Sunday, October 10, 2010

A 10/10/10 Special Edition: The Top Ten Things You’ll Find in Every Thrift Store

From the Salvation Army in the Bucks county suburbs to The Philly AIDS Thrift near South Street, regular thrift-goers know their territory. They know the sales, the days and times to beat the crowds and how to scout the store for hidden treasures.

Not every visit to the thrift is going to yield a cart full of 80’s toys, hipster clothes or super cool decor for your apartment. Those treasures are reserved for one day when the stars align and you just happen to find just what you were searching for. Or in the happily-ever-after version, you just stumble upon something so awesome that you weren’t even looking for and your pretentious roommates are beyond jealous of your find.

Now we don’t want to pump you full of false hopes. The sad truth is that fateful day might be a long time coming.

But in the meantime, we at Let’s Go Thrifting have something to tide you over. Actually we have ten somethings.

Next time you think your visit to thrift is a total bust, take a look around. We have. And we noticed a little pattern of repeats… items no thrift seems to lack.

We’ve noticed The Top Ten Things You’ll Find in Every Thrift Store:

  • Personalized picture frames. Usually pretty cheap to begin with, these presumably donated gifts never seem to sell, since they’re always on the shelves. You know the ones. Dear Sister, Father, Best Friend, Cousin, Husband, Dog. Nothing captures 1000 words quite like this hideous hunk of plastic that denotes our relationship.

  • Fundraiser tee shirts.  You are a true philanthropist, sir. Your support through the secondhand purchase of that Erectile Dysfunction Run ‘97 shirt is really raising the community awareness.

  • Poorly executed Designer Knock-off Handbags. Unless you are shopping consignment and are well-versed on textiles, don’t tread the designer route. Chances are your Prado bag won’t be on any catwalks.

Wicker Resized
Doesn't this make you want to have a picnic?

  • Wicker. Tons of it. In every shape and size. Mostly baskets. But sometimes you’ll find the occasional wicker hats, chairs, wall decor, desk organizers and crafts.

    This cross-stitched gentlemen was a buck.
  • Framed “Art.” Sure, these pieces weren't exactly in a national gallery. But the topic is still debatable in the thrift community. Some leisurely thrifters argue the validity of these framed portraits of depressed clowns and disproportionate fruit bowls. And we at Let’s Go Thrifting agree. Afterall, some of these artistic abominations are so awful, they’re in fact…pretty awesome.

  • Hilariously Outdated Computer Software Manuals.  Think 1995. At the time, those free AOL disks were a hot commodity. So were the the thousands, literally thousands, of how-to books for the software of the time. Now…they’re at the thrift store in record numbers. And they are utterly useless.

  • Trivial Pursuit. You would think this was the most despised game in the history of family entertainment, given its prevalence at every single thrift store on the face on the planet. We like to think that they were played so often, the trivia became common knowledge at parties and were passed on for future playing elsewhere. Still…there’s a lot of them out there. We counted seven of them the last time we hit the Goodwill!

Afghan Resized
Does your granny know you donated that afghan?

  • Afghans. Who knew so many people could crochet…and with so many different color combinations?

  • The King James Bible. How are thrift stores like motel rooms? The Bibles. There’s at least a few in every thrift. Are people straight-up abandoning Christianity? Or is the thrifty version of spreading the “Good News?”

Herb Alpert Resized
Is that shaving cream?

  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. This dude seriously sold like a grabillion copies of this album and became some kind of overnight sensation. We kid you not. How else do you explain every thrift store having the Herb Alpert vinyl discography? 

Don't believe us? Make a check-sheet from the above top-ten list and have a thrift seek and find. You won't be disappointed.


Eli said...

this is too funny, Im laughing so hard at this! especially about the wicker

another thing to add - Kathie Lee Gifford clothing

Jackie Jardine said...

Good point! Also...I noticed this brand called 'Sag Harbor' which is really an awful name. And I swear I've never seen it in any other retailer...but the thrift store. Makes you wonder if they were designed specifically for Goodwill!

Anonymous said...

2 books you find every time "In the kitchen with Rosie" (Oprah's cook) and "What to expect while you are expecting." (nothing to do with Oprah.)
Also certain drinking mugs.
(Thought I better clarify mugs.)

Oh- and Sag Harbor is a good brand and is from "better" stores.