Thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales are like Aladdin’s cave: you never know what treasures you’ll find inside. That’s where the Weird Secondhand Finds That Just Need To Be Shared Facebook group comes in—it’s a page dedicated to sharing the oddities that people spot in thrift shops. Scroll down to have a look and let us know in the comments which finds caught your attention the most. Oh, and don’t forget to upvote your fave photos!
Bored Panda reached out to one of the founders of the Weird Secondhand Finds group. They told us all about how the page got started, shared some great insights about the close-knit community, and spoke about the peculiar things that people find in the dark corners of the Earth. Scroll down for our interview with them.
“My family and friends have always had a love and passion for interesting and unusual things, and we had been texting each other photos of items that we saw (and often purchased) in thrift stores and at yard sales for years. My best friend and I were chatting on Christmas Eve one year and it occurred to us that it might be more fun to share our photos in a Facebook group, rather than via text so that it would be easier to go back and see what each of us had found, and to have a record of what we had seen through the years,” one of the founders told us about how things first got started.
“It really all started as a gathering place intended for our friends and family but we left it as an open group purely because it never occurred to us that anyone outside of our circle would share this odd interest we have.”
The co-founder said that slowly but surely others started to join the group. “I panicked for a moment but then I thought, ‘Heck, it will be intriguing to see what other people have to share. Why not?’ Originally, we expected to have about a dozen members; when strangers started joining, we thought maybe we’d get to a hundred. Now, three years later, we’re approaching the two million-member mark!" The group currently has over 1,875,000 members.
“Who knew that what we all thought was a niche hobby actually has a huge passionate community behind it that just needed a clubhouse to gather in? Witnessing how people connect in this group is what keeps us passionate about running it,” they said. “I personally put between thirty and forty hours a week into moderating the group but every time I see how much joy it brings people, I’m reminded why it’s worth doing all the work it takes.”
According to the co-founder, their favorite thing about the community is how supportive everyone is of other members. “When someone mentions having a bad day, or being ill, or just needing a bit of a morale boost, the community comes out in droves to offer support. We constantly see members lifting each other up, sending each other gifts, and enthusiastically embracing each other's quirks on a daily basis.” Now that’s what we call a wholesome crowd.
“Another wonderful side effect of this community is that it has renewed, and in some cases even sparked, an interest in secondhand shopping for a lot of people. They’re starting to see secondhand stores in a different light. We hear all the time from members who haven’t been thrifting in a long time or have never really been interested in it, and now can’t wait to go out treasure hunting.”
26 billion pounds of clothing go to the landfill each year and shopping secondhand prevents some of that from happening. Not to mention that you get to score some kitschy goods and amazing threads if you’re lucky.
“Some of the most popular posts in our group are people modeling some marvelous, wacky, and amazing outfits they’ve found. And they somehow always manage to look incredible in them. There are a lot of outfits that people have secretly desired in the past, maybe even tried them on, but ultimately passed them up because they felt silly wearing them,” the founder told Bored Panda.
“Now there’s this whole giant community coveting that jean jacket covered in rhinestones and decoupaged pictures of cats. Items others may have overlooked in the past as being too strange for public consumption, our community fully and wholeheartedly embraces.”
They added: “We wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s truly beautiful to see people celebrating their weird with fervor.”