The Best Thrift Store Find in Years…

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I decided to take our son on a trip to the mall in Spokane, Washington.  He rode an escalator for what he thought was the first time. We visited several stores, walked the mall, had some black drip coffee, an eggnog latte, and hot chocolate. However, our trip to the mall was only part of our fun family outing that Saturday.

The next part of our day was to hit as many thrift stores as possible.  We went to four different thrift stores, in search of treasures.  Our son brought $5.00 of his own money he had saved to purchase any treasure he could find.  He found an almost new DVD of Charlotte’s Web and the game of Operation.  He has already become quite adept at surgery and has acquired a steady hand.  But, those where his finds and treasure.

Krista found an antique iron and in great condition that can be heated by our wood cook stove. But, this too was not the find of the day.

What's in a name?... The Kirby Vacuum cleaner has quite the history. A great vacuum, but there sales techniques haven't always worked out the best.

What’s in a name?… The Kirby Vacuum cleaner has quite the history. A great vacuum, but their sales techniques haven’t always worked out the best.

On our last store of the day, I stumbled upon the find of the year.  I had been searching all day for books, games, DVD’s until I stumbled across this diamond in the rough.  I found a vacuum cleaner, but no ordinary vacuum.  My wife and I have had a cheap plastic vacuum for about 6 years.  It fell apart two years ago and has been held together by duct tape, the level adjuster is completely gone, and it continually has plastic parts wearing down and falling off of it.  I have been wanting to purchase another vacuum, but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase another cheap piece of junk.  So, I have been waiting for fate to drop in my lap a Kirby vacuum cleaner without the pushy sales tactics.  Yes, the thousand-dollar overpriced vacuum cleaner, but I wanted it at thrift store prices.

That's right, $12.99... What a deal for such an incredible, durable, all purpose vacuum.

That’s right, $12.99… What a deal for such an incredible, durable, all purpose vacuum.

On this day, walking through the furniture aisle to leave the store and go home, I stopped to wait for my wife and son to catch up. While waiting, I looked around where I stood, thinking, what a bunch of junk. There is nothing here worth buying. That’s when I saw it, in between the old used and abused plant stands, tables, and couch. An old Kirby vacuum was standing right in the midst of all this worthless junk.  At first, I didn’t think it was a Kirby; it just looked like an old 5)’s style vacuum. When I pulled it out into the aisle to inspect it, I could clearly see the Kirby name on the front and knew I was going to purchase it even if it didn’t work.  I could find parts and rebuild it.  At first, the vacuum wouldn’t roll; the back wheels were stuck because it was locked into using its TechDrive variable power assist. I slipped it into neutral and I was able to wheel it freely through the store.  My once over-priced vacuum when new was now humbly priced at $12.99.  I do believe I found the bargain of the year.  The vacuum is a Kirby Generation 4 (G4); it was produced and sold new between 1993 and 1997 .

She approves... My wife poses with our new/used vacuum. She is smiling because I have already vacuumed the entire house

She approves… My wife poses with our new/used vacuum. She is smiling because I have already vacuumed the entire house, and I was happy to do it.

Once I started to research this vacuum, I had to find and order all the crazy attachments.  Now, we have a vacuum that can function in a variety of capacities from cleaning our hard floors, to our rugs, the car, dust the house, clean our upholstery, and that’s the normal every day stuff. The vacuum can even do some strange things, like inflate air mattresses, become a spray gun for painting, and even massage a person’s scalp.  Yeah, I thought these were weird ideas too; especially, when I saw it on the training video.

Overall, the vacuum performs great, and it doesn’t take up too much power for those wondering how it works being off grid.  It is powered up the same as all our appliances through our inverter. Our power meter says the vacuum uses about 29.4 amp hours. I finally have a vacuum that should last us for the rest our days, and if not, I will rebuild it.

That is some radiant vacuum... The attachmendts have arrived and the vacuum easily converts into a unique canister style.

That is some radiant vacuum… The attachments have arrived, and the vacuum easily converts into a unique canister style.

If you are interested in purchasing a Kirby G4, I would forgo the in house demo and purchase a refurbished vacuum through Amazon with the TechDrive power assist.  I never liked the door to door sales concept; the company uses salesmen working on commission.  It seemed like a home invasion in which the sales person would never leave until they got a sale.  Thanks to those stores using Amazon and offering the refurbish models for a reasonable prices we can afford, and also they eliminate the pushy salesmen.

This is not our first encounter with a Kirby vacuum cleaner. We were introduced to the company by a friend.  He gave us his old Kirby vacuum he inherited, and it did not have the power assist, and it was a real bear to push and pull on the carpet.  My wife hated it so much; it never got packed on one of our moves.  Fortunately, she loves this one and all the cool gadgets I ordered for it to clean the house and cars.

What was a deal you found this year that you would like to share?  We really have a lot of fun finding great deals.  Please share, so we can celebrate with you too.

4 thoughts on “The Best Thrift Store Find in Years…

  1. That is quite the find!! That old vacuum will give you many years of good use.
    Even though I only have 110 when the genorator is running, I wouldn’t mind finding one of those myself. Keeping the rugs clean around here with 2 dogs and 2 cats is a chore without a vacuum.
    Great job! !

    Liked by 1 person

    • We run the vacuum on regular 110 outlets through our inverter. It does a great job with our dog and cat fur problem too. We have a stained concrete slab for flooring, so we are vacuuming and sweeping often. When we lived in a wall to wall carpeted house, I am amazed at how much dog and cat fur the carpet hides. This vacuum gets it all.

      Liked by 1 person

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