Procuring thrift shops, flea markets and property gross sales might be overwhelming. With the sheer quantity of stuff, how have you learnt the place to start out? How do you see gems amid all of the junk?
As knowledgeable reseller who has been combing by means of thrift shops for the higher a part of 30 years, I will help. Should you’re prepared to chop your procuring time in half, rating larger bargains or stroll away with brag-worthy finds you possibly can flip for money, learn on.
From hard-to-find home goods to resale money-makers, the whole lot featured in my “Thrift Shop Like a Pro” collection qualifies as a BOLO (“be looking out” for) merchandise. Once you discover it, purchase it!
Featured discover: Chemex espresso makers
In my home, espresso makers expire sooner than the half-and-half. Significantly, I’ve purchased two single-cup brewers prior to now month. Every one lasted about two weeks earlier than the pump mechanism failed and rendered the entire machine ineffective.
I’m tempted to enter a diatribe about planned obsolescence, however I haven’t had my espresso but. As a substitute, let’s speak about one answer — the Chemex espresso maker, a sublime, environment friendly pour-over gadget with no transferring elements.
Invented by chemist Peter Schlumbohm, Chemex first appeared in the marketplace within the Nineteen Forties. Manufactured from heat-resistant glass, the brewers appear to be an hourglass with the highest shaved off.
The cone-shaped higher portion of the carafe, along with a particular paper filter, removes sediment, oils and fat from the espresso. No bitterness and no grounds — the proper cup each time.
However the sensible design doesn’t finish there. The slender neck of the carafe suits the hand completely and protects it from the recent floor with a band of wooden referred to as a “collar.” The collar is secured with a leather-based wire knotted by means of a wood bead. (Don’t you simply love mid-century design?)
A delicate groove molded within the glass serves as a spout. Simply take away the used filter and grounds as one compostable bundle after which pour the espresso.
Why purchase it?
Apart from brewing a superior cup of espresso, Chemex espresso makers simply look cool. As compared, my now-defunct single-cup brewers appear to be ill-conceived piles of plastic.
New York Metropolis’s Museum of Modern Art and Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum agree on Chemex’s creative advantage — the everlasting collections of each esteemed establishments embody a Chemex.
Correctly used and cared for, a Chemex will ship piping sizzling perfection for generations. An excerpt from an previous firm brochure says it finest:
“The Chemex coffeemaker is an ideal masterpiece of glassblowing, which solely only a few glassblowers can ship. Handled rightly, with respect, it is going to final a lifetime.”
Should you’re inquisitive about reselling Chemex items for revenue, the market is absolutely caffeinated. An extra-large Chemex from the Fifties just lately offered on eBay for $330. On Etsy, a vintage 8-cup model in pristine situation just lately offered for $199.
These costs are much more spectacular when you think about that classic Chemex brewers value solely a greenback or two in lots of secondhand retailers.
Notably in areas with no robust espresso tradition, thrift retailer employees don’t know what to make of a Chemex pot. Is it a bizarre vase? A chunk of lab gear? A elaborate spittoon? However hey, their confusion means steamin’ sizzling bargains for you and me.
What to search for
The Chemex mark is often printed on the underside of the carafe, although I’ve seen molded marks close to the spout on items from the Nineteen Forties. The emblem is straightforward — simply “CHEMEX” in all-caps with a patent quantity.
Within the resale market, Chemex costs differ primarily based on situation, age and different options. Should you’re shopping for to resell, pay particular consideration to:
- Measurement: With just a few uncommon exceptions, Chemex brewers are available one-, three-, six-, eight- and 10-cup sizes. Bigger sizes (eight-cup and above) promote finest.
- Manufacture location: Items marked “Made in West Germany” had been manufactured earlier than 1990 and sometimes promote for greater costs.
- Distinctive markings: Early Chemex brewers had been made from Pyrex and a few function a inexperienced stamp on the physique of the carafe that reads, “CHEMEX® U.S. PATENT 2,411,340 MADE IN U.S.A. FROM PYREX® BRAND GLASS.” Carafes with the inexperienced stamp command greater resale costs.
- Collar materials: Some later Chemex fashions function a plastic collar, however collectors want the unique wooden and leather-based collar design.
Professional tip: Should you discover a Chemex with heavy espresso stains, don’t despair. Take away the wood collar and fill the carafe with equal elements heat water and distilled white vinegar. Let soak for 2-3 hours, then scrub with a bottle brush.
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