Thrift Shops & Flea Markets Are Loads Of Fun

Now that winter cold is turning to springtime warmth, consider doing some fun wandering. Scavenging through second-hand stores, thrift shops and open-air sales can be surprisingly positive experiences. And there’s always the possibility that you’ll find an unexpected treasure among the trash.

For example, you may come across well-preserved estate furniture in styles from a century ago. There could be fancy dishes, cups, plates and glassware you haven’t seen since you were a child while visiting your grandparents.

The best thing that could happen would be to find something of unexpectedly high value. It could be an old oil painting, a vintage chair, a sculpture or a tintype photo from the 19th Century.

If you watch “Antiques Road Show” on PBS and similar TV programs, you know there are always surprises. For a happy example, a Native American rug purchased for $50 at a flea market had been hanging on a wall in a woman’s garage for decades. It was recently evaluated by experts to be worth $50,000.

There are similar finds in thrift shops. Lucky buyers may be thrilled to discover that 18th Century chair they bought for $5 is actually worth $100,000. Of course, those rags-to-riches finds rarely occur, but just the chance of it happening always makes the experience interesting.

Going through all the items for sale doesn’t need to end with finding something valuable. It can be just plain fun, and you never know what surprisingly good bargains you’ll discover. The old saying that one person’s junk can be another person’s treasure could describe your next visit to a flea market or second-hand store.

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