EcommerceBytes-Update, Number 17 - July 01, 2000 - ISSN 1528-6703     7 of 10

Second Hand Rose

Have I got a book for you! "The Rag Street Journal" by Elizabeth Mason is the ultimate guide to shopping thrift and consignment stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ms. Mason owns a "very eclectic vintage couture boutique" store that the stars frequent in West Hollywood, California. (She is an actress herself, and models her second-hand designer clothes in the pages of the book.)

Part I of the Rag Street Journal reviews the basics of secondhand shopping for vintage clothing and jewelry, including bartering, selling, cleaning and storing them. The book is an encyclopedia. Though it focuses on clothing and jewelry, don't forget you can find all kinds of goodies at second-hand stores.

In the section on jewelry, the author thoroughly explains Bakelite: the history of Bakelite, the differences between Lucite, plastic and Bakelite, a sure-fire (but not recommended) way to test Bakelite, and advice on restoring luster to your Bakelite pieces. She even warns of the addictive nature of collecting Bakelite! One tip I found entertaining: when you clean Bakelite, the cloth may become mustard yellow. "Don't be alarmed-you are not removing any natural pigment. What you are removing is years of nicotine stains from those items whose owners smoked."

This author knows her stuff, and she shares it all like your best friend would (maybe even better). Part II is a list of consignment stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Published in 1995, you can get The Rag Street Journal at
( via for $3.99 plus shipping - what a bargain! (I bought my book at a remainder bookstore - for $3.98 - no shipping charge!)

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