Home » trending » Coolest Things Found In Thrift Stores

Coolest Things Found In Thrift Stores

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. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding a thrift store in your city. 

Thrift Store Shopping

thrift store photo
Image Credit: Shutterstock

In my town, there are many, including The Salvation Army and Goodwill. Local churches and other organizations often have thrift stores too. Here are a few thrift store finds by real people that will make your jaw drop.

1. Designer High Heels

woman wearing high heels
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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

coolest things found in thrift stores
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Doha, Qatar - March 09, 2020: Cartier Tank Watch monochrome
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Beige women's bag. Leather bag. Prada bag. Close up.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Woman hanging wall picture.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Woman reading book
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Photo of impressed astonished lady look empty space hold white picture frame isolated on blue color background
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Homemade waterproof crochet rug made from used plastic bags, rag rug. Upcycling and recycling concept. Made of plastic yarn or plarn.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

Silver Handbag
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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

woman with diamond ring
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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

Stylish lamp, book and glasses on bedside table indoors. Bedroom interior elements
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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.”

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. You can buy new coach, Fendi, all names 3x per year for about $100 in lieu of $500 at the emporium locations in your area. My bf let’s choose at these sales which are on Xmas, labor day memorial day too. There’s maybe one other n I get perfumes too. Emporium are all high-end stores, clothes, makeup, shoes etc men’s fashion too. Love also my 99c store too! It has great fresh produce n wall art xcellent chocolate, happy shopping!

  2. I bought an old purse for $2 on impulse when checking out of a thrift store. I got home & was disappointed to see the purse was really bad & was starting to fall apart. When I pushed it down in the trash I felt something hard. I pulled it back out & realized that something was caught in the liner. I found a hole & pulled out some appointment cards & $150 in 4 different restaurant gift cards. I checked, & all of them were still good! It wasn’t my most lucrative thrift find, but it’s my favorite!

  3. I love hearing messages like these about getting valuable stuff from thrift stores. Please send me information where to sell such products if I ever come across such. Thanks

  4. I searched a dumpster outside a house and found $2200 in a hood watch and countless number of new in shrink wrap books worth $300 each. Total finds without going any deeper because of broken glass. Over $4,000 worth

  5. I found so many beautiful things I found most of them back in 80s90s you could find anything ! Now I got to much and want it gone

  6. I fond a 14kt gold large choker necklace. It weighed more than 3 ounces. Yes ounces not grams.I paid $2. I’ve been hooked on thrift stores ever since.

  7. Found a Coach purse at a flea market. Paid $3.00. Once I got home and looked it up, found out it was worth $300.

  8. My son, when he was a child, went to a garage sale, bought a gold herringbone chain for $1. This chain, was a present for me. I examined the chain and found out that it was 14 kt gold! Nice buy!

  9. I found a 2 carat diamond ring for 15.00 , it was later appraised at 8000.00and a beautiful oil painting of a pastoral scene for 10.00 that was appraised at 2500.00 so I know the deals are out there. My friend also thrifts and finds valuable jewelry and antique furniture at yard sales!

  10. This is first time I’ve viewed your blog. Can’t wait to read your next one!!

  11. These items are being found in thrift stores because families don’t talk and death is overwelming, so most people resort to dumping property because they have no idea of the value of the property. Enjoy your short-term gain because all people die and your cheap treasure will belong to someone else eventually!

  12. I’ve found a 100 year old water color painting for 10 dollars. 10 years ago antique road show stated that it was at least worth $500. Found stained glass lamp and antique silver jewelry. Estate sales are good too!!