08 December 2011

Secrets of Thrifiting : Strategic Eavesdropping

Just t'other day, I hit one of my favorite watering holes. I found a few things, and headed to the front desk to purchase them happily. As the kindly clerk was toting up my purchases, I heard the couple behind me explain to the couple behind them: "this place is o.k. But you gotta go to the one in H********. They've got the best stuff." My ears perked, and I turned to spy who was talking. A couple in their 60s, the wife wearing a knockout vintage knee length Barbour coat, not unlike this, only knee length, and perfectly weathered, so cool:
...with old jeans, L.L.Bean rubber mocs, and a turtle neck sweater. Immediately, it registers with me that not only do these people appear to be old pros at this game, but they also seem to share my aesthetic.Out in the car, I look up the new location straightaway, and head there at once. Within minutes, I am laden with more than I can carry.

Keep your eyes and ears peeled, and observe the other folks around you. They can offer clues to the next big score.

p.s. my good fortune is your good fortune. The Shop is busting with new stuff, more to be added over the weekend. Check it out.

10 comments:

bob said...

Oh man, I shouldn't have looked in the shop. Must. Buy. Things. For. Others. That quilted vest probably won't be sticking around until after Christmas though...

Giuseppe said...

Like Curtis Mayfield said "I'm your pusher man...."

oxford cloth button down said...

Very nice. You have to love finding a new spot!

Common Boston Gentleman said...

Always looking for tips from expert thrifters. Many thanks, sir.

Donald Kjellberg said...

Too bad your not in Southern Cal. I would have asked where was this wonderful place. Fortunately, I have a great deal to explore not being far from Los Angeles.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you stop pushing your online store and share the secret.

Giuseppe said...

Um...because I have kids to feed? That o.k. with you?

There's no such thing as a successful thrift shopper who gives away the honey pot locations. I've told you how to spot quality, how to pick up clues, and the importance of patience, persistence and open-mindedness. What else do you want?

Joe said...

I've read this blog for a long time and never felt strongly enough about anything to comment, but I feel like your rationale is ass backwards on this one.

This post literally described you eavesdropping on two "successful" thrifters who were helping out someone with presumably similar interests/style by sharing their favorite spot with them.

You then, harvested that information, to brag about on the internet and use for potential profit. You combing over a store and taking every nice thing you find, regardless of it it's your size or not, and then upselling them to geeks and hipsters on the internet is not wrong in itself, but it goes against the principles you claim to believe are associated with thrifting, do you believe a suit that you buy for $8 and sell for $80 is put to better use, or does more justice to the garment, than if a 20 year old had gotten it himself for a job interview at that thrift store?

The couple you described seemed to have had plenty of good luck finding beautiful pieces for themselves without worrying about secrecy and the "no one can ever know where I go or else they'll get there before me and pick up all the things I wanted to sell" vibe you've always put out.

I can't believe that you would honestly destroy the hustle you've built up by sharing stores with some of your Boston readers, who I can't imagine make up the entirety of your audience. (So you can still upsell your finds to the rest of 'em)

Giuseppe said...

This is how I buy food for my kids, pal. Something wrong with that?

I am nothing if not honest about what I do. I fail to see your point.

Joe said...

I have nothing against you using your passion to supplement your income, I do the same thing myself.

My point was not that; my point was that you claim that if a good thrifter shares his stores, then his good thirfting will be blown. And I'm saying that the exact story you told in this post instantly proved the opposite.