Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Pride Goeth: Thrift Store Mistakes

My stack of new shirts made me happy like springtime.

No one else wanted these? They only cost 50 cents on thrift store super-markdown.

I congratulated myself on the new Pima cotton and ocean-y colors. Perfect!

This morning, between bites of cereal, Andrew asked, "Hey Mom, how come all your new shirts say SAMPLE on the back?"

I wonder how many other people saw that first? I had only been wearing them ALL week!

What was your worst thrift store mistake? It's okay--we all have them!

50 comments:

Megan said...

New to your blog but I enjoy it. Sounds to me like a great art project for the kids. Some fabric paints and some love, there you have it, masterpieces of love!

WhiteStone said...

Oh, Dear! Or how about appliquing some piece of pretty fabric in a coordinating pattern/color?

Martha A. said...

Oh dear! Would you be able to fix them so you can still wear them? What about decorative patches?

I am trying to think of a thrift store mistake, probably buying clothes without trying them on....

Christina said...

Ahh I have a good one! Although yours was pretty funny...lol. One time I bought this gorgeous sign, it was painted sage green with white writing. I only spent like $2 on it. When I got it home, I realized it says "friends today, solemates tomorrow" you know 'sole' like the fish, instead of 'soul'....lol

celina from canada said...

oh my goodness.....if there is a way to make them work i am sure you will figure it out..otherwise..that fabric is too great to let go to waste...

i've done tons of stuff like that..although usually for more than 50c..and then they sit and haunt me , until i get rid of them..usually they are prefectly fine for someone else...

Shannon@Idylwild said...

How funny that Andrew noticed ALL your new shirts had a mark before he mentioned it:)

Carrien said...

Soaking them in vinegar may help get rid of that dye... But not always.

I once bought a set of dishes that looked pretty in the bag, but when I puled them out they were the cheapest kind of china. They are still in my cupboard all scratched and discolored, because I haven't found anything to replace them yet.

Emily said...

I too love that he waited all week to tell you :)

definitely made the mistake of not trying on - not so much a size issue, but a "does this have all the buttons and zippers and snaps that it is supposed to so as to avoid a wardrobe malfunction" issue.
emily@remodelingthislife

Nancy said...

I guess you can always save them for cool weather and wear them with a cardigan, or blazer. Just don't take it off!

Heather said...

If you can't remove the inked 'sample' marking, and choose to make the soft cotton into rag rugs or face cloths, DO SAVE those collars and cuffs! The last time I sewed a t-shirt up to match some shorts, I paid $4 just for the color and cuffs on sale from the notions wall at JoAnn's! From that experience I vowed to look for the equivalent when thrifting and have a nice stash of sewing notions now - including terrific buttons and like new zippers!

My worst thrifting mistake - judging a box by it's label! I bought a 'new in box' mini crock pot -super cute- I didn't check it out because it was all sealed. It turned out to be the old food encrusted cracked crock pot that I assume the new one pictured had replaced. Creative tapework fooled me! Thankfully, it was returnable!

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

Yeah, applique or paint might work...if the SAMPLE wasn't printed right on the bottom back half, or what I call a very unflattering place!

Thanks for the ideas.Maybe I could do something cute for Elise from them.

samann1121 said...

Probably my worst thrifting mistake was buying a CD case without check to see which CD was actually in there. I usually check, I swear! :-)

Camille said...

You could wear a sweater over them until it gets too warm!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

Oh, gosh! That just made me laugh so loud I woke up the cats!

I don't shop at thrift stores enough to have made many mistakes. I did buy a couple of Guideposts books about animals for $2 each (they're hardbacks). They're really badly written. I can't handle bad writing, so it wound up being a poor purchase.

The other mistake is in what I didn't buy. I found a Denby Harlequin casserole with lid for only $5. I should have bought it for a gift for my friend who has that dish pattern, which is now discontinued. I'm still kicking myself over that one!

tgillock said...

So a freezer paper iron on painted shirt. Easy and fun. And you can do any design you want to cover it up. A row of flowers or even some cream star fish would look good with that color.

Heather said...

Hey Meredith,
If you try something like Stain Stick it should get most of that out with repeated treatment and washing. Of course I'm not sure how much the price of your $0.50 shirts goes up that way. :) I used to get samples at work a lot and the stamp would eventually come out.

Mrs. Darling said...

I dont shop thrift stores much but I have to say that I had to laugh at your shirts. How hilarious!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Oh my - that is the funniest thing ever. Meredith - I LOVE you. That is the truest bedlam moment. :)
Ok, and the readers on your blog that don't shop at thrift stores. We MUST convert them....together. :)

Laryssa Herbert said...

Oh, Meredith! I'm so sorry!

Sharon said...

Oh, that made me laugh so hard I woke up the baby. Too fun!!

The Happy Housewife said...

Sorry for laughing, but this was funny! At least you only paid $.50 for the skirts. I have purchased a few thrift store items for much more only to find a serious defect once I got home.
Toni
http://thehappyhousewife.com

Mama Squirrel said...

Wear a vest? ;-)

Mama Squirrel said...

Oh--my mistakes? Around Christmas time I bought a pair of toddler bobskates without any straps and also missing an essential bolt (they WERE in the original box, so I didn't check closely enough). Also a CD-Rom that was supposed to go in my husband's Christmas stocking, but which on closer inspection turned out to have some other disc inside the case. (I've done worse than that, though--once I brought a case home that turned out to have no disc in it at all. Sometimes the thrift shop staff don't check media stuff very closely.)

Nil Zed said...

My mom made cute summer dresses for my girls using small adult t-shirts & cute fabric with a kids print:

cut a large motif from the design and applique it on the top. Or, if the pattern doesn't have something like that, make a flower or other applique featuring the fabric. Then, cut your 'sample' off and, using the cute fabric, add a dirndl type skirt to the bottom of the shirt.

Gina @ Six in the Country said...

If it is on the back, I would throw a cardigan over it and no one would ever know!

Yeah, I make mistakes all the time! Recently? That couch we built is HUGE! Thankfully the room is big enough to handle it, but at first glance -- WHEW!

VanderbiltWife said...

Oh, Meredith. That makes me laugh really hard.

Eliza28 said...

I have read before but never commented.... That is too cute and to think all those nice people who didn't come up to ask What the sample was of!

Who knows the biggest error too many to list. Common error not getting that item you knew you should have only to later see it is worth like a bizillion dollars and you just couldn't spend that ONE dollar. Oh my... and not checking for cracks in an item, you find 'em when you fill with liquid:)

VanderbiltWife said...

P.S. Is it wrong to take a crockpot to Goodwill that has a lid that doesn't fit well, which is why I don't want it? Don't know what else to do with it and don't want to "trick" anybody!

Shannon@Idylwild said...

If you do something for Elise - this looks really cute...
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=170402.0

Amy said...

Ha! Well, maybe you are a trendsetter :) All of a sudden, you are going to see all these people walking around with that stamped on their back because you are such a fashionable gal. So funny! That is sooo something I would do!

Daiquiri said...

Oh no! LOL!! You could always cut around the word, and use the fabric in a scrappy quilt...

I'm lousy at thrift store shopping. I always start out feeling really great about my purchases, but over time I find that I bought the scratchiest shirt on planet earth, or that there's a hole here or a bleach spot there.

Last time I went, I found a great new purse. At least I thought it was great until I got it home and showed my husband. He gave me a look like "I'm checking your eyes to see if you're joking or not". I took the hint, and offered it to my girls for a play purse. "it's too...ugly...mommy" was their response!

At least at thrift store prices I can make about 50 mistakes before approaching the amount I would have spent at the mall...

Songbirdtiff said...

I remembered reading about to get this stuff off and I found the site it says...

"SAMPLE STAMP – Blot with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls."

It wouldn't hurt to try!

Kendra said...

If I find something that I think will fetch me a good return on eBay, but the item has a stain on it, I follow this recipe:

In a bucket (can also use the washing machine) large enough to hold the stained clothes put:
1 cup Cascade (no generics)
1 cup Clorox 2 (no generics)
HOT, HOT, HOT water enough to cover the clothes.

Soak at least overnight and launder as usual. If soaking in the washing machine, run the machine past the agitaor cycle, then stop the machine for the night.

I have removed MANY stains this way and made a nice profit off of cheap clothes.

Michelle said...

I'm still trying to find clothing at thrift stores! I don't know what it is..I can find tons of houselhold items and books...but I never seem to find these incredible deals that others do. Some women I've read about dress so gorgeously for pennies! My pastor's wife does...she shops thrift exclusively...and looks fabulous! Her style is a lot different than mine...she's pretty fancy and I'm...uh...not...lol!

Anyway...I'm SURE you will come up with something BRILLIANT to fix the sample problem...you always do!

http://giveagirlafig.blogspot.com/

Michelle Smiles said...

I'm sorry but that made me laugh out loud! Wow! They will make good layering pieces I guess and good lounging at home shirts.

DW said...

Oh, dear .. try soaking it in some rubbing alcohol to see it that does the trick ... I also second soaking it in dishwashing detergent.

Jane said...

I bet you could get that ink out somehow. Hopefully. :)

I was thrilled to find directors chairs covers. Even though the bags were open, I didn't check too closely. They were only the tops with no the seats. Ooops!

giddygoat said...

I bought this cute, 3 drawer/cotton laundry organizer thing. Love it.
I get it home and the dog is going bonkers! She won't leave it alone and is crying and pawing it. So I lean in to investigate. It was at that point the smell of cat pee sent me into a long round of dry heaves.

Kelly said...

Only you , ( and a few of us ) know that your
lovely " yuppie " cardigan wrapped waist
or draped shoulders cover up SAMPLE !!!

Chief Family Officer said...

Thanks for the good laugh, Meredith! I would love to know how it goes if you try Kendra's stain removing technique, too :)

Debora said...

I've made some mistakes, but nothing quite as funny as yours! I usually put my mistakes into a big box and donate them to Goodwill. I have this nagging thought that someday I will actually buy back those same items from Goodwill! You know how you look at something and it looks kinda cute and yet vaguely familiar??

Anna said...

Surely you can find a family with the surname of Sample and make them very happy . . . .

Frugalchick said...

Oops!

My worst mistake was a Limited sweater (I think about $4-5) that was so short it ended up being a crop top on me. Right into the giveaway pile it went.

Cyndi Lewis said...

Meredith,
You are just being trendy with out knowing it. T-shirts with saying on them are very "in". You did it on purpose! LOL!

Queen of Carrots said...

I picked up a pair of cute shoes at a thrift store once. Wore them to a church function. The sole started falling apart in great chunks while I was walking around in them. I haven't had the nerve to buy a second-hand pair of shoes since.

Carrie J said...

I have had my share of thrift store dud purchases. The worst was buying a clay cooker, and paying more than I really wanted to, but I had looked forever for one. When I got it home I realized that it was cracked. I was really bummed.

I wanted to suggest that you try hairspray, rubbing alcohol or WD-40 on the stamp. I have used WD-40 to remove many stains like that. There is also a product by Goo Gone called InkAway that removes ink stains from fabrics. It works pretty good and last a long time.
Meanwhile, wear a sweater. Good Luck.

Michele said...

Okay, that is one of the funniest things I read today!

songbirdy said...

I've been very lucky...

but truthfully I don't buy clothes for myself at the thrift store. We get hand me down bags.

Truth is that likely many didn't even see the words.

Laura said...

That is hysterical!! :0

Tubo Family said...

Thanks for the giggle, and the camraderie Meredith. No sample stamps for me but plenty of missed stains & holes over the years. A close one was finding a chenille bathrobe of the fitted Hollywood style that I've wanted for ages, trying it on over my clothes and taking it to pay--only when cashier held it up to fold into the bag did I see the interior marks of an "accident"--and not something that has been washed out but left a stain behind.