Modern Thrifter

Mar 26, 2013

Ann Tancio


If you grew up in the 70s or 80s, chances are you had a bean bag chair somewhere in your house. Mine was a yellow vinyl one—the kind that stuck to your skin in the summer and left your hair standing on end with static in the winter. As an adult, bean bags have seemed nothing more than dorm furniture to me, that is, until I discovered the Fatboy bean bag a few years ago at a friend’s house.

These bean bags are huge, modern, and so comfortable it’s a feat to stay awake while lounging in one. They also come with a hefty price tag, ranging from $175-$250. We’ve been keeping an eye out for used ones on Craigslist, but they are few and far between. When they do show up, they sell fast, so we’ve never had any success. Then, last week, I found an ad for someone selling Fatboy and Sumo bags (the bean bags are almost identical) at a great price. There was a catch: he would only sell the bags as a lotnineteen bean bags and six bean bag stools.

Odds were that we would be able to re-sell the bags that we didn’t want to keep and make some—if not all—of our money back, but not wanting to front the entire amount, we found a friend who was willing to go 50/50 with us.

We carpooled in her minivan, naively thinking we could fit most of them in the back once the seats were folded down. After much squishing and shoving, we managed to cram in six.

Several loads later, 16 of the 19 bags were piled in my family room. Imagine the reaction of my kids when they came home from school to such a sight. Hours and hours were spent climbing, tunneling, and jumping on the biggest pile of bean bags I’ve ever seen. When stacked in one mound, the kids had to duck their heads to avoid hitting the ceiling.

The next day we divided the bean bags, gave them a good scrubbing, and sorted out which ones we intended to keep. I had planned to list them via twitter and Facebook, and eventually on Craigslist, but before I had the chance to even upload descriptions and photos, they were spoken all for. I love that my Instagram feed has been filled with the happy faces of my friends’ kids as they enjoy their new bean bags. I’m certain now, I could’ve sold a hundred of these, and I wish I had at least a few more to go around.

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