Searching through second-hand stores and thrift shops can be a surprisingly positive experience. There are always items there that will interest you. Further, there’s always the possibility that you’ll find an unexpected treasure among the trash.
For example, you may come across well-preserved estate furniture in styles from a century ago. There could be fancy dishes, cups, plates and glassware you haven’t seen since you were a child while visiting your grandparents. The best thing that could happen would be to find something of unexpected value, such as an old oil painting, a valuable chair, a piece of sculpture or a tintype photo from the 19th Century.
Even the somewhat newer items in the second-hand store can be worth buying. You can browse through used CDs and DVDs that originally sold for $20 each, and find your favorite movie or musical performances for $1. That little $2 clock-radio and $1 throw rug would be just right for the spare room.
Books of all types, hard-cover and paperback, may be offered for 10 cents each. For a dollar, you may pick up that well-preserved big color photo book of Grand Canyon scenes that will look great on your living room coffee table.
If you’ve ever watched “Antiques Road Show” on Public Broadcasting and similar TV programs, you know there are always second-hand store surprises. For a happy example, a Native American rug purchased for $50 had been hanging on a wall in a woman’s garage for decades. It was recently evaluated by experts to be worth $50,000.
There are frequent examples of similar finds in thrift shops. Lucky buyers may be thrilled to discover that the dusty oil painting or 18th Century chair they bought for $10 is actually worth $100,000. Of course, those rags-to-riches finds very rarely occur, but just the chance of it happening to you always makes the thrift shop or second-hand store experience interesting. A hand-embroidered patchwork quilt would give the bedroom a homey look.
Less valuable, but useful discoveries can happen every time you visit a second-hand store. Some colorful framed prints you can get for $10 each can brighten up a room.
The experience of going through all the items in the store doesn’t need to end with finding something valuable. It can be just plain fun, and you never know what surprisingly good bargains you’ll find. The old saying that one person’s junk can be another person’s treasure could describe your next visit to a second-hand store.