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Where Trash Becomes Scratch


Two Jakes  

Mid-Century-Modern Furniture

Two Jakes
320 Wythe Ave., at Grand St., Williamsburg; 718-782-7780
Thanks in part to the bedbug epidemic, this expertly assembled furniture depot mostly sources its inventory from going-out-of-­business sales and auctions, not individuals. But if you’ve got a metal or aluminum desk, table, or office chair from the mid-twentieth century, Two Jakes will likely give you a fair price for it—especially if it’s by a big-name designer like Emeco, Knoll, Saarinen, or Bisley. Offers, made by appointment, usually fall between $50 and $500 per piece, or half the planned price tag.

Recent find: Herman Miller Eames compact sofa ($1,200). “It’s an iconic piece of sixties and seventies design that you rarely see out there,” co-owner Alex Walsh says.

Cameras and Video Equipment

B&H Photo-Video-Pro-Audio
420 Ninth Ave., at 34th St. 212-444-5000
Like all the sections in this city-block-encompassing superstore, the secondhand selection is extensive. Photo, video, and professional audio equipment—B&H takes it all. And if you enter the make and model of the item you’d like to sell, will spit out a price quote before you schlep all the way over. A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi in silver in good condition will get you $145, and a body for a Pentax K110D digital camera will bring $125.

Recent find: A Leica M4 camera ($2,900). “Leicas all have richly deserved cachet, because they’re made with jewel-like precision,” says B&H’s Henry Posner.

Art and Antiques

Waterfront Antiques Consignment
147 Columbia St., nr. Kane St., Cobble Hill 917-805-2968
Along with its solid mix of antique furniture, this new shop has an excellent selection of oil paintings, prints, and ethnic art sold on consignment at a 40 percent commission. Leave your velvet Elvis at home—it’s looking for pieces that can shoulder price tags in the three and four figures. (After 60 days, prices drop 20 percent with the seller’s permission; at 90 days, they drop 50 percent.)

Recent find: Early-twentieth-century Sri Lankan mask ($1,800). “It has eighteen cobras around the head representing illnesses like malaria; they’d put sick people in them to cure them,” owner Anne Marie Biebuyck says.

Vintage Décor

Le Grenier
19 Greenpoint Ave., at West St., Greenpoint; 718-569-0111
This tiny riverfront store, owned by former fashion-photo producer Maya Marzolf, buys, sells, and occasionally consigns furniture, etched stemware, steamer trunks, oil lamps, and other home accents. Marzolf doesn’t limit her inventory to a particular era, instead choosing pieces that fit the slouchy-cool look of her showroom—she’s made offers on everything from legitimate antiques (currently an intricate side table from the nineteen-aughts is priced at $500) to more modern pieces (a small vinyl rocking chair is marked $120). E-mail to schedule an appointment.

Recent find: Japanese Seyei gold-plated china set ($950). “It’s super-fabulous, and there’s not a single chip,” Marzolf says.


Monk’s Trunk
23 Hawthorne St., nr. Flatbush Ave., Prospect Lefferts Gardens; 718-398-9324
While most kids’ consignment shops will only give you store credit for used toys, recently opened Monk’s Trunk doles out actual cash. Monk’s buys higher-end toys and gear outright at 25 percent of the retail price or allows you to consign them (along with lower-end toys) with a payout of 25 to 60 percent of the selling price. Especially in-demand items include ride-on toys, hardcover books, and anything by the brands Plan Toys, Haba, Pintoy, Green Toys, and Automoblox.

Recent find: A Go-Go Babyz Travelmate car-seat attachment ($50). “They’re crazy-popular and so hard to come by used,” owner Carrie McLaren says.

CDs and LPs

Academy Record Annex
96 N. 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 718-218-8200
A spinoff of Chelsea’s 34-year-old music specialist, this secondhand and new CD and LP store buys back both kinds of discs of the pop, rock, soul, jazz, reggae, disco, and hip-hop persuasion. (Translation: no classical, no big band, no easy listening.) Obviously, the rarest and most in-demand merchandise rakes in higher bucks, but unscratched CDs and vinyl can fetch between $1 and $7.

Recent find:Street and Gangland Rhythms record ($100). “A record of sounds and beats that predates what we think of as hip-hop and urban rap,” owner Mike Davis says.

Baby Stuff

Flying Squirrel
96 N. 6th St., nr. Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; 718-218-7775
Given the city’s space constraints, consignment stores that welcome large-scale items like cribs, pack ’n’ plays, and rockers are few and far between. But this charming kids’ store, which sells both new and secondhand clothing and gear, offers both outright purchase and consignment of cumbersome baby items like tubs, carriers, and high chairs from 25 to 50 percent in cash or store credit. Call to make an appointment.

Recent find: Kids on the Roof mobile home ($16). “It’s a piece of cardboard that you can make into a house,” says owner Kate Schmitz. “They’re really trendy and usually hard to find.”

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