Lately I haven’t been going to many estate sales to find things to sell in my Etsy stores…at least not on the first day. Estate sales were becoming a real time sink for me, especially if I wanted to get in when they first opened. Here’s the scenario: drive there, put my name on the list, wait 90-plus minutes till they opened, battle the horde, find some items, stand in a line to pay, drive home. Time elapsed: 3-4 hours. And to be honest, sometimes I didn’t have much to show for my 3-4 hours.
Time to switch gears.
NEW FOCUS: Thrift Stores
Now I’m focusing more on finding stuff in local thrift stores. I have disparaged of thrift stores in the past feeling there was too much junk (and there is a lot!), but my friend Jean reminded me that people do donate good stuff. It’s there. I just need to look.
So I’ve undertaken to visiting my neighborhood Goodwill at least twice a week, and though it feels a little weird to be there so much, I’ll tell you, I’m not the only one! On my last three visits there I’ve seen the same guy. He’s always wandering around the store talking to someone on his Bluetooth about “differential cost” and whatnot while he picks.
But here’s what I love—the store is only 5 minutes from my house and it’s easy to pop in for 15 minutes, see what’s new, and be on my way. No huge time sink. No estate sale drama. No rushing to grab stuff. No long checkout lines. And usually good prices.
And it seems to be working…every visit I find a couple of good vintage things.
SOME OF MY RECENT GOODWILL FINDS
- Leather Coat: Six days ago, in the Halloween clothing racks, I found a beautiful Italian leather coat with cool topstitching on the collar and cuffs. According to the price tag, it had just been set out on the floor the day before. (I can’t imagine why they had it in the Halloween stuff…well, perhaps it’s because of the piratey cuffs.) It was in pristine condition and so soft. It wasn’t cheap for a thrift store, but I knew it was a winner and worth the extra bucks. I got home and looked up the designer and just about fell out of my chair. Casini Firenze Jennifer Tattonelli is a luxury-clothing designer. Her lowest-priced leather jackets start at 1400 euros or $1,700 US!! (Cue my happy dance!) Now I AM going to have fun pricing this beauty!!
- Necktie: Found a nice silk tie. It wasn’t one of the top brands I had researched, but I was hoping it might be one I missed. Alas, “J Ferrar” is a JC Penney brand. Not high end. (Should have checked it on my phone in the store!) I like muted pattern and colors though…maybe I’ll go “Annie Hall” and wear it myself!
- Posters: I bought three framed mini-posters printed in Holland in the 1970s showing the artwork of Anton Pieck. Won’t be a huge money maker, but I was captivated by their charm.
- Rayon Jacket: Hoping this wild and wacky ’90s print jacket by Carole Little appeals to someone.
- Calligraphy Book: A nice, clean book that will make a great gift for someone.
- Handblown Green Pitcher: Cute but I won’t make any money on this. And the weird this is I knew that when I bought it!
- Knife Set: A boxed set of six Abercrombie & Fitch knives, made in Germany of stainless steel and stag antler horn. A boxed set of eight sold this year for $350!
So I’m going to keep going to my neighborhood Goodwill and add more thrift stores to my thrifting routine. Even with all the competition from other shoppers and pickers, I’m still finding good stuff. (Jean you were right!)
Would love to hear about your good finds.