Monday, February 21, 2011

Auctions, Goodwill and Thrift Stores... Trying to Find a Bargain

Finding a treasure at a bargain price is really challenging in the winter.  I've really been on the lookout for some big pieces of furniture since my big pieces sold from my booth. I'm really having a hard time finding anything.

I've been going to auctions for the last few months and you know... I really am not crazy about them.  The prices are too high, thanks to all the Atlanta dealers coming down and I just don't like making decisions that fast. 

I always preview and thoroughly inspect the pieces I'm most interested in.  Apparently, I have good taste.  The Atlanta dealers (or fellow Rockin' B dealers) like the things I like.  The price usually goes way over what I want to pay on my favorite items. The deals usually come about on things I didn't look over well enough.  I keep coming home with some small things that are OK, but they aren't really worth the time and energy and gasoline I've wasted. 

My time is stretched thin right now, so I think I might stay away from the auctions (unless they look REALLY SERIOUSLY, AMAZINGLY tempting and there are things that I'm willing to spend more on).

Yard Sales are my very favorite bargain hunting resource. They take time and lots of traveling, but I almost always have great success during the warm yard sale months.  I am starting to see a few sales here and there, but  haven't been tempted to get out so far.  Yard sale-ing is best in pretty weather, when I can find lots of sales within a fairly close area.

Estate sales stink.  I've tried plenty this winter and they are overpriced.  Even on the last day, when prices are cut in half, most of the prices are still too high.

Goodwill and thrift stores are my best hope right now.  Both of those are more expensive than yard sales, but better than auctions or estate sales.

I haven't tried flea markets yet, but there are some Rockin' B dealers who seem to have good luck.  Unfortunately they aren't close by.

I think this year during yard sale season, I'm going to try to get enough to last me through the winter!  I thought I had sort of done that this year, but this year I'll be targeting lots more furniture.  Then, in the winter, I'll swing by my favorite thrift stores a bit more often.  I'll leave the auctions and estate sales to others who are willing to spend more money. 

Meanwhile, here are some of the piddly treasures I've found recently-

I bought several old cans at an auction last week. Two of them were unopened and still had the turn key thingie attached on top.

I bought another vintage ironing board at this auction.  It's very sturdy but the top needs just a bit of TLC.  I plan to try something different for this ironing board redo.  When I finish, I'll be sure to post about it.

There was a more popular auction going on the same night and they had some great pieces.  I thought that I would try going to the less popular one - maybe I wouldn't have so much competition.  Wrong.  Apparently, I wasn't the only one with that idea.  Oh well.  We had fun.

I found a few things at good prices at one of my favorite thrift stores.  This store is a little inconvenient since I moved to a different county, but I was over that way a couple of weeks ago.  I was getting new tires and the thrift store was within walking distance of the tire store.  Browsing in a thrift store is lots more fun than sitting in a waiting room!  I was excited to find 5 Currier and Ives plates.  I have a set of matching mugs already in the booth.

A trip to Goodwill turned out to be interesting.  Sometimes Goodwill can be overpriced, but on this trip, the things I bought were pretty reasonable.  Most of what I found were small things to put out in Valentine's Day and Easter displays.  Just some smalls. 

The platter on the left was a Christmas item.  It's pretty big and nicer than it looks in this photo next to the heart pet bowl. 

I put these three items in a Spring / Easter vignette. The bowl was larger than you'd expect from the photo.  I put vintage linen napkins inside - they happened to have colors that went rather nicely with the colors on the bowl.  The white planter has holes around the top and I wove a ribbon through those.  

I pulled all the straw stuff off of the bunny and then he looked quite sweet. In fact, I'm going to my booth today and if he hasn't sold, I think I'll bring him back home. He looks like he'd be very happy on my porch, which I hope to really jazz up this spring. 

Speaking of the porch, we've had some amazingly warm weather this last week.  I am already getting Spring Fever and I'm sorely tempted to start pulling things out onto my porch.  I'm having to use all the restraint I can muster because I know we'll have several more cold spells before winter truly says goodbye.  The daffodils are already blooming here and there.  Spring is exciting!


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