I am fascinated with the idea of "dusty hunting". I think it harkens back to my younger years where I scoured all of East Tennessee trying to find HTF Beanie Babies. Damn Beanie Babies. All those hundreds of dollars and now you are my twins' toys. Grrr. Anyway, like I was saying, I love the concept, but I have no good independent beauty suppliers around here, and all the salons nearby, either don't sell their polishes, or they don't speak English. Now, I have no problem with people earning a living, but when I can't understand you, I just smile and nod and that's not conducive to finding rare polishes.
So, I've started a little side hobby that I refer to as "online dustying". Mainly, I do it on eBay, but you can also find some HTFs at TD or VNS. I think my most prized eBay find was Vampire State Building. Most sellers have it for $25+, but I managed to snag it for $9+ (very reasonable) shipping. I've also found OPI Rose to the Ovation, OPI Berry Good Dancers, OPI Music Hall Curtain Call, OPI You Make Me Vroom, OPI Mat-adore Red, and Essie Mint Chintz on eBay for great prices.
Most recently, I found several old formula/bottle/size Orlys for crazy cheap (around $3 each shipped). I got Total Darkness, Earth Red, Plum Pudding, and Tourmaline. What I actually received were the first 3 plus "1960". Since Tourmaline was $2.99, I reordered it hoping it was just a mistake. I figured I'd keep 1960 because it was so cheap. Alas, no dice. I received an email tonight from the seller, LBBS Outlet (Lee Beauty and Barber Supply), stating Tourmaline was OOS. They did offer me a replacement item, which could be as much as $5 over my purchase price. Or they offered to refund my money (on the 2nd Tourmaline... no mention of the first one). I requested OPI Boris & Natasha and we'll see what happens. I'm not really upset about the 2nd one being OOS. Afterall, they are trying to make it right. What is bugging the shit out of me is the fact that rather than tell me the first Tourmaline I purchased was OOS, they sent me another polish. It's pretty enough, but NOT what I ordered. I suppose if it was more than 3 bucks, I'd feel like raising a stink. As it is, I'm just going to leave them neutral feedback on the first Tourmaline unless they address my concerns, which I stated in my email response.
This kind of bums me out because I was all set to rave about the old skool Orlys being offered by LBBS. However, I now have to tell you to proceed with caution if you are interested. They did have a few rare ones, though I consider all old Orlys rare. Plum Pudding being one I can think of off the top of my head and Crocodile Rock being the other. I didn't purchase CR, as I knew it'd look like ass on me, but if you are interested, I now suggest you contact the seller before purchasing. Also, I had plans on getting a few more of these Orlys, but now I'm wary. But not wary enough to stop online dustying. UPDATE: I never received any response from LBBS, just a refund for my 2nd Tourmaline. They never responded to my email. I'm not saying not to buy from them, just know that they sell OOS items.
This is just part of the risk associated with this little game I play. I'm willing to accept it because it's part of the hunt for me, but it's a little bit of a letdown if you have your heart set on something, like I did on Tourmaline. I remember it from back in the day, and it was so awesome.
On an up note, the other 3 colors I got are amazing, especially Plum Pudding. It kind of looks like a purple Starry Starry Night. I plan on doing my next mani in this. It may require a little bit of tweaking as it's an old ass bottle, but I think it will be great in the end. Oh how I've missed you, old Orly bottles.
And... before I get too off-track, I want to give a quick mention to TD and VNS for their HTFs. TD lists them all online with their regular stock. I've gotten several from them, but nothing super rare. I think my rarest was OPI Red Like Roses. As for VNS, they have Emerald Sparkle in the ChG section, but many of the d/c'd Essies and OPIs will have to be ordered over phone or email (they'll send you an invoice). You can't order these brands online anyway if you are a non-pro. When you order from them, they'll send you a d/c'd list with your. Prices for Essie are $5 and OPIs are $6.95. Not a bargain by any means, but they have a few like the Sugarplum Yum and Nutcracker Sweet sets, that are going for $35 on ebay, for less than $15 for the set. They also, at the moment, have a VHTF Essie for $5. I'm waiting to purchase it until some of the ChG glitters are in because shipping would still be $9, so I'm hoping they still have it. No, it's not SSN, but close. whispers Viva La Vespa. Please don't buy the last one.
Well, that's it for now, I suppose. I'll have pics of my current KOTD and my old Orly mini haul tomorrow.