30 Times People Couldn’t Believe Their Luck In Thrift Stores, Flea Markets, And Garage Sales (New Pics)


They’re cheap. They help the environment. And they might just make your eyebrows jump into your hairline. That’s right, folks, I’m talking about all the weird secondhand finds that people uncover in thrift stores. And garage sales. Not to mention in strange shops (there one day, gone the next) with mysterious and eccentric owners who offer you items that will make all your dreams come true for free (all you need to do is sign a simple contract). [Cue goatee twirling and totally-not-suspicious laughter.]

The Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared Facebook group is a seemingly endless well of eccentric oddities, and we’ve collected some of their newest and most intriguing finds. Scroll down, have a good chuckle, and upvote your faves.

When you’re done feasting your eyes and your curiosity on this list, make sure you check out Bored Panda’s previous articles about the awesome community right here, here, and here for some delicious visual desert. Oh, and let us know about the most peculiar secondhand things you’ve ever found in the comments.

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#1 I Did Not Need A Cookie Jar But There Was No Walking Away From This Silly Gal. A Good Friend Recommended I Make Her A Tutu, So I Did, Of Course. Now The Hippo Has A Name – Stella – And Has Taken Over The House

Image credits: Jennifer Kingman

#2 I Am An Animator And In 1987 I Animated Super Mario Brothers 3 And Well… Then This Happened Today!

Image credits: Rivka Schaffner

#3 I Found This Little Birb Thimble At An Antique Store In Gatlinburg And Fell In Love. Now I Just Walk Around With It On My Finger And Peck At People Because I’m Clearly An Adult That Has Their Priorities Straight

Image credits: Kelli Dunn

“Getting your quirky items through secondhand shopping is a much more sustainable and harmless pastime than shopping new on the internet for a whole host of reasons,” Alden Wicker, a sustainable lifestyle blogger and fashion expert, told Bored Panda.

“You’re keeping something out of the landfill, you’re reducing the climate impact that comes from producing and shipping products, and if you’re shopping locally, you’re circulating your dollars in your local economy instead of supporting a far-away factory that is potentially a sweatshop,” she pointed out.

“I think secondhand is great! The problem is that it takes a little more work and creativity, and people increasingly don’t want to leave their computers and do the digging and face-to-face interaction it requires.”

#4 Duckie Mirror Absolutely Came Home With Me

Image credits: WeirdSecondhandFinds

#5 While Cleaning Out A Old Farmhouse My Girlfriend And I Found A Trunk Full Of Early 1900’s Clothing. This Dress Was On The Bottom And In The Best Shape

Image credits: Patrick Treece

#6 Last Weekend, As I’m Going Into This Antique Store On A Whim, I Jokingly Tell Myself “Maybe There’s A Lenox Spice Village In Here Just Waiting For Me To Take It Home.”

I explore about 3/4 of the store and look over at a junky shelf of stuff while squeezing past it and ***squeeeeeal*** I spot adorable little ceramic houses thinking “COULD THIS BE IT?”

IT WAS A SPICE VILLAGE, complete with the original paperwork and shelf!!! I immediately run to get a hand basket and gingerly place all the houses inside and sprint to the checkout counter to purchase my FAVORITE antique store purchase EVER!!

It ended up having one jar missing, but I found it on Etsy and snatched it up so fast!

Also, I only have one tiny wall in my tiny kitchen, and would you believe this beauty fits perfectly on it?!?!?

Image credits: Heather Eck

We’ve previously written extensively about the benefits of secondhand shopping. You save cash. You help Planet Earth because you’re reducing the number of new goods that need to be manufactured and transported across the world. You strengthen the ties between yourself and other community members. All of that seems obvious enough. But!

And there is a big “but!” As obvious as it might seem, the benefits of living with ecological responsibility on our minds may not have the huge impact that we crave. At least, according to Wicker’s interpretations of the flaws in our conscious consumerism strategies. (Note that this isn’t meant to discourage you, our ecologically conscious Pandas; this is just to widen your perspectives by asking the tough questions.)

Wicker writes on Quartz that “small steps taken by thoughtful consumers—to recycle, to eat locally, to buy a blouse made of organic cotton instead of polyester—will not change the world.

“Making a series of small, ethical purchasing decisions while ignoring the structural incentives for companies’ unsustainable business models won’t change the world as quickly as we want,” Wicker points out. “It just makes us feel better about ourselves.”

“We pat ourselves on the back for making decisions that hush our social guilt instead of placing that same effort in actions that enact real environmental change. On its face, conscious consumerism is a morally righteous, bold movement,” Wicker continues.

“But it’s actually taking away our power as citizens. It drains our bank accounts and our political will, diverts our attention away from the true powerbrokers, and focuses our energy instead on petty corporate scandals and fights over the moral superiority of vegans,” she writes.

#7 I Asked The Price. The Man Said $20. I Was Shocked. I Thought He Meant $120. He Told Me He’d Gladly Accept More, So I Threw The $20 At Him And Ran. No Joke, I Literally Ran Away With This Beauty Like I Stole It

Image credits: Tommie Taylor Alexander

#8 Found This Amazing “Phrenology Cat”. Immediately Fell In Love And Knew He Had To Come Home And Be Part Of My Eclectic Mix In My Art Studio!

Image credits: WeirdSecondhandFinds

#9 Got This Unusual Lightbulb As Bonus To A $5 Lamp At Value Village In Fairbanks

Image credits: Sarah Olga Thomas

“So if you really care about the environment, climb on out of your upcycled wooden chair and get yourself to a town hall meeting. If there’s one silver lining to the environmental crisis facing us, it’s that we now understand exactly the kind of work we need to do to save the planet—and it doesn’t involve a credit card.”

Which makes our battle to save the environment even harder than it first appeared. But no worries, buying things secondhand can certainly be a part of the solution (even if it’s not the entire solution).

#10 Found At Savers In Wisconsin, You Bet Your Ass I Bought It. Also Promptly Put It On My Cat

Image credits: Heidi Odden

#11 We Have A Grumpy Kitten That My Son Named Gracie. We Found This Little 4 Poster Blue Velvet Bed For Our Princess At A Store In Collingwood Ontario For A Great Marked Down Price From Its Original Cost. Needless To Say, Our Grumpy Gracie Loves Her New Bed. She Is Ameowsed With It

Image credits: Melinda Mimi Cousto

#12 Regret Not Buying This

Image credits: Yadira Castillo

#13 I Am One Of The Many Hundreds Of People Who Have Lost Their Homes In The Australian Bushfires

 I went out for the first time to see it all yesterday – because it was a firestorm more than a bushfire everything is incinerated opposed to burnt – except pottery things. They are smashed and destroyed BUT i found my little house hippo amongst the ruins and brought her back to where we are staying

Image credits: Norah Yess

#14 As I Walked Through The Aisles On My Weekly Hunt, I Was Expecting Nothing. I Turned The Corner, & There It Was. I Saw The Eyes Staring Back At Me, As If To Say, “Why Am I Here? ” As I Pulled It Off The Rack, & Caressed The Cotton/ Spandex Blend, I Whispered Back, “I Don’t Know… But You’re Safe Now

Image credits: Katie Rodriguez

#15 Went To Thrift For Dresses, Came Home With A Mini Cast Iron Stove

Image credits: WeirdSecondhandFinds

#16 I Found A Chaise Lounge At Good Will For My Cat! She Almost Fits

Image credits: Kelly Classen

#17 Some Good Advice Found At The Goodwill In Port Orchard, Wa

Image credits: Claire Gowdy

#18 Y’all, I Am About To Go Full On Dolores Umbridge In My Living Room! Found At Goodwill In Ne Ohio

Image credits: Randi Wheeler

#19 My 100% Thrifted Push Pinned Tape Wall. I Collected Just Over 4,000 Cassette Tapes To Put This Wall Up In My Studio For My Grand Opening

I am unsure of where I came up with the idea, but I had it in my head since the beginning and it was paramount to me that it be up for my opening. After reno’ing for three months it came down to the wire and we started the wall at 11:00am, pushing in every thumbtack. It started with 4 of us, 2 survived awhile, then my husband said “F this noise” at 1:00am and took our 3 year old home. At 2:30am ish I fell asleep briefly in a pile of my own blood, sweat, tears and broken thumb tacks. I severely damaged my nails, and I looked like something out of a zombie flick once 10am rolled around for my opening. But it was fn glorious. I woke up after the brief nap, got up the last 17 tapes, ripped the paper off the windows and the people lined up outside lost their damn minds. I’ll never forgot it. This tape wall went on to be in a few movies, people stop to check it out, and the locals who started to call me “the cassette chick” come in to view the wall and see if any of their old mix tapes are on the wall. One person did find one, with his full name on it and showed me his drivers license to prove it. I asked him if he wanted it back and he said, “no, it’s perfect just where it is, I’ll come visit it often.” And he does, with friends. Heartwarming. This wall has become a part of my soul and I just wanted to share it with you all cuz I knew you’d appreciate it. These are what my dreams were made of as a kid and I’m so grateful I’ve been able to make some of my dreams happen and so many others have enjoyed them and been inspired! Chilliwack, BC, Canada Tapes all sourced locally in Chilliwack. Cleared every single thrift store out. It cost me a fortune but luckily, most of the thrifts out here are for charity, so that in itself is pretty rad. With the extras we went on to make tables and chairs and all sorts of weird ish lol

Image credits: WeirdSecondhandFinds

#20 I’m A Boudoir Photographer In Indiana And I Made The 4 Hour Drive For These Beauties

Image credits: MacKenzie Bates

#21 Socks I Found At Goodwill, It’s Literally My Dog!! Who Gets Rid Of Socks They Put Their Dog On? Such An Amazing Find! A Whole 3.99

Image credits: Ryleigh Roden

#22 This Was And Is My Favorite 2nd Hand Find

It is a solid Sterling Silver articulated dragon ring. I found it a few years ago at a furniture consignment store (of all places?!?!). I had wanted a ring like this for 10+ years and the 2nd hand Gods decided I was worthy. Now I have armor, fashion AND a weapon all in one cool glorious piece!

Image credits: Kelly Rodgers

#23 Told My Kids I Wasn’t Buying Them Anything Today, But Then My Boy Found This Homemade Mask The Was Assembled And Painted From Various Parts And Painted. For $4 I Folded

Image credits: Kevin Sosbe

#24 Look At This Crazy Purse I Found At Goodwill Brand New For 5 Bucks! It’s Bendy And Reflective!

Image credits: Heather HC

#25 Sometimes You Just Know A Good Thing When You See It

I work for my local theatre community as a costumer, and in the midst of purging the 1800’s section of the costume department this dress appeared as a torn, stained mess on a hanger. The ribbon on the bodice was falling off, there was a sizeable hole in the back and the skirt had a few tears in the chiffon. It was thrown in the garbage pile, and I am so thankful that I pulled it out.

It still needs to be dyed to cover the stains (there’s dark green splotches all around the hem) but it only took a few hours to tack the ribbon back on and to repair the holes. Once garbage, it is now one of my favourite dresses in my personal collection. Absolutely worth the work!!

Image credits: Hanna Ellis

#26 I Found This Beautiful Unicorn Braclet At A Thrift Store. I Love It Everyone Else Thinks Its Ugly

When I brought it home with me I did some research (with the help of google lense) and discovered that it seems to be from the late 70’s early 80’s and it is called a cloisonne braclet. This information made me love it even more!! There seems to be one in blue too so now I’ll forever be on the hunt to find it.

Image credits: WeirdSecondhandFinds

#27 Y’all Wanna See My Adorable French Bulldog On A Tiny Thrifted Victorian Sofa, Yes? The Moment I Brought It Home, He Knew It Was His

Y’all wanna see my adorable French bulldog on a tiny thrifted Victorian sofa, yes? The moment I brought it home, he knew it was his.

Edit! I added a few pictures for context. I originally included just the first two, and that first picture makes him look HUGE. Here’s my husband buying it, for proof of size, and my other pets joining him.

My precious Frenchie is named Bouchon. It’s the French word for cork, and the French also make chocolate bouchon, which are little cork-shaped brownies. My dog is a little French brownie.

We bought the couch so he’d have somewhere to sit while I cook. He never leaves my side. He’s like Baby Yoda in his little pod, following me wherever I go.

Finally, I added a pic of Bou sitting on our human couch in our funky, weird, secondhand Victorian home

Image credits: Carrie Obry

#28 Trying To Find A Dress For Lez Prom In Austin And I Found This Sequined Monstrosity

It’s heavy as hell, somehow shines gold, green, and pink and also…. Fits like a glove. I guess it’s coming home with me. What in the world am I gunna wear on my feet?

Image credits: Kyna Byrd

#29 Because Who Doesn’t Want An Underwear Purse. These Did Not Come Home With Me. Lol Found At The Montgomery Antique Mall In Fort Worth Tx

Image credits: Amy Denise

#30 Found This Poor Guy Stressing About The Prom! Stoughton Wi-Goodwill

Image credits: Kayln Schremp


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