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Readers Respond: My Strangest Flea Market Find

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Whether you bought it or not, what's the strangest thing you've ever found for sale at a flea market, yard sale, or secondhand shop?

Was it weird, wacky, odd or obscure? Did you snatch it up, or leave shaking your head? If you bought it, what did you do with it?

Mine was either the phrenology head or the rusty chastity belt, which came with the key. Looking back, I wish I'd bought the phrenology head.

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The Doll on the High Shelf

While browsing an estate sale 2 little feet sticking off the top of a shelf made me wonder what they were attached to. I reached up and pulled down a Madame Alexander doll in her original 1950's nurse outfit. She had no price so I carried her through as I looked at other stuff. When I got to the checkout I asked how much they were asking for her. The guy looked her over and said how about $2.00. That suited me just fine. I am not a doll collector but recognized that she probably had some value because my sister had the same doll with the same outfit. I went home and put her on Ebay and made a nice $200 profit. Those kind of finds are few and far between and I don't browse estate sales to resale items. I mostly look for décor accessories and the profit I made off of her gave me some extra spending money!!
—Monuss

Strangest Item

There was a coffin being sold at Wolff's Flea Market in Rosemont IL(new, not used!)
—Guest Dave

A 14Kgold watch

Last year at local church's flea market I saw a silver watch inside a sandwich plastic bag with lots of cheap jewelry. The watch was a Bulova and it cost me only .50cents. When I examined it at home it was in working and in perfect condition. It was 14K white gold and I sold it for $600 the week after that. What a great deal!!
—todovintage

Bed Pans or Institutional Beds

I can't think of one thing in particular, but I always wonder why people hang on to old bed pans, even from the early 20th century. The other things that give me a creepy feeling are the iron or metal single-size beds, which I've seen in old movies for hospital scenes w/ the beds all lined up, or scenes of orphanages. I know some people like to use the old iron headboards in garden design, but knowing where they come from makes them hardly charming.
—Guest onthepatio

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My Strangest Flea Market Find

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