Michael Finney has a new book: Finney's Finds


Finney is trying to get you some great deals and make sure you have fun doing it. In the book he has more than 200 listings of some of the unique stores in the Bay Area. The new book is called Finney's Finds. It is a Bay Area shopping guide.

On page 159 you'll discover The International Spy Shop. The owner, Jason Woodside, can sell you a camera hidden inside a pen. When asked who typically shops at his store, Woodside replied, "People with special needs, like let's say your boss is harassing you at work and you want to catch him saying something. Those are the type of customers and of course you have the people who love gadgets."

If you turn to page 82, you'll find Fredericksen Hardware and Paint in San Francisco. Your grandparents shopped in a hardware store like this. Sam Black from the store said, "We are a general store for the neighborhood. We don't try to be anything more or less."

If you own an older home anywhere, consider shopping there.

Now onto Berkeley and recycler Urban Ore.

"The philosophy of this place is to save the earth, one object at a time," said Mary Lou Van Deventer from Urban Ore.

Used doors and windows are the biggest sellers, but if you need a throne, they have a couple.

"We get things in a chaotic way and then our job is to clean them up, put a price tag on them, and organize them. And that's what transforms trash into Treasure," said Van Deventer.

Now onto page 16 and the Tart Outlet in Concord. It is a Bay Area-based clothing company.

"The prices are crazy low. They are usually 50 to 80 percent off of retail," said Grace Barrett from Tart Outlet.

Tart is known for having something for everyone.

"We don't ship. So people always try to ask if we will ship to them, from Texas, I've had calls from New Jersey or New York and I just have to say no, you can only come if you come to Concord California," said Barrett.

Back to Finney's Finds and page 54: Hotel Furniture Liquidators. And that's exactly what owner Nick Ilich does.

"We probably go through a good 15 to 20 [hotels] a year. They constantly remodel," said Ilich.

There's hotel art work, a bellman's cart and mattresses -- all at amazing prices.

A & E Watches is located at the Gift Center & Jewelry Mart, which is currently under construction, but open and selling new and used Rolexes and other high end watches.

"Since we sell only watches we have the expertise and know how to take care of the watches too," said Avi Dayan, from A & E Watches.

Rolexes aren't cheap anywhere, but there they are cheaper than most anywhere else.

Customer Larry Peterson bought his watch there three years ago. He said, "Now the same watch is about $3,000 more than what I paid for it."

Steam Punk Garage is a jeweler on the other end of the financial scale. One seller described it as "a Victorian style, mixed with sci-fi gadgetry." Often found at the Justin Herman Plaza, it also can be found set up at the Rincon Center. They say, "We put a more industrial bent on everything by using a lot of upcycled and recycled things."

The book is widely available at local book stores and online as well. It retails for $14.95. It comes from a lifetime of living in the Bay Area. Research for this book started with 600 stores and was narrowed down to the 235 that you see in Finney's Finds.

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