Getting Thrifty With It

I can’t not go into a second-hand shop—you never know what you’ll find.

And in the past two weeks, I’ve found some historic finds.

The first one happened in a thrift store in Chapel Hill. 

In the locked case at the register was a black leather tote that looked brand new.


I love Kate Spade.  Her stuff is fun and oh so preppy.  It’s also well constructed and long-lasting.

All of this wonderfulness, unfortunately, comes at a price.  I’d looked at this bag online, and knew that new, it sold for around 400 dollars.  So, I figured it would be at least $100, but I asked anyway.

It was only thirty-five dollars!  I whipped out my plastic.

I love, love, love it.  Every time I see it, it makes me so happy.  Whoever owned it took very good care of it and I’m very grateful that they were generous enough to donate it, and the thrift store chose to price it the way they did.

Thrifting lesson #1: You never know what you’ll find, but when you do find something you love, buy it immediately, because it won’t stick around.

When we got married, Petey suggested we invest in This End Up living room furniture.  Although we have to occasionally purchase new cushions for it, our couch and chair will be strong and usable until well after our future descendants are but a memory in a hellscape ruled by sentient armadillos.

Also, like fine leather, it only looks better with age and use.

Recently, a Good Will store opened near our house.  After Petey and I voted on Tuesday, we stopped in. 

I happened to see a This End Up Desk out of the corner of my eye, but we weren’t in the market for furniture, so I didn’t pay it any mind.  I gave the store a once over but didn’t see anything.

Lesson #2: Sometimes there won’t be anything, but that’s okay, come back another day.

When I asked Petey if he was ready, he asked me if I’d seen the desk.  I went over and really looked at it.

This huge desk and hutch, in very good, almost new condition, was twenty dollars which we knew was an exceptional deal. 

We bought it and wrestled it home. 

When I get something second hand, I try to find out the original price.  New, the desk and hutch costs $920.

Lesson #3: If nice furniture is 98% off, buy it.  You’ll figure it out later.

Every once in awhile, I get a $30 off coupon at a second-hand designer website called The Real Real.  There’s no minimum, and you can use it for shopping, tax, and shipping.  The first time I shopped there, I kept waiting for an expensive caveat—it never came.

I spent less than $20 for almost $1000 of designer clothing.

Last night I got a $400 Magaschoni blazer for $4.53—four dollars, fifty-three cents.  Last winter, I got a pair of Kate Spade slacks with tags (meaning unworn) for nine dollars.  They originally sold for $280.  I also got a brand-new Derek Lamb skirt for five dollars—original price: $325.

Lesson #4: Sometimes that unbelievable deal is just that—an honest, unbelievable deal.  But it’s on you to do the research and make sure it’s a legit unbelievable deal.

And finally, the most important thing you must remember, Gentle Reader is this: Don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. 

But if you know you’ll forever regret leaving something on the shelf, then buy it.  And if you find any Kate Spade at a miraculous price, please, let me know.

Thanks for your time.

My new desk and new bag.

Contact me about Kate Spade, or anything else, at

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