Thrift Shopping & Antiquing V2: the kirederf museum of unnatural deals
340 replies, posted
This thread is a place to post questions about thrift shopping and antiquing, talk about successes, strategies, reselling, collecting, hunting, basically everything involved with the process of finding things of value or interest in odd places.
Ajacks' guide to becoming a master thrifter - 7 steps to success:
[quote][B]How do you find thrifting places?[/B]
Depending on your city you might be swimming in junk stores or totally starved. In the United States you should look for Goodwill locations close to you, Salvation Army Thrift stores, local junk stores, flea markets, antique malls, and yard sales. Understand that the further you get down the line from the original donation, the more you're going to pay. The best deals are to be had at high volume Goodwill locations that turn over a lot of inventory, because space is a limiting factor they will price items cheaply to get them moved out the door to make room for more. You can get the best deals at a Goodwill, depending on how they price items. It isn't abnormal for me to buy a $2.99 item only to sell it two days later for $65. A lot of antique malls are fun to browse but you won't often find the best deals because the people who run the antique malls and shops are buying from the same place as you, Goodwill, Thrift shops, estate sales and yard sales, so you're paying the middle man if you buy from them. Flea markets are a good place to go as well because the booth rental cost is low, so people often just fill them with junk, and junk is what you want, because a lot of the times their junk is actually something valuable. Yard sales are good, but often the people you're buying from remember what they paid for the item so they will be hesitant to give them to you for a song, but if someone is selling their grandpa's old collection of whatever, they might not know the actual worth.
[B]When to go hunting?[/B]
This is actually really important, for places with high volume turnover like a big Goodwill, you need to go at the right time. If you go on a Sunday you're going to not find a damn thing, unless that thing you are looking for is something only you can appreciate, anything with obvious value will be picked clean. The key is to know when is the most active time for new items to be put out. At my local goodwill it is best to go between 10:30 and 12, because they open at 9, and it takes a while for the backroom staff to get going and start pricing a loading carts of goods to bring out to the floor. After lunch they bring stuff out again, and it takes a while for the carts to be loaded up and put back out. After 5 the back room stops putting out goods, so good luck finding anything if you decide to go near the store closing time of 8, because everything good is going to be gone, most of the time at least. The best days to go are early in the week, Monday and Tuesday because over the weekend they get a lot of donations that need processed and since no one works Sundays in the back room you have a good chance of getting some awesome stuff on Monday mornings. I know this sounds a bit oceans 11, clocking when the employees go for lunch and their habits but if you only get to go thrift shopping periodically it can help to know when to spend your time doing it.
[B]What to buy?[/B]
At first I was very limited with what I bought, I had tunnel vision for the few things I knew and liked and ignored the rest. Now I've learned that when you walk into a thrift shop there is money to be made all over the place. Here is a brief overview of the things I look for.
Electronics - I look specifically for speakers, home audio components, TV's (mostly broken LCD's and Plasmas) Odd ball electronic stuff, Professional electronics, basically anything that looks expensive at one time, it's always worthwhile to check something out.
Furniture - Always look for expensive office furniture, often businesses get new stuff and give the old stuff to thrift shops for tax write offs, it's not uncommon to see Herman Miller, Steelcase, Ergogenesis, Knoll, but most of the time they are not their pretty designs, just practical stuff.
Videogames and systems - This almost goes without saying, but you'd be surprised what even an old Playstation 2 goes for, I just sold one that I paid $5 for, with two controllers, for $30 the same day. When looking at videogames always check and see what they are, do some research. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have Ninja Gaiden III for the NES sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be sold for $45-60.
Vacuum cleaners - Who would have thought? You see them all the time at thrift shops, and most of the time besides being loaded with dirt, hair and possibly a dead cat, they are in great working condition. Almost any vacuum that's in cosmetically good shape can be flipped for $15-20, even the cheap stick vacuums. They just take a good disassembly and cleaning. When buying vacuums check to see if the filters are salvageable, and that the agitator if it has one, is spinning with no broken belts. Avoid buying vacuums that have to many attachments missing, and the key to selling a vacuum is making sure it's very clean looking.
Steam mops - People go absolutely apeshit over Shark branded anything right now, and Shark steam mops show up all the time at thrift shops because they often get clogged up from calcium build up and stop working properly, but they are an easy fix and a good profit. I've flipped four Shark mops now, all had the same build up issue, and I've paid $5 for them each time, and ordered replacement pads off eBay for $4, and they will sell all day at $40-45. Shark is like Bose for Vacuums, they may not be very good but everyone knows the name.
Baby items - Clean high chairs, car seats, strollers and cribs are always easy money. They might need to be washed, and carefully cleaned but they always seem to sell. Don't get things with a lot of stains, and make sure to check expiration dates because apparently a piece of plastic that you kid sits on in the car can expire, and you can be damn sure that the buyers will ask. Also, little tikes and thomas the tank engine sell very easily.
Industrial/Commercial things - If something looks like it was expensive when it was new, or very specific, it always is good to take the time to look up the item, because you'd be surprised what little gizmo from the 1970's may be worth to that hobbyist who needs to calibrate his antique ham radio. I just today bought a little electronic current reading gizmo used to trace power lines underground or in a house, I bought it because although it just looked like some 80's little tape recorder sized thing, I knew the brand, and so I looked it up, and good thing that I did because I paid $2.99 for something that sells on eBay in the exact condition, completed listings, for $160-200. I read the manual enough to know how to test it to make sure it works and of course, it does. Sometime the really obscure things can be worth your time.
Small home appliances - If it's stainless, new(ish) and works, it's usually worth buying at the right price. Small appliances are easy sells, but you need to make sure they work, and often fixes are easy on small appliances if they don't. You also need to make sure they clean up nicely, because no one wants to buy something that is dirty. Take the time to clean it through and through. I just last week bought a food processor which had a motor hum but didn't spin up. It was simply a bad motor start capacitor, I ordered a new one for $4 on ebay, got it a few days later and installed in the food processor. It worked great, and I was in the thing for $10 and sold it for $35. Only took about 25 minutes to do all the cleaning and repair work besides waiting for the part.
Clothes - I don't buy much besides stuff for myself, but I have bought about four pair of genuine UGG boots for a few bucks a piece, all of which were in good shape and with a bit of cleaning with a suede cleaning kit looked like new. They will sell, but make sure they are not worn funny on the soles or stained or flattened. Clothes are pretty hard to sell unless it's something like Uggs.
Bikes - Often people just walk past nice bikes at thrift shops because they don't know what that "Italian or French whatever on the side says" and they mumble "Damn I wish that was a Schwinn" as they walk away. You'd be surprised what kind of nice bikes end up at junk shops, take the time to look up the bike on eBay and see what they go for. It's worth taking the time if you don't know for sure.
Turntables -Seriously, buy them. People are dumb for turntables these days, the market is crazy. Make sure it has a cartridge and needle first, and they might need serviced but there's so much info on the web for working on turntables so don't be scared away. Always look them up when you find them.
Speakers - Always look them up if you see them. Brands to look for are ADS, EPI, Epicure, Bose (Blah), B&W, Bowers, Wilkins, JBL, Klipsch, Infinity, Braun, KEF, Jim Rogers, Pioneer, Ohm, and many more. If you find a speaker, look it up. They can be worth insane amounts of money and I've found a dozen pair of beautiful speakers over the years. Don't be afraid if the surrounds are rotted out, those are easy and cheap to replace.
[B]How to know if it is valuable?[/B]
This is an easy one, we walk around all day with the damn Library of Alexandria in our pockets at all times. Take the time on every item you buy and look up the value online. The best place is eBay, but make sure to look at the completed listings at items that have sold. That gives you a real world idea of the actual value of it, not just what some wacko decides to put his BIN price at. And a word of advice, if you are looking something up, stand there with your hand on it, or if it is small enough, pick it up and have a stroll around the store while eBay tells you what treasure you've got in your palm. Most of the people who go to thrift shops and goodwill are old enough to not be able to use smart phones to their capacity and will stand in wonder and jealousy as you determine the true value of an item on your little slate of glass. If you are unsure of an item, keep a hold of it, or have the store set it aside for you while you shop and make up your mind. It is better than losing it to someone else who saw you were interested in it and deciding to take a closer look themselves.
[B]Get to know the people who run the shops.[/B]
This is an overlooked part of thrifting, since you're going to be hitting the same shops over and over, get to know the people who work there. Sit and chat with them and remember their names. It goes a long way when they are deciding what you pay. I've had them knock off $10 off something just because I had been talking to them last time I was in. Anyways it's good to know them because often they are very nice people.
If you have friends that thrift shop too, talk to them about things you're looking for and know what they want as well, because often a friend will have no interest in an item but know you want it and text you a picture and tell you about things you may be interested in. Me
and Mark6789 do that all the time, because it's another pair of eyes looking for the things you want.
[B]Selling the stuff once you have it. [/B]
Selling is the hard part, first off make sure what you have works and is as clean as freaking possible, shine it up with armor all if you have it, just make it look good. Take very good pictures, the best you can, from multiple angles, in good lighting. My favorite places to sell are local Facebook yard sale groups, Craigslist and eBay. The yard sale groups are great, just search your facebook for yard sale groups in your county or city. I am in like five for my area, and each has over 6,000 members. That's a lot of eyes seeing your postings. Be very professional and descriptive with your posts when you put them up, make sure to read the group rules before hand as well, as they have formatting requirements. It's best to allow pickups in common places like parking lots of grocery stores or gas stations, make it easy for the buyer. Good luck selling something if your pickup location is something like "Must pickup from rural gas station between 3 and 3:15 on Tuesday" be flexible, it allows more people to buy your stuff. Word of advice, when you sell something, always remember the buyers name and introduce yourself when you meet, it goes a long way to instilling confidence in them. Also craigslist is great, and easy to use. eBay is my last resort because shipping is annoying.
So, I hope that helped, it doesn't cover nearly everything but it can help you when you are starting out with thrift shopping. It's seriously worth your time, I've made over $1,600 in just the last month over break while thrifting in my spare time. So go try! It's a fun way to spend some time and burn some gas.[/quote]
Post your finds! Not everything has to be a killer deal - share your neat shit. eBay counts! If you dug it out of an ancient tomb, that means it was free and free is thrifty so that counts!
Remember to [noparse][t]thumb[/t][/noparse] your images!
[url=https://facepunch.com/showthread.php?t=1437734]Thrift Shopping Thread (v1)[/url]
[url=https://discord.gg/hj47A8w][B]Join the Discord![/B][/url]
Mmmmm, fresh new thread smell... :drool:
Over the past few months I tended to linger in the first thrift shopping thread, because I'm decluttering/minimising my possessions like crazy in order to move to the other side of the country in 2018. Hoping to get back into thrifting sooner rather than later though! :dance:
lets start off the thread with some albums i've been meaning to post
and a watch dogs poster i found a few years ago
Ooh that new thread smell, holy fuck that title :v:
Picked up this Leica set 2 days ago... worth 3k at least! (got it for 850)
Okay anyway like I was saying before we ran out of pages in the last thread
I just got this sick suspension in for my sword and I'm looking to build the rest of my living history costume around it. I am looking for beat up rusty armor, damaged gambesons, etc. so if anyone happens to come across medieval reenactment gear while thrifting please let me know.
Just flipped a loose Beatles Sgt Pepper's record in Mono for 24 bucks. I had overlooked it completely if I hadn't done the research.
I think now would be a good time to share what I've learned about records over the past few months in terms of worth and what to keep an eye out for. This probably belongs in the Vinyl thread in the TV/Music forum but I'm too much of a newbie, and am still learning to even attempt to go in there. Plus I'm sure there's another vinyl hound or two in here besides me that can expand upon what I'll post here. There's still gold to be found in thrifting for records. You just have to learn how to sift through all the stinkers.
One thing I've learned, Herb Alpert, Al Hirt, Montovani & generally anything Classical unless you're really into it, and a few exceptions aren't worth much. The more weirder, obscure and niche something is, the more potential it has to be worth something. I was pricing out 45s this past week and found a one-off pressing of a blind jazz pianist at the Hammond Organ worth $100+. Had I not done the research I'd have given it away. If its batshit weird or just something you'd never even think to pick up, check it twice. I've also learned that Old gospel & religious records can be worth a nice chunk of money. Not just for collectors, but for genealogy purposes as well. Someones grandmother, uncle or father could have been that one singer in that singing trio in the 50s. Its usually worth checking out.
Also be on the lookout for anything racy & showing more skin than the usual album cover. These are called "Cheesecake Covers" and are valued by certain collectors. Anything 50s-70s that shows a lot of cleavage, leg, copious amounts of skin that make you go "Damn they got away with THAT back then ?"
Specific things to look for and research on records & vinyl, be it 33", 45" or 78" are the labels (of which there are many) & the catalog numbers. These will tell you everything you need to know. Often times where it was pressed, mono or stereo, the recording studio etc. There are a lot of variables and I myself am still learning the research process behind it. But it can be a huge help in identifying something as nuanced as this.
Sites to use and how:
[b][url=www.discogs.com]Discogs[/b][/url] - Archival & pricing site. One of the main ones I think. Used to look up everything. Artists, labels, catalog numbers, theres a lot there. I use this mainly for finding the numbers and seeing what pressing is what. Oftentimes with many records there are multiple runs and releases by different labels. Not to mention the things that can make a record rare like banned album art, misspellings, radio station promos etc. Discogs is helpful at narrowing down what you have. It's not 100% fullproof, but it's definitely a helpful site.
[b][url=www.popsike.com]Popsike[/b][/url] - Like discogs, but I mainly use it for pricing as opposed to research. After I find out what I have, I go here to see what it sold for and when. It'll give you the lowest, median and max amount it sold for, and if it sold. Just be careful. They have a paywall they throw at you after an X amount of searches. So use it sparingly unless you want to cough up the $17 for a yearly subscription.
[b][url=http://cvinyl.com/]CVinyl[/b][/url] - Has similar if not identical features as other major archive sites, they also have a very handy Label guide. there are enough labels on enough records on this earth to make your head spin for eternity. And thats not counting the major ones like WB, Columbia, RCA etc. If you have something you've never seen before. This will help.
Google is good for general searches or if you have something really obscure thats not it the databases (which does happen). In that case youll have to do some sleuthing. I've mainly learned how from the piles of one-off obscure gospel and one hit wonders that I've been doing lately. They have maybe one or two releases and poof, they went back to their day jobs, got married, got old and passed on. Ebay is also a good resource for pricing, just make sure that when you're doing your searches, you hit "US Only" and "Sold Listings" to get a better idea of what to put it up for. Someone stateside may be more inclined to buy your record for 10-15 bucks more than the guy who has the same one in India or Europe.
Sorry for the wall of text, and anybody feel free to correct me on anything.
Will there anyone find the minions move? I see poster throw one away in the last thread and I was want it :/
[highlight](User was banned for this post ("Threadshitting - You've been here long enough to know how to post." - Pascall))[/highlight]
[highlight](User was permabanned for this post ("Alt of permabanned user." - Pascall))[/highlight]
So after wrapping my record player's platter in 15(!) layers of electrical tape to slow it down enough to play at the right RPM, I found the speed adjustment screw! :v:
[QUOTE=Grenadiac;52884206]So after wrapping my record player's platter in 15(!) layers of electrical tape to slow it down enough to play at the right RPM, I found the speed adjustment screw! :v:[/QUOTE]
My mother and I got one those faux vintage record players from Magnavox from a collection we purchased recently. The ones you can find in Sams Club, Costco etc that look like they're from the 40s but do CD, Bluetooth etc. Anyway, the platter was loose and she ended up having to take it off and readjust a nut somewhere inside to straighten it out. I'm guessing the unit was tossed around in shipping and the old lady we bought it from thought it was broken.
We were able to get it working again. But goddamn those things are not meant, and dont like to be opened. We nearly snapped the belt getting it back on.
Most consumer level record players don't seem to like being opened. This one was made between the era of "do it yourself" and "don't do it at all" so was designed for professional servicing. Possible, but not fun, to work on.
I actually didn't know Magnavox still made record players. Are they considered decent? I know Crosleys are basically reviled for being horrible on records due to shit needles and tonearms.
[QUOTE=Grenadiac;52884377]Most consumer level record players don't seem to like being opened. This one was made between the era of "do it yourself" and "don't do it at all" so was designed for professional servicing. Possible, but not fun, to work on.
I actually didn't know Magnavox still made record players. Are they considered decent? I know Crosleys are basically reviled for being horrible on records due to shit needles and tonearms.[/QUOTE]
We had a Crosley in the store and yeah it wasn't spectacular. We could tell the needle was starting to get shitty and the platter started getting wobbly. We fixed it up again and moved it upstairs into the guest room, replacing it with the Magnavox we just purchased. It's a little bit better, we use it to playtest for customers and for Ebay listings but in my personal opinion I'd spend the extra money and purchase another brand. They're mass marketed to the public to cash in on the huge comeback Vinyl has made. Even going so far as to make them impulse buys since every stack I see in large retail spaces are almost on top of the cashier areas. And this was before the holiday season recently started.
They make cute gifts for people just getting into the genre, and the usb recording on some is a cool feature but thats it. I have an older Sony turntable back home from the mid 90s and I notice the difference between that and the Magnavox.
[QUOTE=J.Barnes;52884399]We had a Crosley in the store and yeah it wasn't spectacular. We could tell the needle was starting to get shitty and the platter started getting wobbly. We fixed it up again and moved it upstairs into the guest room, replacing it with the Magnavox we just purchased. It's a little bit better, we use it to playtest for customers and for Ebay listings but in my personal opinion I'd spend the extra money and purchase another brand. They're mass marketed to the public to cash in on the huge comeback Vinyl has made. Even going so far as to make them impulse buys since every stack I see in large retail spaces are almost on top of the cashier areas. And this was before the holiday season recently started.
They make cute gifts for people just getting into the genre, and the usb recording on some is a cool feature but thats it. I have an older Sony turntable back home from the mid 90s and I notice the difference between that and the Magnavox.[/QUOTE]
also you gotta be super careful with those dudes, since they don't have an adjustable counterweight usually so they destroy the grooves on the records faster.
"What is my purpose?"
"What is my purpose?"[/QUOTE]
To turn the larger box fan on and off.
"What is my purpose?"[/QUOTE]
"Pass the butter."
*blows butter all over the table*
''Am I selling this stuff too cheap, what would you sell it for''
I answer the question truthfully.
''My son actually wasn't sure about selling this.''
And I leave empty handed after driving to her house.
She couldn't even own up to her own fault : /
"What is my purpose?"[/QUOTE]You're a case for my threadripper ITX build.
[QUOTE=RoboChimp;52891721]You're a case for my threadripper ITX build.[/QUOTE]
That'd be pretty fuckin' rad if you could make it all fit, not gonna lie.
[QUOTE=Gamerman12;52886182]also you gotta be super careful with those dudes, since they don't have an adjustable counterweight usually so they destroy the grooves on the records faster.[/QUOTE]
wasn't this proven to be false
[QUOTE=Plaster;52892537]wasn't this proven to be false[/QUOTE]
well, it's not necessarily false as it is just not as bad as some make it out to be. it won't be unplayable, but the more a heavy/dull stylus plays on a record, the faster you'll hear artifacts crop up.
It wouldn't be that bad if they had a lighter tracking force. To try and stop skipping/skating issues, a lot of cheaper turntables will have something ridiculous like 6 or 7 g tracking force.
Got this today - still sealed. Maybe I can win a car?
I once called a Nintendo hotline couple years ago to try to get a free keychain from a 90s Nintendo power. The dude was super cool about and was actually trying to get me the keychain or anything thing else they had in 90s but they had none.
I somehow highly doubt there's a brand new 1940 Plymouth, Ford, or Chevrolet left for them to give out, aha
Speaking of old car stuff, I went to a huge automotive swapmeet this weekend, I bough a few hood ornaments and a model truck, nothing spectacular, but I also didn't spend much
Swap meets are so utterly hit and miss for me. Seems the only time you're guaranteed to find useful things is if you're looking for smallblock chevy stuff.
Goodwill haul. I don't normally buy VHS but since basically every good movie ever put on VHS was in one spot I decided to.
One of the Jurassic Parks is unopened! I think that makes it worth a whole, like, $2.50. There is a promotional sticker on it for jello:
MAIL-IN REBATE OFFER
with the purchase of Jurassic Park™ and
six proofs-of-purchase JELL-O
ready-to-eat products. Rebate form
and details inside videocassette.
10/4/94 - 1/31/95
I better get my proofs of purchase together.
Goodwill haul. I don't normally buy VHS but since basically every good movie ever put on VHS was in one spot I decided to.
One of the Jurassic Parks is unopened! I think that makes it worth a whole, like, $2.50. There is a promotional sticker on it for jello:
I better get my proofs of purchase together.[/QUOTE]
Ha yeah i also have a sealed Jurassic Park. I think i have a sealed collectors edition Jurassic Park 2 as well.
Not really the sort of thrift shopping that you guys do here, but I figured I'd share what I went out to get over the holiday.
Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, we do a tacky gift pass-around game, where everyone brings a weird or ugly item (we try not to spend more than $5, but sometimes we go a little bit over) and wraps it up all pretty. My grandmother reads a short poem, and every time the word "and" is said, we pass our gift to the person to the right. At the end, we start with the youngest person and open our gifts one by one for everyone to see. It's a pretty fun time. On our way home, we stopped at a Goodwill to see if we could find anything for next year. Here's what we got:
A soccer ball covered in messages wishing some girl named "Desi" well on an unknown trip.
A framed portrait of a committee from the University of Maryland from 1958.
(Photos of and awards given to strangers are popular items in our game.)
Two cassette audio books. Will be bundled together.
I'm hoping my cousin - who is currently attending college in Los Angeles - ends up with these.
Comedy album [I][URL="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwu8S6Ekx9w"]The First Family[/URL].[/I] A "good-natured parody of President John F. Kennedy, both as Commander-in-Chief and as a member of a large, well-known political family."
I was also hoping to find some Guitar Hero controllers, but none of the few stores we went to had any. I did see a DJ Hero controller and a Tony Hawk: Ride board, which I forgot were things.
I stopped by a Habitat for Humanity thrift on the way to my Mom's house earlier today. They had a 25% off sale for Black Friday so what the hell why not? Found some great stuff for dirt cheap. I found Midnight Express on VHS, Half-Life 2 GOTY Edition and the original Myst for $1 each. A great condition complete WWII model Kit ca. 1975 for 49 cents, and some great obscure Jazz Vinyl I can flip on EBay at 25 cents a piece. Also found a great condition copy of Herb Alpert's Whipped Cream and other delights for the same price. I know dismissed his albums in an earlier post, but I have been looking for a good condition copy of that album for my collection and I found one. Even had the original shrink attached too!
Best find, not pictured (I'll post tomorrow) was a very old reel-to-reel player from what looks like the 40s-50s. I can't remember the name at the moment (Something-Gay) but at a $4 price point there was no reason not to pick it up. I'd love to get it working but something tells me it'll be worth more in parts than in working condition. I'll have to do some research tomorrow and see what comes up. Either way it looks retro af.
Got some pics of it. It's a Wilcox-Gay Recordio from the 50's. Couldn't get it working as it was just the unit and it didn't come with any cords. Still a great vintage piece.
I got this old brass chalice today for $2 and decided to polish it because I wanted to drink from it. Normally I don't polish antiques (don't even know if this is an antique) but it wouldn't have been safe to drink from otherwise and would've just ended up languishing in the back of a cabinet somewhere.
Still working on some stubborn spots, mostly verdigris inside it. Looks awesome though.
I also got a VCR, Lethal Weapon 2 on VHS and an aviation headset (a model that still retails for $100+) for $8.
Sorry, you need to Log In to post a reply to this thread.