Crazy Finds at the Local Flea Market
I admit it, I am a thrift store junkie.
I am often seen at yard sales, Goodwill stores, and the local flea market in search of that deal I just can't pass up. I am always looking at the growing collection I have gathered and remembering how and when I got each piece. Recently I was asked by a friend what was the best deal I had and my little mind mouse (the one that spins the wheel that controls my brain) went into overdrive. I could not pick just one piece. In fact I could not pick 2, I had to go with three pieces I have acquired over the years. All three pieces came from the local flea market.
I am no pro on haggling so I do tend to pay a little more than I probably should for items but if I want something bad enough a little extra cash isn't going to kill me. But these items were exceptions to the rule. I actually got these beauties for a deal! I guess it would be best to explain.
The little red bass.
I am a . I have been since 1995. (yeah I is old) I am always on the prowl for new gear and a new bass is always lurking in my mind. One day I was with a friend at the bass guitaristflea market and I was casually poking fun at her for buying three pairs of sunglasses when she only has one head to put them on. As we walked and I kept up the barrage of insults I noticed a bass sitting on one of the tables. I picked her up and recognised right away it was a studio ibanez bass. These things run in the hundreds brand new so I figured it was going to be well out of my range. I played around on it and really it wasn't my style but I could use it for studio gigs so I asked how much?
The guy began to ramble and I recognised right away the words of a man that knew he was going to ask way to much for a piece of used gear. Suddenly he turned it over and showed me a ding on the back of the bass. He went on to tell me how it was a bad ding and may affect the playing. Having many years in the business I knew the ding was very light compared to what I have done to some of my basses. Heck my most expensive bass has a very horrid mark from a beer bottle that was thrown at me for refusing to "play some skynard" at a heavy metal show.
I asked if the guy was still interested in selling it. I was going to offer 100 bucks and see where we would go from there. The bass was worth 100 easy and if all else fails I could sell it to a friend. The guy scratched his head and I could feel the tension. I literally had a bead of sweat thinking this guy is going to go outrageious on me. "$50.00 sound reasonable enough?" he said with a half grin like maybe he felt he was asking a bit to much. I replied "seriously" with skepticism in my voice and the response was mind boggling. "If that is to much I can come down a bit". I was floored. I handed the guy $50.00 and he actually told me if the bass gave me any problems to come back and he would return my money.
I ended up with an amazing little studio bass for a whopping $50.00. The only issue I ever had was one of the tuning pegs was loose and I fixed it with a piece of plastic. I only wish this guy had more music gear.
The Baseball Find of the Century
I was a big collector of trading cards at one time and even sold at flea markets a bit when I was younger. It was always fun to get my hands on a real good card I knew had value to it, but one trip to the flea market shocked even me. My brother and I were in search of some good deals on cards for the nest time we set up. We had worked together and were making pretty good money for two kids with a bunch of cardboard. I had just bought a small box of basketball cards and was looking at some knives when I saw some really aged baseball cards. These things looked older than the hills.
I myself was never a baseball nut but my little brother was and I asked what he thought of the cards. He said there was no way we could afford them. I had to ask so I asked the kid at the table how much and he replied 5. I thought $500.00 a card, that was absurd. I told the kid my opinion and he said "no, pappy said $5 for the lot" I quickly ripped a 5 from my wallet and came away with 12 1933 Delong baseball cards. These babies were in mint condition and were going to be the prize of our sales table. Sadly I later found out that the "pappy" in question wanted $500.00 for the lot and the young grandson was to busy playing gameboy to pay attention. I ended up with a several thousand dollar investment for a $5.00 bill.
Since then some of the cards are now valued at $2,000.00 and up. I think I made a great deal at the market that day.
A personal touch
I am a sucker for homemade items. I have Indian knives, custom sculptures but my favorite flea market piece was a small drawing in a shadow box frame. I had been at the flea market hoping to buy a few DVDs to pass the time while I was at Berea taking grant writing classes. I came across a table full of movies and books but my attention was drawn to a simply little drawing. It looked like an hourglass that had arms, legs, and the most haunting face I had ever seen. "Is this for sale?" I asked with a bit of doubt. Art like that is usually kept and cherished. "Sure, what will you give me?" said the beautiful girl at the table. I thought. I did not want to offer to high but at the same time I did not want to offend anyone and offer to low. "$25.00 be enough?" I said with a bit of hesitation. "That picture is just a little 5 by 7" she said with a smile. "I will tell you what you can have it and the original for $5.00" I thought she was being condescending so I started to walk away. "I can't go lower than $5.00, I worked hard on those." Oh my God! She was serious and not only was I about to get an original drawing and the first print, I was buying them from the artist herself. I handed her the money and stood there eyeing the work. "You really did this, I mean you made this image in your head?" I asked stunned. "Sure did, not a big deal I like to draw". Since then I have put one of the prints up on the library wall and the original still sits in that black shadow box on my office desk. It was the best deal I ever got and I have since then made arrangements to buy more of this charming lady's work.