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Tiki Central Forums » » Collecting Tiki » » What's the LEAST you've paid for a mug?
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What's the LEAST you've paid for a mug?
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 488
From: The fly-over states
Posted: 2005-05-26 7:58 pm   Permalink

OK, this may have already been brought up before, but I couldn't find it– and I searched.

I sometimes get tired of seeing and hearing so much talk about the crazy money being spent on mugs and stuff. Sometimes I find myself doing it too. But the question that interests me much more is what's the LEAST you have paid for a mug? Forget about whipping out your checkbook or punching in that Paypal info. Anybody with some scratch can type in a high number and throw down a big bid. For me, the real score is the mug you find at dawn covered in dew on a table at a flea market in an old drive-in, or heaped in a pile of "I heart Grandpa" coffee mugs at a garage sale.

I'm sure there are plenty of good stories to share, so break 'em out. Let's hear how you got your Tiki on the cheap. Here is your opportunity to really brag!

I'll get the ball rolling... we've have a few good scores, but a couple really stand out in my mind. One is the time Amy and I were at a garage sale and it was one of those where I take a look and immediately regret shutting off the car engine and getting out. Lot's of kid's clothes, old pans with the non-stick surface peeling, unopened boxes of Mary Kay cosmetics... you know. Well, I was ready to bolt when Amy said "wait" and reached into a cardboard box full of tupperware and pulled out something wrapped in a plastic grocery bag. She opened the bag and fished out the matte brown mug with "voodoo" written on his forehead (it's on page 29 of T.Q.). No lie. She asked the price and they said 10 cents. I still don't know what came over her, or why she would think to have given anything in that old box a second glance. Ever since then, when we are at a really good "junky" antique shop, we ask each other, "Smell any Tiki?"

A couple years later, Amy was riding shotgun while I was doing a job for an art gallery. I stopped at the house where I was to pick up a painting and Amy jumped out of the van and ran over to a yard sale across the street. By the time I was loaded up, she was back at the van grinning from ear to ear. She had scooped up two of the JPCo Bumatay mugs (page 9 in T.Q.) that were marked one dollar for the pair. She had pointed out a chip on one, and they gave them both to her for 50 cents.

So let's hear about your least expensive acquisition or best score in the wild when the Tiki gods smiled upon you.


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Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 0
Posted: 2005-05-26 8:45 pm   Permalink

Well, I'm sort of embarassed to mention this.

But once I was driving past a yard sale, and saw an in-the-box Suffering Bastard decantor with the mugs. The guy gave me $150 to take them off his hands!

Am I the man or what?

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 17, 2004
Posts: 483
Posted: 2005-05-26 8:46 pm   Permalink

Hey, can I borrow Amy? What great tiki sense! ha ha.
When I first starting picking up tiki mugs I could get them for between 50 cents to a dollar at garage and Estate sales. Then one day, about 4 or 5 years ago I discovered a thrift store in Aurora that used to have the greatest prices on stuff.
Prices were crazy cheap--I worked about 15 mins. down the road from the place so I would spend my lunch hour there everyday. It was the highlight of the office staffs day when I would return with my lastest treasures. Then one day the prices went way too high, they let go all the nice staff, and now it's very hard to find a bargin, or a tiki mug.
It was fun while it lasted.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1528
From: MD
Posted: 2005-05-26 9:20 pm   Permalink

I've yet to find a mug at a yard/garage sale but I have scored at local thrift stores... a few Orchids mugs for $.50 and 2 Luau Hut hula mugs for $2.00. But what stands out most are my 2 greatest discoveries in the wild...

My wife and I went to a gigantic antique flea market in Shupp's Grove Pennsylvania. I caught a glimpse from a distance - my wife instantaneously thought it was hideous and I was doing my best to keep from jumping for joy. The guy selling the Witco had it displayed upside down and my wife came around when it was set upright and the tiki image became visible to her. He had it priced at $10 but I talked him down to $8.00. I was actually shaking when I reached for my wallet and after I paid I nearly broke into a celebratory dance!

My other great find was this baby...

The Treasure Craft Moai not the homemade mug... I had just given up my daily search at the Goodwill and I was inches away from the exit when something told me to go back!
I scanned the glass/mug shelves, the wooden/basket shelves, etc. and was about to hang it up for the day when I sighted it on an end-cap of one of the aisles, hidden behind a bunch of owls. At first I thought I was seeing things but when I held it in my hands I could only exclaim rather loudly, "holy shit!" to the disgust of the old women standing directly beside me. The price was $4.00!


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Sabu The Coconut Boy
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 2804
From: Carson, California
Posted: 2005-05-26 10:09 pm   Permalink

I've seen Doctor Z pick up an old Mr. Bali Hai with lid for 25 cents. And I've picked up a Kenner Blythe doll for less than that. Now when we see a quarter lying on the street one of us will invariably say, "Better pick that up. That's a Mr. Bali Hai there" or "That's a Blythe Doll there."



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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 09, 2003
Posts: 3293
From: Victoria, BC
Posted: 2005-05-26 10:27 pm   Permalink

49 cents for my first tiki mug, an Al Harrington Daga tiki. And that's Canadian, so about 25 cents US.

The daga warrior I bought yesterday was $1.00, which seems to be about my lowest average.

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Unkle John
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 22, 2003
Posts: 1217
From: Middle-of-the-Ocean, TX
Posted: 2005-05-26 10:28 pm   Permalink

Two years ago, wahine and I had just got married. We had planned a big trip down to the TX coast for tiki searching and beachcombing. Well we had to change our plans when a hurricane changed directions and headed right to Galveston. So we went out to the Lubbock area to visit family who couldn't attend the wedding and hit up Roswell. We stopped off at this little dirt flea market, just to see what they had. I stepped into this building that used to be a gas station and looked right at a Mr. Bali Hai (with the lid) in MINT condition! $1.00.

When I was in high school, my buddies and I would go to this small town movie thater down the road from our houses. just down the side walk was this really cool Chinese restraunt with a cool round door and no windows. As you walked down the short hall the first thing you saw was this makeshift tiki bar. Well a year ago or so my wahine and I decided to go eat there (after remembering that they had a bar). We went in and to my surprise, the bar was gone. The shelf remained, bet the bar was dry. After eating our dinner I asked the lady at the counter what happened. She told me that Applebee's sucked them dry of bar patrons and they shut the bar down and gave away all the mugs. Sad, I turned to leave after paying and she said "Wait, you can have this." And she produced the last mug that was behind the counter. For free.

This last one is pretty good too. During my lunch break I used to frequent "Soul's Harbor", this huge junk store. Junk store meaning they pile everything in these bins and you dig. Well I was looking around and I spotted this Al Harrington mug. Thrilled because it was the first mug I had found with a tiki on it at this store and even better, Harringon is last name. 5 cents.

The same store also spawned these two finds in one day: $1.00 for both finds.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 23, 2003
Posts: 666
Posted: 2005-05-27 05:50 am   Permalink

Last summer my Mom stopped at a yard sale around the corner from her house. She was about to leave after noticing the first table was covered in various ceramic pigs, all marked in the $8-$12 range when she spied a box under the table marked 25 cents each. Right on top was the tall, slender OMC Moai mug with painted eyes, perfect shape. When she went to pay, the woman said "Oh, that thing! I had 2 but the other fell out of the box and smashed on the way from the garage."

[ This Message was edited by: badmojo on 2005-05-27 06:11 ]

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La Tiki-ette
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Mar 24, 2005
Posts: 21
From: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posted: 2005-05-27 11:30 am   Permalink

Just got this at the goodwill yesterday for 2.99
It is from a place that was here in Phoenix but closed in the 70's.
I was very excited to find this.

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Tiki Matt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 06, 2004
Posts: 927
From: North O.C.
Posted: 2005-05-27 1:03 pm   Permalink

Great thread!

These days are long gone (almost), but...

Set of 6 for $10

Set of 6 for $5 (one had a chip)



There are many more, but those are some of the highlights.
Tiki Mugs, Vintage, Tiki Bars, Carved Tiki Poles, Apparel and more!
Everything Tiki at:

[ This Message was edited by: Tiki Matt on 2005-05-27 13:09 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Sep 01, 2002
Posts: 1676
From: next stop Hulaville!
Posted: 2005-05-27 1:11 pm   Permalink

23 cents fo my trader dick surfer girl mug...

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Jul 30, 2004
Posts: 25
From: wi
Posted: 2005-05-27 1:42 pm   Permalink

I gave up a whole 10 cents for my Hawaiian Village Tampa tiki bob at a local rummage sale. Another good score was 2.00 for a vintage Mai Kai decanter at goodwill. This is a cool topic keep it going.

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Feelin' Zombified
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 15, 2003
Posts: 1338
From: The Exotic Shores of Lake St. Clair
Posted: 2005-05-27 2:04 pm   Permalink

Yesterday I paid 40 cents for a Westwood(?) mug similar to the yellow-faced one on page 64 of TQ. I'll post a picture if someone ever remembers to bring home their camera from work.

25 cents for Disney Polynesian Village goblets...

but my best money to value/thrill ratio has to be the Mauna Loa Barrel for $2.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 03, 2002
Posts: 1500
From: Huntington Beach, California
Posted: 2005-05-27 2:29 pm   Permalink


Just like my ol' favorite western says, "I'm roundin' up the troops and comin' at ya hard & fast..."

[ This Message was edited by: SugarCaddyDaddy 2005-11-29 00:27 ]

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Tiki Matt
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 06, 2004
Posts: 927
From: North O.C.
Posted: 2005-05-27 3:04 pm   Permalink


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