I love seeing what people buy when they go thrifting. Their excitement about their great finds and bargains. But what about those items that people almost buy? Those items that are great, but that you really don't need or it just doesn't make you that excited. So, while I was thrifting today I decided to take photos of items that caught my eye but I didn't buy for various reasons...

I found a set of five Melplus blue trays but decided to pass on them because blue isn't really a color I like nor have in my home. I could have sold them in the shop, but they would have cost too much and I didn't think there would be enough profit.

These super fab Olympics posters from 1980 got my attention. There were also two others that I didn't photograph. I liked them but didn't love them. I didn't like the Levi's logo on the bottom right. They were also too pricey to put in the shop. (Interesting trivia... the US did not participate in the 1980 summer games because it was held in Moscow).

Once again, I like these fun bird figurines, but didn't love them. The owl bank was kinda pricey and had some chips. Plus, I think the owl craze is long over, so I wasn't interested in putting it in the shop.

I love these fun kitschy candle holders but I passed on them for my personal collection because I don't get too excited about Christmas decorations anymore. Also, Christmas items don't sell well in the shop plus I am trying to get away from selling super kitschy items. The lamp is great, too, but it was chipped in a few spots. For the shop I don't want to deal with shipping large items.

More awesome furniture! This coffee table and dresser are great but I have too much furniture as it is. In the spring I am going to have to get rid of 2/3 to 3/4 of my stuff (for reasons I will go in to later) so adding more stuff to my apartment is kinda stupid right now.

Ok, I know that sofa table thingy is quite a "look". And I'm not a gold/brass kind of person. But it could be awesome in the right setting and something an experienced interior designer could work with (like in this space). And the wooden side table could be great with some elbow grease that I'm not willing nor have the desire to do right now in my life.

I've been looking for a hutch similar to this one, but I'm not going to buy something that's not exactly what I want. Plus this one had a matching sideboard and I didn't want to deal with that. And I am always a sucker for industrial looking chairs. But, like I wrote above, buying more furniture right now isn't an option.

What items have all of you found but not bought? What are some of the reasons you will not purchase an item?


  1. i once walked around a shop wearing a fabulous houndstooth winter coat with black velvet lapels and cuffs. it was only $15 and i loved it - but i didn't really need another coat. i regret it every time i think about it.

  2. @peace... if my jaw drops when i see something i buy it, even if i don't need it. i once saw a great sideboard that had 2 doors and a lot of danish modern style but didn't get it because i wasn't sure of the size... i still think about it even 15 years later.

  3. @peace I had a similar coat story. It was this beautiful long pink and cream wool coat from the 40s. It cost $15 and I almost put it back but I couldn't resist. When I get to the cashier he gives me a discount because I had cash and it helped him solve an error with the previous customer...I got it for $5! But I still pass up on some great finds that I rue to this day.

  4. Very interesting post - I might have to do a similar one (and link it to this one of course).

    My favorite moments are naturally when I see THAT thing and I cannot believe my luck. However, sometimes I really like the "hm, yes, no, maybe, yes, of course"-dialog in my head when looking at a certain thing too.
    If the item is below my flinch point (about 3 bucks), it usually goes in the basket - and even if I regret it later (and donate it back to the store), it is good to know that it was no more expensive than a Starbucks coffee - and at the moment just as pleasurable :-)

  5. This past weekend I left behind a Pyrex Spring Blossom Carafe at a flea market. it was $15, which I thought was a fair price but I already have one with out the lid, so I couldn't justify spending that much money.

    I also saw a new in box Pyrex bake and store set with the glass lids. It was $10. I thought about it, but I have so many vintage ones, to buy new ones seemed silly.

  6. @maine... i'd love to see the things that you almost buy! and i have done what you do... bought something and then donated it back shortly after.

    @monogirl... we have to stop ourselves or else we will turn in to hoarders!!

  7. Oh what cool things you left behind and all for the same reason I mostly leave things behind, still working on 'not much of a profit if I put it in the store.' Found a 1940s wide arm chair, wood trim, at at the Goodwill, in their backyard salvage, excellent condition, $5, too heavy to ship, and no room in my tiny townhouse, sigh. I'll also leave behind things I like, but have so much, that a chip will give it a 'no' unless of course it is just for me and my own personal inventory.

  8. Oh man, I could write an entire book on stuff we've left behind at the thrift. It's really tough, sometimes breaks my heart to let things stay. I've been trying to think of it that I'm leaving it for other thrifters to find. I'll often take pics of left-behind items as well - makes good fodder for #thriftbreak tweets =)

  9. I could have had that gold/brass sofa table thing free from craigslist except no one else would help me load it into my van.
    I was at a garage sale this weekend when the seller talked a girl into buying a nice (not great) coat for $50. That is salesmanship.
    She was willing to drop the price of a Raggedy Nancy & Clancy 70s portable record player (in well used condition) from $50 to $10 for me.
    I bought something else wonderful but walked away from the record player. Did I make a mistake?

  10. I love those Steelcase chairs. I was lucky enough to find one along the side of the road a few years back, but haven't found any additional chairs within my price range...

  11. @victoria... i am afraid of becoming a hoarder, so i try to only keep what i really really want.

    @la... that's a great way of looking at it... leaving it for other vintage lovers!

    @dogsmom... if i keep thinking about something for a few days afterwards, i know i need to go back and get it!

    @nicholas... they can be expensive, for sure! my old boss had tons of the silver navy chairs he found at a thrift store for a steal!

  12. The owl phase may be over but not in this household. Well, for me. My fiance has a distinctive noise whenever I point out an owl anywhere. I would have snatched up that little critter.

    I've actually had more luck finding figurines since I moved to Cincy from Seattle.