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September 12, 2013

Vintage Find – Retro Asian Pagoda Swag Light

By Sara In AZ

OK, I admit it……I DO have a weakness for wacky old lights and lamps!

We were recently at a half antique/half junk shop when I spotted this old light on top of a heaping pile of teetering miscellaneous stuff.


I walked over to it because I thought it looked pretty cool and wondered what the asking price was. “$75” was on the tag and my jaw kinda dropped right to the floor. I mean it was cool…..but $75 cool…..naaaaahhhhh.

I was curious if it had any kind of manufacturing marks or stickers, even though I had decided not to buy it, so I went to pick the light up and turn it over and what do I see on the bottom you ask……no, not a manufacturing label……..not ‘Union Made’ label……..I see a pink $5 garage sale tag. Mmmmmmmmm -Hmmmmmmmmmm, riiiiiiiggggghhhhht. I was peeved to say the least.

Now I knew how much they had paid for the light and that irritated me even more than the $75 price tag. Armed with this new knowledge, and the fact that we knew the light had been there for a while, we felt compelled to make an offer. We told them that we had seen the $5 tag on the bottom and would they take $30 for it…..they said $40 and we finally settled on a price of $35.

The dealers were very kind about everything and we could tell they felt badly about forgetting to pull that garage sale tag off. I guess it all worked out in the end!


The light has intricate Asian scenes embossed in the bands around the top.


Here is a close up of one of the bands.


A picture from the bottom, I will definitely be using a lower wattage bulb when we use this light!


I think this is a pretty cool and unique swag light!


We don’t have it hanging yet, but once we find our dream house I definitely want to use this light!

So, has this ever happened to anyone else……have you ever found another, cheaper,  sales tag on an item you were interested in buying? How did it work out for you?

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20 Responses to Vintage Find – Retro Asian Pagoda Swag Light

  1. SusieQT Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 7:12 am

    That is an awesome lamp. I wouldv’e snapped that up too, and might have even paid close to the asking price. Good thing you didn’t though!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      Thank you so much SusieQT! Yeah, I am REALLY glad I saw that other tag and scored a deal on the light!

  2. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Wow! That light is beautiful! And way to go on calling them out on the tag. I’ve only seen yard sale tags for cheap at thrift stores. And yep, the items are always priced higher the second go-around.

    • Desirae Day Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Same here. I bought something for $4.99 at the goodwill. Someone had written $3 on the box, probably from a garage sale. I still paid the $4.99, though.

      • Sara In AZ Reply

        September 12, 2013 at 4:27 pm

        Ha! I would have done….and have done….. the same thing Desirae!

        • Desirae Reply

          September 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

          I couldn’t actually pass it up. It was a plastic 70s knitting machine still with the original box. 🙂

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks Eartha! Now that you mention it I have seen garage sale tags on items at the thrifts from time to time….and yeah – they are always priced higher aren’t they!

  3. Carrie Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Wow, that lamp is amazing. Would look cool hanging in an enclosed sunporch. Great find!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Hey! That’s kinda what I was thinking too Carrie! Maybe someday if I ever get lucky enough to find a house…………….

  4. Andrea Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Oooh, that’s a fantastic lamp! I bought a puma statue at an antique show once for $1. I think it still had the original garage sale tag on it, and they forgot to retag it, as the vendors looked very surprised by the $1 price when I went to buy it!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thanks Andrea! Oh my gosh, that is SO funny….well at least they let you buy it for a $1…..that would have been really sad if they all the sudden tried to change the price on you. eeps!

    • Desirae Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      That is awesome. I wish things like that could happen more often.

  5. Silvercat Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I have a cool mid-century mirror I found in a junk shop. I think I payed $30 for it? When we got it off the wall, I found someone had spraypainted FREE on the back.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Ha! That is so wild Silvercat….free?! $30 is still a great price for a mirror…esp. a mid century one…..but wow to think that someone gave that away for free.

  6. Amy Reply

    September 12, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    ooh that is very cool – love it

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you so much Amy, I appreciate it!

  7. MissC Reply

    September 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I am so VERY jealous! I’ve been looking for one of those forever!
    You are so very lucky!
    If you weren’t in another state, I’d go shopping with you with you in a minute…
    Alas, I’m in Georgia.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      Oh my gosh, really MissC? I had no idea they even existed until I came across this pagoda light. I will keep my fingers crossed for you that you come across one very soon….and if you are ever in AZ look me up for that shopping trip!

  8. AtomicVault.etsy.com Reply

    September 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I find cheaper garage sale tags on thrift store stuff all the time!! If it didn’t sell at the garage sale for $3 why do they think it would sell for $10 at Goodwill? And even if they do, can they at least pull off the old sticker? Aargg!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      September 13, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      I totally know what you mean Colleen….why on earth do they think marking it UP will help it to sell?!? And yes….a message to ALL thrift stores….PLEASE pull off the cheaper ‘garage sale’ stickers before you let items out onto the sales floor….pretty, pretty please!

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