Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thrifty Acres: Pricing Peculiarities

Hello! Along with not knowing what I'll find at a thrift store each time I visit one, I also don't know what prices I'll find on the items that don't have a pre-determined cost (such as clothing or books). For instance, it's not unusual to find a price of 99c - on a dollar store knick-knack.

But then there's the prices I noted yesterday while browsing in the office supply section of a local thrift store. Within a few inches of each other, I came across a like-new but generic-looking clipboard that had a Staples logo on it. Next to it was a portfolio-type stationery package with this on the cover:

I'd not heard of this brand, but assumed that "1774" referred to how long the company has been around. The back cover said "Made in Italy". I already knew that Italy is home to high-quality paper purveyors, so I felt that whatever was inside would be nice stuff. 

The portfolio wasn't sealed, so I opened it up(picture taken later on at home):

A variety of papers inside. There are envelopes on the left-hand side, which appear to go with the sheets on the right. In between these are two note card sets. I believe the larger of the two note cards is what's called a correspondence card, but I'm not sure what the smaller card - it measures about 2 1/2" x 4" - would be used for. Perhaps a gift enclosure? 

Anyway, it was clear this was high-quality stuff indeed. Wasn't sure how much of this stationery set had already been used, but there was still enough to make the asking price a bargain.

How much did the thrift store want for it? $2.00. And what price did they they slap on the ordinary, Staples-brand clipboard? $2.00. Yep - the same price for two very different items of two very different qualities. 

Read up on the Pineider brand when I got home, and learned that indeed, 1774 refers to the year the company set up shop in Florence, Italy. Since then, various well-known writers, business leaders, entertainers and royalty have purchased Pineider products. Their stationery is handmade, with deckled edges and tissue-lined envelopes. 

My particular stationery set doesn't appear to be available anymore, so I don't know what it had originally cost. The prices I saw for  Pineider stationery were eye-popping though. Needless to say, my purchase was worth more than two bucks! 

Admittedly, I don't have much use for stationery since I make my own greeting cards, but there's times when I don't feel like making a card, or else an occasion pops up suddenly and there's no time to make one. I like to keep a small amount of commercially-produced stationery on hand for such times. 

Nothing I had on hand already is as nice as the Pineider brand is. But thanks to the thrift store, I can have a little champagne taste on a beer budget. Not bad!



  1. What a pretty yellow paper! Such corrospondence would certainly be noticed in the mail box. I would have to think that even the mailman would smile. It must be quite boring to deliver junk mail all the time.

  2. Thanks, Miss KC! Have already used this stationery set twice. It was probably the nicest piece of paper the recipients would have handled all day!