Penelope Wilson
Penelope Wilson
October 20, 2020 ·  3 min read

20 Times People Couldn’t Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores, Flea Markets And Garage Sales

Years ago, before I got into copy writing and other digital ventures as a profession, I worked in the warehouse of a thrift store. I’ve had many jobs in my life but that one was, by far, the most interesting. For some of that time, I worked as the book sorter. I’d take each book, scan it, and learn approximately the value of the book. Most books weren’t worth much, but you’d occasionally find one worth hundreds of dollars online and it’d always take you by surprise.

But the value of the items you find in a place like a thrift store isn’t only monetary. Sure, some things had an incredible resale value, but a lot of it was just kind of quirky and cool stuff. One of my favorite finds was an early 20th century taxi cab horn that you had to manually squeeze with your hand in order to honk. Still one of my favorite possessions, plus its volume really surprises people who try it for the first time.

  1. A toaster that leaves the imprint of a duck on your bread. Quack!

#2   “Someone bought a first edition Mark Twain, printed in 1883 for $5.” 

#3    “So I picked this up today at goodwill. My daughter and I love it. My mom thinks it’s gross. I am a nurse. I think I should take my lunch in it.

#4     “I found this kids chemcraft chemistry set at a flea market in Nashville, Tennessee. People would lose their minds if something like this was released today for kids to play with.

#5     “We just happened to go to an antique expo in town where we found a silly cycle. My grandfather, Reedy Ellington Mclellan Sr., invented them.”

#6     “An entire Christmas musical bell symphony, purchased for $29.99 at Goodwill.” This would sure get me into the spirit!

#7     “Someone found this at a curb trash pickup. She kept it on her porch as a guard. No soliciting!

#8     “Tiny peacock chair I picked up today.” A perfect little cat sized chair! Love it.

#9    This person spent 17 years collecting this dish set from an Oregon thrift store! Talk about commitment.

#10   1890s Bryce’s English dictionary. This is the smallest English dictionary in the world, composed mostly of very brief explanations of a large number of scientific, philosophical, literary, and technical terms.

#11     “This guy lives in the female bathroom and holds period essentials. He’s literally the bloodhound.

#12    A woman bought this painting of what she thought was a flower. Her husband turned it 90 degrees and, well, moo!

#13     “Here’s my 89 year old grandmother and her ‘camera’. She is also a mini find as she is 4ft 5 inches in height.

#14    I know what I’m wearing to church.

#15   The perfect outfit for your Midsommar cosplay.

#16    Ahhh, so relaxing! A cricket enjoying a dip in your tea.

#17    King Arthur of Camelot smiling gleefully at a mirror. Pure joy. I’d feel invincible if I found this!

#18     Where do people find all this good stuff? A sweet pair of limited edition BMO doc’s. Nice!

#19     “My mother and father were married in September of 1954. She was a seamstress and made her own honeymoon dress.This image is of the woman’s eldest daughter wearing the dress after removing it from storage.What a find! A classic but still beautiful today.

#20   “Crocheted maxi skirt. Yes, it’s ugly, but I will rock it with leather and Chanel.” Rock it!