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French vintage keyrings

Concordekeyring If you've ever been to Paris for a period of time, there's a good chance you've been browsing round the flea markets, particularly the market at Clignancourt, which is a vintage collector's dream. There's everything from expensive antique furniture to stalls selling piles of vintage clothing, with the best bargains to be had if you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

And there's the quirky collectable shops - like Les porte-cles, which specialises in French advertising keyrings of the sixties and seventies. There's hundreds to choose from - with a select few available to browse and buy online. I love this Concorde keyring, but less so by the price - 300 Euros. But don't despair, there's many others available with equally eye-catching designs, with prices starting from just 3 Euros.

You'll find the store at the Porte de Clignancourt market, which is open all day every Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Visit the store's website

Via Fwak

5 steps to grab charity shop bargains

Charityshop Ever wondered why everyone gets the best bargains in the charity shops, but you come away with a Barbara Streisand LP and an old paperback copy of Funeral In Berlin? It's because other people are a little more wise - they know their stuff and know where to look.

Follow these five rules and you'll be inundated with secondhand riches.

1. Choose your location wisely

- in the major cities, you're more likely to be in competition with more people. So why not go to some of the smaller or more rural towns? If those areas are also fairly affluent, you could be sifting through some real goldmines.

2. Choose your shop

- all the chain charity shops have expert "pickers", who sift out the most valuable finds for their specialist shops or to sell at auction. The independent charity shops and junk shops don't do this - this is where you'll find your bargains.

3. Specialise

- unless you're a professional antiques/collectables dealer, chances are you'll miss as much as you find. There's loads of reference books out there, so why not specialise? It could be books, records, pottery, clothing - anything really, But if you know the value of something obscure, you'll get the bargain.

4. Know the staff
- if you're after something in particular - for example, certain books titles, Tootal scarves, records - why not mention this to the people in your local charity shop or give them a list? They'll be glad of the shelf space and the money.

5. Get your hands dirty

  - If you see boxes of stock on the floor, under racks or waiting to go on the shelves, have a dig through them. Ok, you might get a bit of dust on your clothes, but you're also probably getting first pick. Making that extra bit of effort could be the difference between success and failure in finding a bargain.

Any more tips? Let us know below...

Maharishi's pocket guide

Maharishi For those of you who don't know, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the founder of the Transcendental Meditation Movement and was the man who brought it to the western world. His name was 'made' in the wider world when the Beach Boys and Donovan and most famously The Beatles became his "celebrity" students. The closeness didn't last - John Lennon fell out with him and wrote "Sexy Sadie" (originally entitled "Maharishi") as a parting dig at his alleged antics with the ladies.

But before it all went wrong, the teachings of the Maharishi were the height of hip and it was the ultimate statement of hippy cool to head off to India to "find yourself". And if you couldn't afford that, the pocket-sized Meditations Of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the next best thing.

This 188-page "bluffer's guide" was published in 1968 and features five chapters - Eternal Freedom, Creation, The Division Of Labour, Suffering and an extensive question and answer section. And at just $1 (not sure how much that was in the UK back then), it was in reach of all pockets.

The fascination didn't last and doubtless most of these books will have ended up in the bin by the early 70s. Which is why they're so valuable today.

The copy pictured cost me just 70p from a local charity shop recently. If you want to buy a copy of this book today, expect to pay around £70+ for one in even decent condition. Certainly a book to look out for in the secondhand bookshops.


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