Mike Presley responded to a recent walletpop post on thrift shops with one of my favorite kind of stories: From Thrift Shops and Yard Sales to eBay.
Mike is 41 years old and has served in the Navy for 19 years. After work almost every day, he makes a thrift store stop. It's a habit that his father passed along to him. A few years ago, noticing that things he'd seen in antique stores sometimes turn up at thrift stores (for 1/10th of the price), he began to buy with the thought of one day opening his own shop. This, of course, is how lots of antique dealers are made. Beginning with 25-cent Pyrex bowls, Mike began to hoard. In the interim, he started selling on Craigslist.
A large local consignment store -- a regular (3-4 times/week) stop on Mike's route -- was going out of business and selling at 50-60% off. On a weekend afternoon, Mike and his girlfriend were picking up armloads of finds when he flipped open the lid of an old Chiquita Banana box. The box was filled with what would turn out to be a set of dirty old toy trains. The price was $15.