Friday, February 4

To the previous owners of Odds and Ends..

I miss you.

For several years now the thrift store Odds and Ends here in Casper, on the corner of 12th and Beverly, has been my guilty pleasure, my relaxing lunch break, my curious stop after work or on slow Saturdays. It was a store full of quality used furniture at great prices - the kind of prices that make you say, "Yes, I like that enough to spend XX dollars. It's definitely worth that."

It was the store that contributed to overcrowding in my apartment, and the store where I found several key pieces of furniture for my new house last spring. I loved making good finds at Odds and Ends, and most of my current furniture has come from there. More than once did I stop by in my car last summer, only to return after work with my truck to pick up my purchase and bring something new home.

But those days are over.

Sadly, the store sold last summer. It stayed the same for a little while after the sale, as the old owners stayed on to break in the new ones. I thought maybe things would go smoothly, and hoped that the new owners would have the same vision and understanding for thrifting and used furniture that the old ones clearly did. It's now clear to me that I should have bought the shop!

All this has been brought on by my visit yesterday, while heading to the house from Hobby Lobby on lunch break. I had stopped in several weeks ago, and was disappointed to find that some piece of crap fake poinsettia had a price tag of five dollars on it. In any self-respecting thrift store, it would have been 50 cents. That was an indication of the direction the store has chosen to take.

So yesterday I walked through the door once again, thinking maybe that was a fluke, or that maybe they'd seen how wrong they were going with the business. My first impressions now upon walking in is that it's gotten white trashy, and the new owners seem to be going for quantity over quality. The front room is much more crowded now than it used to be, and it's hard to get around and see everything. I noticed their upholstered chairs are way overpriced. A decent chair that would suit a living room used to go for $80, and most of the prices I saw yesterday were pushing $250. Really. Who shops at a thrift store because they're looking to spend that kind of money. I could go to Furniture Row and get a brand new piece for not much more than that.

I don't think the new owners have the knack for finding the classic old pieces of furniture, either. It seems like they're just filling the store with whatever comes their way. There were a couple dressers that interested me, but at $150+, I didn't even consider purchasing them.

Add to all this - the new owners, or whoever it is that's working in there now - are not friendly. It used to be that, upon walking in, a customer was warmly greeted by whoever was working the counter. Now it's got the Walmart effect, where they pretend you don't exist.

So anyway, that's my sad tale. I no longer have a favorite thrift store in Casper. There are many others, but none of them are as consistent as Odds and Ends used to be. The others either have a bunch of cheap junk, with the occasional score, or overpriced furniture, with the occasional, "Well, I guess I could pay that much for that."

Sad times! But my spending money is much more intact now that I'm not tempted by furniture, so I guess that's one good point.

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