The beauty of thrifting is that you never know what you’re going to find. The danger of thrifting, is equally the same ! If you’ve been thrifting as long as I have, you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you’ve just started, you’ll soon know what I mean. You are forewarned.
Today, I went to one of my favourite local consignment stores – Still Life Home in Hudson, MA. It’s a huge warehouse filled with treasure. And I do mean treasure. What I love about this place is that all the items are reasonably priced, beautifully displayed (environmental photos come to mind), and clean.
Did I mention that everything is clean ? Yes, you do have to pay a bit more than say, Savers or Goodwill, but having clean well laid out items is a huge benefit in my mind. If you like the thrill of the hunt, this type of boutique consignment store may not be for you. But, even though you may be less likely to find a piece of LaLique at the bottom of pile, there are still bargains to be had. Yes, someone once found a piece of French LaLique in the Goodwill. Don’t believe me ? Then go check out Mad Maine’s video here.
This lady knows her glassware and started my addiction to Kosta Boda snowball votives. Thanks to her I can now spot a lot of Scandanavian glass. If you’re into glass, she’s definitely someone to watch on Youtube.
They also have a uniform method for describing items. If you’re OCD, you will enjoy this, and even if you’re not, I find the consistency soothing. They list the maker if known as part of the description, number of pieces, a date for when the item first for sale, a markdown date. If there are any flaws, the little description will also include the words “AS IS”. I find this really helpful. We’ve all done it. Picked up an amazing piece, only to get home to find that it is chipped, damaged or incomplete in some way. It’s a novice mistake, that you quickly adapt to and try not repeat too often.
Still Life Home has everything. Housewares, China, Typewriters, Furniture, Flatware… you name it, they’ve probably got it. As a bargain hunter, I like to wait until an item has been in the store at least one month, as it then is further reduced. If an item is there more than 60 days, it has a further 20% off. So there are some real bargains to be had if you are both vigilant and patient.
Today, I found this wonderful blue glass luncheon set. I had my heart set on it, it was just stunning. I mean, it stopped me in tracks and I just had to bask in its wonderfulness. Ok, that was a bit flowery, but you know what I mean. The strange thing was, there was no price. So I asked one of the store staff if she could find out the price for me. She found it strange , (as did I as I think they are really meticulous about how the store is kept) and went to look up the price for me. She came back and told me that it was $39. That’s the other thing about a consignment store, you can usually find staff and they are usually quite helpful. Anyway, back to the story… It was a bargain!
So, I thought I would browse the store a bit more… no one was going to buy it but me right ? It had my name on it ? Right ? Wrong ? Five minutes later, I heard the sound that everyone who thrifts regularly dreads. The sound of something you intend to buy in the hands of another customer. Oh boy did that hurt! I said to the assistant, “I won’t be doing that again”. And she replied, “Oh – so that’s why the price was missing”. Turns out the gentleman, and he was really nice, had brought the tag up to the register and told them that he wanted to purchase it, but was still browsing. Obviously a pro move.
Dismayed, I carried on browsing. Lo and behold I found an entire set of American Limoges Triumph china for $10. In the pretty Treasure Island pattern which features floral bouquet in an urn, peach rim and 22k gold. Perfect for Spring as a Mother’s Day table or even a Bridal Shower luncheon.
Then I turned around and visited the bargain section, near the tills at the front of the store. There I found even a few more little bargain trinkets. Here’s a little preview below. I’ll be putting a video together of the rest of my finds on my YouTube channel. Do go ahead and subscribe for more behind the scenes and home decor inspiration.
So BIG lesson learned here. If you see something, put it in your cart. In this case, even if I had, the guy had nabbed it first and I would have given it to him, rightly. The other tip is, get to know the staff where you shop regularly. If you can’t fit an item in a cart, or you don’t have a cart, take the price tag to the register and let the staff know that you would like to buy it. And the final / lesson tip I leave you with.. don’t dwell on things you miss, you never know whether or not another treasure has your name on it, right around the corner.
Have you been thrifting lately ?