Tag Archives: mitch gerads

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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Bacon Pressing, Birds, and Bargain Hunting

You thought I was dead didn’t you? Suckers! Oh ye thifters of little faith, fret not, for I am here, alive and well.

So the spring garage sale was for the most part a success. Sold a lot of stuff that had accrued and freed up some space for the big move. After watching a couple episodes of Hoarders you can basically decide to get rid of anything you own, real fast. The past couple of weeks I managed to hit up a couple thrift stores and a few sales. The stuff pictured above is only half of my stuff, half of the pics are just funny or cool items I saw while out and about, but didn’t need/want to buy.

First, I FINALLY got a cast iron meat press (courtesy pause for necessary chuckles here). I didn’t technically thrift it, but I did get it at a discount store, $7. Can’t wait to grill some stuff and make perfectly flat soggy bacon strips with it. I’ll even maybe attempt a homemade “Juicy Lucy”, who knows. Speaking of pressings I also picked up two old LP’s by The Band, $4 each, mint condition. Also found another great and gaudy vintage picture frame for a buck.

Summer coffee in the backyard means mugs. My ma picked up those two you see there ($2 each). She’s got a sharp eye. Probably where I inherited it from. A Lucky Charms mug I’m donating to my illustrator pal Mitch Gerads. The other is that wonderfully tacky vintage mug commemorating Princess Diana and Charles’ marriage in 1981. It’s for sale, if there’s any Lady Diana collector nuts out there who simply can’t resist it. That alarm clock I pulled out of my grandma’s stuff. It must weigh about 8 lbs and the type and inlay on it is gorgeous, I couldn’t let her sell it. It still works. It’s those kinds of items that harkens me back to my post about “Old things that work better than the new things.”  That clock is definitely one of those types of items.

Lastly, I found another one of those great old bird guides ($2.99). The info graphics and logos in it are insanely great. In the back 2 of the pages had rulers on the edge, so you can take it in the field. It means serious business. Bird business. All the other items pictured are things I chuckled at or thought were visually rad. Enjoy!

UPDATE: See that lil squirrel planter that I bought about 2 years ago? Well I finally planted a tiny little aloe plant in there and it’s growing really fast. Hooray for Squirrly!

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