A few dozen local thrifters and I are in first name acquaintanceships with most employees at our local thrift stores. We form an informal clique that shares stories about our “hunting finds” and tips with each other. We laughingly admit that we are addicted to thrifting. We rationalize our habit by claiming that it’s cheaper than going to bars to drink every day.
Aside from discovering excellent bargains, I’ve formed a few friendships as a result of thrift store haunts. My pal Jonathan is one of my thrift store “finds”. Another casual friend is Kelly–she likes to share stories about bird and wildlife watching. Kelly is a good photographer, too. One of the former Goodwill Store managers and I were friends until she was transfered to another store in Iowa.
Naturally, it’s the bargain hunting that provides the endorphin thrills. The discoveries themselves are only part of the reward. Finding that one of a kind gadget or garment keeps the shopper coming back for more. Eventually, we get tired of owning many of our items so we return them as donations to continue the recycling cycle. Jonathan and I recycle our “hunting trophies” at least twice each year.
July was an especially productive month for our thrifting clique because donations to Goodwill and the largest independent store had increased. The merchandise backlog is the best I’ve seen in many years. Because there is so much stuff to move, the stores keep their prices low. Anyone aiming to beat the current economy’s inflationary trend is well advised to thrift.
Most of my friends and acquaintances know I have a fixation on affordable wristwatches. Although I do not own a Rolex or an Omega, there are numerous no-name and minor brands that have accumulated at my house through the years. Cheap watches are my guilty pleasure.
Lately, it’s been slim pickings for watches at the thrift stores. That said, I continue to browse the watch displays during each store visit. Last month, I stumbled upon a very nice, collectable, vintage Timex men’s watch. Upon close examination, it turned out to be a self-winding mechanical version that was manufactured in 1970. The prior owner(s) apparently took good care of the watch because it is in good physical condition and it actually works.
After an extra 6-percent discount, I brought it home for $2.82. The ensuing endorphin rush was amazing. After sanitizing the watch, the Timex has been put into weekly rotation and has been keeping reasonably accurate time. The watch find will probably satisfy the cheap watch addiction for at least a little while.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor William Shatner. “If saving money is wrong, I don’t want to be right!”