Welcome to today’s blog on “Thrifting with a Purpose”. When I watch the occasional YouTube video on thrifters who video their experiences at the thrift store I am struck by some common elements. First, most thrifters will have an area of interest that they stick to. They will buy other things but their expertise is centered on a few categories, clothing, vintage, etc. The other thing that strikes me is their knowledge about their areas….what sells, how much something is worth. Finally, they all have their cell phone handy to look up merchandise and check its value. These are all good points when you are thrift shopping.

Most of us are not experts but you like certain things and you tend to be more knowledgeable about the things you like. You probably have a mental list of what you might want to find. If you become serious about thrifting, that mental list is important and sometimes translates into a physical list that you keep on your phone.

When my husband is with me on my outings he gravitates to the electronics, sports, and outdoor items. He has found some really great finds. This week he ran across the Bose CD System shown above. I have to say that the sound on this is terrific. Bose is a high end name in electronics and sells and resells for pretty large amounts of money. When you find something like this for under $10 it’s a real steal. Always check to make sure electronics are working. There are outlets in thrift stores provided for that purpose but If you can’t find one, just ask at the checkout counter. They will be happy to accommodate you.

Something I always look for when I’m in a thrift store is Flatware. I look for silver-plate and for stainless steel. Both can be valuable and can also add to your home decor for pennies. This recent find of silver-plate looked really bad in the store. I wasn’t sure all of it could be recovered. However, the last picture shows the difference between what I found in the store on the right and how it cleaned up with a little silver polish on the left. I bought a set of 8 place settings for about $5. Well worth the effort and they are quite pretty.

This recent find (yesterday) is a set of Oneida Heirloom Stainless Steel with 10 5-piece place settings as well as all the serving pieces. You will often find partial sets in thrift stores. I don’t purchase them unless there are at least 6 place settings, they are not scratched or otherwise compromised and they are a recognizable brand. When I looked these up before purchasing I found that they sold for $45 a place setting. The $15 price tag made them a great buy. I never buy something if I don’t like the pattern or the overall look of the item. These were quite sleek and in really good condition. Often flatware is really dirty. A little soap and water easily fixes the problem and brings them back looking great.

I love Christmas so I am always on the lookout for great Christmas items. Found this yesterday. A beautiful Lenox ornament with 24K gold plate in the original box. I love collecting Lenox ornaments and this had a significant date for us. Also the date was significant because it was the first ornament in this series by Lenox. This was in pristine condition as was the box. I checked it on-line and found it sells for $55. The price was 25% off of $4.50. Went right into my basket and will go on my tree at Christmas this year.

Another thing to look for are table linens. The picture on the right shows this week’s find…A beautiful gold tasseled table runner. It was brand new and still had the plastic around the tassels …$2.25. I like to check out any napkin rings that I find. I don’t buy unless there are at least four and I really prefer 8. Found these Baldwin boxed napkin rings (two sets) for $1.15 each. They were 25% off. The boxes show the original sale price which is always a nice addition.

Plates are always on my list of things to look for and I found these 6 German gold-edged, hand-painted plates in a set for $4.50 less 25%. I thought they were really pretty and decided to take them home. Love the pastel colors.

This shows the table runner spanning the length of the table. It needs pressing but is really attractive with raised gold braiding running the length of the runner.

Hope this gives you some ideas for what you might like to look for next time you’re in a thrift store. Whether you look for yourself or for resale or for both there are some excellent finds just waiting for you to discover. Happy Thrifting!

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