Monday, 22 August 2011

List 10: the best things I have ever found whilst thrifting

I've found a LOT of gems during my thrifting adventures. But please don't get too jealous (I get really bad thrift envy at times!) and bear in mind that these finds are over a period of about 7 years, which is how long I have been what  you'd call a 'serious' thrifter! I know people have been disappointed after going to one car boot sale, because they expected to find a whole car load of amazing buys! I've been collecting and sourcing vintage items as a job for about 5 years now in various capacities, and I think I've developed quite an eye in that time. These are my favourite buys - some of them because they were bargains, some because they are things I've been after for ages, and some because they made me a lot of money!

1. a Lomo LC-A camera for £2 - I've since discovered it doesn't work, but it's only going to cost £35 to fix, so still a bargain when you consider that secondhand ones on ebay go for over £100!

2. my vintage aqua typewriter - it cost me £3 and it is honestly one of my favourite things I've ever bought. I have it on display in my bedroom, but hope one day to be able to use it!

3. a huge tin of old buttons for 20p - I found this rusty but beautiful tin whilst at a car boot, and when I opened it it was chock full of really gorgeous old buttons in all shapes and sizes. I held up the tin and asked how much the buttons were. The little old lady running the stall said 20p, so I started sifting through to pick out a few buttons, assuming they were 20p each. She then informed me she was selling them as a whole lot for 20p. I got shaky hands and handed over my money. These still give me endless amounts of joy - I love looking through them, picking out favourites, sorting them by colour. Best 20p I've ever spent!

4. a Vivitar ultra wide and slim camera - this beauty cost me a whopping 10p! yup, 10p for a camera! I had been after one for ages, and finally succumbed and purchased one on ebay for the best part of £30 (gulp.) So now this camera is going on ebay to a new home (although I am tempted to keep it as a back up!) and hopefully will make me a bit of cash!

5. a carrier bag of assorted 35mm film -  to this day I don't know what made me stop at this stall. A girl had lots of bits spread out on a rug, none of which were really of any interest to me, and when I shop at car boot sales I tend to scan over a stall quickly and then move on. But I stopped and looked, and as I was looking she opened a carrier bag right at the back of the stall, and I saw the Kodak logo peeking out. I asked if I could have a look and she handed me the bag saying it was just loads of expired film. I didn't even wait to look through I asked how much it was. She let me have the whole bag for £2. Later, when I got out all the film and spread it out I realised there were 9 rolls of my favourite film in the whole world, kodak portra nc! On their own they are worth about £35. There were also tons of black and white films (most of which I gifted to friends who are studying photography and will make much more use of them than I would) and a whole bunch of other random colour film.

6. a whole bundle of vintage clothes for £1 - a lady was selling off a whole load of clothes that had belonged to her mother-in-law. I think that I was the only person to even stop and sift through them, so when I asked how much they were she said I could have them for 5p an item! I bought pretty much everything there, and she let me have the lot for a pound, saying she didn't want to take it home. I got dresses, shorts, skirts, tops, and several pairs of trousers. This was about 4 years ago, when I was an ebay seller. I sold all of the items online (bar a couple of bits which I kept) and made around £200.

7. A brand new boxed Diana camera - this was quite a recent buy, which I found whilst shopping with Siobhan and Jill. I spotted it from the other side of the row and hastily grabbed it. The lady told me she wanted £2 for it, and I don't think I've ever handed over money so quickly. It is my pride and joy, and I'm so excited to use it!

8. two packs of unopened polaroid 600 film - I found these at consecutive boot sales, one on a Saturday and one on the Sunday after. I used to have actual dreams where I'd find a massive lot of polaroid film, but up until that point it had never happened to me in real life. Both packs were bought with polaroid cameras (they used to do a box set with contained a camera and two packs of film) and the cameras were sold on by me, and the film is destined for ebay very soon. I'd love to keep it for myself, but at the moment I'm saving for a road trip round America, so the £50 these two will make will go towards that!

Looking back I've noticed most of my favourite purchases have been photography related! I think that's probably because they are things that I use all the time, so they feel that much more special than something you buy and put on a shelf or in a drawer and use every once in a while. Thrifting is my life, I love the excitement of searching for nice things, and the thrill of never really knowing what you will find. I've had really awful days thrifting, where I wonder why on earth I got out of bed at 5am, but the good definitely outweighs the bad!


  1. oh man, your camera and film finds are amazing!! I can't decide if you're my hero or if I hate you :) I'm still looking out for the elusive £1 vivitar and LC-A... maybe one day

    I need to go to more car boots evidently

  2. do you just go to any car boots? or do you hit special, secret thrifting places?

    all these posts you put make me feel really inspired - thank you


I love getting comments and read every single one. I try to check out the blogs of people who leave comments, and reply wherever possible :) Thank you! xoxo