Denver Post Past Columns

April 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Denver Post Articles

Barb Tobias is a fabulous columnist for The Denver Post. Check in monthly for a link to Barb’s Column, called…Thrift Talk Diva.

How to purge – and price – your garage-sale items – June 2013

How to price garage-sale items is the biggest challenge for most novice merchants. The key in determining pricing is to fairly assess the quality and condition of resale merchandise. PURGE. Start collecting your merchandise to sell by cleaning out attics, basements and closets. Pull out everything that hasn’t been used in the past year. (Chances are they won’t be used next year either.) Click to read more.

The Art of Garage Sale Bargaining – April 2013

People repeatedly ask where I shop to find such fabulous finds. The answer is … everywhere. Smart shopping is not whether you can find extraordinary things at local garage sales; rather it is a question of how and when you buy. Click to read more.

forsalePenny-Pinching Potpurri: Thrifty Tips – February 2013

With the economy still sluggishly creeping along, more and more smart shoppers are making frugal decisions that meet their budgets. Here are 11 thrifty tactics.

Shop thrift. The resale industry is booming, and for a good reason. People are dressing in frugal chic and decorating their homes with secondhand finds. Over the years, upgrading, as your budget will allow, can allow you to amass many cherished treasures. Hunt around for gently used or unique items at estate and garage sales, auctions and thrift stores. Each venue offers a distinctive adventure and you just might find that the “hunt” is an exciting quest versus the banality of purchasing new. Additionally, there is the environmentally responsible aspect of rescuing or repurposing used treasures. The thrill of the hunt and the art of recognizing a good deal come with time, but the rewards can be great. Click to read more.

Repurpose, Recycle, Paint, Purge: A Home Mini-Makeover for 2013 – January 2013

While 2013 is still fresh, it’s a good time to look around the house and see what needs doing. Homeowners can spiff up their dwellings while watching their budgets. Making better financial decisions while keeping an eye on our buying habits allows us to produce less waste and a live a richer life. Click to read more.

The Happy Marriage of Thrifting and Recycling – December 2012

Thrift stores and recycling go hand-in-hand. But consumers are often unaware that they can recycle a lot more than paper, glass and plastic. Here are three lesser-known recycling agencies that work alongside the thrift store industry. Click to read more.

These Thrift Shops Champion Community Outreach – October 2012

The community programs that benefit from most thrift stores may not be foremost in the minds of bargain-hunting shoppers.

Like many people, my early motivation to try “thrifting” was purely for the thrill of the hunt and the joy of snatching up fabulous items for a fraction of their original retail price. Click to read more.

DSC01243Lessons From a Three-Stop Thrift Crawl – September 2012

Fifty women gathered in the parking lot of the ARC Thrift Store in Green Mountain in August for my first hosted Thrift Crawl.

I’d like to say that philanthropy and the desire to recycle and go green spawned this idea. But it actually came to me last year after my HOA complained, ad nauseam, about the cars and merriment surrounding my annual garage sale. Click to read more.

A Vendors Take on the Mile High Flea Market – August 2012

HENDERSON — Enthralled by the grandeur of Mile High Flea Market, I took the four-day challenge.

As a shopper and as a vendor, I visited this sprawling bazaar, farmers market and antiques fair northeast of Denver on a consecutive Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Click to read more.

diva saleIf You’re Selling Toys, Say So … and Other Garage Sale Success Tips – July 2012

A hot marketing campaign can mean the difference between a busy, lucrative yard sale or garage sale and an exhausting event that reaps scant profits.

Granted, many elements go into holding a successful garage sale: the purge, the sorting and the set-up, to name a few. But the pre-sale chore that many people pay too little attention to is effective promotion. Click to read more.

3 Entrepreneurs Make an Art out of Collecting, Recycling and Plant Sales – June 2012

Selling secondhand or recycled items isn’t a novel idea. But here are three Denver entrepreneurs who have added a new twist to the resale game. Click to read more.

forsaleThrift-Store and Garage-Sale Tips Prepare You for Big Finds – May 2012

Years ago, I thrift shopped with complete abandon. Little thought was given to equipment, packing material or how I would get my new-to-me treasures home.

Today, as yard sale, garage sale and outdoor market season ramps up, I plan, and I turn my vehicle into a well-stocked “thrift-mobile.” Click to read more.

Denver Secondhand Store Molly’s Closet Know Its Pluses – April 2012

Thanks to that annoying midlife weight gain, shopping can become a wearisome proposition for women with widening girths. Most second hand shops cater to younger, slighter women. Sure, I was that svelte gal once. As a fashion model walking the American runways in my 20’s, I weighted 127 pounds and stood 5 feet 10 inches tall. I kept that shape until my mid-40’s, when I hit the proverbial hormonal roller coaster, and a size 16. Click to read more.

Barb's Photos 1561Best Spots to Hunt for Seconhand Treasures – March 2012

Most of us have less cash to burn these days, so buying other folks’ castoffs is a great way to save a few bucks.

The Internet, specialty shops, bookstores and going-out-of-business sales carry drastically reduced items that are especially good for occasional needs or events. Here are some of my go-to bargain hunting sites and stops. Click to read more.

As the economy spiraled downward and Americans tightened their belts, secondhand shops made a move onto Main Street.

Thrift shopping tends to increase during hard economic times, according to a recent Brigham Young University study. So it follows that secondhand shops are now among the fastest-growing outlets in the retail world, according to the Association of Resale Professionals. That trade group says the number of thrift stores has grown 7 percent a year over the past two years, with sales climbing 12 percent a year. Click to read more.

How to Live a Life of “RE” … Renew, Recycle and Restore!

October 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Decorating, Fashion, Garage Sales, Recycling

 

I began thrifting because it was fun and, quite frankly, I loved to shop. Okay, I still do. But, initially there was a deeper motivation for my need to haunt the secondhand shops that peppered my town … I was broke. I loved the fact that I could buy fabulous things for pennies on a dollar.  It didn’t take long for me to get hooked on the thrill of furnishing my homes or fashioning chic wardrobes found in thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, consignment shops and auctions.  I became a veteran power shopper, quickly falling in like with each venue I tested and every tarnished treasure I uncovered.    

It wasn’t until much later that I began to realize I was actually recycling, inadvertently turning into a green queen rather than adding to the burgeoning problem of waste in America.

It began to occur to me that how we dispose of our used goods was critical to the overall health of our planet. Although we are encouraged to recycle our wastes, the truth of the matter is that this country still leads the world in the amount of trash that it produces.

I was astounded to learn that Americans generate over 200 million tons of garbage every year. That didn’t resonate until the EPA broke recycling figures down to the fact that each person produces about 4.5 pounds of solid waste per day! Yikes, that got my attention.

I thought that our country was pulling its weight in the recycling movement, but a full 67% of our junk is still tossed into landfills, while only 17% is recycled and 16% is burned as an energy source.

What really blew my mind was how much of our resources consume every year. The average person, over a lifetime, will use up;

  • 411 trees
  • 900 wire hangers

    More packaging than product!

  • 43,000 cans of soda
  • 3,895 paper cups
  • 2,025 rolls of paper towels
  • 15,334 plastic water bottles
  • 18,306 shopping bags
  • 12 shopping carts full of wrappers from candy bars!

            Recycling is certainly the answer for those that are intent on the greening of America, but only 17% of our nation has yet to establish an effective way to dispose of their used goods. According to the Wise Geek, 35% of the total material filling up landfills is packaging;

  • new product wrapping
  • fast-food containers
  • office paper
  • disposable diapers
  • Styrofoam inserts
  • and plastic bags

            A partial answer to the country’s recycling woes might be eased if more people proactively chose to purchase used goods from the wide variety of thrift venues that pepper our nation. Shopping for goods at these thrift outlets could all but alleviate the 67.9 pounds of used clothing each person tosses out every year. That individual number quickly adds up to a whopping 20 billion pounds of used clothing and textiles that make their way into our landfills yearly.

In the end it is up to us. Companies have little incentive to use recycled materials because it is expensive … a cost that is passed on to the consumer. It is simply cheaper for them to use new materials to make new products.  Therefore, buying used clothing and household furnishings eliminates the time, energy, labor, and money that go into making new products.

In summation, buy less, buy used, reduce the amount of garbage we produce, chose items with less packaging, reuse what you have and donate items that are no longer needed.

                                           Resources

Turning Garbage into Gold – http://www.solidwastemag.com/library/garbage.htm

Reassessing the History of U.S. Hazardous Waste Disposal Policy – http://www.fplc.edu/risk/Vol8/summer/Brown+.htm

Environmental Protection Agency – http://www.epa.gov

Start you own High Profit Thrift Store –http://startthriftstore.com/index.html

Wise Geek –http://www.wisegeek.com/s/recycle

 

Surprised by all the waste dumped into our landfills.

Barb Tobias, America’s “Thrift Talk” Diva, is an admitted thrift-aholic. This veteran radio and TV personality has crisscrossed the nation in her search for thrift. She is a master at teaching people how to find deals, repurpose before they toss, and reconstruct the broken.

A professional speaker, author of Tossed & Found and entertainer, Barb’s passion has become her profession; sharing her cost-conscious secrets with the nation.

Visit her at www.ThriftTalkDiva.com.

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