Not a thrift store shopper? Maybe you should be. Join the league of thrift store lovers who have found cool and often expensive things like rare paintings, vintage clothing, and Renaissance-era furniture. Here are a few thrift store finds by real people that will make your jaw drop.
1. Designer High Heels
You never know what $2 might buy you at your local thrift store. One lucky shopper bought a pair of Yves Saint Laurent black patent leather high heels worth $900.
2. Waterford Chandelier
Calvin Shingleton, a contributor on the thread, explains the serendipitous moment when he found a $12000 crystal chandelier with a $500 asking price. Having examined the base and crystals on his new find, Calvin couldn't believe his thrift treasure came whole without dents. He says he plans to add it to his will so one of his kids inherits it when he dies.
3. Cartier Watch
A thrift store manager named Dwny Bee narrates how she found an original Cartier Watch in the bag of a deceased donor.
"I was in absolute awe and was so excited! The thing is, I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to sell it without the donor's consent," she explains. She found the deceased's family and learned that the later owner, who also had dementia, had received the watch as an anniversary gift from her husband and likely forgot to keep it in a safe place.
4. Vintage Prada Bag
Galos was unpacking her clothes to let the wrinkles subside when attending a black tie event. She searched a thrift store for a laundry bag but found a Prada bag sitting pretty on the shelf. So she ended up buying it for an unbelievable price of $15.
5. A Priceless Picture
One user, Rob Chung, recounts how she found her mother's favorite wall picture decor after years of separation in a thrift store. One day, she entered a store looking for nothing in particular and found such priceless treasure.
6. First Edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays
A thread contributor, Nima Mason says she didn't know she had found a gem when she picked up a box of old books one storekeeper was eager to discard.
One of the books was a first edition of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Essays, printed in error. It was an unbelievable find she sold to pay her monthly mortgage and electricity bill.
7. Dollar Cased in a Picture Frame
Tayden Knicely, one of the participants on the thread, bought a cool picture from a thrift store for $3 but was having a problem nailing it to the wall of his room.
When he took it back down to investigate the problem, a weird bulge on the backside of the frame caught his attention. He describes his find like this, "Carefully I pulled the tape loose, and out fell $700 in hundred dollar bills…Best $3.00 I ever spent!"
8. Patterned Rug
Maggie Mcquiad didn't know what she was looking at when she found a high-valued Patterned Rug in a thrift store marked for $5. The softness of the yarn and the fineness of the weave made her doubt the authenticity, but a closer look by her friend and an appraisal expert showed her find could be worth a thousand bucks as it was an excellent example of 20th-century card and weaving.
9. Silver Mesh Handbag
Barrie Creedon, a frequent thrift store user, says he has had too many precious finds in a lifetime. He recalls the unique find of a sterling mesh handbag he bought for $2.99. The bag was circa 1909, and he sold it for $125, a price he considered low even though he needed the money so badly then.
10. Diamond Ring
Priced at $229, Christie thought the stones on the ring she looked at in a Jacksonville store were all fake. She bought it nonetheless for $200 and took it to a jeweler who valued it at $2.8k. Excited, she left with it and returned after some time to find out the value had increased to $4K!
11. A Beautiful Lamp
Elizabeth thinks the lamp she found in a thrift store is so cool. Someone must have done a horrible job hiding its glow and magnetic property, so it seemed like brass instead of copper when sprayed in black paint. After dismantling and proper cleaning, she found it was "solid copper; Pierce worked, 10, and repoussé. Cleaned up, rewired, and polished, it's just beautiful."
10 Horrifying Finds From Thrift Stores
A Pennslyvania resident describes how he found a photo album at an auction house belonging to a U.S. soldier who served in the South Pacific during World War Two. "The first few pages were mostly snaps of various friends and acquaintances," says our contributor. However, as he went deeper, images of mutilated Japanese casualties began to appear...
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"I tend to avoid stuffed animals," confesses one woman. "They are hard to wash and, assuming they belonged to children, have God knows what on them (or worse, soaked into them)."
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