Gem or Junk Part 2: Getting Thrifty With It

Lucy Poppell
Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-30 14:31:01-04

Last week, WTXL ABC 27's Alex Cordero went to Manor Auctions to learn about spotting items that might be worth hundreds of dollars. His quest begins at a local thrift shop where he hopes to find a treasure on this week's edition of Gem or Junk: Getting Thrifty With It.

TALLAHASSEE, Fl. (WTXL) -- Earlier, Malcolm Mason from Manor Auctions helped me out, giving me some advice as to what to look for when trying to buy new things.

We're went to Two Gals Thrift Shop on North Monroe Street in Tallahassee for our first stop and met Lucy and Sally.

"I don't know if it was so much an inspiration as it was a blessing", said Lucy Poppell, one of the co-owners of the Two Gals Thrift Shop, when referring to how she go into the business.

"Both Sally and I were working and we were doing house cleaning", said Poppell. "And we thought, there's got to be a better way to make money than house cleaning."

So Lucy and Sally decided to empty their garages one day and have a garage sale, "And sitting out all day long, having a garage sale. What a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon", she explained.

The Two Gals had a pleasant experience at an auction where they got a massive return on an item bought. "Sally seen this desk in the corner and let me tell you... I'm looking at that going 'what is she thinking while she's bidding on it?'", explained Poppell. "Next thing we know, she bought it for seven dollars, we found out what it was, how much it was worth and we sold it for 450 dollars." So we began our search in the store, trying to copy the Two Gals' success.

It was hard not to laugh and have even more fun with some of the crazy knick knacks we saw at the shop, but then something caught my newly formed auctioneer mind. A vintage Seth Thomas brand Alarm Clock made of pure mahogany. As we analyzed the clock, we started remembering the advice our appraiser told us about time pieces and using our smartphones for research. Doing so, we found out that similar brands were on sale for over $50 to even $70 in some instances.

After a few minutes of research, we realized that the item in my hand, just might be a gem. So we bought the clock for exactly $20. I bought it because it feels really nice, its made of mahogany, and it's a time piece which I know Malcolm told us to look specifically for. I think it'll be worth 50 dollars.

But before we left, the two gals had some extra advice they wanted to share with us. "If you're looking for a great deal, hit your thrift shops", Poppell said. "You got seven of them to choose from. If you don't find it at the first one, go to the second one, the third one. Eventually you're going to find what you're looking for, you're not going to drive all over town, and you're not going to pay a high price for it."

Next week, we'll head to an antique shop.