Thrifting & Antiquing on Vacation (Finally!)

After 13 months of no travel, my husband and I were ready to go anywhere, even if it’s a place we’ve been to at least half a dozen times or more. It’s just a small, pretty town by the ocean with good restaurants and cute shops, but we love it here and it’s like a home away from home.

Lover’s Point. Photo courtesy of the City of Pacific Grove.

But I will say all the thrift stores in Pacific Grove and Monterey are small and tend to be on the pricer side. I also went to the Cannery Row Antique Mall and saw a lot I would have been happy to buy but I wasn’t finding any bargains. Some pieces were priced much higher than online prices.

Here’s how it went down….

Day 1

I went to two thrift stores and the antique mall.

Things I Didn’t Buy…

I really, really liked the looks of this West German 1960s/70s jug but it was priced at $32. I wouldn’t have minded paying that for myself, but was there meat on the bone to resell it?

I was tempted to buy this for myself!

I loved this rusty mini drawer bit, but at $43….phew, had to say no!

I wanted to buy a vintage glass eye just for the fun of it. Was $15 a good price?

This huge 1970s TreasureCraft snack tray was fabulous and marked down to $12.75. But they typically only sell around $15-$20, plus the shipping on this would be astronomical and the packaging a nightmare. Had to say no.

I really, really, really tried to find something in this 50% off area, but the costume jewelry (most unbranded) had all been priced so high to begin with that even 50% off didn’t help enough. A generic rhinestone pin was still $24 after the discount!

And this huge (possibly 14+” diameter) brass Chinese pot with a dragon had me smitten, but it was $125 at the thrift store. How much did it have left in it? 0$? $50? $100? Still, I think I should have bought this!!

What I Bought…

My best deals not surprisingly were at the thrift stores, though even at them I didn’t buy much because of the prices.

I really liked this handmade needlepoint pillow which includes the maker’s initials (“LB”) and a date (’72). I thought the tiger image was fabulous.

I’ll list this for $80.

I don’t buy many linens but this little cotton/linen tablecloth (likely made for a bridge table) was a charmer with its cross-stitched pagodas in the corners and along the sides.

I’ll list this for $35 for its unusual subject matter.

This fat lava pottery dish is from Iceland. I have a similar candlestick already in my store. Not to everyone’s taste but I love its uniqueness and it’s in beautiful condition. (And it’s not often you find things from Iceland!)

I’ll list this for $50.

I tell myself “no silverplate” and then I see something like this Benedict silver plated sugar bowl and creamer with the juxtaposition of sharp hexagonal edges and the sweet little engraved bits on each side. Couldn’t resist!

I’ll list this unusual set for $55.

I like the looks of this vintage, signed pottery vase with applied fold-over bits all around it. The seller had a similar one in blue tones, but the drama of the black and gold color combo appealed to me.

Trying to figure out the signature before I price this, but possibly I’ll list it for $60.

Total spent: $85 for five items 😳

So I didn’t get anything for a snip, a song or a steal, but they are good items.

Day 2

Oh gosh, I went to three thrift stores today and it was a bust! Two stores actually didn’t have one thing I wanted to buy. Not one. Which astounded me. And one had a couple of things but they were priced in the stratosphere.

Things I Didn’t Buy…

At a ramshackle thrift store I spotted this antique Native American beaded frame priced at $495! They also have it listed online. I did a little research afterwards and similar frames are generally priced in the $200 range.

I thought this English ceramic piece with its triangular shape and dragons heads in the corners was so fun, but it had been broken and crudely repaired. (Check out the back left corner.) Drat!

My fourth and last stop was a vintage clothing store (Reincarnation) housed in a wee cottage. It always has wonderful items. I wasn’t looking for anything to resell from here, but perhaps for myself or as a gift.

I really wanted to buy this 1940s quilted bed jacket with embroidery (which I would wear out). It fit great, but the shoulder pads were huge and would have required alteration. I regretfully put it back.

What I Bought…

But I did want to support her vintage business and in the end I bought an MCM silver and coral pin/pendant made in Israel that I knew I would wear. It was priced reasonable enough so when I decide to sell it, I will make my money back and possibly a little profit. 😁


It was wonderful to get away. Loved getting breakfast delivered to the room each morning and being so close to the ocean was a treat. But I was hoping to find more inventory for my online shops. In all I visited seven stores (five thrift, one vintage clothing and one antique mall) and don’t have much to show for it. It was a tad discouraging. In general I’m seeing a trend towards higher prices at thrift stores. At some point that may start to backfire on them.

I’ll close for now. Glad to have had the chance to get away. Hoping to do more of that in the coming months.

Wishing you happy hunting,



  1. Hi Karen! I love the glass eyes and the pillow! Love reading your blog. I miss going to auctions and flea markets etc. But until I get settled with all our current inventory and get set up in our new home and town, I have to sacrifice the fun! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Patricia…I rather wish I’d gotten one or two of the glass eyes just for fun! Overall I’m trying not to buy too much as my Etsy sales have slowed down now that more of life is returning to normal. Hope all goes well with your move/resettling!
      All the best, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

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