Since launching this site, a number of people have asked where I shop. Where don't I?!
I shop resale stores, antique shops, live auctions, Craigslist, barn sales, estate sales, online auctions, and Ebay. I shop these markets in the U.S. and overseas.
I have the best luck at estate sales and live auctions, and the worst luck on Ebay, where I have been burned more than once.
But today's post is about another favorite source -- college towns. You would be an idiot not to shop them. Here are the two reasons why:
1. Price is Controlled in College Towns
It's not what you think. Pinko-commie liberals that run rampant in college towns do not exercise price control. Due to the population of thrifting college students, college towns can support several resale/consignment shops, and the resulting competition between stores keeps the prices low. This is a healthy marketplace.
At the same time, the demand for what I call the 'good shizzle' is low. College kids shop thrift stores for mattresses, socks & undies, beer pong tables, and hats. They can't afford the nicer things which sit and drop in price until I come along and snatch them up.
2. The Supply of Good Shizzle is Great
But it is not just about low prices. You can always find shizzle for cheap. In college towns, you can find great shizzle for cheap. Where does it come from? I think it's the professors.
First of all, have you been inside a professor's house? They hoard books, they love good rugs, they appreciate fine art and handmade things, and they fill every nook and cranny with great shizzle. Many of them come from around the world and emigrate with great shizzle from their homeland. In the summers or on sabbatical, they're traveling far off the beaten path, and of course they cart home more great shizzle. They are humanists at heart and curious as cats and when they don't get tenure and they have to move fast to get to their next post, the resale shops, and ultimately the customers benefit. Sad but true.
It only took about seventeen college visits with four kids to divine this pattern.
And speaking of college visits, how is it that each one seems exactly the same as the one before and yet they are so invaluable?
Also, has anyone else noticed that the tour guide who walks backwards while talking is an overachiever and will never spill the dirt on his/her school?
Lastly, in what universe does a child think he is doing himself a favor when he asks the tour guide about the likelihood of being busted in the dorms by the "po-pos"?
Anyway, do your duty and schedule those college visits. When your kid does get in, ditch the parent orientation and go shopping. No one will ever know, your lack of attendance will have absolutely zero bearing on your child's academic success, and I guarantee you'll find your own Bobo horsemen.
Photos by Renn Kuhnen.