planet. For the way I cook, this stuff is perfect for me. Buying an entire set, ( one of the smaller sets they offer) is close to 600.00 and I believe you would only get 4 pieces.

I have found the frying pans, pots etc.. at goodwills for 5 or 6 dollars a piece.
Granted, sometimes they are used beyond repair.. obviously i dont get those! But I did find the opal colored one ... a 130.00 pan for 8.99 brand new . It is my favorite piece of cookware right now.
I also found a vintage set of Lustre Craft http://www.lustrecraftcookware.com/ which , when sold with all of its pieces was valued at 1,500.00

I had NO idea what I was looking at but I knew it was a good quality so I got 2 of the sauce pans. The entire set was sitting RIGHT there.. Vintage handles and all.. I just didnt know! AAAHH!!!

I love it when that happens Smile
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:32 am
@msolga,
An example of a niddy noddy is shown herein. These are primitive yarn winders of a fairly standard dimension and 81 turns around the "noddy makes a single "Skein" by old lofting dimensions. (Its a folky art thing ). My wifes collection is only antique noddies and right now she has over 300. (I know because Ive had to stick posts into the cewiling mouldings of her studio. She has em hanging all around the room and each one has some sort of story.

       http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/NiddyNoddy.JPG/800px-NiddyNoddy.JPG


This one is a fairly common style. Some of my wifes noddies are hand carved and chip carved. She even has several that are inlaid with whale bone .
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:37 am
@shewolfnm,
Ah, I know a kindred op shopper/thrift shop bargain hunter when I see one, shewolf!

It's great fun, isn't it! Smile

Quote:
My best finds are always cookware


Yes, a lot of mine are, too. The problem is knocking back a real bargain when you don't really need it. Do you have this problem, too?

You are looking at serious teapot territory here! Is something like this likely to be found in a thrift shop, or are yoy being hopeful?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_j6pSqvY6cd0/SPp_-JGgrMI
/AAAAAAAAAd4/cFBE0r0dDTo/s400/Raku+Teapot+1E.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:39 am
@farmerman,
Quote:
An example of a niddy noddy is shown herein. These are primitive yarn winders of a fairly standard dimension and 81 turns around the "noddy makes a single "Skein" by old lofting dimensions. (Its a folky art thing ). My wifes collection is only antique noddies and right now she has over 300. (I know because Ive had to stick posts into the cewiling mouldings of her studio. She has em hanging all around the room and each one has some sort of story.


300! Surprised

This is serious collecting!
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:41 am
One of my all-time favorites is a book that I got for a dime. When I was a kid we had a book in school called, I think, "At the Sign of the Golden Compass" about a kid living in around 1500 who became a printer's apprentice for Christopher Plantin in Antwerp, whose logo was a golden compass (the kind that draws circles, not the kind that finds north). Loved the book. About a year later, I found a battered copy of the poems of Virgil, published in 1672 by the house of Plantin, and I got it for a dime. Connected me with the whole marvel of printing, somehow. I've still got it, decades later.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  2  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:50 am
My neighborhood also has very classy trash--people seem to throw out remarkable things for the trash trucks. Found a remarkable gilt bronze and frosted glass Art Deco chandelier years ago, and a classic Midcentury Modern Eero Saarinen Womb Chair.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:54 am
hmm, not having much luck on finding an image of the chair I can post--BBC codes don't work for me.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  3  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:55 am
@msolga,
OK, another op shopping enthusiasm of mine, though I think it's verging into fetish territory.

Watches. I love them! Old ones, used-to-be expensive ones, brightly coloured old Swatches, all sorts of different colours & sizes ... you name it. All pre-loved, of course. None of them "antiques", that doesn't interest me, just ones I like to wear. I did a count this afternoon & discovered I now have 34. Yes, that's right. Embarrassed

My partner in crime in this watch collecting fetish is a friendly Vietnamese trader who owns a little watch & jewelery shop in the shopping centre not far from where I live. Each time I come in he asks what do I have to show him this time? He approves of & admires the "quality" ones, helps me change around watch band colours & even has a special discount price on watch batteries for me! I suspect I might be his best customer. Smile
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Mar, 2010 06:58 am
http://www.homeofficesolutions.com/product-exec/product_id/228 well, heck, it won't post, but there's a picture at that URL if you want to see it.

olga, I'm a watch fan too, tho I kinda like the cheap quartz ones--new, tho a few years ago there were a lot of retro-styled ones which looked like twenties and thirties art deco ones, a period I love, and they only cost like ten or twelve bucks. Most of the cheap ones have backs that pry off with a jeweler's screwdriver, (look for the little slot in the case under the back) and you can replace the batteries yourself). Now, if you look around and avoid the fake bling ones, you can find ones that look like some of the expensive high-design ones for about a hundredth of the price.
 

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