Trade me?

August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Posted in budget, flea market, NEAT STUFF, recycle, thrifting, thrifty, trade, treasure hunting | Leave a comment
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I found an interesting recycling site today. The premise is, if you have stuff you don’t want, you take a photo and add it to the rehash site. They have an area for clothes and one for books and one more (can’t remember what it’s for).  You sign up for free. You list your item and tell them what you would like to exchange it or sell it for. Then someone looks at your listing and decides if they would like to trade you something for it or buy it. Very cool idea!

So has anyone tried this site before? What was your experience with it?

http://rehashclothes.com/

Also, another site I also found today (Yes, I’m so VERY busy) where neighbors and friends and social groups trade stuff, borrow stuff, and last but not least, sell stuff to people nearby. (I signed up) It just launched officially last week so it really needs a bunch of people to sign up to get the ball rolling. Wanna join and swap stuff with me? You can borrow art that won’t fit on my walls and loan me junk jewelry that you don’t wear anymore. Whaddya say?

http://neighborgoods.net

Thrifty Treasure Everywhere

August 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in auction, budget, chinese, flea market, lion, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, weekend | 2 Comments
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First off, let me clarify about my no-shopping-for-two-weeks rule. I am given a weekly budget for ALL expenses. This includes groceries, fast food, clothes for the kids, EVERYTHING. I’m allowed to spend that budget amount however I see fit. The no-shopping rule applies to spending money over and above that shopping amount. It might sound easy. Heck, for most people, it probably is. For me – not so much. To give you an idea of how hard this is, I had this terrible dream last night that I was flying to France at the last minute and only had the money (the actual money) in my coin purse to spend once I got there. No credit card. No way to get around. And my daughter was with me and I was trying to get my dad to pay for her ticket and passport. I was panicked because I was so tired and unable to think clearly and also because I didn’t have a backup plan or a credit card. Okay, I know that sounds dumb. But that is what my nightmares usually consist of. Either trying to pack up my valuables and escape somewhere or shopping and not having enough money or time. I’m weird like that.

ANYHOOOoooo…..so this weekend, I redeemed my recyclables and took my two daughters (armed with their saved up allowances) to a local ‘flea market’. It isn’t like your normal, every day flea market. It is populated by a handful of old ladies and gentlemen raising money for their bingo clubs or grandchild’s schools and who charge 25 cents for everything (mostly). There is of course, always that one granny who thinks that everything they own is treasure and who want 15$ for each item. (We don’t shop at their tables.) Since we went in the afternoon, they were willing to give us deals on top of their great prices to get rid of things. And on the way home, I stopped at a couple of yard sales that were just wrapping up as well. I know the best stuff is what you find before anyone else gets there. But if you go at the end, you get everything for almost free which is a thrill and a half!

BUT we got tons of treasure! My oldest spent 4$ and picked up this giant vintage barbie airplane with wings that fold up and let the thing turn into sort of an RV. Very cute but giant. She’s still not sure where she is going to store the thing. It is three feet long and a couple feet wide. Alas, that is one lesson that needs to be learned when thrifting. Is it really a bargain if you have no place to put it? My youngest bought herself some plastic adjustable roller skates for a dollar and some matchbox cars that the seller threw in for free with my purchases.

I got an awesome piece of red vintage Samsonite luggage for 2$. The closures are really interesting and took me a few minutes to figure out because they spin instead of moving right to left. I got a really cool straw picnic basket for a quarter. I got some vintage patterns (free), some large mats for framing (free because they were grouped in with other things that I got for a price of a couple dollars), a vintage aluminum pan with copper lid, lots of bits and baubles, some vintage books and romance booklets (gorgeous pictures which I will use for a mixed-media piece if they aren’t particularly valuable otherwise), and a whole lot of flotsam and jetsam. Here are a few photos….

As you can see, even though I don’t celebrate Xmas, I picked up some adorable little vintage tree decorations. I like to hang them on the curtains in the kitchen or art room for a little color. Maybe I will sell them on Etsy or eBay. Not sure yet. Sometimes I just see something shiny and like a magpie, I have to bring it back to my nest.

Here’s a closer view of the little baubles. The stack of plates are made of bamboo and printed with Chinese works of art. Normally I avoid anything ‘made in china’ but they seemed sort of fragile and old and had a vintage quality about them that made me think that they likely weren’t manufactured in this century. The little green lion has holes in the top for either flower stems or pens and drying paintbrushes. Not sure which he was created for or where he will end up . He just seemed so cute and cartoony. The little reclining Asian statue was adorable. I need to do some research on her. She ran me a whole 50cents. I try to only bring things home that I wouldn’t mind keeping for myself in case I can’t sell them.

Honestly, I haven’t sold anything online in a couple of years. I used to be quite savvy. Besides http://www.etsy.com and http://www.ebay.com, are there any places that you like to shop or sell for vintage goodies?

I ran across a couple of sites today that piqued my interest. One is www.boocoo.com which is an auction site where the money goes to charity. The other is Ruby Lane which is populated by individual vintage shops. I bookmarked them both for further investigation. I stumbled upon the Ruby Lane one while researching a set of tiny pretend plates or coasters (not sure which) that are tin, made in Brazil and have the maker name that I need to dig out a magnifying glass to read because it is printed so small. It is is Meister or Meisler and has little pioneer families on them. Dutch maybe? not sure. In the pictures below, it is the tiny plate on top of the odd shaped Denmark (“Danmark”) plate. If you know about either of them, please let me know.

I also got some utensils with neat wooden handles (Scandinavian of some flavor), some books, an L.L.Bean Red Barn coat for a dollar, a multi-level corner shelf for 5$, an adorable winter dress for my youngest for a dollar that is red with ‘doggies’ along the bottom, some metal leaves that hang on the wall, a leather, fabric lined clutch, and some other little things.

Afterward, my husband was frustrated with me for not saving my 12$ of recycling money for my upcoming trip to Boston. But considering the hours of fun that I had with my girls, I think that 12$ was VERY well spent. *smirk*

(Click them for a closer look )

vintage romance booklets

Day 3… and counting

July 30, 2010 at 11:41 am | Posted in addiction, Goodwill, Gymboree, Starbucks, thrifting, treasure hunting | Leave a comment
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So here’s the deal. The first step to solving a personal problem (especially when that problem is any form of addiction) is to admit that you have a problem.

So I admit I have a problem.

I love to shop. It doesn’t matter if it is at the grocery store, Goodwill, the dollar store, Marshall’s, or Macy’s (I really don’t like Macy’s). As long as there is treasure to be had, it is an adventure that calls my name like a sweet siren of the sea.

I consider myself a ‘thrifter’ and a bargain hunter. But the sad fact remains, if I find treasure, my pulse races and I get SUCH a gush of serotonin.

I’ve decided not to buy anything for two weeks, as a show of faith to my husband that I’m really going to get this addiction under control and not throw our financial lives under a bus. So this is day three of my two weeks. I will admit that I did buy a single song on itunes yesterday. I stopped at that one song (that I’ve been trying to find the name of for weeks). ITunes tried to tempt me with lots of other cool songs that they recommended to me that yes, I will likely also like. I also wrote down songs from a movie soundtrack that I watched, but I put the list away for another day instead of bringing up iTunes and immediately downloading them.

I also resisted the temptation of using my own personal SPECIAL discount at Gymboree if I hustle on down there by Sunday and buy more school clothes at a huge discount off of even sale merchandise prices. (I love how rugged their clothes are and my daughter loves how everything matches everything else.) I have resisted buying more on Sephora even though they are currently running a special on my favorite mascara. I resisted the fabulous items found on etsy while researching a price and potential history of an item that I currently own and am thinking of selling. I also resisted purchasing more neat vintage stuff when researching “Mid Century Modern” on eBay. There is just so much treasure to be had everywhere I turn! And don’t even get me started on the special deal that Starbucks is running. If you buy VIA in a 48 pack on their website, it is only 34$! That is an excellent bargain!

So far, with exception to these online bargains that I am turning away from, I haven’t felt too deprived so far because past purchases have still been arriving in the mail over the past couple of days. My last Sephora purchase came an hour ago. The sound of the UPS truck engine slowing down in front of my house is music to my ears! It means that there will be a present arriving for me at any moment! It gets my pulse racing every time I hear it….even when I’m not at home. How sad is that?

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