Guest Poster Jessica and the Thrifting Chronicles

26 Apr

I have a treat for you today! My old friend Jessica is coming on board as the first person to bravely answer the call for guest posts and do I ever appreciate it. Jessica won’t tell you so, but she’s an incredible artist and stands as one of the most creative people I’ve ever met. So when she offered to write about thrifting, I knew she would have some keen insight and pointers to make your mouth water for vintage finds. Photos are courtesy of Jessica so no “borrowing.”

Hi! I’m Jessica. I’m here guest blogging on The Intrepid Nerd about the fine art of thrifting, as in visiting yard sales, thrift stores, and flea markets looking for priceless treasures. I am an avid thrifter. I go as much as possible. There’s just something about finding a totally cool and unique item at a ridiculously low price. I started this hobby in my early twenties when I would pile into my aunt’s van along with mom, sister-in-law law, and grandmother at 6 am every Saturday during the summer and we would hit up as many yard sales as we could.  My cousin and I furnished our first apartment for about $200 on these “thrifty” items. Over the years I’ve learned a few things, and I would like to share them with you guys.
This isn’t for the faint of heart.
First off, I will put out a warning that these things can be hit and miss. I’ve searched for hours and thrift stores and left with nothing, I’ve been to some really terrible flea markets, and don’t get me started on some of the super creepy yard sales I’ve checked out.  Other times I’ll hit the “mother load”and leave with a car full. So, don’t get discouraged when you have an off week. Who knows what you’ll pick up next time.
Be mindful of your time frame.
With thrift Stores and flea markets you have glorious hours upon hours of thrifting joy at your dispense. Rummage as you please. Leave no trinket left behind! Places like these usually have hidden treasures left by other thrifter’s hiding the good stuff for a later purchase. Don’t be fooled! Take your time and enjoy.
With yard sales you have to get while the getting’s good. It takes me about 5 minutes to check out a yard sale. It’s usually pretty easy to decide if it’s a right fit for your personal style just by quickly scanning some of the items. In a perfect world we could search as we like, but there’s just no time. Yard sales start getting stale (picked over mess) around 10 am where I’m from. So I say quick peeks and move along.
Cheap stuff even cheaper!
Most thrift stores have daily specials. I just bought a sweet pair of shoes for $3.50 originally priced at Goodwill for $7!  I’ve heard on occasion they sell housewares for 99 cents! When you visit be sure to find out the scoop on their specials. At most flea markets and yard sales it’s perfectly acceptable to bargain. This is something I am still not completely comfortable with, because I’m very shy. On occasion though, when I gather up all my courage I will politely ask “is this a firm price?” The worst they can say is no, or call you a cheap-o.
Well guys, I hope you’ve learned from experiences. If you’re a seasoned thrifter, let me know about your best score. Till then, happy hunting.
(Editor’s note: Also, if we want to take this to a really nerdy place we could discuss how the thrifting tendency reflects an evolutionary instinct to hunt and gather. Do you ever unexpectedly fall in love with something green or red? There are several scientific studies demonstrating a female attraction to the colors because they would have indicated good food in the wild. The more you know…)
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