I have several small cacti in temporary pots that now need transplanting to slightly larger pots and I didn't have right-sized pots around. Most cactus plants like to be in tight quarters, and it’s important to use the right containers. So, I decided to stop by a local thrift shop and see if they had any interesting cactus pots. There were some small pots, but nothing suitable for my needs. As I was about to leave, I spotted what looked like a cactus in another section of the store. I checked, and sure enough, someone had donated a good-sized Old Man of the Andes (Oreocereus celsianus) with a sign that said, ‘Careful, Live Cactus'. It had some minor sun damage in a couple of spots, but otherwise appeared to be thriving. When I inquired about it, the clerk said they were going to throw it out because it was so ugly they didn't think anyone would be interested. I told them I would take it off their hands if they wanted to sell it. They were thrilled to make a sale and said they'd let it go for a buck. Since it was half price day, my cost would be 50 cents! Needless to say I snatched up the cactus, paid with two quarters and got out of the store! The pot and saucer alone would have cost me at least $6.00 anywhere else, and a cactus of that size, at least $25.00.
The moral of this story is that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, and a bargain is anything a customer thinks a store is losing money on.