The Tip

second hand goods 2There are many disadvantages to living in a small town; lack of resources is one.  The nearest large shop is an hour away, and I cannot believe the price of lettuce here.  And when you don’t have a car?    This very inaccessibility however forces one to be imaginative, and you soon find your patience and general tolerance growing by leaps and bounds. One place that has been of immense help to me is the tip, otherwise known as the rubbish dump (or if you want to be fancy, the Transfer Station).  Besides the usual green waste, recycling, and garbage processing they run a second-hand shop that has single-handedly furnished 60% of my new house, 90% of my kitchen, and sundry other items that have proved invaluable.  Chest-of-drawers, wok, Mary Stewart, measuring cups, a wool sweater, the prettiest and most useless toaster cover imaginable, a 15-speed mountain bike – all have come from the tip.  And, if I calculate correctly, for the grand total of under $5.  I kid you not. Of course, it helps if you’re friends with the lady who works there, so I can ask her to keep an eye out for me.  But it’s fun to go fossicking for the treasures underneath the grime.  Somehow the satisfaction comes sweeter than simply buying it at a shop.  And you can’t beat the price. Do you shop at “pre-loved” stores for things other than books?  Are there things you absolutely have to buy brand new?  (Shoes, for me.)  What are your favourite shops?

-Jean AAR

4 thoughts on “The Tip

  1. Katie Mack

    I love to go hunting through second-hand shops for vintage clothing. The upside is getting great vintage clothes for little $$ (the 1940s and 50s are my fave eras). The downside is that it takes hours and hours of searching to dig out these finds, so I only do it when I have a good amount of free time on my hands.

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  2. Donna Lea Simpson

    I love the second hand store, thrift shops, and one great treasure trove of a junk store in a nearby town that is heaven and hell… heaven for the sheer amount of stuff in it, and hell for the time it takes to find it on a hot summer day. It’s dusty, and hot and you have to climb mountains of rubbish, but I ahve fond some of my treasured vintage pyrex there . I’m a nut for old kitchen stuff… all my bowls are vintage and used every single day. I have a rule; nothing ‘precious’. IOW, I have to be able to use it, not just look at it.

    I can’t imagine buying some things new: for example, my dining table is old… probably at least a hundred years old, and has three leave taking it out to ten feet long. it is beautiful, with an old patina and burled oak finish. Gorgeous!

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  3. AAR Rachel

    Jean, I love the thrifts, but I love garage sales even more because they are cheaper and the weather usually better when I’m going to them, and they are outside. But for both I just love the serendipity experience of finding stuff I wasn’t expecting. And I just love old stuff.

    Every year I make a list of stuff I’m looking for at garage sales and that’s my treasure hunt. So far, only a month or so into the sales, and I’ve got half my list covered.

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