Monthly Archives: December 2010

Design Inspiration On A Snowy Day

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The designer in me is always spotting vintage graphic gems in the thrift stores. On a snowy hibernation day like this, when i’m glued to my computer designing stuff they come in handy. They can be found on almost anything. I have an soft spot for the ones I find on vintage hardware and packaging goods.

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ReadyMade Magazine “Gets It”

Another great and quick article about thrifting your holiday gifts on ReadyMade Online, check it out here. I should note that ReadyMade is one of the 2 print subscriptions I still militantly swear by. Hell, give them a subscription to ReadyMade AND a thrifted item, double whammy.

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Bargaining at a Thrift Store

AUDIBLE GASP! That’s right folks, I haggled (at the thrift store). It should also be noted that I also really love saying the word haggled.

Having opposed most forms of haggling at thrift stores in some previous posts, I feel I must now clarify. There’s always a time and a place for a good haggle and this was one of them: You see, my overly-technological-friendly friend Mitch has a few vinyl records but no turntable to play them on (what a chump right?), so with his birthday approaching I figured I can thrift him a turntable as a gift. I see turntables quite often and knew I’d come across one sooner or later. Fast forward to two months later (I know, i’m a bad friend!) I finally find one at a local thrift haunt of mine (pictured above). It’s beautiful, in really great shape, everything appears intact but the store wanted $20 for it. No dice. Too many variables were at play here. Sure, it was in excellent shape, but I didn’t know if it actually worked, if the needle was decent, if it needed a new belt, etc. So I did what any good haggler would do. I approached the woman who I knew was either an owner or who ran the place, told her my worries about the variables and she accepted my offer of $10 flat. BAM.

Ended up taking it in for a visit to Jerry Raskin’s Needle Doctor just to be sure everything was in tip-top shape. Threw on a new needle and belt on it for a grand total of $43 invested altogether. HAPPY BIRTHDAY (and now Christmas) MITCH! Not too shabby.

In North America (especially the Midwest) I feel haggling is a lost art. We’re way too timid. It’s partially why I feel shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars are enjoying so much success – people inherently love a good haggle. Maybe we feel it’s rude or maybe it’s just the whole “Minnesota Nice” effect that blocks it from happening more often. The best and most universal piece of advice I give out is “it never hurts to ask.”

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