Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Big Score

Desk View 
Maybe it won’t happen in a single trip to the thrift. Maybe it won’t happen in a day. But at one point you’ll look at your pile of thrifted treasures and say, “this is it.”  This is the Big Score.

I came to the realization that I had a touch of luck these last few weeks. I nailed a byline for a hot topic editorial in my city’s leading newspaper. I scored all these awesome finds at the thrift. Life was good.

Seemingly not long after dragging home bags of clothes, books, electronics and other assorted goodies, I fell ill to the flu. After spending a solid 5 days in bed, I grew restless. I’m still not feeling like myself. Not quite back on par with treasure hunting at the thrift, I think I’ll just take the time to share with all of you some great finds from the past.

First and foremost, this camera. I’m always a bit hesitant to gamble with thrift electronics. Many thrift stores do tests products before putting them on the sales floor. Radios, TVs, vacuum cleaners. These are typically pretty safe bets. Cameras? Cameras are a crapshoot. Though I know nothing of this particular brand. And though I wasn’t necessarily in the market for a camera, I took a chance.

Thanks to the spoils of the digital age, I haven’t worked with 35mm film in years. So this will take some getting used to. Due to the external flash that mounts on the camera, it weighs a ton. And it has varying apertures and automatic rewind. It was brand new in the box and seems to be a steal for $20. The only downside? I have to wait until I finish the roll before finding out just how big this score was. I have high hopes for this one. I really do.


This, however… This I knew was a wise investment. I’m not a sucker for all designers. I’m really not. Sure, I enjoy owning nice things. But only if those nice things speak to me personally. Do I like this item? Will I use this item? Is this item more than a status symbol? Yes, yes, yes. The answer is yes. I love Betsey Johnson. Her quirky, prima donna punk style just makes me smile.

So. When I found this lovely purple leopard print purse with black lace overlay…new…with original tags still on….with protective zipper pulls still on…with the original paper stuffing to protect the shape…well. I dashed over there to grab it. Originally, this bag is $68. At Impact Thrift it was marked $24.99.

But wait! The aisles were crawling with shoppers. The parking lot was jam-packed. It must be a store-wide sale, I thought to myself. And surely, it was. 25% off everything in stock. $18.75 for a brand new Betseyville bag? You better believe it.

With those kinds of savings, I could even buy this…

Cup Runneth Over Side
…multi-functional votive candle holder/square goblet/candy dish/glass decor. I like the fading gold, orange and red. And it was 90 cents. I’m just not entirely sure the purpose it will best serve…yet. Maybe some of you creative thrifters could offer some suggestions?

In hindsight, the roughly $40 spent tallies this one of my more expensive thrift adventures. I rarely find myself spending more than a couple of dollars on each item. So two $20 purchases in one week seems rather excessive. But who can pass up an old school 35 mm camera and Betsey Johnson? Not I. Besides. Look how neat that multi-functional votive candle holder/square goblet/candy dish/glass decor is.

What’s your biggest secondhand score?

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Apron Thrift Girl said...

Fabulous finds all around. And congrats on your newspaper news too! It sounds silly but one of my favorite thrift store finds is our down stuffed couch for $140. It is where we sit every night and I just adore it. It was originally thousands of dollars and we are most likely only the 2nd owners. I can't wait to hear how your photos turned out.

Jackie Jardine said...

Thanks, Selena. Yeah, I think sometimes "the big score" has little to do with the price tag, and mostly due to functionality and love for the item. (Though it's always nice to score a great deal too!) I have an inherent love for thrift score couches. They're broken-in and homey, ha ha.

I have my fingers crossed for the camera. So far, so good. The flash is working and as a far as I can tell, the film is advancing. Once I get them developed I'll be sure to post them on here.

Vanessa said...

Sometimes you have to splurge on the items you love. I spent $25 on a special record at the thrift store that cost more than everything I could buy at the flea market later combined. You never regret it when it's something you love. I love the Betsy Johnson bag, too.

I love cameras but never take a risk and buy them. I have a lot of stuff to clear out before I allow myself to start collecting CAMERAS, too :)

Vanessa said...

Oh, forgot to suggest a use for the vase. If you do open your antique store booth, that would hold merchandise nicely. Like cute bagged vintage bits

Congratulations on the byline, too. Hope you make a full recovery soon!

Jackie Jardine said...

Hello, Van! I kind of fell into collecting cameras. I got a free mini SNAP camcorder from work for my ten year anniversary. I got a Lomography fish eye 35 mm for Christmas. I have a Polaroid camera from high school. And now this beastly camera. (It really is heavy). But I enjoy photography, so I'll have a use for all of them!

Hmm that mystery item could hold little odd 'n' ends, some jewelry and very tiny bric-a-brac. I might give it a try!

Anonymous said...

mine was a 350.00 purse for 20.00 bucks!
by far the best find

Jackie Jardine said...

Now that's a bargain. You know what's a shame though? Impostor designer goods that are marked-up through the roof. I like to think that the employees/volunteers of these thrifts just don't know a fake when they see one, and not that they are being malicious in any way. Sure, it's all going to a good cause. But what's the level of thrift kharma in being duped!? It can't be good.

Nancy said...

I love Impact Thrift (Hatboro) and my best scores so far were a Wedgwood Queen's Ware coffee pot for $12.00 after the 25% discount, and the first Julia Child French Cooking cookbook for 90 cents! I live two doors away (which can be a bad thing) and am in there all the time. Oh, I also just got 5 yards of a lovely cream colored cotton damask for $4.00 (25% coupon) and three Hoya filters for my film SLR for $3.00 each with my coupon. One was a polarizer which new would have cost me $29.00!

Jackie Jardine said...

I love Impact too, Nancy! Friends of mine used to live a block from the Hatboro Impact, so we were there constantly. I couldn't even imagine living two doors down! I'd be there twice daily, ha ha!
Those are some nice finds. I was just at Hatboro a few days ago and found this huge, vintage camera bag to haul around my collection. (Which I still have to photograph).

Have you been to the Montgomeryville Impact? It's gigantic!