Saturday, March 21, 2015

Thrift audit: Feb. 23, Salvation Army

This is part of a series of posts pulling back the veil on my process for buying and selling secondhand clothes: 

Bear with me, as there is an element of redundancy in these first few "thrift audit" posts: i.e., it's always from the Salvation Army and (almost) everything is always $0.49. I promise that once the spring/summer rummage sales kick in, there will be a little more variety here. But anyway, this one is interesting because ... well, I kind of went nuts with a few things.

OK, let's talk about this ridiculous necklace right off the bat. I didn't even have the heart to photograph it on its own so it has to be seen with this rather awesome olive belt: 

Shameful necklace and rad olive belt


Necklace
Cost: $1.99
Keep or sell: Keep, out of shame
So in this picture it almost looks OK, right? Like kind of cool and funky and artsy? But up close, it's kind of hideous. I get jewelry craziness sometimes at the Salvation Army and just grab stuff out of that big tray by the cash register. (Which, I realize, is exactly what they want you to do.) And I saw those big huge agate-like stones and just said "Yep" and paid $1.99 for it. And then I got it home and realized it's homemade, and a total train wreck, and I will never be able to sell it and I will be forced to keep it and try to wear it to justify spending money on it. 
Good or bad buy? Bad, bad, BAD buy. 

On the other hand: the belt
Cost: $0.99 (I think?)
Keep or sell: Sell
I loooove me a good stretchy elastic belt, and add on a garish buckle and it's all the better. I will list this for sale but probably surreptitiously wear it a few times. 
Good or bad buy: Good buy. Worst case scenario, I keep it. 

Bisou Bisou handbag


Cost: $2.99
Keep or sell: Sell
I try to spend some time looking through handbags for "desirable" brands but I'm pretty far out of my depth because I know NOTHING about handbags. So when I see a name I recognize, I usually go for it if the price is right. I have this one listed on eBay (and Tradesy, which is a dangerous game) right now; we'll see if anyone bites. But I just saw someone selling the same bag on Poshmark for the dismally low price of $9, so I'm not holding my breath to make a lot of money on this one. 
Good or bad buy? Meh. I predict I will ultimately make a buck or two, but it probably wasn't the best use of my money. 

Vintage navy blazer


Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Sell
This is a pretty little number - I couldn't get a good photo of it, but the back has a lovely pleat detail. It's a little crumpled but I think it will look a charm after a trip to the cleaner's. I'm stashing it away for fall/winter. 
Good or bad buy? Good buy. It's a lovely vintage jacket in nice condition, in a wearable cut and size. 

Olive green mermaid skirt


Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Keep
I honestly cannot explain why I bought this skirt. It is not a great brand, so I can't have been thinking that I would sell it. And although it is my size, it's not really a style I see myself wearing. I tried it on after I got home and it pooched out over my tummy in the MOST unflattering way. Worse yet: it has some major flaws, as in, the seams are coming apart: 


Good or bad buy? Um. Bad buy for sure. I should probably just toss this one back in the thrift-store sea from whence it came. 

Green corduroy skirt


Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Sell
I was sad when I realized this super soft, beautiful full skirt was nowhere near my size. but cheered up immediately when I sold the thing. Cha-ching! 
Good or bad buy? Good buy for sure. 

Gray Evan Picone skirt

Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Sell
When you're rifling through the clothing racks at a thrift store, it's all about the fabric. This one jumped out at me because of the quality of the cloth — a really fine, soft woven wool, very lightweight and drapey. A glance at the label and the price tag made this one an easy purchase. 
Good or bad buy? Good buy — it's at my local consignment store already, so I'm hopeful it will be sold soon. 

Black leather pencil skirt


Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Sell
My rule of thumb is, if I see something leather for less than $1 and it's in decent shape, I buy it. This skirt is in TERRIFIC shape. Again, I mourned briefly for the fact that it's too small for me, but I'm happy to be able to tuck this away to list in my shop in the fall. 
Good or bad buy? Good buy — this is the kind of staple-with-a-twist that I love to buy for my shop.

Pink sweater dress


Cost: $0.49
Keep or sell: Sell
I am a huuuuge sucker for shirt dresses. Throw in a matching belt and you can forget it, I'm hooked for sure. This one is really nice and soft and comfy looking. I love the deep pleat on the skirt and the textured bodice. There is a very good chance I will wear this at least once before selling it!
Good or bad buy? Good buy — but it will have to wait until fall to be listed. 

Sheet


Cost: $0.99
Keep or sell: Keep
I saved this for last because I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I bought this sheet thinking that I could sew myself a dress out of it. That doesn't mean I won't try, mind you ... just that I might be a little bit nuts. 
Good or bad buy? That definitely remains to be seen! But if nothing else, I have a new bedsheet for 99 cents, right? 

Stay tuned for my next thrift audit, featuring leopard print cords and an ill-fitting flowered sweater ... 

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