Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hey Thrift Store-You're Doing it wrong!

After a lifetime of going to thrift stores, I have learned that there is a "wrong way" and a "right way" to be a good thrift store.

1. Bad Way--A thrift store that  has an Ebay store. This means that they already took the "good stuff" out of the store and are selling it elsewhere for more money. You are left with 1990s tumblers and plastic wastebaskets.

2. Good Way--A thrift store that doesn't even know how to operate a computer. Can't research items to find out the worth, and can't sell things online.

3. Bad Way--A locked counter or cabinet. This means that they have taken all the good stuff and locked it away so they can charge you more. They know what things are worth and they want every penny of it!

4. Good Way--No locked cabinets or counters, because they don't know or care what things are worth. As far as they are concerned, its all worth a quarter.

5. Bad Way--Thrift stores that count every item in your cart, no matter how much you have. They make you put it all on the counter and they ring each and every item up, even if you have 2 baskets full.

6. Good Way (my favorite way)--The cashier just takes one look at your giant haul and says, "$5.00". I am guessing that they are too lazy to ring all of that up, but I just pretend its because they like me and I am special.

7. Bad Way-- The store is overall too clean and organized. That always spells trouble for me. It means that everything is probably priced at retail, everything's been researched, cleaned, fixed and organized. Never a good sign.

8. Good way--I know this sounds weird, but if I go it to a place that is a jumbled mess, with random piles everywhere, I know I have found a gold mine! It means they don't know or care about any of it, they don't research anything, clean anything, inspect anything. It just comes in as a donation and they just dump it all on the shelves or in bins. It really is like panning for gold, I find I do the best at these kind of places.

9. Bad Way--thrift stores that charge retail. Seriously! Why?  Its supposed to be a "thrift store". $25 for a Fire king bowl, not even a rare one?

and 10. The Good Way--everything is a quarter.

So with that being said, sometimes the rules don't always apply. Last week, I passed by this delightfully crappy looking thrift store. You know, the kind that I mentioned in #7 being awesome gold mines...well this was more like panning for turds.

They even had a homemade crappy sign...I really had some hope for this one...the fact that there were zero cars in the parking lot, should have been a red light for me. But it wasn't, I had to go check it out, cause you never know, right?

First of all the whole place smelled like pee-pee. And it was full of dumpster dive stuff. I admit, I have dumpster dived myself, I'm cool with that, however, this was more like they dumpster dived after all of the professional dumpster divers already got the good stuff (yeah, I know "dumpster diving" and "good stuff" don't really belong together in the same sentence....), well, this shop got the stuff that the dumpster divers didn't want. Basically, if it was not up to the standards of dumpster divers, it ended up here. They were selling promotional pharmaceutical knick knacks, broken furniture, stuffed animals (seriously ick!) with a sign that said "SALE, normally $2 each, today, only $1 each) and they were all shoved into a nasty dirty stained baby play pen.

It takes a lot for a thrift store to gross me out....but this one did.

So needless to say, I came out, I mean ran out, empty handed.

Here are some random finds that I found elsewhere:

 I have never carried any crocheted afghans in my shop before, but I thought I would just try something a little different. The weather is getting cooler up north (not here in Florida), and I was really drawn to these colors, so I thought I would list a few in my shop and give it a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I have never seen one of these before, but I thought it had the cutest retro pattern so I couldn't resist. Its a heating pad cover, how cool is that?

Items available on the links on the side bar to the right.

I was able to pick up some really fun retro reads this past week, pleased about these!

1950s Cub Scout book

1960s Cowboy book
1938 Santa book
1960s Poodle clipping book. (seriously, I have listed and sold many times before anything vintage poodle, its an oddly popular hot seller for me, go figure!)

1960s fun retro Christmas ideas book! Just in time for the holidays!
Mid Century music book. Full of super fun mid century illustrations. I can never resist that kind of stuff!

All of these items are available in the links to my shops on the sidebar (right hand side)


Enjoy your week, my friends! I always welcome your comments.




Monday, September 22, 2014

What's Been Brewing Lately

With Autumn here along with cooler weather (for you Northerners...we are going to be in the 90s at least for another month or so here in Florida), I have coffee on the mind. Okay, truth is, I always have coffee on my mind. Never offense to the Starbucks fans out there. I don't particularly care for their coffee, I find their atmosphere boring at best, AND I prefer to support small independent businesses. Starbucks is anything but small. Why am I talking about coffee? Because, I will be featuring a few special independent coffee houses during the fall months.

Before I feature my first coffee house, okay, second coffee house. Yep, Last week I featured FELICITOUS...that is where my 11 year old son, Evan, is the featured artist until the end of October, so I'm biased. So before I feature the next coffee house, I want to feature ME, and some of my cool finds this week.

I did not attend Fun Lan Swap Meet this week. I figure every other week will be about all I can handle, meanwhile, I have been perusing quite a few thrift shops and rummage sales to try to stock up my shops as best as possible for the holiday rush.

Geeked when I found this little treasure! I so love string art, and string art with a string instrument is double yummy!

Cool mid-century vibe! STRING ART HARP, would make a fantastic present for the music lover in your life.

70s Wall Plague anyone? The cartooning on this reminded me of Schoolhouse Rock, which then reminded me of "I'm just a Bill...." and that song is stuck in my head. I totally adore Schoolhouse Rock!

This WALL PLAGUE would be fun in a Men's Den/game room or in a bar. Fun cheesy 70s goodness!

Nice vintage red plaid thermos for your warm winter drink. Coffee, hot cocoa, Cider spiked with rum....Whatever, do it in cool retro style:

ALLADIN THERMO will set you up with hot beverages that will stay hot as you get hammered while skiing (totally not recommended BTW)

One of the main reasons that I was drawn to these thermos mugs is because they are the type of mugs seen on "Orange is the New Black"!  Yes, a show about prison made these extra cool to me.

DINEX INSULATED WEAR because you can never have enough insulation to keep that coffee nice and hot!
As some of you know, I was born and raised in Detroit. I try to promote the cool stuff there, because there is a LOT of cool stuff there. Best city in the world (besides the snow, cause that really sucks....kinda the reason I live in Florida). I was so excited to hear about this ultra fucking fantastic coffee house opening up....sharing the same zip code with my childhood home!
And look at this kick ass menu:
I am so going there the next time I am back home!
From their Facebook page, I can see there is open mic night and supporting of the arts/handmade. That is so important to me: independent businesses supporting independent businesses!

Maybe next time we are there, Evan will be featuring his art at ALWAYS BREWING DETROIT 
Very proud of all the amazing positive changes that I see happening in Detroit.
Let me know if there are any independent coffee shops that you feel need a shout out.
Don't forget to check me out on Instagram @RandomGoodsVintage
for sneak peeks and secret sales.
And check out Evan's world of art on Instagram  @EvanDGatscher

Linking up with SIR THRIFT A LOT
Stay warm my Northern friends.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fun Lan...AGAIN!

I don't even know why I end up at Fun Lan Swap Meet....Oh, wait, I remembered...because it is the only thing open at 7am when I am returning from dropping my son at school in Ybor. (That and the fact that I have no self control..anyhoo)

Its kind of weird, I usually find something cool and nobody there knows or cares about if it is actually worth something. Its all laid out on dirty blankets on the ground of a deserted Drive In movie theater. Actually, it is not deserted, it is still active. Can you believe it? But it needs to be deserted, because it is really  run down and in a very nasty part of town. Being from Detroit, I'm cool with that.

Looky looky! Fun Lan goodies!

These milk glass mugs (possibly Glasbake or FireKing) were just on a random table with a bunch of other crappy mugs and doo dads, like broken jewelry. He didn't have change when I paid him. So I told him to keep the change, because it was such a ridiculous price. I think I made his day.

Get 'em here------>APPLE MUGS

I couldn't pass up this little rainbow shot glass. I find that I cannot pass up anything rainbow. They are popular among the 70s lovers, Gay Pride, just a whole plethora of groups of people love rainbows. So that is a bit of advice: never pass up rainbow stuff!

Rainbows and booze, can't go wrong!
 Bottom's up------>RAINBOW SHOT GLASS
Then this sweet little old lady had a stack of these old LIFE magazines from the 60s and 70s. Its like she was just cleaning out her garage, found these and plopped them down on her blanket on the concrete with all the other useless crap that she was selling.
I had to have them. Mostly because I am addicted to vintage ads, and these were full of them. I scanned the ads and now they are listed in my shop.
My favorite ad! Tanning with baby oil!
 I also got tons more goodies during the week. Most are listed in my shops, (links on the sidebar)
AND I hit the mother load of vintage sci fi! Like 30-40 pulp fiction sci fi, with fantastic cover art...The good stuff, and half already sold before I could blog about how cool they are. I am still going to blog about how cool they are, because I am in love with them!


So many more! Good stuff, wish I had time to read some.
I haven't done a indie business of the week this summer, I am starting up again this week. And it's not just because my son is hanging his art on the walls of this awesome little place. Its because it really is a kick ass establishment...and because my sons art is currently adorning their walls until the end of October.

Coffee house and art gallery. Seriously, how cute is this place? (Yep, that's my Evan)

Some of his art hanging out on the walls, making this place look even awesomer

Drinking some decaf latte...spoiled little shit!

You are invited! Come and take a look and have some super yummy coffee and fantastic nibbles (seriously, the desserts...Yow-Za! )


If that picture of a mug topped with melty soft marshmallows didn't make you stop whatever you are doing and  rush right over there, you must have a dead soul...just saying.....

That is it for now, my friends. Check out my shops for goodies! Follow me on Instagram and Tumblr @RandomGoodsVintage (lots of sneak peeks and special sales!)

Follow Evan and his fantastic world of creature illustrations on Instagram

Just don't follow me home at night. That would be creepy!

Linking up with SIR THRIFT A LOT and Thrifter Maker Fixer Farm this week.

Tell me about your week? And good found treasures and vintage delights?