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Topic: Wisconsin Thrift stores....  (Read 19353 times)
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binny
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2004 07:56:38 AM »

My new favorite place to shop for used items is auctions.  Seemed to be much cheaper than what you'd find at a rummage sale.  I got two garbage bags of Tupperware & Rubbermaid for $4, quite a steal.  Also the boy bought a box of random junk for $5 because he wanted the baseball glove in it, and I ended up with a set of bedsheets and an extra flat sheet.  I'm going to craft them into sleep sacks for our camping kit. 


Here are a couple websites that list a bunch of auction companies in Wisconsin. 
http://www.auctionguide.com/dir/Locations/USA/Wisconsin/
http://www.allwi.com/wiauctions.html
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flyingfish
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2004 09:24:47 AM »

actions seem so intimidating, or at least in my head they do... are the ones you went to silent or you actually raise your hand and bid while the auctioneer talks really fast?! just curious...
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binny
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2004 08:38:05 AM »

The auction I went to was very casual.  It was just a house in a Madison northside neighborhood where an old couple had died.  There was tons of stuff on tables in their front and back yard.  Most of the stuff is grouped into bags or trays (soda pop cardboard flats) or whatever else they could put things into, like crates.   They also auctioned off the house, that was neat because a girl in her mid-20s won it for a good price.  She was so happy that she was crying.  Awww! 

There's usually a bit of time before they start selling stuff so you can preview everything and know what you might want.  To participate, you go up to the booth to get a bidding number.  You'll fill out a form and they copy it along with your photo ID and they give you a bidding number on a piece of paper.  In essence you're creating a 'tab' where they'll total up everything you buy to give you one final payment amount when you want to pay up and leave.  I think most places will take only cash or check, so be prepared.  It usually doesn't cost anything to get a number, so don't be afraid to get one.  It's like Ebay but only live and quicker. 

Then you go join the crowd wherever the auctioneers are at doing their thing with the fast mumbly-talk.  Or you can wander around and look at the rest of the stuff if you're not interested in what they're selling at the time.  The one we were at had tools and hardware stuff in the front yard and the household goods in the back yard.  If the auctioneer is selling something you want, you just put your hand up, say "yeah" or do something else to get the auctioneer's attention.  I know it seems like their auction-patter is difficult to understand but if you watch for a bit, you'll pick it all up. 

I saw a lot of things go for under $5, and that's usually not just one item but a group of things.  And when some items don't seem to get any interest and nobody wants them for even 50 cents, they'll add more items to the pile and try again.  A cool thing they sometimes do is called "choice", they'll group a bunch of different stuff - sometimes it's all similar items, sometimes it's not - and offer the highest bidder a choice of whichever group they want.  That's how I got two bags of plastic storage containers for $2 each, I was the highest bidder and got to pick as many bags for that price.  My other choices were a bag of things like a snowmobile suit and other clothing, and a bag of towels.   The towels would have been nice too but I didn't want to be greedy.  After I was done picking the items I wanted, they opened the bidding back up to everybody else at $2 to pick whatever they wanted.  If nobody wanted anything else at that price, they can start the bidding over with a lower price. 

One tip - at the auction we were at you didn't have to carry the number with you the whole time so if you win you just tell them your number at the end of each bidding and somebody marks it down.  This was nice because the boy could look at tools while I bought my Tupperware and we could both use the same number to pay just one bill at the end. 

A bit of advice - even though an auction is quick paced, if there's a lot of stuff it might take a while to get around to what you want to buy.  So be prepared for a long day of standing.  But we had a ton of fun looking through the random old crap, talking to the other atendees, and listening to the auctioneers with their humorous descriptions.   Usually they'll sell food and beverages but you can probably bring your own stuff in a little portable cooler.  I'm going to buy a little softsided cooler bag before we go next time.   I don't know what they'd think if you brought some of those portable folding chairs that everybody has nowadays, might be worth a shot. 

Wow, this is a long description but I think I got everything.  Does anybody have any questions?  I totally recommend just going to watch sometime.
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flyingfish
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2004 01:40:10 PM »

That totally answered all my burning questions about auctions... what a weird thing, I'm totally gonna go when i can find one that fits into my schedule!! Thanks!
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Kjhymn
« Reply #24 on: July 17, 2004 12:36:46 PM »

While we're on the topic of auctions, does anyone in Milwaukee know if there's still a weekly auction at Serb Hall? I haven't been there in years, but if I remember correctly there were a lot of cool/weird tchotchkes (big box of pretty ceramic tea pots, a collection of 70's porcelain mushrooms) along with furniture and some clothes.

Schrager auctions in Sherman Park tend towards more high-end/antique stuff, but sometimes have cool random stuff that goes very cheaply. They have a website with auction dates here: www.schragerauction.com
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flyingfish
« Reply #25 on: July 17, 2004 01:17:30 PM »

I actually just saw an add for a Serb hall auciton a few weeks ago but was intimidated to go and also just assumed that it was all fancy expensive stuff.... now I know.
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coccyx
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2005 06:32:49 PM »

Janesville has a few thrifts, some that I haven't found time to stop by yet.

Goodwill - Just off Milton Ave. by Woodman's - occasional finds, but lately picked over and higher prices.

Salvation Army - Downtown on Center Ave past Pick n' Save - small and not well stocked

Carousel Consignments - Downtown on Main between Court and Milwaukee Sts. - my treasure trove.  A variety of items at a variety of prices, but absolutely every nook and cranny in the place is crammed with interesting/useful items.  I always find something to fall in love with there.

Castaways - I still haven't visited this store, since it never seems to be open when I have the time.  It's on Milton Ave as you head downtown.

There's also a decent used book store on Milwaukee St. downtown.
If anyone lives in or visits the area and knows of any I've missed, please do tell!
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gypsythief
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2005 02:32:05 PM »

Madison : Dig n Save is the place to go, by far.  It is a bit of a pain because you literally have to "dig", but all clothes are sold by the pound ($1!), and Wednesday is half price day.  It's a bit nasty and dusty, but I buy most of my clothes and housewares, and all of my kids clothes there.  Just make sure you take it home and wash it!

Ok, this one has been a secret I have only shared with a few of my closest friends, but there is a great Salvation Army off of Thierer, over by the Target east / Michaels.  I spent $20 today, and got a huge vintage case for all my jewelry supplies, a coat for my daughter, three skirts, about a half dozen kids t-shirts, and a mix and match bag of ribbon and jewelry.  It completely kicks ass if you can block out the slightly scary Christian music in the background.

I have started to completely boycott The Goodwill because of the outrageous prices.  If I wanted to spend $20 on a skirt, I would go to a funky vintage shop (Circa just opened down the street from us on E. Johnson and they have great vintage!), or buy a hand-made one!

Last but not least, don't forget Aug. 15th.  Moving day for the college kids downtown.  Lovingly referred to as 'hippy christmas" in my household, you can find great furniture and some barely touched goodies the wealthier kids don't want.

Oh, and local block garage sales too.  The Maple Bluff town sale is coming up this weekend.  I am only telling this to you because I will have to work and not be there Smiley  think, Governor's mansion, huge lakeside mansions.............

Can't wait to get back to Milwaukee to scour!  Thanks, Faythe for the listings!

Naomi
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bohemeg
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« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2005 09:49:23 PM »

all right, this is going to seem waaay out in the boonies for all you city folk (lol) but if anyone's in the wisconsin dells area:

there are two st vincents.  one is right off the strip and it is never good.  the other is across the street from zinke's a couple blocks from the strip.  this one's worth a try.

in reedsburg, 15 miles away, there are two.  there's a st vincents right on main st that's pretty good and a thrift store run by the hospital called riverview thrift store.  this is on alexander ave, i think? 

in baraboo, 10 or so miles away, is my FAVORITE thrift store, st vincent de paul.  god i cannot remember street names for the life of me right now, but it is right down the street from the pool and the skate park, down the street from the square.  there is also a nice yarn shop right on the square.

in sauk city, 30 minutes from madison, there is a nice st vincents off highway P.  they're usually a little pricey, but they've got great furniture, fabrics, and craft supplies.

good luck~
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trisarahtop
« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2006 01:05:31 AM »

I just want to throw in my support for Savers. They usually have a sale every day, I think, on different colors of tags, and once every few months they have half off the whole sale day. At the last one, I got so many ridiculous things (like a hand-knit sweatervest featuring a landscape of sheep. It's amazing). They had a Scary Spice doll in the original packaging, and a million other things I wanted. One of my friends got two HUGE bags stuffed full with clothes, housewares, and other things, for like $35. I got one bag stuffed full, and some other things I carried, for about $20 and change. They even have really nice vintage fur coats for like $60. Well, sometimes they have them. I also think the prices are a lot more reasonable than other places - St. Vinny's sometimes seems overpriced to me, at least in the months leading up to Halloween. All of their fun, weird stuff gets put in the costume area, even if it's just a Hawaiian shirt or something.

There's a new vintage (not thrift) store out on East Johnson (in Madison). It opened a few months ago, I think. I saw a sign for their paper bag sale, and I got really excited, since I love going to St. Vinny's on their paper bag sale days. Then I found out it was like, $30 a bag, and not everything counted. Vintage stores are so insane - usually you can find the exact same stuff at St Vinny's or Savers or whereever, and I know that a lot of people to run vintage stores just go to Dig N Save type places, buy a bunch of lame t shirts for 10 cents each, and sell them to overpriviledged kids who want to look like Ashton Kutcher or the Olsen twins for $30.
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