Monday, May 30, 2005

The Search for Cheap Shabby Chic

Saturday, hubby and I went out 'junk' shopping. Looking for a few new to us pieces of 'shabby chic', we hit flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores. Always before, this strategy has worked well for us. We are firm believers in never buy new when used will do.

This trip out tho, that philosophy failed us. Big time failure. I suppose everyone in our little town must be avid watchers of The Antique Roadshow. They must be. Why else would they put such astronomically high prices on broken, dirty items?

Or, even worse, some of the items were priced higher than what I would pay for the exact same thing at the local super center. Case in point, videotape movies. Super Center price $5.44, garage sale price $8.00. Super Center movies - brand new in cellophane. Garage Sales and Thrift stores - old, torn, worn boxes and viewed who knows how many times. Come on folks, get real. Not I, or anyone I know, is going to buy a movie used for more than they can buy it new.

We also like 'cool' looking books decorating our main bookshelves. Not really worried about the content, but looking for covers that look neat and different. No luck there also - anything that looked half way decent started at $20.00 and up.

Next, we looked at knickknacks. You know the things, little curios and other small works of art like vases, animal figurines and such. One place we went had twenty two (yes, that's 22) little, poorly made in China, identical figurines of elephants. One quick look showed that each was poorly painted and equally poorly cast. Asking price - $16.00 each. Who are they kidding?

One of our favorite collectables, used to decorate our backwoods kitchen, is old-timey appliances, like butter churns, old fashioned egg beaters, etc. My other half likes to find the old-timey word working tools for his shop. Do these people selling this stuff never look at eBay to determine market prices? I really have to wonder about this. The two butter churns that I found had price tags of $225.00 and an unbelievable $725.00. The exact identical items are currently on eBay for $60.00 and $125.00. That's what they closed for. In my mind, that's pretty much the market price. These too, could be purchased new for half of what these folks were asking.

So, I guess I'm making a plea to all those who sell junk or shabby chic for those of us who like decorating that way. Be reasonable in your asking price. After all, you are wanting to sell the item, right. If not, take it home, put it on your shelf. To the lady that had the glass butter dish reasonably priced, thank you.


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