Unusual shops

@Porcospino (16586)
Denmark
April 20, 2012 1:10pm CST
Today I visited a second hand shop in my area. The man who owns the shop sells books, magazines...and shoes. His shop is extremely messy. There are huge piles of books everywhere. The piles are much taller than a person and they are almost everywhere. There are narrow corridors where you can walk. The corridors are only big enough for one person at a time, so it is very difficult to get from the back of the room to the door if new customers arrive while you are there. It is almost like a maze He also sells shoes, but he has no shelf for them so they are scattered all over the shop (on top of the book piles) The owner has lots and lots of books, and it looks very messy, but he knows exactly which books and magazines he has. If you are looking for a particular book you have to ask him to find it for you, because it is completely impossible to find it on your own. The owner is very friendly, and very, very talkative. If I visit the shop when there are no other customers we always talk for a very long time and I enjoy talking to him, but it is not a good idea to visit the shop when I am in a hurry I like his shop, but it is very different from the other shops in my country, because they are usually very well organized. Are there any unusual shops in your area? What do they sell and what makes them unusual (compared to other shops in your country)?
2 people like this
12 responses
@Sreekala (22720)
• India
21 Apr 12
Hello Porcospino, The owner’s memory power seems to be very sharp. But why he is not organizing his shop and makes it attractive for customers. I think customers may check all these and being a disorganized shop the attraction may be less. In your case, you know the shop and owner well so you may feel to shop from this shop. In case of a new person, the first impression must be going as bad. I have not found any such unusual shop in this place. I think, here the people are business oriented and very particular on organizing the shop to attract more customers.
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
22 Apr 12
I think you are right about that. His shop would become more popular if he organized it better. Some people leave the shop when they see the huge piles of books all over the floor. I still remember the day when I visited his shop for the first time. I was really surpriced to see the shop from the inside. From the outside it looks like an ordinary shop, but as soon as you step inside you see the mess. The shop owner often says that he is going to put some shelves up and organize his shop, but he has said that many times and the shop still looks the same. Maybe he doesn't have the time to do it, because he is usually alone in the shop.
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22720)
• India
23 Apr 12
That means he is willing to organize the shop well but may be not getting time. Or he is just telling about it and not giving proper attention seriously.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
30 Apr 12
I think that he has good intentions, but so far he hasn't rearranged the shop, he only talks about it. I think that he doesn't have the time to do it or maybe it seems too overwhelming, because there are so many piles of things everywhere.
• United States
20 Apr 12
I would not shop from anyone who had stuff all over the darn floor. It would not make me happy t shop there at all. Him being friendly is great but not at all good enough for me to spend my cash with him. he should treat his stuff better than this.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
20 Apr 12
He says that he intends to put up some shelves and organize the books and everything else, but I don't believe that he is actually going to do that, because he has been talking about that for a very long time and the shop still looks the same. I am sure that he would get more customers if he organized his shop better, because some people feel the same way as you and they avoid the shop when they have seen the piles on the floor. I shop there, because it is a cheap place to find used books and because he has a huge selection of books. If I am looking for a particular book that I haven't been able to find anywhere else, I can usually find it in his shop.
• Canada
20 Apr 12
That's a valid point, although I suspect he is operating in a certain niche in the market (i.e. carrying non-mainstream items that other stores don't have) so maybe that's his unique advantage that would allow him to be a bit messier than usual? Or maybe he likes the whole "treasure hunt" feel..
1 person likes this
@GemmaR (8526)
30 Apr 12
Since the start of the financial crisis in my country, we have had a fair number of smaller unusual shops in our town trying to make a gap in the market for the thing that they want to sell. In this kind of time, it is the places that sell strange things that do the best, because there is nobody for them to compete with in the modern day market. There is a small retro style sweet shop in our home town, and that is something that does incredibly well because there is nothing like it and it brings back memories for older people, and the children will go in there for the simple reason that they like to give themselves a sweet treat every now and again.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
30 Apr 12
A retro style sweet shops that sounds like a unique idea. That could bring back memories for people from the older generation and the young generation could learn something about the past for instanse if grandparents and their grandchildren visit the shop together. We don't have that kind of shops in my area, but I like the idea.
@maezee (31961)
• United States
23 Apr 12
That does sound cool. I kind of like stores like that, that have some personality to them. Of course it's not the most efficient type of a place, but at least by buying from that store, you know you are supporting a more local economy. We have this used thrift store by my old college that was slightly disorganized as well, and what made it unique is that the owner's cats would be just perusing around the aisles. He had like 3 of them. Less cool and more weird if you ask me. ha ha.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
25 Apr 12
His shop definately has personality It is a very different experience to visit his shop, because there are things everywhere. The shop looks like a maze because of all those book piles. On top of the book piles there are shoes, it looks pretty strange, but I guess that is the only free space I have never seen a shops with cats. That must be a pretty unusual experience.
• Philippines
21 Apr 12
There are a lot of unusual and quirky shops near where I reside. Most of these shops sell vintage things which people find rather nostalgic in a way, hence, shops like these are actually a hit. One of my favorite sells old books and other literary stuff. I love how most of the hard to find books are available on this shop. Also, it sells old photographs of unknown people. It's kind of weird purchasing photographs of people you don't know but the vintage essence of the photos is just too hard to resist, and that I find unusual.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
23 Apr 12
I love shops that sell vintage things. We have some of those shops in my area, too and and I like to visit them. I think it is interesting to walk around in those shops and look at the old things that they sell. Some of them sell old photos just like the shop that you mentioned. I haven't bought any of them, but I sometimes look at them and think about who those people were and how their photos ended up in the shop. In my own family we keep all of the old photos and we wouldn't sell them to a shop. You wrote that one of your favourite shops sells old books. I love that kind of shops. I think it it is interesting to explore the old books that they have and sometimes I find a book that I haven't been able to find in other shops.
@myfb2009 (8304)
• Malaysia
21 Apr 12
Porco, in my country, i seldom able to see this type of shop. But, the weird part is, i had seen a few bookstores seems to have a part of their bookstore sections for storing old and second-hand books. So, whenever we are unable to buy new book of a certain subject, we can always browse through that second-hand section for those books. Sometimes, i was lucky to be able to find my favorite books through that section and even pay cheaper price for them. So far, in my this new area, i haven't found that type of store being available here. As for your type of shop, i ever seen some which they called "antique shop". But, i never bought any book or item from them because their shop are very dusty. My child is allergic of dust, so i had to steer clear from all dusty areas.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
22 Apr 12
In my country we have the same kind of antique shops. Some of them are clean and very well organized. The things in those shops are really expensive. Some of the antique shops are not that expensive, but they are messy and dusty. The antique shop in the area where we lived before belongs to the messy and dirty kind. If we wanted to pick up the items we had to remove the old cobwebs first, and the things in the shop were generally dirty. I haven't seen bookstores like the one you mentioned (new and old books in the same shop) but I think it is could be a good combination. If we can't find the book that we are looking for among the new books, we can look in the second hand section instead and that improves the chance to find the book that we are looking for.
@lynboobsy11 (11346)
• Philippines
21 Apr 12
I've seen those on the metro city where I lived before, most of the items comes different country, some are new and some are antiques and you can just have them for collection. The prices are depends on the quality of the item. I like visiting them when I'm bored I like looking for items that are unique.
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@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
22 Apr 12
Those shops sound interesting. I like to visit places where we can find many different kinds of things and new things as well as old things. My husband and I like to visit the second hand shops in our area. Sometimes we just browse and sometimes we find something that we want to buy. In the summer months and there are many small shops where people sell new and old things, and we usually visit those shops.
• Bulgaria
21 Apr 12
I love this type of stores! Near my home there is one and I love to spend part of my time there! There is a magic in it to look for a book of hours, when you find the wanted- it is even more valuable! Whenever looking for a book, the first place i go is the "Garage of books" and always found it! The last book i bought was "The Phantom of the Opera" , its price was $0.50. :))
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
22 Apr 12
$0.50 that is really cheap I know the story behind "The phantom of the opera", I have never read the book, but I would like to read it one day. I like to visit the shops that sell second hand books. It is always interesting to walk around and look at the books. You never know what you are going to find I visited a couple of second hand shops a few days ago and I found some cheap books there. I found two books written by one of my favourite Danish authors (Martha Christensen) and I bought them for my trip.
• China
21 Apr 12
There are a lot of book stores beside my previous university. All of them are very messy and almost fully-filled. I like going there and spending a long time for reading. It is just like a mini library.So far I dont find any special stores in my country.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
21 Apr 12
The area around your previous university sounds interesting to me because I love book stores. If it is a large store I can browse for hours. You wrote that you can go there and spend a long time on reading, I think it is great that you have the chance to read in the stores. In my country we aren't allowed to do that, and the shop owners get angry if we read the books before we buy them.
@HomeBase (1054)
• United States
20 Apr 12
I love books and magazines and I can and DO spend hours upon hours in second-hand book stores. I find that most of the used book stores tend to be on the messy side, however some shops fancy themselves as "high-brow", sellers of "antiquated" books and not just "used" books and therefore they take much better care of their merchandise...and also charge a LOT more too. Your shop-owner friend sounds like he is a bit overwhelmed, and more than a bit understaffed. Have you ever volunteered one of your days off to come and help him?? He clearly needs and could use the help. There is a shop that I like going to that could be considered unusual. Everything in it is pretty much vintage, except for A) the artwork that is for sale, and B) the parakeets that the owner keeps in a large cage in her store. The store is unusual to me because of the birds, for one. Also, there is such an eclectic mix of things from yester-year that one just does not SEE on a daily basis. Vintage chairs, vintage drinking glasses, cabinets etc. It is positively exquisite in that shop. It is kept VERY clean. Every piece of furniture is polished to within an inch of it's life. The glasses gleam, the mirrors shine. It is fabulous.
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
21 Apr 12
In my country I have noticed the same difference between shops that sell used books and antiquated books. The antiquated books are much more expensive and the shops are organized in a different way. I love books and I visit both kinds of shops, but I don't buy many antiquated books, because they are too expensive compared to the other used books. I also think that the owner that I mentioned is a bit overwhelmed. He has so many books and I don't think that he has the time to organize everything. Most of the time he is alone in the shop. I like your idea about offering him my help. Right now I am busy with work as well as voluntary work as a language teacher, but I would to help him when I get some free time. The shop that you wrote about sounds like an interesting place to visit. I like vintage things a lot, and I like to visit the shops that sell different kinds of vintage things. It is a very nice to visit a clean place with beautiful things. Some of the shops that sell old things are dirty at least the ones I have seen in my area. At one place you literally have to remove the cobwebs before you can pick up the things, and it is not a nice place to shop.
• United States
20 Apr 12
I love places like that you never know what you are going to find.We have thrift shops and a place called Sheps it is a discount store it is messy but I like going there it is very big and has all kinds of stuff I can spend hours there.
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
20 Apr 12
Sheps sounds like an interesting place. We also have some discount stores in my country, they are not that big, but I still like to visit them, because we can find many different kinds of things there. When I enter the shop I don't intend to buy much I just want to have a look at things, and when I leave I have bought a lot cheap things that I didn't know that I needed
@cnaska (5)
• Canada
20 Apr 12
I don't know about unusual physical shops but I have come across many unusual and unique online stores. There are a lot of unique vintage and hand-made items on Etsy, for instance, and Ebay also provides a huge collection of interesting finds. Other up-and-coming fashion sites like Nasty Gal and Chicwish are my favourites in terms of the selections that they carry. Anyway, I find shopping at these places so much more intriguing than the chain stores in the malls because their items are often so inspirational! :)
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (16586)
• Denmark
20 Apr 12
I know Ebay and Etsy, but I hadn't heard about Nasty gal and Chicwish. Maybe I should have a look at those sites, I like things that are a different from things that you find in the chain stores. I love to look at the handmade item that people sell on Etsy, if when I don't to buy anything I like to look at the things that people are selling. I like arts and crafts and I make my own things and I find it interesing to see the things that other people have made.