July 6, 2010

A very thrify summer... {Garage Sale vs. Estate Sales vs. Thrift Stores}

This summer has been quite productive at the flea markets, garage & estate sales and antique stores I have frequented.  I will say that each of these venues has a different (albeit fun!) vibe going for it.

The flea markets are 95% antique dealers. I love seeing the amazing ideas for reusing vintage items and the beautiful displays. However, the prices reflect their hunting, gathering and transforming and are many times out of my reach. I always manage to find a treasure or two, I just can't gather too much myself because of my budget.  

Estate sales can hold many treasures, but if they are done by professionals sometimes those prices reflect this added service.  Auctions also can behold some treasures, but sometimes the time spent--often a whole day--is more than I want to invest. There are amazing deals to be found though if you can attend.

Then there's the thrift stores, which I have to say are my current favorite. Everything is displayed nicely and it's relatively easy to get in and out quickly on a lunch hour or after work. Prices at some of the thrift stores have gone up in recent years, but I'm not going to complain about an extra dollar or two when most of these shops benefit charities. There's also a huge variety of items.

Lastly, there's the garage sales which I have a love/hate relationship with. They clearly can yield the best prices (unless the seller has researched prices on ebay and hopes to collect the same) but they are also the most work. You have to find them of course, and then you can get there and find nothing you like. But when you do find a good one, boy is it fun! A vintage typing table on wheels for  50 cents, a vintage green vase for 10 cents, and maps and old scrapbooks for free. Gotta love free! My thrifty partner in crime snagged the typing table on wheels, but I actually found one a week later at an estate sale in Michigan. I paid $2. Remember what I said about prices reflecting the venue? It was still a bargain!

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