Is All Fair in Le Creuset and War? 1
Home DIYs,  Thrifting

Is All Fair in Le Creuset and War?

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I am an aggressive thrifter. I know this. Decades of experience have helped me hone this skill into something that is almost an art form. I know which days to go to which stores. I know how to thrift a store in 15 minutes. I even have a weekly thrifting schedule.

Other avid thrifters get it. It’s all about the thrill of the hunt.

December was a month of culinary thrifting miracles. I found tons of Fiestaware, seemingly everywhere I looked. I scored a KitchenAid mixer for a song and I even found my own personal holy grail….er…holy dutch oven.

Le Creuset!!!!
Le Creuset!!!!

I have wanted a Le Creuset dutch oven for at least ten years, but just couldn’t bring myself to buy one. $200-$300 is a little steep for a pot. Even an amazing pot.

Then, one day, I saw the above photo on Facebook by April Blake (a fellow Columbia blogger) in my newsfeed.

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 12.48.23 PM

Wait…what?! My brain struggled to cope with two facts revealed in this status. First, there was a Le Creuset less than half a mile from my office priced under $40. Second, it looked like April might not want it.

My breathing became heavy and frantic. Think, Jillian! Think! I imagined April Blake standing in front of this Le Creuset contemplating a purchase. Maybe she already had one. Maybe she hated the color blue. All that mattered was that maybe there was a chance she’d opt for nah rather than jumping on it.

I bolted out the door and sped to Old Mill Antique Mall.

This is a large store, and there was no time to waste. Others had already begun chiming in on April’s status with sentiments like, “If you don’t want it, let me know and I’ll get it.”

Like hell you will, I thought, my eyes narrowing to slits.

According to April’s photo, the Le Creuset was on a white shelf. Okay…that narrowed things down. I power-walked through the store, pausing only to glimpse at white shelves, searching for that telltale marseilles blue.

It wasn’t on the first floor. Starting to feel a little defeated, I nonetheless went upstairs. And there it was.

I may or may not have squealed a little.

I snatched it up, paid for it and drove back to work with a huge grin.

“THANK you for the tip! I’ve wanted one forever!” I happily commented on her photo.

Little did I know.

“That wasn’t a tip, Jillian,” one of her friends commented.

“Jillian’s thrift game is savage AF.”

“OUCH!” said another friend.

I scrolled up through the thread and saw a post by April that made my heart sink a little.

I'm a terrible person.
I’m a terrible person.

What could be done at this point? I could, obviously, message April and tell her that she had dibs and offer to give it to her, but…I wanted it. I really really wanted it. I traced my fingers over the raised letters over and over again…feeling unable to part with the object of my desire.

And c’mon. Thrifting is not a game. How could anyone blame me for taking advantage of such an amazing opportunity?

Wait…am I the Talented Ms. Jilly?

Over the next couple of days I couldn’t quite shake a nagging guilt that just wouldn’t go away. :/ I finally messaged April and offered to bring the Le Creuset to her, because I honestly felt it was hers for the taking.

I’m happy to report she’d since decided she didn’t really need or want it. Or maybe she was just being nice.

Much nicer than a savage AF thrifter like myself.
Much nicer than a savage AF thrifter like myself.

At least it’s going to good use?

Care for some Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon?
Care for some Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon?

And at least April is a fantastically good sport. 🙂

Screen Shot 2017-01-18 at 1.38.59 PM

What do you guys think? Have I become a thrift-obsessed sociopath? Should I calm it down a bit in the future?

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Long Sleeve T-shirt to Dress Refashion


  • Ang

    All is fair in love and thrifting. She hesitated, and you knew you wanted it. Simple. You were sweet to offer it back to her, but I don’t even think that was necessary. Its a beautiful Le Cruset! Enjoy it!

  • Michelle Farris

    if you like it then you better put a ring on it* put it in your cart. If it’s not in your cart, it’s fair game.

  • Amy Greene

    Although I’m coming to this post a bit late, I must say I would have handled things very much the same as well. If someone posts a picture, and seems on the fence, I would have bought it myself (to avoid it falling into the hands of someone who may not treasure it 🙂 ) . Then, just to be fair, I would have asked the original poster if she wanted it….. quite possibly grudgingly LOL…..but would have given it up if she said she wanted it! I think you did a good thing – rescuing a Le Creuset and giving a great home in your kitchen! Congrats on the find!!

  • Kathleen McDermott

    April is an adult woman who seems to feel that whether or not she purchases a Dutch oven is of earth-shattering importance to the world at large. It’s not. Nobody other than princess April and maybe her family and closest friends care. There are actually more important things in the world than what April does or doesn’t buy, even if it is a Le Creuset. It now belongs to Jillian.

  • Kaisa

    Hello Jillian…
    A small idea for you (although you maybe already know this). As a DIY bread lover, I discovered recently that Le Creuset makes excellent bread (kind of old school artisanal type). It’s like magic. And it makes beautiful delicious bread.
    Unfortunately there is no link to a recipe I could give you, as I mixed and matched too many to make it work for me. But if you are interested, I could leave you some lines here in the comments.
    Take care and thank you for the fun/interesting posts that you have been posting over the years!

  • Chris Rose

    For me and my partner it was a collection of tools, including an electric welder that was almost brand new, in great shape for a low price. I had a nagging feeling all morning and finally expressed it by telling my partner that we should go to a particular street and yard sale.

    I had enough cash to cover the whole collection. Besides the nagging feeling, it was unusual for me to have that much cash for yard sailing. If we had been 5 minutes later we would have been too late. There was another interested person who had a large wad of cash. He had been to the yard sale earlier and drove away saying he’d “think about it”. If he had only asked the seller to hold it for him, it would have been his. But he didn’t and we got the goodies. I didn’t feel bad because the other potential buyer could have purchase the whole package and been gone before we even got there.

  • annagregory92

    omg I laughed so hard at this! Um yeah I totally get this. I may not be on a thrifting schedule yet but I purposely moved to the neighborhood closest the best thrift store I have found in this state. Usually my expeditions are under an hour (with a toddler running around!) and I have found tons of treasures there. Never under any circumstance can you pass up something like that that you have wanted for so long! So glad you got it!

  • metarina

    Well, if you don’t understand that social media mean that everybody sees you (and judges you) you shouldn’t use them: advertising such a find before buying it is simply stupid.
    I love your reaction, but I also applaud Alice. Lessons to be learned for everybody!

  • Elaine Suter-Rink

    I think you are wonderfully ruthless in your determination and enthusiasm for thrifting… fortunately, tempered with compassion and empathy! Love the way you share your tales!

  • missrose10

    If you have the room for it and will use it I say get it. Don’t buy because it is a good deal. You offered to give it to her and she had to be talked into it so if she said no take that as her true word. Maybe offer to make her dinner or ask her what she has been looking for and keep it in mind when you are on the hunt. Now, on to personal business. I would love to hear your tips and tricks for thrifting. All I know is that our GW offers a clothes sale once a month but would love to know more. Especially how to find the good stuff the thrift stores in my area seem so picked over and expensive compared to what the rest of the country is experiencing. Any hints would help.

  • Debbie

    Hello! You know I have been thrifting on Thursdays (because it is dollar day). I just love to go and have gotten so many people interested in refadhioning items for just a few dollars. Yeah I have won them over to the revisioned side. ( my mother once said now that your married to a banker you need to stop going to the garage sales. Then she saw some of the treasures I was finding and she asked if they came in size 12. Hahah another won over. And she was a depression child so that was really a win!!!!!!). I have found though, if you like something and are in the thinking process then pick it up, cradle with love, go pick up other things. I usually go get another basket and take the ones from my treasures basket and start sorting. Hmmmmmmm do I really want this even at the wonderful price or was it just wow oh wow a dollar. But seriously can I refadhioning this tear off some ruffles to use on another outfit to show others how to revision an outfit and place on YouTube and then sell it on etsy. Going through the rest of my two baskets I finally get to the one prized possession. Even go as far as taking a picture and staring at the last item. Look at both baskets where I am close to the hang up pile that you return to to be nice to the workers at goodwill. Finally there is no more stalling and you have to make that last decision. It really works wonderfully and haven’t gotten any regrets so far. And you said this girl wasn’t really interested in the item. She wasn’t there when you came in the scoop so I think you were fine. Never put anything on social media that you secretly want because it is no longer a secret kind of like that whole huge piece of delicious cake that you pictured and garfed down. YUMMMMMMMM! That was worth the glory of showing so others could come get their osn. If only the calories went to the person who pictured it. Hahah

  • Barbie Bordogna

    I think you taught April a valuable lesson about the power of internet communication. If she left it on the shelf it was fair game

  • debstarrett

    It’s great! I think your friend knew! If she was still thinking about it she would not have left the store without it and she said white shelf……. maybe her memory is bad and white shelf was to remind herself where it was……. I doubt it, it was an Easter Egg she left for YOU! And yes the blue is very pretty!

  • Yona

    There is nothing to feel guilty about. You are a sharp thrifter who knows value when she sees it, and you did! April advertised her find on social media; not in her personal diary, where it would be a secret.

    Since April didn’t get it at the time she saw it, someone else, besides you, would have grabbed it.

    Thrifting is an art and you do it well my dear.

  • Judy

    I have been thrifting, going to swap meets, and garage sales for a long time(over 40 yrs…yikes)My mom told me when I was a kid “If you can sleep on it do, but if you can’t…imagine if you were to go back and it was gone, how upset would you be?” Anytime someone sets something down, regardless if you are at Nordstroms or Goodwill it becomes fair game.

  • Bethany A.

    I could totally envision you in your quest it put a big grin on my face! Thank you for your no holds barred sharing. Thrifting rules apply.

  • Jo

    Hmmm …. tricky.

    Even though I usually love your work, I’m going to say you “burned” Amber on this one (pun may or may not be intended).

    I sound saintly but we shouldn’t desire material objects to the point where we question our behaviour, before or after, in getting it. If that were me, I would think of the scenario every time I was cooking and it would affect my enjoyment of it all. It’s done now but hats off to Amber for being mature about it.

    (And be careful of the handles on those things … I burned my hand on one – no heat resistant covers on them – so am a little scared of it now).

  • Cheryl Miller

    She was foolish. You don’t post where it is and then be surprised someone buys it. You were nice to offer, she was nice to refuse. Enjoy!

  • Maggie

    I have wanted a Le Creuset dutch oven my entire life ever since I became obsessed with Julia Child and her TV show as a small child. I could never afford it though. About 10 years ago a Le Creuset factory store opens in a nearby outlet mall. I stopped in with my husband and 2 teenage kids. (I squealed too)! They were having an unbelievable sale and my husband convinced me that we could afford it. I chose the 28 in “cherry” and the clerk gave me an unbelievable deal on the goose pot too (we call it the “Baby Bath”) She used her own employee discount for me because she could see from my emotional state that it meant a great deal to me. I became so overwhelmed at the register that I had to leave the store in tears. My son later wrote an essay about the experience describing the experience as meaningful as buying a family pet. I still use them every week. Congrats on your first!

  • clayo

    I found my small round blue Le Creuset dutch oven at a Salvation Army for $2.50, was thrilled!! And I agree, if you see something at a thrift store, buy it then, don’t ever count on it still being there when you return.

  • Stephanie

    I think that as a thrifter you know that the first rule of thrifting is – if you don’t buy it now it may not be there when you go back……….and you did offer to let her have it.

  • Sue

    Walked away – game on.
    When I can’t decide on something, I always walk away. If I go back later and it’s still there…that’s my “sign” 😉
    Which just happens to be how I recently scored my “dresser” tv stand at our local Vinny’s for HALF the price (when I originally saw it) to boot.

  • Barbra

    Jilly, you keep up the awesome thrifting! We live to have your experiences. Dedicated thrifters recognize quality when they see it and snap it up. Since she hesitated…and then posted it with all the details on a very public forum…to the victor go the spoils. Feel no guilt. Here in the South, cash wins out every time!

    • bluemoonstudio

      I would SO jump on a piece of Le Creuset for myself or one of my 4 daughters, especially in BLUE!! I started mt collection years ago when a hardware store in N.C. had it marked half price. Even at that it was pricey for me at the time, so I only bought the pieces I knew I would use often. I’ve since added more when EVER I find it.
      A few years back I gifted a niece with a small L.C. casserole for her wedding. Summers later my daughter saw it at her mother’s yard sale for $3 and groaned when another buyer got to it before her!! Some folks don’t know and grab value when they see it. Great find, Jilly!!

  • Cynthia

    She left it on the shelf, you were not garunteed to get it. I do agree all’s fair in thrifting!

    P.S. Your writing is so engaging that I consume all you post here, but then also stalk you in the many other places you write i.e Goodwill, reviews on local art/plays. Thanks for all the great reading.

  • alcessa

    This reminds me of a time I was queueing with my best friend at a baker’s to get some of those lovely pies, entertaining her with stories about how much I wouls enjoy that last piece of rhubarb pie waiting for me … I must have been very convincing because the customer standing in front of us bought it. The last rhubarb pie. I wanted so much. That got me a bit … deflated, but the other pies were good, too, so.
    I think there’s no clear opinion to be had about your story: while everything went OK in the end, it also went a bit wrong in the process – such is life. And who knows what April will find one day.

  • Tess

    I have been in this game for many many years and sold at more flea markets then I can recall. Alls fair in love and war and thrifting, once someone passes it’s fair game. I can’t tell you how many people were contemplating an item in my booth left, someone else would grab it, then the first person would return for it, so sorry. We are all pirates in this game, pirate rules apply!

  • Natalie

    I probably would have ran to that store as quickly as I could to buy it exactly like you did….what I wouldn’t have done is snarkily rubbed it in after the fact, especially since she obviously wasn’t posting a tip. There was no reason to do that, except to be snotty. Frankly, it was very immature and gauche. It honestly makes me look at you in a different light.

  • Emma B.

    First mistake of a rookie thifter, NEVER SAY WHICH STORE YOUR POTENTIAL BUY IS!!!!!!!!! I have done this before, uhmed and ahhed but never said which store it is at, I have also had friends beg to be told which store, where I have either bought the item thinking yep I will use/love that, or bought the item thinking yep there is that friends Christmas gift sorted 🙂

  • Gloria

    Why the guilty conscience? April was foolish to post this detailing the location. Maybe she was bragging a little about her find. I know that there’s pressure to post relevant content in your social media accounts when you’re a blogger, but she could have posted a photo of the pot once it was safely in her kitchen. This was her tactical mistake, and you actually did her a favor by teaching her a lesson. Next time she’ll know better than to overshare

  • Kasia Stevens

    Honest move–you didn’t see her post which she probably typed the nano second after you left. You offered and she could have accepted. Nicely done!

  • Mostly Late

    Actually, I think the only thing you did wrong was to thank her for the tip. Everyone knows – if you walk away, the item’s back in play. She would never have known it was you!

  • Susan

    Congratulations ! You found it first and if it was really meant for someone else she wouldn’t have made it a public post but a direct message . The whole fun of thrifting is the hunt and your writing made it a delight to read about . I love the beautiful blue I have one of those pots and they are wonderful and last forever . Enjoy !

  • Show and Tell Meg

    No way! You were absolutely right to grab that. The fact is that any avid thrifter knows if you see a good buy and think others might want it, you buy it yourself and they pay you back for it otherwise it might not be there when you swing back by. That’s, like, rule #1 if you’re offering something to other people. Put it in your basket, hold it in your hands, etc until you know no one else wants it. If you’re still wondering, buy it anyway and sell it yourself later if you decide against it. There is no holding or first dibs unless that thing is in your possession in some way. They can get as mad as they want, but you’re the one with a Le Creuset bought fair and square, lol 🙂

  • Helise

    Congratulations on your creuset! Such a wonderful find and in this amazing colour! You must not reproach yourself on your modus operandi as you did no wrong. For me, this has been your most enjoyable post ever. I really, really identify with your thrifting ways. I have been on a similar path for…oh, let me count the years….51 this coming February. Just about everything I own, and ever owned during those years, was acquired through thrift buyung. I can date the exact month I went to my first ‘opportunity shop’ – known as ‘Op-shop’s’ in my part of the world. I moved to Sydney in Februrary 1966 and near my new job was a St. Vincent de Paul’ op-shop. My lunchtime rovings led me to explore this ‘Vinnies’, as the those Catholic charity shops have were known colloquially long before they became trademarked as such. This shop literally opened a treasure trove for me and I was hooked for life. Mind you, there had been signs and omens that led me toward this revelation. My prophet’s name was Betty. She was the English wife of one of my father’s WW2 Polish army buddies and she was regarded by the women in my mother’s circle as being one those English eccentric because she wore vintage clothing, bags, etc, bought at the traditional Victoria Markets in Melbourne. Betty gave me several gifts that I have never forgotten: an amazing lizard skin handbag, a tailored,box pleat skirt, and kid leather gloves with a matching silk scarf. In my working-class immigrant environment women wore cheap, gaudy-coloured garments and had plastic handbags. Betty’s gifts glowed with quality and style and this here raw 18-19 year old was smitten. I remember lso clearly just how desperately I wanted to go and explore Betty’s market haunts. As I was working during the week I could only go on a Saturday moning. This time slot, however, was permanently reserved for cleaning house with my mother, and exceptions were not granted. It was fated that I should discover Vinnies once I had escaped my mother’s restrictions. At last I was able was able to indulge my innate appreciation for quailty, style, and individuality in dress, household decor, and furniture.
    In the early days I found beautifully embroidered linen, brooches, vintage scarves, hats and gloves, and 1930-40’s clothes with wonderful beading. In the 1970’s when the hippy fashions came in I collected wonderful vintage clothing that fit in with the styles favoured in that era. Today’s op shops no longer sell vintage treasures of those era. They have become the province of speciality shops. Charities sell the donated antique and vintage items to the specialty dealers with whom they have contracts. The strength of the current day op-shops, at least in Australia, are the bargains to be had in designer clothing. Often they still have the original prize tags and labels and if you are lucky you can still find an $800 dress for $15. I have done so many a time. For some 20 years my model proportions daughter-in-law has benefited from my ‘luck’. My two teenage granddaughters could benefit if they did not go in for the ‘ragged look’ that the Millenials (and many GenY) favour. I will not encourage them in this look – it is a bridge too far for me.

    I had a certain ‘spendthrift’ reputation for my extensive wardrobe and obviously exclusive designer label ‘expensive’ clothes. It did cause some envy and gossip in the workplace, particularly in an almost all female library environment. Not much competition there as far as stylish dress is concerned! I must admit that for many years only some select close family and friends knew of my thrifty shopping. The reason was not that I was ashamed of my honed skills and ‘luck’ but simply because I had learned the hard way that many people viewed the acquisition of secondhand and recycled wares with distaste and even outright disgust. How wonderful that times have changed and young women can now become internet stars for sharing their thrifty ways.

    • Cat

      Helise, I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your comment and the history you shared. You have a gift for storytelling and I love your way with words!

    • debstarrett

      Helise, your last 2 lines hit the spot. I can remember being in high in the 1970’s and wanting NEW jeans. My mother had 5 children to clothe and one was a son that did get new jeans. Jeans were considered a needed item for the son of the house and my father. So the 4 girls always got less expensive clothing, BUT one day my mother took us to a thrift store and told us to look around. I found jeans, albeit a tad bit faded but I loved them anyway. I remember being the first person to wear those “faded” jeans as new before they were a fad. My friend asked how I got the faded look. I said my mother helped me create that look, because gasp thrift shop clothes were like you say….well anyway, I also had my mother who was a seamstress put zippers on the legs. My high school chums never knew they came from a thrift store already faded. And my mother did the zippers.

      I love your enthusiasm for the thriftiness of being thrifty.

  • Diana Chai

    Wait.. she posted it online, with location AND photo; left the store and DIDN’T expect it to be sold?? She’s a blogger, does she not know how the internet works? You did what any normal person (not even thrifter) who saw something being sold somewhere ‘advertised’ online and bought it. Don’t understand how anyone can think this is ‘disrespectful’ or ‘rude’.

  • Dawn Schultz

    You make me laugh! You’re a good person for offering it to her- I would have done the same thing. Glad you got to keep your deal!

  • Kathy

    Enjoy!! If it was on sale at Macy’s, and someone passed it up, would you feel badly that you bought it?? NO!!
    You went above and beyond to contact her–it’s yours fair and square!!

  • Ginny

    If I passed on an item that was 85% off and then had second thoughts, put it on social media and a friend who had wanted the item for 10 years ran out and bought it, I might feel a little funny. But if that person then offered me the chance to buy it from them, it would make everything all right and I would rather they had the item since they had coveted it for so long. So I think you did fine.

  • askruthy

    Hilarious post , you crack me up! From what I read , you have a conscience , so congrats on your pot ! Thrifting has become war

  • Carol Lacey

    You did what I would have done. Its a first come, first get senario. She had her chance, now you need to let it go. Congrats, btw.

  • Maxine

    Oh my god,that story cracked me up.Very nice of you to offer to hand that beautiful piece of equipment up for guilt reasons.haha.You are nicer than me.I never would have offered to part with it.Thrifting is as thrifting does….i.e.-find,buy,run….end of story.

  • Marcia Chin

    25 years ago on a road trip to Florida I stopped at the Le Creuset outlet in Georgia. This was in the days before giant outlet malls. It was a tiny storefront that had lots of colored pans for sale. In the clearance section they had 2 hot pink dutch ovens for under $20. One was huge and oval and the other was the normal sized round variety. I could not decide which to get so I bought both. I have never regretted the decision. I was unemployed but knew that I would never be able to buy such a coveted product for such a low price. I use the large one for corned beef and briskets once or twice a year. I always knew the color was why it was on clearance. Today it would cost me hundreds of dollars to replace them. Jillian I am so glad you bought yours! I wish you much happiness in cooking. Just beware that if you leave the pan in the sink overnight, it may rust on the bottom from the moisture.
    On a different note, April left the pan in the store, it was not as if it was on lay-a-way and you took it from her. She learned a lesson the hard way. You did nothing wrong.

    • blissinger

      Clearly she was lukewarm about it, even in her first post. Maybe she was looking for some real enthusiasts to talk her into it. As a serious enthusiast already, you were just farther along the evolutionary scale and deserved to score that pot. It’s beautiful, by the way, didn’t know they made them in blue. Enjoy it!

  • Mrs. R

    My post may seem unbelievable, but it absolutely true. I have 20 pieces of Lecreuset cookware for less than $80. I am NOT talking about Calaphon or other wannabe enameled cookware. The real stuff made in France. I have six of their dutch ovens with the biggest being 7.25 and I paid $20 for that beauty at the flea this is the most I have ever paid for a LC piece. The majority of my Lecreuset pieces have come from my goodwill outlet or pay per pound store. I have a very tight budget. I work a part-time job and am a graduate student, but I love great deals. I don’t do garage or estate sales. I would have never paid $40, but I can’t be angry with you because I think you got a wonderful deal. I go daily to the gwo, I live near three of them. After finding gwos it seems that “regular” thrift stores have becsme too high for me. Can’t say what my best deal would be. Last year I got three pieces of Jason Wu clothing for $12 and they retailed for about $5000 and I find 14kt jewelry for $2-3 all the time.

    Been watching your blog for over a year and loved that you showed a different thrifting topic.

  • Karen P

    She left the store without it therefore it’s yours. If you feel that guilty you could give here one of your massive collection of Fiestaware – wish we had that over here lol! x

  • Boogie

    HAHAH I loved this post. Can I suggest you making a list of your favorite thrifting spots, with tips? I live in NYC and the thrift stores here are no good (too expensive), but if I’m ever in your area I’d love to visit some!

  • am

    i think you had every right to it, if she wante it she should have gotten it and then posted on how much of a deal she got, i would have jumped on that deal to just like you had. Thats the name of the game, when ur thrift’n!!

  • Mak

    As the owner of a few Le Creuset pots I would have done the same thing! Even if it didn’t go with my carefully curated color combinations! Haha! I agree with others, she must not have wanted it THAT badly to walk away in the first place!

  • Valerie Geib

    Fair game. She walked away and blogged about it. What would you expect to happen. Duh! Glad you snagged it up. I love mine-all three of them!

  • Sally Laidlaw

    I feel your pain. We have a little antique/boot sale in the area. I went with a friend?..spied a little red pot like yours…mentioned it to my friend…think she wanted it. I bought it…have used it often with love! I, too, have coveted this cookware…and way too cheap to pay full price.
    My friend came over one day….saw my pot ….and said ” I wanted that!”
    So what is a gal to do? She has out scored me many a time…all is fair in thrifting.

  • Karen

    I can’t believe she wavered on it it in the first place…that’s a killer find! AND it appears to be in great shape.
    What I really want to know is how do you thrift a store in 15 minutes? I can end up spending hours…
    Jillian you should write an instruction manual!!

  • hampsonteach

    Walk away from a bargain in a thrift store and expect it to be there later?! Risky. If it hadn’t been you someone else might have snagged it.

  • Emiline

    As I was reading your story I was like “huh? You went there? Oh you must have called April to discuss first.” Then my surprise when you didn’t…. yeah I agree it’s pretty rude.
    Sure it’s in a shop for the taking but friends should communicate with each other, don’t ya think?
    If she knew how much you wanted it it’s likely she’d just tell you she left it there & you could have still bought it but without the guilt.
    That’s just my thoughts on the matter anyway!
    Speaking of which…. I think I might go do some thrifting myself this arvo!

    • Emiline

      Oh I just read your story again and discovered that she may not be actually be a friend of yours? That changes my opinion somewhat.
      Anyways glad you offered it to her all the same & more glad she said no so you could enjoy it! 🙂

  • Tami Von Zalez

    Ah yes, I too have it down to an art form. Am currently basking in my latest find of an Lauren button up eggplant colored cashmere sweater for $10. Waiting to go to the dry cleaners with the rest of my current cashmere sweater finds.
    I don’t have a schedule but I have a 100 mile route that wraps in about 10 thrift shops.
    April Blake snoozed and losed – I would brave hail, sleet and snow for a LeCreuset or a KitchenAid, for that matter. I never see Fiestaware in the thrift shops.
    Oh, and I like you are branching out, I love all of your posts.

    • Carol Lacey

      Dont dry clean your cashmere. Wash in shampoo! Handwash and roll in a towel. Then block on another towel. Have not taken mine to drycleaners in years.

  • linda anderson

    I am Canadian and I thrift as well with a week routine boy if I am sick or anything I feel like I have missed something up here we have free events for items as well my home is warm eclectic inviting and most did not cost a lot at all I am proud of how my home looks I also repurpose things as well so I feel your delema that’s why I always go alone lol

  • Murielle

    I’m not understanding. April contacted the store and told them she’d come in after lunch, but the store didn’t take it off the shelf, or tell you at the cash register that it was on hold for someone and should have been taken off the shelf? How is this your fault? Seriously.

    Don’t think you did anything wrong.

    I would totally love to find a Kitchen Aid mixer in a thrift store. Found a server for 140.00 at a thrift store, got it home and the thread is horribly tangled inside the machine.

  • kittlen

    This is why I’m not on FB anymore. If I had been her, I would have been annoyed if I had posted a question of if I should get it only to have someone snarkily reply “Thanks for the tip.” I agree that if she wanted it, she should have bought it, but I think that a real tip would have been captioned “Hey guys, look at this awesome Le Crueset. Only $39 if anyone wants it.”

  • charyngant

    I agree with pretty much everybody else: if you leave it, you lose it. And you know that when you walk away. It’s kind of the thrifting code. I also agree that the guilt is from not wanting to be at odds with a friend. Lastly, Holy Moly! That WAS a fantastically awesome find!!! A Le Creuset Dutch oven is so on my kitchen bucket list. Maybe lightening will strike twice… sigh.

  • Laurpud

    It’s not like you told her to not buy it just so YOU could. Also, our family calls that “The Flea Market Rule”: if you want it, buy it now, because it might not be there on your second pass.
    I lust after their teapot & coffee press, myself

  • Lisa Oden

    All I know is that when thrifting, if you want it you better get it cause it won’t be there later. She walked away, she wasn’t sure she even wanted it, but you certainly did. The guilt comes from the fact you have a kind heart and didn’t want to upset a friend. Congrats on the find.

  • Any

    She wasn’t sure about it and left the store. It’s not like there were a bunch of them at a set price- there is no chance it would still be there if she came back; if she wanted it she should have bought it. Good find!!

  • Christina Blank

    My husband (a semi-retired professional chef) loves Le Creuset. Last year for his birthday, I offered to take him to the outlet store that is approximately 30 minutes from our home and purchase the piece of his choice, and he turned me down. Turns out, he appreciates the hunt for these pieces at thrift stores almost as much as he likes the actual cookware. So, I instead offered to take him thrifting from one end of San Diego County to the other to see if we could find some Le Creuset that he did not already have. Although we didn’t find anything, we did have a lot of fun, and it turned out to be a great day.

  • Sydney

    I have a friend who drove a tractor (truck) for a living. His shipments could be anything, but one day his job was to take damaged Le Creuset pots to the dump. He said that when there is a bubble in the enamel, Le Creuset destroys all of the “damaged” products. These are cosmetic issues, but for $300+, you don’t want bubbles in the enamel. Rather than haul them all to the trash, I was “gifted” the oval dutch oven, the round dutch oven, and the grill pan lid in the classic cerise color. 10+ years and five cities later, those reprieved cookwares are still AMAZING.

  • Lauren

    I’m right there with you! My take on thrifting and I’m waffling on an item and I pass on it, and then go back is…if I’m meant to have it, it’ll be there. If not, that’s not meant to be mine. You just need to chill your Comment game! That would have eliminated your stress!

  • Heather

    If it had been yellow, gray or green I would have made a mad dash. I probably wouldn’t have said anything though.

    Her posting put it out to the masses. Plus those already shopping. Anyone could have bought it.

  • Learningnewtricks

    Lesson learned for both of you. If you find an amazing deal, don’t post it on social media. If you read that your friend posted such a deal, don’t post that you picked up the deal unless your friend openly stated that it was up for grabs. No reason for you to feel guilty on any level. Your friend obviously wasn’t sold on buying the Dutch oven. You were more than gracious. I have a teal one and bought it at Macy’s on clearance years ago for less than $50 and thought that was a deal! You definitely scored!!!

  • Kathleen

    Oh yeah you are awesome AF. The deal was yours. In the thrifting game, it’s first come first serve. I have LeCrueset pots of a all sizes, and the best ones are always the thrifter ones.
    Best thrifting deal I ever had was a rare Homer Laughlin teapot on sale for $4.99 that is worth over $800.
    Keep the thrift alive!!

  • Andrea

    You did her a favor by buying it before someone else did, then gave her a second chance at it. Thrift store finds like that dont last unless the item is hidden. If she had REALLY wanted it she would’ve snatched it up asap. I guess she didn’t want it that much!

  • Rosemarie Menassas

    all’s fair in love and war! One lesson to learn is “Don’t let other folks in on what you’re thinking” If april had kept her mouth shut, who knows what would have happened to that beautiful pot. good on you, and you’re way nice for even offering to give it to her. I’m meaner than you are, I think! thrill to the glory of it.

  • Shelley

    I call it charity shop (thrift store) roulette. If its there when you go back it was meant to be. Cant complain if you didnt buy it at the time!

  • Amelia

    As someone who dropped money in a Le Creuset outlet story and still felt like she paid too much you did good. When you see something like that at that price you either grab it or you loose it. That said, I would have ended up guilt ridden like you and would have offered it to the person but really hoping they would have said they didn’t want it.

  • Katie Lynn

    I mean, she left it there. And then she left the store. There’s no guarantee it will be there when she comes back (ANYONE could have come along and purchased it!) unless she had them hold it at the counter. So I’d say you have nothing to feel bad about. I have definitely trolled next to someone who was holding something I wanted and just waited until they set it down and wandered away before grasping it in my dirty little hands and running to the checkout. No shame in your game.

  • Carla from Kansas

    Nope. What you did was fine. Shouldn’t have sent the first message. Seriously what was she thinking to post that??

  • Janine

    This is the best story ever! I think if you make her a nice meal in the Dutch Oven, you will have done all that is necessary!

  • Shirley

    My friends and I really enjoy going to auctions. We have a rule that if you want it, you go for it up to your comfort level. There are no friends at an auction……or thrift shop apparently.

  • Alicia J.

    Good for you. I would have done the same thing. In all my years of thrifting I’ve never seen a Le Creuset for under $100 used. Use it in good cheer.

  • Susan

    Once she walked away it was fair game. It doesn’t matter how you found out about. I recently purchased a HUGE entertainment center that had been marked down to $35! As I was loading it up, the guy told me that someone else said they were coming back for it. Not how it works, ladies. It now perfectly divides a long, awkward room in my home and I have not one iota of guilt or shame. Good score, Jillian!

  • Marcia Scurfield

    I think that since you emailed your friend and told her you bought it but she had dibs and you would sell it to her if she wanted it–you did the right thing and it’s all good.

  • Karin

    The fact that you contacted her in the end moves you to the “Wonderfully nice and kind Thrifter” category! Keep going! There’s a lot more thrifting to do out there!

  • Kristina

    Honestly, I approach my thrifting and clearance shopping as a competition and anything short of actually stealing it out of someone’s hands or shopping cart is fair. I have been trashed on social media for buying all of an item I found on clearance and not “leaving some for others.” I don’t believe that is how shopping works.

    • Barbra

      I agree!! I have been known to even shop out of other people’s carts…where did you find that?! People love to talk about their awesome finds and buys, especially if they got the last one.

      Ridiculous that people are negative and bratty about not “leaving some for the others”. Give me a break! I worked retail and when an item is clearanced out, it is because the store does not want to dedicate shelf space for it any more. Get that stuff out of here, we have a store room full of new stuff waiting to hit the sales floor! Keep shopping the end caps and corners!

  • Karen

    Any thrifter worthy of the title knows to buy it when you find it or it will be gone! You played by the cardinal rule of thrifting…and you won!

  • Kathy

    I kind of think that posting about it online is kind of advertising it for someone else to go buy it. Also, anyone could have bought it while she was at lunch, and not offered it to her later. In thrifting, if you want it, buy it now, because it won’t be there when you go back. And you could always keep a look out for another one and let her know if you find one. She was very gracious.

  • Renee

    I have that exact same long stuffed-bird looking hanging thing that you have in your kitchen window. I’ve been struggling trying to explain what it is. what would you call that??

  • Jo

    For heaven’s sake, people seem to forget that when they post something like this, it is out there for the world to see. She described exactly where it was and walked away. You did do the nice and generous thing by offering it to her, and she was gracious in her response. But any who blame you should really think about the public-ness of posting stuff out there and not respond as if you had muscled into a private exchange and swooped in to steal a find practically out of her hand.

  • Carolyn Chisholm

    Not a sociopath, it’s swift actions like these that make a successful thrifter. It was April’s loss for taking too much time to think it over, that’s part of the game. You did right, that cookware is top notch, I would have done the same thing!

  • Karrie Glines

    Great post Jilly- anyone who thrifts knows to hesitate is to lose the bargain! And posting your indecisive shopping on social media is just sad. If you want an opinion from a friend do a private message or text while holding the item in your hands or basket! Keep that killer instinct Jill and say(nicely!) loser weepers!
    Bet that Bourgogne was fab!

  • Amy

    Nope. It was fair game. Lol. I think I might not have posted I’d snatched it up though. That’s just me.
    I have the orange pot just like yours and I love it. 🙂

  • theresa larkins

    it was beauty in motion, savage and awesome in it’s power, only thing missing was the war cry. keep on, love reading your blog.

  • Kate

    We call it “garage sale rules” in my house. If it’s not in someone’s hands, it’s free game. If you choose to think about it and chance coming back later, your gamble. The whole FB tip off lends a new angle to the “rules”, but I still call it fair play.

  • Mary Palmer

    If it’s sitting on the shelf with no one touching it, it’s fair game. She should have bought it if she wanted it. I’ve bought a couple fabulous deals I’m unsure of secure in the knowledge I can return with my receipt.

  • Diane

    Even if I wasn’t sure about buying it, I wouldn’t have ASKED others what they thought! Besides, like others have stated, when you walk away you run the risk the item may not be there if you change your mind. I’ve had it happen, much to my dismay. If in doubt, buy it! You can always give it to someone who would really appreciate it, or sell it! At least you did ask her if she wanted it, and for whatever reason, declined to take it.

    • Katie Lynn

      I’ve been known to text my bestie for a second opinion while shopping, but I would NEVER put it on social media. Sometimes you just need that second opinion, and I know she will be honest.

      • Melanie Lindner

        Agreed. There’s a big difference between a private conversation or text between friends and putting it out there in public. If she was really keen she should’ve bought it then and there (I mean seriously, $40 for Le Crueset!) or asked the store to hold it for a short time to reconsider. Otherwise, fair game.

  • Lyn

    Don’t feel guilty. Once you walk away from it, it is fair game.
    I have learned that if you see something in a thrift store that you MIGHT want, you had better snag it. It will be gone before you get home.
    Great find. I’m so jealous.

    • Louise

      I wholeheartedly agree! It was kind of Jillian to offer it to her. If she Reeally wanted it she would have bought it on the spot.

  • Jill

    I think from a blogger standpoint you handled it right. You obviously run in the same circles with her, at least online, and you couldn’t’ve blogged about your score without her knowing you went and snagged it. Better to be out in the open about your buy, offer her first dibs, and keep it if she passes.

    I got a Dutch oven when I married my husband. I love that thing – congrats!

  • Susan Wright-Boucher

    Well done. There’s nothing disrespectful or unethical about grabbing an item off a shelf in a store that’s open to the public. You went way above and beyond to offer it to the original poster. Very nice of you.

  • Judy Cromwell

    You did more than some would do, you offered it to the other buyer. Whether she was being a good sport or not, I’m glad you offered. Makes you a better person in my book.

  • Melanie

    No once you walk away, it’s fair game. I’ve done that, return the store and thought if it was meant to be mine it would still be there. Sometimes the item would be there and sometimes it was gone. It’s the name of the game.

  • Shannon

    Ohhhh Jillian, this post is delightful! I would have done the exact same thing, right down to obsessing over guilt for days and eventually offering it up. So glad you got to keep it (relatively guilt-free) in the end. I drool over those things every time I see them in a store, so I’m super jealous.

    Stay savage AF 🙂


  • Marissa Earley

    I get so many compliments on my outfits which happen to be pieces I have bought from many many thrift store hunts. It’s definitely a process requiring a lot of time and effort. I can appreciate all that it takes for you to find thsee amazing items.
    P.S. I think it was very noble of you to ask April if she wanted the pot.

  • Josie

    So glad you did the right thing and offered it to her—the friendship is definitely more priceless than the pot—even an amazing pot. And it was an honest mistake. And now the Boeuf Bourguignon is really guilt-free dining!  Thanks for the post!

  • TwinMom

    All politeness and social graces go out the door when a $40 Le Creuset is on the line. Pretty sure I’d have taken it a step further and gotten into a fist fight if I had the opportunity for such a deal. It’s even my favorite color!

  • Sarah

    I can’t be critical of you for snatching it up. I might have done the same thing. It was a chair. It was posted on the store’s Facebook page. A stranger commented that they would be in to purchase it that day. I left work early to get to the store before the other person and bought the chair.

    • Lisa H.

      I love this! Yeah, it kind of sucked for them, but in the end–it’s just stuff. No matter how good the deal, they’ll survive without it.

      Jillian—Enjoy your Dutch oven. You wanted it more than she did, you’ve dreamed about it for years, and you didn’t remove her opportunity to buy it—she was indecisive, so she missed out. Kind of like when someone gets mad when you change the channel on the TV and yells, “Hey! I was watching that!” from three rooms away. If a stranger had seen it before you and without seeing the FB post, it would have been the same result for April. Offering it to her after the fact? You’re too magnanimous!

  • Michele Morgen

    This is why I thrift stealthily. I never post about things I may be considering. This is why I snipe on eBay with the best of them. Thrifting is WAR!!!

  • Melanie Morin-Juarez

    My co-worker has been talking about her dream of owning a le creuset Dutch oven since I’ve met her so I would totally have snatched it and offered it to her, and kept it if she didn’t want it. It also reminds me of my mom’s boeuf bourguignon, she owned the bright orange le creuset Dutch oven. She got it before I was born I think and was still using it until she passed 4 years ago. My brother kept it cause it was too heavy for me to bring back to California unfortunately. Someday I’ll own one too

  • Deborah Schlafer

    Fair game. I have a group of friends that thrift together a lot. Whoever sees it first, gets first right of refusal. You snooze … you lose. Great score!

    • Dee

      I’m with you as to NO and NO (and it weirds me out to not see more folks in agreement here or even pausing to weigh things). OF COURSE the person who exerts more pressure ‘wins’ the game in the short term: you or I or someone grabs something and then say reluctantly, “Um, did you want this OMG my thing now that you saw first and mentioned naively to others?”, and the gracious or intimidated will say, “Um, no. That’s yours”. People used to be nicer somehow. Maybe this is why we can’t have good presidents anymore…?

  • Monica

    What a hilarious post! And I’ve learned that in the thrifting world, if at first you don’t fall in love, grab it and make it yours, then maybe you really didn’t want it, it wasn’t meant to be, and you’ve relinquished it back into the world for someone else to love.

  • catherine

    love your story. Best thrift object I ever laid my savage thrifting fingers on was a Tiffany and Co. silver bangle for ZAR20 (about $2 at the time) convinced that they didn’t know what it was at the store i snapped it up. I’ve always felt a little bad about how good the deal was.

    • Rhee

      My thoughts exactly Shannon! She passed on it when you offered it to her sooooo, it’s yours! Go forth, guilt free and happy cooking!!!

  • Ramona C.

    I’m sorry but all if fair in Le Creuset and War. If she really wanted it, she should have snatched it up in a hurry, paid for it and run out the door. Not put it on social media for all to see and run like crazy to grab it up. You were very generous to offer it to her. Like you, I saw it as a tip. I’ve wanted one for years and I haven’t found my bargain yet. I’m patient. I’ll wait. I’m not mean or cold hearted but “it is what it is”.

    • Annie

      Hmm. April left it in the store and posted where it was and how much it was on social media. She didn’t buy it, and Jillian certainly didn’t ‘snatch it out of her hands’. I think you’re being a tad unfair.

      It sounds as though both ladies have learned from this – April might think more carefully about posting that much information on social media if it’s something she actually wants, and Jillian might rein in her enthusiasm a little!

      At the end of the day, it’s a chunk of iron (albeit a very pretty one!) Not something to lose friends over.

  • Kelly Stoker

    It was totally yours. It’s like the person who put a picture of his Amazon gift card on Facebook with the number showing and then was surprised that someone used the number. What does AF mean?

  • threadsydee

    I don’t blame you! It was savage AF, but she DID post it on social media…what do people expect? I think you redeemed yourself by offering it to her. Lucky for you, she’s a good friend and let you have it! Happy cooking!

  • Phoenixwych

    Back in the day, when I COULD run out and buy something like this, I would have done exactly what you did…She had to have known that there was a chance that it wouldn’t be there when she returned. It was, after all, for sale and right out in the open. I’ve seen people who “hide” something they want to buy behind other items or under clothing in another part of the store…but if it’s out in the open, it’s fair game. And to post a steal like that in open social media is also risky….she was obviously not thinking about that. I’ve always wanted a dutch oven just like that so, yeah, if I’d had the opportunity, it would have been MINE!!!…LOL…good buy! (pun intended…LOL)

    • Judith Stuart

      Absolutely! April went ahead and advertised it, what could she expect? sorry April 😉

      Furthermore, *even* when someone *hides* it in the store, if it’s a ticketed item in the store it’s fair game. If April had put it on hold, then that’s a different story.

      But in Jill’s case, me too, I would have bought it in a heartbeat.

    • DD

      I know people who have taken a “treasure” out of some one else’s cart when they weren’t looking!!! It can be SAVAGE out there! Be careful!!!! LOL I did chuckle at you Jillian but I do appreciate your softer side.

  • Meghann

    She walked away. There was ALWAYS a chance it wouldn’t be there when she got back, by your hand or by someone else’s. Congrats on your score! Nothing wrong with a savage thrifting game!

  • caffeter

    As someone who would also LOVE to have a LeCreuset in my kitchen, I would have handled it similarly. Get it, give my friend first right of refusal, and if refused it would be mine…all mine.

    • Willi

      You snooze you lose. It’s a well known fact that if you thrift you buy immediately, no waiting. Thinking thoughts like, if it’s still here tomorrow it was meant for me, just don’t work. It won’t be. Yours, fair & square!

    • annette

      I giggled the whole time I read your story. I would have done the same thing, and felt guilt, and then offered it back to ease my guilt. I’m happy for you and how things turned out. :’)

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