Shopper Scores $770 Lapalma Stools at Thrift Store for $50 Each


Oct. 11 2023, Published 3:14 p.m. ET

Shopping at thrift stores is a fantastic way to live a more sustainable lifestyle, reusing items that others no longer want or need. One of the perks of secondhand shopping is the chance to buy something that's like new but for a fraction of the price, and that's just what one thrift shopper did.

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The shopper, who went into a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in late winter of 2023, found an extremely valuable furniture set. The amazing find included four barstools by a well-known Italian designer for a total of just $200. Here are the details of how they found Lapalma LEM stools at a thrift store for a great price.

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A thrift shopper found four Lapalma LEM stools at a thrift store.

In a post on the Reddit thread r/ThriftStoreHauls in 2023, the original poster said that despite not being a "big thrifter," they were looking for bar stools at an area Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The OP explained the fortuitous find: "As I was walking in, these four stools were being unloaded from a truck. I inquired about pricing and they threw out a number ($65/ea or $200 for the set)."

The OP included several photos of the stools themselves as well as a close-up image of the serial number and the imprint reading "Made In Italy." The barstools happened to be Lapalma LEM barstools, which have a design inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing, hence the phrase LEM in the brand name (Lunar Excursion Model).

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The thrifty shopper said that these barstools weren't quite the style they'd been hoping to find. However, a quick Google search revealed the original retail prices of these types of stools, and the OP was quick to snatch them up. "They are in incredible condition overall," the OP explained.

Barstools like the Lapalma LEM stools the OP found do sell for multiple hundreds of dollars. For example, Modern Loft lists a LEM height adjustable stool for $783 as of October 2023, and others cost even more. It seems likely the OP could easily make money by reselling the stools if they so desired.

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However, the OP plans to sell the stools.

Based on the content of the original Reddit post, it seems the lucky shopper may end up selling the Lapalma LEM barstools. Since the stools weren't the style they had originally wanted to buy, they reasoned that reselling them could actually bring in a profit. The OP shared a screenshot of a number of LEM bar stools and their retail prices, ranging from $394 to over $1,000 depending on style.

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The OP was very happy with the find, saying that the chairs were heavy, stable, and comfortable for a brief period of time, though they might need cushions if they ended up keeping them.

One commenter said, "I purchased two of these, also...(small world). They're great and I would do a different table and go with the contemporary aesthetic throughout (sorry, did this for a living and can't help myself, sometimes)."

However, the OP responded, "Honestly, I'll likely end up selling these. As much as I appreciate contemporary designs in other people's homes — I find myself attracted to a warmer, more eclectic ambiance in my own space."

While not all thrift store visits end in such triumph, it's still a great reminder that you never know what you might find when you go secondhand shopping!

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