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35 Times People Couldnt Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores (New Pics)

We just love thrift shops here at Bored Panda. Since we discovered the awesome Facebook group ”Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared we have been sharing and sharing, and, as well as the new finds below, you can see previous posts here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Oh, and here too! Now that’s a lot of thrift store finds!

So scroll down below to see yet more weird, wonderful and funny thrift store finds and let’s say it all together: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

#1

Griswald Definitely Approves Of This Garage Sale Find

We know that thrifting is great fun and can be really interesting too, but what are the wider benefits of shopping second hand? With thanks to Unwrinkling, let’s explore some more positive aspects of heading to your local thrift store!

Environmental impact: Re-wearing clothes reduces waste and pollution. Every garment purchased second-hand means one less new one produced, which is important because regardless of material, the production of clothing is costly to the environment. Producing synthetic fibers like polyester requires lots of energy, as well as crude oil like petroleum; byproducts include toxic gases and chemicals. Sadly, pesticides used on most plants mean that even cotton and linen garments have a negative impact. Transportation-related pollution also decreases when clothing is re-used, as new clothes are much more likely to travel long distances before being sold than are their second-hand counterparts.

#2

For Years I Would Look At Craigslist Hoping Someone Would Post Some Of My Grandma’s Things

Not sure how weird, but more like the universe righting a wrong. My grandmother inherited 2 beautiful bronze statues from her cousin(who was also one of my most favorite people in the world). I always loved the statues and would sit and stare at them as a child when I would go to my grandma’s house. As I got older, I only grew to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship that went into making the statues even more. On one visit with my grandma she asked me if there was anything I wanted when she passed on. Not wanting to even think about her passing away, I was hesitant but she brought up the statues cause she knew how much I loved them. I agreed that yes I would love to have them. Through the years I became more distant from my family, except my grandmother. When my grandma died, my family made it very clear that my partner (and support system) was not welcome to come with me. Not wanting to make things uncomfortable, especially for myself, I decided not to go at all and held my own little ceremony for my grandma. Well, I asked about a will but was told there was not one, which I don’t believe and was told that one family sold off all of my grandma’s things to pay off his debts. So no one got anything, again, not sure that I believe all of that. But anyway, for years I would look at craigslist hoping someone would post some of my grandma’s things. Of course I wanted the statues but would have taken anything at that point. 5 years went by and I was giving up hope. I was laying in bed, it was around midnight, and I decided to look on facebook marketplace. I put the location to where she lived and typed in “Bronze statues” and there they were!!! My girls popped up at an antique store. I cried quietly and could hardly sleep. The next morning I got in touch with the store owner and well….Here they are. I sometimes still can’t believe they are in my home. I love them so much!!!!

#3

Stumbled Upon This Used Book Arch A Local Couple Kept In Their Barn Outside Pittsburgh A Few Months Ago And Begged My Boyfriend To Let Me Buy It For Our Wedding

Social impact: Thrift stores make it easier to know where your money is going. To track the money you handed over for that brand-new Old Navy polo, you would need to trace the brand back to the corporation behind it, the assembly factories used by the corporation, their textile providers, and those textile providers’ raw materials suppliers—at a bare minimum.

In evaluating all these steps (and the many others involved in the production chain), there are numerous considerations to keep in mind: Was your farmer using environmentally responsible methods? Was your seamstress of legal working age, paid a fair wage to work in a safe factory? Is the corporation behind it the kind you want to support, or one whose views you wouldn’t like to see perpetuated?

In short, it can be a bit of a nightmare to track the impact of your seemingly trivial purchase. However, with most thrift stores, this burden is greatly reduced. For better or worse, the original purchaser’s money has already supported the whole chain of production that led to your second-hand Old Navy polo. Since most thrift stores in Europe, North America, and Australia rely heavily (if not exclusively) on donated clothing, this means you only have to question one link in the whole chain—the store right in front of you.

Many thrift stores also directly support charity. It’s no coincidence that in the UK and Ireland, the term “thrift store” doesn’t even exist—they call them “charity shops” instead. In America, the best-known thrift stores are Goodwill and The Salvation Army, organizations which provide services to the unemployed, homeless, and disabled. In Europe, NGOs like Oxfam commonly use thrift stores to raise funds for humanitarian aid. By shopping at these kinds of establishments, your clothing purchase can go from supporting Third World child labor to supporting Third World children’s’ education.

#4

Found The Oddest But Most Perfect Leash/Lead For Our Little Dachshund Today In The Local Charity Shop

#5

This Sign

Personal impact: Thrifted clothing offers more room for uniqueness. While it’s not the end of the world to see some other guy sporting the same sweater as you, most of us would choose to avoid such incidents, if possible. Since thrifted clothing infrequently comes in multiples, you’re much less likely to bump into someone wearing the exact same thing. In addition, there’s bound to be lots of clothes that were produced decades ago, or on the other side of the country, or in some other circumstance that makes them different than what the average shopper is buying off the sale rack at the mall.

Thrift shopping allows for more creativity. Thrift stores are notorious for the wacky and bizarre items they often contain. (Remember Macklemore’s footed Batman jammies?) While these items can be downright eyesores, many just need a person with vision to re-interpret them in a contemporary way. For some, this may mean simply adding the right accessories; others may completely reconstruct their garment with shears and a trusty Singer. Either way, thrifting can allow one to do more than mindlessly mimic what one sees on the display-window mannequin, by providing more varied and interesting materials as inspiration.

Sources: Unwrinkling, The Ecologist

#6

One Of My Favorite Finds! Found In An Antique Store In Florida. Unopened Bottle Of Poison. You Can’t Tell Here But The Pills Are All Coffin Shaped… The Store Had An Opened Bottle As Well

#7

Found This Gem And Couldn’t Believe My Eyes. Paid $10 For It, Thought It Was Just His Hammer Till I Saw Those Clasps

#8

Teeny Tiny Fully Functional Knife With Mother Of Pearl Handle

I got this year’s ago at a garage sale and it lives on a shelf next to my bed. You know for protection against leprechauns, gnomes and fairies

#9

My 1960 Lee West Alpha Egg Chair Sitting In All Its Magnificent Glory In Our Home! It Has Speakers Inside That Still Work Perfectly And Came With Original Ottoman And Side Table!

#10

I Found Some Interesting Things At An Amazing Estate Sale Recently. This One Was The Best ! Only $5,000

#11

It’s A Murder Mystery Writers Desk Teapot I Found At Value Village For $10, And I Just Found The Kitchen Sink Teapot At Goodwill For $5 I Think 2 Makes It A Collection, Right?

#12

Found This Very Happy Piggy Today! I Couldn’t Resist, She Now Lives With Me

#13

I Found The Perfect Item To Celebrate My Divorce From The Husband From Hell In A Few Weeks. Smells Like A Good Night Sleep Knowing I’m Not Being Cheated On

#14

This Is The Tiniest Set Of Nesting Dolls I’ve Ever Seen. Brother And I Were Crying In Laughter As They Kept Getting Smaller And Smaller

#15

Yup- It’s Coming Home!

#16

My Friend Left Me This In My New Bathroom! 4.5 Stars!!

#17

This Came Home With Me. It’s Brilliant And Well Crafted

#18

Found This Guy On The Side Of The Road. The Elderly Man Getting Rid Of Him Told Me It’s Because His Wife Can’t Stand Looking At It Anymore And It’s Crack In It’s Back

He was pretty upset over it and mentioned he had this guy for over 35+ years. Currently working on restoring him! Yesterday was dedicated to cleaning, gluing and filling. Today once the filler is done and it stops raining, I’ll be sanding and sealing. Thinking about gifting this guy back to the elderly man

#19

Meet “Bubo”! A 1960’s Am Radio From Japan. I Found Him Looking A Little Worse For The Wear And Tagged “As Is” At A Local Antique Mall In Cashmere, Washington

#20

Yeah, I’m Impulsive.. But.. I’ve Wanted One For Everrrr! And.. My Birthday Is Coming Up… And.. He Was Only $220! Their Loss

#21

Meet Marvin. He Is So Handsome

#22

Just Brought Home This Bad Boy From Goodwill. I Absolutely Cannot Wait To Use It At Work On Tuesday

#23

Went Through A Box I Inherited Of My Grandparents Knick-Knacks And Came Across This Beautiful Gem. Tiny Little Ceramic Kittys Drinking And Playing In Spilled Milk

#24

I Talked My Husband Into Helping Me Bring This Home From Work. He Totally Indulges My Whimsy

See Also on Bored Panda
#26

So This Is A Nifty Little Something I Got At A Thrift Store In South Carolina Several Years Ago For $4.25. It Is A Little Over 11 Inches Tall, Is Made Of Gold And Silver, And Weighs Approximately 1.25 Pounds

17k

 When I found it, it was covered with what seemed like cigar smoke residue, and it looked like it was made of brass. It is called a “bridal cup” or in german, a “jugendfraubecher”. They are popularly used in japan england, and throughout europe and germany where they originated in 1450 a.d. in nuremberg.  

  The bride and groom can toast their marriage with it and drink from the same cup at the same time without spilling a drop as the legend of the original prescribes. The legend says that the cup was made by an illiterate gold and silversmith who had won the maiden Brunnehilde’s heart. Her father said he could only have her hand if he could make a cup that both of them could drink from at the same time without spilling a drop. The figurine’s skirt is a cup, and she holds a cup on a swivel over her head. The king was won over and his daughter married the commoner and they all lived happily ever after. 

   As it turns out, when I looked more closely at this piece, I realized it was not a production piece with industrial markings, but rather was a one of a kind hand-made piece using incredibly primitive methods. Turns out this piece may actually be the original nuremberg jugendfraubecher of 1450 a.d.  

   The German foreign ministry checked logs of lost and stolen artifacts from the war and we did not find an owner looking for it. Then they had two experts examine photos to see if it was possibly the original and a cultural treasure.  

   The experts agreed that there was no picture or detailed knowledge of the original to ever be sure, but that this one fit the description in every way except that it did not have pomegranates decorating it. Turns out the pomegranates run down both sides of it and they had examined picture from the front and back.  

   I will be taking it to nuremberg germany where I am confident the local chamber of commerce will assist with finding it’s proper place in culture. I am sure it is insanely valuable, but it is not something a person can really own. If it turns out to be a worthy example and possibly the original, it belongs in nuremberg Germany for the world to enjoy. Their local museum has a silver jugendfraubecher from around 1600 when they started to become popularized. 1600 is also when the rest of the industry developed the technology to reliably copy the original.

  This bridal cup was made by fusing curved plates with molten gold and silver, and then the excess was shaved away and polished. The thickness of the sides of the skirt cup varies a great deal, and it looks like parts of the engraving on some of the plates got too hot and softened during the assembly. Up close you can see the handwork and surface engraving around the silver inlays. The figurine in the middle was cast as a single piece and the face and hands of silver were fused onto it.  

  I suspect that the figurine is either gold, or was cast in silver and then hot dipped in gold. A scratch on the back does not show any silver, but perhaps gold dipping or some other crude plating method might have put it on thick.

   The latticework in the hands that holds the cup aloft are obviously solid cast gold, because you can see where somebody cut away some pieces, possibly desperate to raise money to flee germany before the war. I still have a gut feeling this piece left Germany in the 1930’s or early 1940’s.  

   The sides of the cup are a mystery too, because it would only make sense to use silver plates and fuse them with molten gold because gold has a lower melting point. After that the assembled cup could have been gilded or plated crudely. The thing is that the boundaries between the silver and gold parts on the outside of the cup look like they bleed into each other in places, and at others it looks like a sloppy gilding or plating around the silver accents. One fellow who examined it said he thinks the silver was laid into the accents of the curved plates when they were cast in gold, and then the maker cleaned up the worst areas that had bled into the gold by plating over them.  

   Ultimately the gold and silver content do not mean much because it is the crafting of the piece that is miraculous whether mostly silver or mostly gold. If it is from 1450 a.d., then I am told that the gold used is possibly king solomons gold brought back from the crusades. 

   If we can date it with metallurgy or some other technology, that would be our best likelihood of authenticating it as the likely original. It is entirely possible this is an amazing homage to the original from a more recent time, but was apparently never used as a fake, because we would have heard about that in the news of the day, and it would be an insane ammount of money to spend making it and no cashing in.

  As for an estimated value, it might just be an amazing old jugendfraubecher of unknown origin worth several to a hundred thousand bucks or so depending on the age and other factors. If it is found to be the likely original, then it has no price because it was never mine but to be a custodian. If it turns out to be something to sell, I am giving half to the thrift store where I got it, and the other half goes to my favorite charity. That is, after they have reimbursed me for the $4.25 I paid for it.

   At the very least I have been enjoying a great adventure in finding out what it is.

#27

This Speaks To Me

#28

Original Bob Ross Gold Pan. Paid $10 Because It Was Half Off

Apparently he painted them when he was stationed in Alaska as a member of the air force. This was an awesome find because my husband was a crew chief in the air force 20 years and I am an artist so it’s a win win

#29

Wilhelmina Slater (Aka Willie) Loves Her Chair. I Think She Needs A Couch

#30

Maybe Not Weird, But Just Happened To Find This T-Shirt At A Local Thrift Store The Same Day I Was Canning Green Beans! And Only Paid .10 Cents!

#31

Fell In Love With This Cute Chair Today. Totally Nothing Weird About It. Until The First Layer Of Fabric Came Off

#32

I Finay Found Something To Share

#33

Seen Yesterday At Hartville Flea Market In Ohio. I Did Not Buy It, But Had A Good Laugh!

#34

Jabba

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