08th May2013

Thrift Justice: YSE – Back To School

by Will

thriftjYSE

Yes, it’s back – Thrift Justice: Yard Sale Edition. It’s all in the name, folks. The sun is shining, garage doors are opening, and the baseball cards are overpriced. It’s yard sale season, kids! I actually started hitting sales about a month ago, but I haven’t really gotten much worthy of a blog post (except that awesome McDonalds playset you probably saw Joe Colton shooting up on Instagram – add me: williambrucewest). Last weekend was noteworthy for another reason. You see, my thrifting buddy, “Special Forces”, actually just moved into my apartment complex. So, I asked if he wanted to come along, and he replied “Absolutely.” Seeing as how it was also Free Comic Book Day, as well as the monthly Civitan Flea Market, we had a busy day ahead of us.

At the first sale, I ended up being guilted into buying an ass-old World Atlas. The lady was giving me the hard sell, and all I could say was, “Look at all the countries that no longer exist!” Still, it was only $2, and I’m a sucker for a nice wall map, which was included with the atlas. No pics, ’cause you don’t care. Trust me.

Next, we hit up a community sale going on at an elementary school. Man, was this sale perfect! After parking, I immediately saw a table surrounded by 7 yr old boys, and I knew I’d hit paydirt (No MJ!). These kids are the age to have owned the stuff I’m after. It also helped that they had a framed All-Star Batman and Robin: The Boy Wonder poster leaning against the table. I immediately started picking through a tub on the ground, which was filled with action figures. I grabbed all the DC stuff I could find, while the boys tried to have a conversation with me. One tried to give me the hard sell on a Simpsons season 9 DVD set. He knew the retail price and everything! I told him I was going to pass, but thanks. I noticed a lot of Superman stuff, and asked, “So, are you guys Superman fans?” One replied, “Yeah, we were when we were little.” I mentioned they were 7, right? It’s cute how much kids want to be older; it’s nothing but stress and taxes – you don’t want none of this, kid! While picking through the box, the dad tells me that they actually just sold a set of the “big Justice League figures” to someone before I got there. I don’t know if he meant the 10″ or if he meant DC Universe Classics. That’s gonna bother me for weeks to come. Then, one kid said, “There are other Justice League guys somewhere.” He disappeared, and came back with a small tub filled with DC Super Heroes Superman, Batman, and Bizarr0. I snatched up the latter two, and threw them in the back the dad provided me. Here’s what I ended up with:

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Oh, and I remember the Batman poster I mentioned, well…

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The wife was PISSED! The kids and dad couldn’t really figure out a price. Dad said $2 each, but mom jumped in and said she had paid about $50 from AllPosters.com ’cause they frame them and send them to ya. Not sure if they were fighting or if Dad was deaf, ’cause I got them both for $4. I didn’t even need it, as I have the retailer version of the poster (which is the same size), but it was such a beautiful frame job, and I couldn’t pass up that price! I grabbed my spoils, and basically ran before they changed their mind. SF didn’t get anything at that sale, so off we went to find more stuff!

Since the elementary school had been so successful, we decided to stick with the education theme, and we hit up a high school having a sale. They were raising money for their marching band, and I figured they’d be just old enough to want to get rid of their toys because they were “too old for them now”. A) the sale sucked B) the dork manning the toy area said something I hate: “Are these for your kids?” Look, I understand that it’s a valid question, but I feel we live in a world today where that’s almost as bad as asking a woman if she’s pregnant. Does it matter if they’re for my kids? Sometimes, I’ve gone along with the “lie”, and said “Yeah”, but then they usually ask me how old my kids are, and I stand there stuttering. Yes, I’m either buying this for me, or I might resell it, but we’re not here for my life story. We’re here for my dollars and your “junk”.

Anyway, since the sale sucked, we continued on to a neighborhood sale that claimed it was going to have 30+ families. Once we got there, it became apparent that our lack of knowing Japanese might hurt us. Everyone there was Japanese, and looked at us like “Where did you come from?” Still, I like Japanese stuff (sentai!), so I didn’t care. Almost immediately, SF picked up a Kamen Rider OOOs game thing. I describe it as such because we still don’t know what it is. It had cards and tokens, and little figurines, and was boxed like a board game. Still, my eBay searches have proved fruitless in identifying it. He also picked up some of those plug-n-play joystick games. After rummaging through some boxes, I found these:

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If you’ve been here before, you know I like Power Rangers. My favorite season, however, was Power Rangers: RPM which was based on the Japanese Engine Sentai Go-Onger. These are essentially yearbooks to the series, highlighting all the characters and tech from the show. Despite finding his Kamen Rider game, said he was so jealous that I found these. I’d promise to show y’all the interiors at a later date, but I always suck at fulfilling that promise.

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After finishing up at that sale, we decided to take the trip down to Arlington for the flea market. Bottom line, it sucked this month. It sucked so bad that I probably won’t go back until around September or so. Everything either wasn’t up my alley or it was overpriced. I wish I had taken a pic of the messed up Marvel Legends Dr. Strange that a woman had the gall to charge $2 for. If you think that’s not too high, look at this Chris Jericho figure to see the quality of her wares:

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WHAT HAPPENED TO Y2J?!!!! It’s like he was the victim of a bulldog gone HORRIBLY wrong! And she was charging money for this that didn’t have “cents” in the price.

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This was another swindle. I’ve run into this a lot since this yard sale season started. Resellers, take note: if you’re going to completely overcharge for something you found in a thrift store, at least have the decency to remove the thrift store’s price from it before you try to sell it. Look in the lower left side corner, where it says “$1.61”. Yeah, I know that price, because it’s the same charcoal pencil used by the thrift store I frequent. If she got it on a Monday or Thursday, it only cost her $1.20. She, however, wanted $15. I don’t begrudge her, as that’s not an insane asking price, but it’s a matter of laziness and lack of professionalism. Then again, it is a flea market, so maybe I expect too much…

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I almost pulled the trigger on these. I used to have the whole Dick Tracy series except for The Brow and The Blank, but never found the cars. Forever, I thought maybe they were an urban legend. I eventually say one in the wild, but it was too high. This guy was only charging $30 per car, which wasn’t too bad at all. I only had $30 with me, though, and I didn’t want to blow it all on one thing. So, I left them there. Not really regretting it, but they were still awesome to see. Of course, once I finally did buy something, I got swindled.

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Few people know this about me (especially online, since I only rant about toys and comics), but I’m a bit of a watch whore. I’ve been this way since I was 2, and I just LOVE watches. Most people replace the battery when their watches stop, but I just buy a new watch. I go through watches the way most people go through cell phones. I just love them, and I love getting new, unique ones. So, I was intrigued when I saw the watch above. The girl at the table said it was an LED watch, and tried to show me the sample. Unfortunately, someone had dropped it, so the LEDs didn’t work so well. I thanked her, and SF and I moved on to where we saw the Dick Tracy cars. Once that was done, I went back to the watch table, and the husband was there now. I asked a few more questions, and sensing my skepticism, he said he’d sell me the sample for $5 instead of the $10 they charged for new ones. I said, “No, someone dropped the sample! She just told me that.” He assured me that he was actually wearing that one, and had just opened the sample once he got back to the table. I searched the girl’s face to see if “fear of a beating/a smirk” crept across her visage. I couldn’t read her, so I agreed to the $5. He even said, “You can test it if you want”, but I was so tired of the place, I just said “I trust you” and I left. Stupid, stupid Will…

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How it works: push the button on the side, and the time is supposed to show up in LEDs inset in the band. First off, it’s not a watch you can really wear in the daylight. Nor can you wear it in the rain. Once I tested it, I realized this was the sample. Oh, that’s supposed to read “12:55” up there. Then, I looked at the manual, and realized it was probably shitty to begin with. Forget dropping it – this thing is crappy through its mere existence. Look at this shit:

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If the manual to your new anything reads like a spam comment on a blog, you might’ve gotten swindled!

In all, it was a good weekend, but you’ve just seen the low points of our travels. Oh, and I lost Free Comic Book Day trivia. Apparently, I didn’t know where Dr. Strange was born. SF told me he wasn’t sure he wanted me to give him a ride after my loss. So, I left him there! No, I didn’t. Or did I?