Nov 27, 2013


Just  quick post to link to some of my favourite junk collecting related subreddits.

Thift Store Hauls - I've been following this one for awhile and it's gotten really popular. It's a good way to feel jealous but also helps feed the picking itch when I can't actually go out. Lots of good appreciators of junk!

Flipping - This one has loads of great info on flipping and stuff like selling on ebay and amazon. I think amazon is starting an Australian site, so it will be interesting if they let people sell on there in the same way as they do in he US.

Vinyl - What else needs to be said? a subreddit about all things vinyl!

Analog - This one is all about Film photography. A nice getaway when you are tired of all the digital bias in most photography communities.

Cassette Culture. - I'm convinced cassette collecting is destined for bigger things. They are everywhere and are hitting the time to be a nostalgic sweet spot. Probably won't ever be as amazing as the vinyl revival, but they're a niche I'm interested in. I like that bands bring out small runs of tapes with unique art, too. Reminds me of zine culture.

Game Collecting - All about collecting video games. Lots of awesome pics of huge vintage game collections!

I might do a post about my favourite Facebook groups at some stage, but I feel like it might give away too many secrets!

Oct 17, 2013

Movin On Up...

 I am thinking I should start updating this blog again. About 3 months ago I started a stall at a local vintage market. It all started with trying to declutter. I have so much old junk that  I needed a way to get rid of it. I don't like throwing things away, and I am good at finding things "worth" something, so I decided a stall would be a good way to go. It took awhile to fill a stall, but it's starting to look quite packed.

The main things I've been selling are not what I would have first expected. Things like west german pottery and vintage cameras have been selling quite slowly.  Some big sellers have been denim jackets, shoes (from vans to docs) and books! I didn't actually think anyone bought books anymore, but if you find the right one, I guess people still do (I buy books, but I'm a hoarder!)

Anything NBA related also sells. But then, some things have also been getting stolen! I luckily started putting magnetic tags on most of my clothing, but before then a few tees and jackets walked out. I can't understand what type of person would steal from a vintage market, it seems really low. Especially when the product isn't being mass produced, it's hand picked and flipped. It might be one of a kind. If I saw anyone wearing the stolen tees and jackets, I would know straight away, becaue they are vintage and not made anymore. I'd probably punch them - I've considered putting something along those lines on a sign in my stall.

Its been interesting so far, and it's something I'd like to eventually do full time. I just wish I'd gotten into it earlier. The best part about it is I get to op shop now with less guilt. There's nothing more fun than finding something cheap and flipping it for 10x the price.

Aug 20, 2012

Market Flipping and Psychology.

Long time no post (yet again!)

I have been super busy lately, it feels like I never have any time to blog. I've been doing some flipping and lots and lots of op shopping - but it does feel like salvos is falling further into its trend of overpricing things and selling a lot of crap. My fav op shop now would be BSL, with vinnies second. But I still do most of my shopping at the salvos because there are more of those than anything else in Geelong, and they are closest to me.

I had a stall at the belmont market this weekend. I have been there 6-7 times now with stalls, with varying degrees of success. As anyone who goes to these sunday "car boot sale" type markets will know, people don't want to pay for anything. You really have to learn what to sell, and corner the market on things people will pay more for. I tend to focus on things I myself like (as its easier to flip what you know), instruments, camera gear, shoes, video games etc. I also do a good trade selling off nba gear. I can flip a $5 jersey into $20-30 easily at the market, cause kids walk past and badger their parents into buying it for them.

I round it out with dvds and cds, which dont sell all that well anymore. I'd like to get more into selling vinyl, but I think I would stick to dedicated vinyl swap meets for that.

I did some pretty good flips yesterday - sold a $6 pair or nike SBs for $30. Sold them to this tall guy in an iron maiden tee, listening to metal so loud on his ipad that I could hear it across the table. He seriously looked like he'd walked out of an 80s movie. Had the hair and everything.

I also sold a ukelele I bought for $3 for $10. Its all money. And it was one of those items a bunch of people came over and played with before someone finally bought it. Its good to have items like that out, even if no one buys them, they will be attracted to the stall, and may then buy something else.

I do something similar with toys. I have a bowl of random happy meal style toys and matchbox cars at the front, placed low where kids will see them. Kids come over and look and  call their parents over. This works in a similar way to how lollies are sold in checkouts. You can't beat age old business ideas.

I usually stand my ground with prices when I know the product and price is right. You can have 3 people say no and even make up bullshit reasons why they think something is priced too high. But then  someone will walk along and pay that price. People will also lowball you, and when you say no they will walk off,only to come back later and pay the higher price. You have to be good at reading just how much someone wants something. for example, I had a camera out for $20 (cost me $5) a dude who knew cameras was trying to get me down to $10 cause there was no battery in it to check the meter. I knew the camera worked and didn't budge. Later, while I was getting something to eat, my sister sold him the camera for $15. Its $5. But thats the difference between a 200% and 300% sale.

I have had people grumble, scoff and make up shit to try to get me to go lower. these people are dealers. And I deliberately dont barter with dealers. Because I know if they are buying, they are planning on making a profit. And my prices are low enough that they will make a profit even if they don't barter down.

Overall I made about $200. Enough to buy a 4 colour screen printing carousel from my friend. Which should be a source of some more money. Good times.

Feb 16, 2012

Video Blog #1!

Here's my first attempt at a video about my op shopping finds! enjoy. Its pretty amature but hopefully I'll improve each week!

Feb 15, 2012

Have Op Shops dried up?

I have been hearing and reading lately that op shops have "dried up" over the last few months. with higher prices and not as much quality around.

Has anyone else noticed this? I feel like Salvos has been really overpriced lately, and I went to Dandenong savers on the weekend and it had a really "picked over" feel compared to usual. I almost always come out of there with heaps of stuff.

Maybe I am just getting pickier? Or maybe i was spoiled by last spring (spring always seems to be the best season for vintage loads of good vintage gear).

A friend of mine suggested it will get better when the uni kids go back to school, I think school holidays have definitely left the op shops looking a bit bare. Or maybe everyone has gotten so poor that they op shop. The op shopping trend is reaching critical mass. There are just too many people picking through the stores and leaving no goodies for me!

Or maybe its just time to look for some different stuff? I have found a few good things the last couple of weeks but nothing like the finds back in the day. Been quite awhile since ive picked up a good camera, too. Though I did find a ps2 with cords for $8 today, so maybe I'm just being a bit of a sook.

I miss the days of finding boxed nintendos and 64s bundled with zelda for $10 and an om2n with a 1.4 zuiko lens for $5!

Feb 7, 2012

Shake it

Today at the op shop I found a salt and pepper shaker. I liked the design and it was only two dollars. Its a little stainless steel set. I looked up the name on the bottom and was pretty surprised to find this. I can't believe it, $46! What a great find! Proves I am right to trust my eye.

Oct 23, 2011

A solution to the Yashica GX battery problem!

I've noticed I get a bunch of hits from people looking for batteries for the Yashica Electro 35 GX. As you know from my previous post, they are hard to find, so you will need some kind of adapter or hack to use current batteries. Tonight I found one on ebay that I'm thinking of picking up. It looks pretty cool

I stole this pic from the auction, but seeing as I am giving them free advertising, I can't see them complaining! The fix i have now is fine. But these are a nice solution to a common problem with these older yashica rangefinders.

Sneaky Sneaky

Today I decided to head out to some op shops I don't get to check out during the week. There is one little one in belmont that I think most people don't know is there. It's old school and the prices are really cheap. they usually have some cool clothes for low prices, and the prices are set instead of jumping up and down for how "valuable" the people working there think something is. Plus all the paperbacks are around 50c each, which is getting rarer now. I had a look around and found these Nikes in pretty much new condition. They look like they have been worn about once. I don't usually buy shoes if they look too worn in.

They didn't have a tag on them so I went and asked one of the women in the store. She looked at them and said "for those? $5." This is why little op shops can be good! These would have been $15-20 at least at a big salvos store. Yet another pair of shoes. The way I'm going, I wont have to buy shoes new at full price for a loooong time.

Oct 14, 2011


I was having a read of this article about op shops and people leaving rubbish. I notice it a lot at the op shops I go to, and i think the reason people do it might be because they have the mindset the op shop just sells rubbish anyway. People who don't go to op shops always seem to have this view! Or it might be they just think their crappy pine furniture is actually nice!

There was an op shop bin near the train station where I used to live. I used to look at what people had left there from time to time and sometimes steal things (gasp!) like stray cards and bits of rubbish to use in collages.

One night I was heading off to a party when I saw a some open suitcases with paperwork in them. I knew this wouldn't be stuff the op shop would take, so I had a look. There were old letter, birthday cards and photo albums. I don't know why someone would throw this stuff away? It was all very 80s. There were also some random mix tapes, I took a few to the party and we danced around to them. I think I took a few photos and things too, I don't know if I still have them. In a way I wish the op shop would sell that type of stuff, even old photos. It would be awesome to use for art projects!

Oct 5, 2011

Buy Nothing New!!

I am participating in Buy Nothing New Month. I already love op shopping and all things second hand, so it shouldn't be too much of a stretch. but I do still buy new things quite often, especially online! So I will have to watch what I buy.

I should use it as an excuse to post to this blog more, shouldn't I? I am currently cleaning my place up at home, so here is a pic of my lounge.The only "bought new" things in this picture are the vacuum, the laptop, the bookcase and the xbox (oh, and the set top box!). The couch is second hand, the tv is second hand (ex store tv, those ones you see in clothing shops playing music videos) the cameras the books, the cushions, the coffee table and shag rug. The speakers under the tv were free. even the coasters on the coffee table. I would guess at least 80% of the stuff in my house has been found at op shops or given to me. This blog was meant to be to show everything I find. But as you can see, its a big job!

Yesterday I bought one of those little hooks that can fit over the top of doors, so I decided to put some of my bag collection on it so they arent just hanging off door handles or lying on the ground!

I realised after I took the photo that everything in the pic is from the op shop. I love the op shop for finding bags. I love all things aztec/tribal and I like real leather, too. I know leather is dead cows and that's bad, but vintage leather to me is ok, because if a cow ided to make something nice then we should try to get as much use out of it as possible! PU bags feel so throw away and cheap to me. The leather satchel in the photo is really thick and sturdy, i think I'll be able to keep it for life. The shirt is a levis shirt I found for $5.

The other interesting thing about this pic is all this stuff came from the same few shops in the same area (Geelong) just over the last few years. You don't have to go nuts and travel across the state or country to be a good op shopper (but you can if you want!). I think its just about going out every week. I'm probably lucky in that I can see a trend coming, because I need to know what's in fashion for my job. So I know what stuff to look out for. But this is really my taste anyway. I don't buy to sell (though I do want to one day) but I think even if you do, it makes sense to buy what you like and what interests you. Its harder to know if something's a dud if its something you aren't passionate about already.

If you're jealous of my stuff, go out there and get shopping! I'm going to try to post my finds more during this month, so stay tuned.

Aug 25, 2011

Not Old or Junk, but Pretty Cool!

This is up there with some of my best finds. I rocked up to my local salvos and had a look around, got to the shoe section and noticed a whole pile of vans that looked new. I had a closer look and noticed many had small things wrong with them, but they were pretty good and priced between $20-25 a pair. There were heaps in my size, and seeing I had been considering buying a new pair of vans for awhile, i decided to stock up. Usually vans authentics are about $90-100 a pair so that's why I'd been holding off, I had considered buying some from ebay but with the dollar jumping around I'd bee waiting for a high point to save the most money.

I went a little crazy and ended up buying 6 pairs! But this was $135 in total - usually I'd get one pair and a little left over for that money. This means I'm set for the next 12 months at least when it comes to shoes. I even called some guys down from work to grab a few pairs up, they have bigger feet and there were a few pairs in sizes 10-12.

I mentioned before a few had little things wrong. One pair had a small tear near the ankle that I sewed up, another had one of the lace rivets loose, and another had a small part of the sole coming off. A bit of shoe glue fixed them up and they look good as new. The rate canvas shoes wear out, all these imperfection were problems that would come up after a few wears anyway!

This is proof to the people who wont shop at op shops - you are missing out! Its not all "dead people's clothes" as some people still seem to think. You can get new stuff at a big discount. A percentage of the stock in most op shops will come from corporate donations. Seconds, samples, stock they couldn't sell. You can find some really good bargains. These shoes came from Melbourne apparently, by the look for the box markings I have a suspicion they were from Glue. Floor stock that people try on, or sits out on the shelf, and maybe some returns. The plus side is, this money is going to charity, so it's even better than an outlet store.

Once you POP...

I found this little guy at the local Vinnies last week. I already have a red one, but it would be cool to find all the colours these came in. The Konica pop came out in the 80s in a bunch of colours - beating the imac to the punch at least a decade early. They have that cool shiny plastic 80s look, I think they are cute, I wish cameras now were designed with a bit more fun. There's no reason a consumer digital p&s can't look like this.

Anyway, this one for $4 and came with a cae and the original documentation. Score! I might give it a go this summer, seems like a summer camera. Thought with the flash it might be a good one to take out partying one night, too!

Here's a few links for more info on this camera :

The camerapedia article

A flickr group with some example pics. not a bad little camera.

Aug 17, 2011

Yashica Electro 35 GX - $5 find!

Hi Guys, long time no see. I decided to revive this blog, due to my ongoing obsession with op shopping, and junk collecting in general. I keep thinking about it, and these days, 90% of my stuff is secondhand, so I have a lot of material! Here we go...

I picked this camera up at the local "tip". Well, not that kind of tip. Down where I live we don't have hard rubbish collection, so instead the council runs hard rubbish tips and charge you a few bucks to dump things that wont fit in the bin. Just like normal hard rubbish, some stuff is still good, or still useful, so there is a store attached to the front filled with all kinds of random bits and pieces. Furniture, bikes, video games, old tvs, records, beer bottles, signs, etc. I would say everything but the kitchen sink, but they have those, too.

Anyway, this place is right near my work, so after picking my car up from being stranded after a work party, I decided to go have a look, as I hadn't been in awhile. I saw a little black camera case in the display case along with a bunch of digital cameras and projectors and the usual junk.
I thought it looked suitably cool andretro so I wrenched it out and had a look.
A cure little yashica electro. I didnt know what i had found really, I don't know much about yashicas or rangefinders, but it was in very nice condition and all cleared the basic checks I've learned to do before buying (shutter fires, no broken off bits, no fungus, case opens and closes ok, light seals ok) I decided to grab it. The only puzzling thing was the weird battery compartment, but knowing the internet, there would be a workaround out there somewhere.

As soon as I got home I asked the internet what I had found. Ebay said it was something worth a fair bit, and the rest of the internet said it was a great camera, so I started getting excited. I like things whether or not they turn out to be worth a lot, but there is something extra gratifying about realising you have grabbed a real bargain. Here's a few more pics.
clean viewfinder!

I took it to my boyfriend to have a look at, he knows WAY more about cameras than me, and has a bit more experience getting old ones working again. It turned out the batteries can't be bought anymore, but you can make or buy a hack to fit into the battery compartment to fit newer batteries at a similar voltage. My bf spent an hour or so swearing, cutting up and drilling doweling, and experimenting, until he came up with this solution
The doweling is drilled through the middle with a metal spring pushed through to reach the connectors. Not pretty, but it works great! Yay!! This helped me discover my favourite thing about this camera..

light up film counter. So hi tech!

I will put up some pics when I've put a roll through. So far the only thing that doesnt work is the underexposure bulb. I might get it fixed/serviced at some point if I end up loving it.
If you want some more detailed into on this camera and its specifics, here are a few links :

Photoethnography page on the GX

Cameraquest page

A great blog post with photo examples

Apr 7, 2009

Op Shop Find - Sfida Hi Tops

I found these shoes at the op shop yesterday, thought id chuck up some bad phone pics before they get too dirty. I can't find any info about these on the net, but they were in brand new condition, I reckon they must be early 90s. The ankle area reminds me of puma first rounds, and there is a weird chunk of plastic on the back. Also the soles arent very original. They say made in Italy which is pretty cool. The colourway is nice, but they are a bit too big, I don't care, I really wanna wear them cause no one else has them! $9 is an absolute steal, don't you think?

Mar 2, 2009

Cool Old Link - Tins

A collection of photos of old tins on the H is For Home blog. I especially like the orange ones shown above.

800k disks.

I probably spent too much money on these last night, but it should lead to some fun. I have a mac se in the garage I can't get to boot, so hopefully I can make some boot disks and get it running. I have a bunch of old ones but they are super old and might be corrupt.

I've been a bit sick but I'll hopefully kick start this blog soon, to anyone who might be reading!

Feb 21, 2009

Cool Old Junk - what this is all about (part three)

4. Nerdiness.

There's gonna be another side to this blog besides furniture and design, and that's technology. I collect old computers. Well, sometimes not so old. And they are all apple. I guess it's cause I've always had a mac at home since I was little and now I'm designing I use a mac for work. I guess my collecting start with my friend Mathieu. He had a mac plus in his shed and decided to try to get it working. There was something fun and frustratng about reading up online about how to try to get it running, and going through old system disks. A while later I found my own mac plus in an op shop, and set it up in my room, playing old games and drawing with macdraw and kidpix. It didnt have a hard drive, only used 800k disks, and didnt doing much at all compared to my parent's performa, let alone my Mum's school ibook, but I loved it. I soon was given an se and later a colour classic. The rest is history.

I have a whole bunch of macs in my garage, some working, some not, so I'll dedicated a section of the blog to all things nerdy. Not just computers but old games and systems, the odd toy or radio, and other things along those lines. So old wont just mean "from before I was born" - it's just general obselscence. Stuff people dont want anymore, that's pretty much what this is about. So me showing off my crap to the world, and occasionally linking to other people's crap. Sound good? good. enjoy my blog. Hopefully I'll stick with it!

Feb 20, 2009

Cool Old Junk - what this is all about (part two)

Part one here

2.Antiques, furniture shops and home decortating magazines. My mum used to be big on antiques. I think it was an 80s/90s country home type thing. We had old cigarette boxes, old tins, ancient furniture and various other bits and pieces throughout the house. My parents would spend lots of time looking at antiques and furniture shops, and I would usually get dragged along. i think being around old stuff so much rubbed off on me, I just like it now. But probably a slightly different stuff to what my parents were into. I love mid century furniture and homewares. The lines, the patterns, the colours and textures, there's something retro but futuristic about it.

When I was in my last year of highschool my parents were looking for a beach house. I remember going along to look at a cute little house in St Leonards. I didnt care one way or the other about the house to be honest, but the furniture inside sold me striaght away. Fully decked out with original mid century furniture and fittings, tables, chairs, couches (even the water heater). I staked a claim on a deep red vinyl couch and hoped theyd decide this was the right place. They did. A few months later that couch sat in my bedroom, covered in clothes, but mine. I think that's where my love affair with old furniture really started.

Since then my collection has grown and is a mix of vintage op shop finds and ikea. I prefer the op shop finds.

3. Art and Design.

I'm a Graphic Designer so school involved learning about art and design history. Design and art are pretty much the same ideas over and over, and newer isnt always better. Look at old logo design compared to the bubble type and table reflection ridden design around now. There was so much care put into old signs, old typography and old layout. Because it was done by hand. It took a long time so you had to do it right.

The same goes with a lot of older products. You can still find out radios and tvs that work fine, ancient chairs that are still solid, old furniture made to take a beating. Everything is made to break now, so you can upgrade in a few years, and upgrade and upgrade and never have any connection to a product. Nothing has any personality.

Older stuff just stands out. It has some kind of warmth and feeling to it that doesnt exist with a lot of products around now. Maybe that's why Eames furniture is still so popular, why lots of vintage furniture holds its value so well, or why whitegoods went through a trend of looking like they were from the 40s/50s 60s. Or how a bunch of radios came out looking like they were made out of bakelite. Lots of that stuff is super tacky, but it says something about consumers. They dont always want new and lifeless. I certainly don't.

The other side of the whole Art/Design reason is that I like collection old books and magazines for reference, or to pull apart and make into new art. I like making collages and art journals and sticking a bunch of found objects I find on a page together. I love found objects like ticket stubs, old photos, postcards etc. And my favourite place to find cool pics to make collages is in old national geographics. I grab old books and mags whenever I can, and usually have trouble parting with them. They might inspire me one day!

Part 3 soon.

Cool Old Junk - what this is all about (part one)

First things first - I'm a pack rat. My mum says I'll end up on A Current Affair as one of those people with a condemned house with old car part and babies nappies strewn across the front yard and onto the concrete. I don't know why I love old junk, but I think it's a mix of a few things:

1. I don't like wasting stuff. When I was younger my Mum always bought the no name brand stuff and from a young age I op shopped. It's not that we were poor, it's just my parents are into budgeting and not wasting money. I always wanted the rip curl jumpers and expensive sneakers everyone else had, but usually ended up only getting them on special occasions, and the rest of the time I'd wear stuff like old woolen jumpers with weird patterns, work jackets complete with random people's names, ski jackets with zip off arms and "grandpa pants" - usually flared. This fit in with my "punk rock" attitude and also my extreme tomboy-ness (ask my friends if they've ever seen me wear a dress!).

I also never had a discman (although I had a rad boombox with detachable speakers, cd player and two tape decks) and only really got cds as presents (this was the time before cd burners - at least before every man and his dog could afford one) so I used to make a lot of mixtapes. From the radio, mostly, to listen to on my almost hour-long trip to and from highschool every day. My dad had a great sony sports walkman - it was bright yellow and bigger that even the oldest ipods, but it was my main source of music throughout my teenage years. It was covered in stickers and made fun of by my friends, but looking back I wish I still had it (it died).

There's something much more artistic about making a mixtape than downloading an mp3. My tapes were filled with my favourite songs, with radio announcers talking over the start or end of a song, and sometimes only half a song (if I didnt get to the record button fast enough). Id try to put songs on that would impress my fellow bus travellers (the bus driver sometimes let us put tapes on the buses' radio), there was nothing that filled my 13 year old self with pride more than when the year 12 boys at the back asked 'who made this tape?' and started headbanging to silverchair or nirvana. But sometimes it would cause fights- 'why would you stop the tape when it was a weezer song?' 'cause they suck, too poppy' 'you're an idiot!' (I was).

Many of the tapes they were taped on were stolen from music class. I think the school my have had a deal with deakin to get all their old lecture tapes, so they had boxes and boxed of them for kids to record music practise on? (i dunno, I never used them for the intended purpose). I used to grab handfuls of them, take them hope, tape over the edges and record away.
I have a massive collection of old tapes at home, and I can't throw them away. why? cause it's like throwing away a part of myself. I know that's a dangerous way to think, but I sure lots of other people out there feel the same way.

I'm going to split this intro into parts seeing I'm waffling on more than I thought I would. expect more up soon.