Shopping at Upscale Thrift Stores

A town near me has three upscale thrift stores within a few blocks from each other. They are all small and chi-chi and I enjoy visiting them from time to time.

The GW Boutique recently underwent a dramatic facelift and is decorated with vintage luggage and books and looks fabulous!
Love their new necklace display.

As you might expect though the prices in these three stores are usually too high for vintage resellers like me (except maybe on sale days), but every once in a while I actually find a thing or two! Like today, I found a cool set of five nested Polish carved wood boxes. They are of no great age and fairly common, though I’ve never seen a nested set like this. Hoping someone will like them as much as I do.

And I bought a small lidded basket with beads, shells and nut/seed pod dangles that had my youngest daughter shaking her head and thinking, “Mummy’s gone off her rocker!”

Is it Native American? African? Island Pacific? Worth anything or just a bit of tourist tat not worth a tuppence? I don’t know. But I thought it just might be something and worth the $5 risk. So far my research is coming up bupkis though.

Any ideas??

I loved this mid-century modern coffee set of wood cup holders with glass liners and tray, but didn’t buy it. Priced at $30 I didn’t think there was much profit left in it.

While I have fun poking around the upscale thrift stores, I seriously hope my small neighborhood Goodwill thrift store doesn’t follow this trend. But I’m worried. Lately they’ve been making changes. They squeezed in another row of shelves and are trying to display items better, with more breathing room and improved organization.

My friend Patty checking out the ceramics.

While I appreciate the nicer shopping experience, it dawned on me that this direction might not bode well for prices. As if to confirm it, my thrifter friend JJ said to me one morning, “I think they’re trying to go upscale.”

Oh dear.

This store has been an integral part of my sourcing right from the beginning. And while I don’t buy a ton at any one time, I have cherry picked some wonderful, wonderful items there over the years. Just in the last few days alone I sold three things that I had sourced from that store, the best being this Danish Nils Thorsson “Baca Fawn” Royal Copenhagen Ceramic Vase.

Bought for $4, sold for $140 with free shipping.

And a couple of days ago I found this 1960s Enid Collins “Cable Car” purse! Couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s in good vintage condition and only missing one tiny “gem” on the top left. These collectible purses can sell as low as $30, but typically sell for much more.

I also bought a shrinkwrapped Mexican tooled leather flask and shot glass set. Just a bread-and-butter item, but kinda neat.

And I bought this James Morris Cotter ceramic weed pot. I love hand made pottery, and bonus, Cotter is a listed California artisan. It’s just a great piece.

So fingers crossed my neighborhood thrift store doesn’t go too chi chi and too crazy with prices!!

How about you? Any luck at upscale boutique thrift stores??

As always, happy hunting,

Karen

P.S. I’ve got a bunch of cool stuff on sale in my Etsy store.

2 comments

  1. Happy I got to see those shops with you.It was such fun. Busy yard sale season in Ohio
    Craziest find was an underwater diving bell helmet 😱 Turned out to be a reproduction, but bought it for $30 and sold it for $150 to reside at a tomorrow bar 🌴

    Liked by 1 person

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