Monday, June 8, 2009

Cart Envy & Other Thrift Store Hilarities!

While talking to a good friend of mine the other day, we got on the topic of going to the thrift store. She is a very new friend, one that I met by chance during a luncheon put on by a great friend that I know who consigns antiques with me. We have since formed a little group, there are six of us, and we get together once every month or so for lunch. The fun thing about this group is that a common love of antiques and treasure hunting got us together. We don't go "out" for lunch, but rather rotate lunch at each other's homes. This way we get to ooh and ahh over our found treasures and share a wonderful afternoon together. Lots of laughs and creative decorating ideas come our way and I look forward to each afternoon we share.

While talking to Marci, one of the luncheon gals, (her house is all done up in French style and what style it is!), we got around to sharing our experiences of going to the thrift store. Boy, did we have a laugh or two! Here in Utah we have smaller thrift stores that are not chains, as well as Savers, but the most predominant chain of thrift stores in our area is Deseret Industries. There are numerous stores throughout Utah as well as a few in other surrounding states. The "D.I". as it is affectionately known here is owned by the LDS Church and they are my favorite stores to hit for new and vintage treasures. And no, just because I live in Utah doesn't mean I'm Mormon. LOL! I sure get asked that question alot it seems! (*_*)

After talking to Marci, I realized that many of my experiences at the D.I. were the same as hers. Does your heart get pumping the minute you pull into the parking lot? Mine does...I can't wait to get inside to see what I'm going to find. As all of the D.I.'s have the same basic layout, I have a route that I go. First I beetle on out to the "yard" area to see if there is anything out there. This is an outside section that is under a roof, but is still fenced in within the store. There are larger items out here such as desks, large pictures, lamps, stuffed animals, household and yard's a mixed bag of goodies. Then I go back inside and head straight to the "Collectibles" section. This is a section where they have "nicer" items, sometimes antiques, and most of them are under lock and key inside a case. There is an employee there who opens the case and lets you see the item. If you buy something from this section, they write you a ticket and you have to pay for it, bring back the receipt and then collect your item. Abit of a pain, but they have a reason. They found that too many people were taking the items from this section, tearing off the price tags and replacing them with lower priced tags. Good grief! The funny thing about this section is that sometimes a lot of the items are pieces of my opinion. It makes me wonder who is in the back deciding what goes in this "higher end" section of the store. (*_*)

Then I wander through the books to see if there are any nice decorating books or magazines or new paperbacks. I get most of my reading material here. There are a lot of new books in these stores it seems and it sure saves on the Barnes & Nobles bill! Then it is up and down the aisles to see what treasures I might find and then finally, if I am brave enough and yes I will admit it, on to the clothing section. I have purchased a lot of my clothes here and I will tell you, I have gotten fab brand name clothing here for a fraction of the price sometimes with the tags still on. I know, some of you say yuck, but the stuff I've found is amazing and like I always say "once you wash it, it's yours!" Some things I steer clear of...underwear (that doesn't need explaining) and shoes...yeah, not really digging that either. If you saw the shoes that I have seen, you would understand! LOL!

Now onto my next point...Cart Envy! Okay, you know who you are! How many of you have had it? I know that I certainly have, but I am slowing learning to "let it go" know, breathe in and out and count to 10! I have walked through the D.I. so many times and have seen something breathtaking in someone else's cart and thought "now why wasn't I here just 10 minutes earlier"! It used to make me so mad! I have since learned not to be so greedy. After all, there will be another treasure on another day and I know that the new owner of this or that treasure will probably be enjoying it just as much as I would!

This now brings me to my next point...Cart Stalking! Have you ever been a stalker? A thrift store stalker that is! I am raising my hand here, yes ladies, I am guilty! Have you ever followed someone around and around the store to see if they are really going to take that treasure in their cart?, especially if you see someone being wishy washy about it! They pick it up and examine it and think and think and put it back, then they pick it up and walk on and...ohhh....I am guilty! I have followed many a person around, just lingering a few steps behind trying to look nonchalant! Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't! But I'll tell you this, if they put it down and walk away, I swoop in for the kill! (*_*) Hey, all is fair in love and thrift store shopping!

One thing I have never done is gone up to a person and asked if they really want that treasure and if they wouldn't mind giving it up to me. I know people who have and the thing that I hear over and over again is this...they may not want it, but now that YOU want it, they REALLY want it and won't give it up for anything. After all, if you want it, it must be something really good right?

All in all, I love going to thrift stores! I have found some of the most amazing pieces in these places. What have you found in your travels that is your best find yet? Do tell! ~Stacy~


Cindy said...

Funny story, true, but funny.

Brenda @Just a Bed of Roses said...

I could be your "thrift shop sister we are so much alike this way!" Shhhhh, dont tell my customers!

Sandra~Romantique Inspirations~ said...

Hi Stacy, I would love to join your group for a luncheon each month. What a way of having a good time with the girls.

Hey Great Job with the photos!

My heart beats fast when I get to any place of sales... My friend and I get so excited even when we drive into a yard sale, we can't get out of the car fast enough because of our similar taste. People look at us like we're a couple of nuts. The way you describe your ways of getting around the thrift store, I think you're as crazy as we are. Your my kind of girl!


Jodie LeJeune said...

Oh girl, this is such a cute post!
uuummmm well, are you Mormon?? JUST KIDDING!
Cart Envy...I never thought about it until you mentioned it! It must have been a subconscious thing with me because I never really "diagnosed" myself as having it. I am guilty...but not to the point of asking for anything in basket. I just pray that if they changed their minds about something that I would be at the register waiting for me when I check out. Joy!
Well, let me add "cart envy" to my disorders...thank you for the diagnosis!
everything vintage

FitToSeeJane said...

I have this same thing at Goodwill stores. I start thinking maybe this will be the day. Often I would stop by after the gym, but once I went at night and there was so much good stuff out. I got a great dress form like I'd been wanting for $25 and was so excited. I like to buy skirts, sometimes I alter them to make them more my style. Fun!

Gayle said...

I confess that I'm also a DI shopper and have often been a cart stalker. The most memorable occasion was when I spotted a vintage red picnic basket in someone else's cart with a $4 price tag on it! I nonchalantly followed her around the entire store hoping that she would set it down, but eventually had to give up when I was in line behind her at the check out stand - sigh!

Sonia ~ Vintage Rose Designs said...

Very cute post. I have seen treasures and I have pinched myself for not beeing 10 minutes earlier... Oh well, it may have been somebody else looking at my cart thinking the same thing. I love thrifting. But youre mentioning huge stores. I only have to major stores here, goodwill and salvation army. Though in the last six months I have seen a lot of little consignments and thrift shops sprouting around town. Maybe its the economy's effect. I need to go check them out...
Hugs and enjoy your trip...

All things beautiful said...

I'm guilty as charged! I wonder if all women are like that? :-)

Cathy said...

I too am a DI shopper (in Idaho) and any other thrift store in reach! Our DI used to have a woman that spent hours and hours there--daily I do believe, because she was there every time I went and she was very agressive in her shopping. She would go so far as to help the employees put the stuff up off the big roll away carts, so they could get new carts out faster and her cart(s) was always overflowing. She was a stalker to the max and I believe she ended up being banned from the store, because we no longer see her there, but I have seen her in the grocery store (also pushy there too). Of course I get cart envy--any normal thrifter does. LOL! But it's bad when you're the one being envied! LOL!

Cathy ♥

Andrea said...

I love your blog.....really gorgeous pix! I live in Illinois and we do not have the chain of thrift stores that you described. We do have lots of Goodwill stores in the area and many other smaller ones. Speaking of carts, our GW only has about 6 carts!! Customers are not envious of what's in the carts, they are envious FOR A CART!! I can't shop without a cart, so I have actually walked out of the store and gone back another time. I have protested to the clerks and they are trying to get more carts from their "mother" store in Indiana, but nobody is listening to them. I could go thrift shopping every day of the week, but we would be in the poor house and I wouldn't have a house to decorate anymore!! ):