Friday, May 16, 2014

Price Point

I have a price point in mind when it comes to buying new (to me) things for my home. I know exactly how much I'll pay, and I won't pay a dime more than that. Last weekend, there was a big book sale in our area, which was conveniently next to an antique mall I haven't set foot in since last year.

At the time, they had a mid-century modern dealer with some good prices. He had an adorable set of salt and pepper shakes shaped like cats that I absolutely loved for less than $10. For some reason, I neglected to pick up the set and later discovered they were Holt Howard. Of course that dealer was long gone and in his place were a lot of expensive people. I paid $7 for a Westinghouse refrigerator dish and $3.50 for a set of spun aluminum salt and pepper shakes that almost match my canisters. Unfortunately, most dealers were way overpriced on their things.

The sad thing is that this is completely normal in my area. In the last few months, I only picked up six pieces of Pyrex total. Three came from a Goodwill, one came from another thrift store, and the other two came from antique malls. I paid $3.99 at Goodwill, $2.99 at the other thrift (for my first piece of Opal!), a ridiculously low $2.99 for a Snowflake casserole, and $9 for what is only my third ever piece of pink Pyrex.

We have a thrift store nearby that I loved when I first started thrifting. Most of the Pyrex that I picked up came from their store, but they apparently picked up on its popularity. I haven't seen a piece in there in a long time marked less than $10, with the exception of a poor dishwashered to death Butterprint bowl. Looking for a pink Gooseberry medium sized bowl? $20 please. How about the smallest bowl from the primary set? $15 thank you very much. Need a set of 80s bowls that no one really collects? Hand me $30-50.

There is one good-ish antique mall in our area, but the store is fairly hit or miss. I picked up a set of retro-fantastic plastic cups for $7 for the set of six. Another dealer wanted $42 for the same exact set. Other dealers had the matching bowls and plates for $25-60 per set, and multiple dealers want $15-30 for the matching pitcher, while the original dealer has the same pieces sitting out for $10 or less.

The first time I stopped by, I saw a booth filled with vintage kitchen items and almost had a heart attack on the spot. After seeing the prices, I'm surprised I didn't keel over right then and there. I'm sorry, but I just can't justify spending $20 on a single refrigerator dish, $120 on a set of primary mixing bowls, or $30 on a casserole dish that isn't rare nor popular. And don't get me started on the pink pieces! I literally saw the smallest Gooseberry casserole for $22. I picked up the same piece last year at a little known thrift for $2.99. Another dealer in there has a single pink refrigerator dish with a $40 price tag on it.

I tend to not pay more than $10 for anything for myself unless it's something I absolutely love and absolutely have to have on the spot. Since I'm not a reseller, have limited space in my home, and have cats that love knocking things over, I don't want to spend too much on something unless I know that I want it and need it. Case in point: I fell in love with a set of stacking footstools that I saw for around $60. I loved the shape, size, color, everything. Then I remembered that my cats love to scratch their claws on anything and everything, including the vintage leather desk chair my now ex-boyfriend found a few years ago. Damn cats just won't let me have anything nice.

The plan for this weekend is to stop by the area's largest flea market, which only takes place a few times every year. Judging by the photos I saw online, I highly doubt I will (a) come across anything mid-century and (b) anything I can afford. At this point, I just hope that prices start coming down or this will be the saddest summer for thrift store and flea market shopping.