• July 24, 2016

Shoppers on the hunt

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Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2011 12:00 pm

They often come out on the weekend, searching for second-, third-, fourth-, even fifth-hand treasures. They're antiquers and Bell County is full of them.

Antiquers can spend entire days hitting up the usual places: stores, flea markets, garage and estate sales and auctions throughout the area. Many times, it's the usual suspects who attend these events.

"It's usually the same folks there (at garage, estate sales and auctions)," said Mike Wilhelm, owner of Paply's Gifts N' Stuff.

At Paply's, Wilhelm sells just that. Gifts, stuff and antiques. He rents out space to people who do the same and said many of his regulars are on the lookout for items to buy and resell.

Wendy Carrington is one such regular who said she antiques to stay active and ward off pain from rheumatoid arthritis.

"I don't like the new stuff," she said. "If it's not an antique you're wasting my time. No one wants it yet. You've got 50 million on eBay selling new stuff and it just sits there, but if you buy an antique; something especially old..."

Carrington said she'll traverse southward as far as Georgetown to find a bargain.

Wilhelm said he used to be like many of his clients and went from flea market to flea market to try and sell items, but running a mall-style set up and renting out booths to sellers takes more of his time.

"My mom did it for years so I just was around it most of my life," he said. "To me it's the hunt; trying to find something. A lot of our merchandise we get from garage sales, estate sales, auctions. So it's finding that treasure for a cheap price and cleaning it up in most case you have to clean it up and turn around and sell it for, you hope, a profit."

The hobby, and job for some, is very competitive at times, Wilhelm said.

"Especially garage sales," he said. "Sometimes I've seen people fight for something at a garage sale. It gets pretty aggressive sometimes."

Wilhelm is one of few in the immediate Killeen area offering antiques; however, other stores are out there for people in Belton, Florence and Salado.

Contact Anthony Scott at ascott@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcity.

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