The Benefits Of Small Regular Thrift Missons

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Lately, I’ve been trying to make good use of my time in the afternoons after work stopping off at local Thrift/Op shops on the way home.
Depending on the area that I’m in the shops visited will vary as my day job often requires a lot of driving.

Today however was Saturday, and to be honest a relaxed Saturday as far as business-related activities go normally for me. In the morning I was up early and listed several items that were already ready to go with photos and measurements, and then spent the rest of the day attending to other personal matters.

Late in the afternoon, a separate side mission arose to procure some paints and brushes for my wife’s own super productive side hustle painting endeavour. We left the house at about 15:50pm and headed south about 15 minutes to the closest craft shop. We did the rounds and collected the requisite paints and brushes required and then exited and headed over to the only thrift shop in the area that would have still been open on a Saturday afternoon.

I dropped the wife off at a home decoration store nearby. On the short drive, I mentally made a note that I needed to start getting item sourcing lists to the shops of things specific things I was looking for. Top of the items that sprung to mind were rare vintage board games such as Hero Quest and other great sellers such as Cashflow 101, Warhammer Games or Figurines, Dungeons and Dragons related etc… I’m still working on this list.

I walked in to the shop with 29 mins remaining until the 17:00 close.

My attention was immediately drawn to my right near the counter which had been cleaned and had changed completely since coming into the same shop only a week ago. I said hello to the shop attendant and then walked over to scan these shelves. I glazed over quickly, nothing took my interest, however, as I turned left to move towards the rear of the shop my eyes landed smack bang on, I couldn’t believe, a vintage Hero Quest board game sitting on the shop counter off to the side.

A little like the Holy Grail

My heart momentarily stopped and I was greeted with a massive rush of adrenaline as I realised this potential treasure, somehow just sitting there already on the counter staring me in the face.

By this time, concurrently, I could see the shop attendant was all the way down in the back rummaging around. I couldn’t see any price tags on this game and wondered if someone else in the shop had already picked it up and were stashing it at the counter ready to pay for it like I sometimes would do. I stood there frozen waiting for what seemed like an eternity waiting for the shop attendant to notice me standing at the counter. She finally did and made her way back up to the counter. I briefly explained that had been only thinking about this game moments before entering the shop and here it was! This was the truth so my excitement in actually finding the game was genuine as I was totally spun out by the randomness of this chance possibility, the odds had to be astronomical of thinking and appearing. This contrasts with the excitement of the financial windfall potential which is much more calculated.

Was it for sale? The question hung in the air.

She replied that a man had brought it in only about an hour ago and had actually said to her that he didn’t want to put it in the donation bin as he thought all the pieces would fall out and it was too nice for that. So he had left it there on the counter and it was now waiting to be priced by the shop.

My heart quickened and I was now mentally celebrating.

She opened up the game and we had a quick look inside and I knew that even with pieces missing that this game should sell for well over $100
(without even having to look at this time having previously researched This game before). Complete games had sold listings over $300. I asked if she wouldn’t mind pricing it up so I could buy it and she said sure it will be $4 dollars.

Treasure acquired.

Initially, I left it at the counter and continue looking around but I became paranoid so went back to the counter and paid for and safely transported to my security safe (the car). Total time in store so far was less than five minutes. Now, I actually did want to keep looking around in the store so I went back in and asked if she had seen any tiny cups which technically I was looking for, for the wife.

It’s always best to play with the truth, you can lie with words but your body language will give you away every time.

The nice attendant showed me some that they had, I thanked her and continued looking around. I came across a weird looking salad container in a box I had never seen before, being I had no pockets in my shorts I put my keys wallet and phone down temporarily to look, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a tablecloth that looked very similar to one I had sold previously for $65 featuring Maori designs from New Zealand.

The extent showing on the rack.

Sure enough, this was a similar style tablecloth featuring the island of New Zealand (where I am from originally) and some really nice graphics with a lot more colour than the previous. The full tablecloth is laid out below. I mention this because it’s always useful to continually expand your knowledge in this game, I mean it’s a tablecloth? Would you normally look for a tablecloth, maybe not, but I didn’t look through the tablecloths or linen section either I only noticed the outside material on the outside rack in passing glance and then investigated further. This happening becomes far more common over time.

By this time get in the shop attendant wanted to go home and close up it was about 16:50pm so went up and paid for this as well and then left.

Total time in shop, approximately 20 minutes maybe a couple more.

Although it may seem counterintuitive to visit the same store within the same seven day period this 20+ minutes today on a whim will turn eight dollars to possibly well over $250, a lot depending on whether the game is complete. That table cloth will sell for over $50.

I acknowledge that this obviously will not usually happen but if you don’t look you just don’t know. Stocks change on a regular basis within thrift stores / Op shops. Some times it is just the right time at the right place, just have to get there and look.

2 comments

  1. Wow! I used to play this as a kid had no idea it was worth so much… I’m sure my dad will have thrown ours out along with all the cool toys that are now worth $$$

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