Bargain John's About Us

About Us

History of Bargain John’s Antiques

The story of Bargain John’s Antiques is a good one. It all began in 1968 when John and Annette Ostrom started buying and selling antiques out of the family’s home. His business was known as the Poor-Man’s Friend Antiques and Second Hand Store. And the motto was, “We buy, sell, and trade for anything that does not eat!” (understandable for a man with three kids and three ponies). Five years later the couples passion for antiques turned into a booming business. So on November 15, 1972 the two purchased land on the corner of Van Buren & Walnut Street, in Lexington, Nebraska and built a 5,000 square foot building. John and Annette operated in this building for about a year and then purchased the additional property located at 700 South Washington, where the main offices and showrooms are still located today!


Over the years, John’s knowledge and exposure to the antique market grew. As a result, John’s motto changed and his mission statement behind his business became what it is today emphasizing the importance of “quality antiques.” John learned first hand , “if you buy the higher quality, it will be the better investment.” John has developed an eye for quality and in particular has an eye for great Victorian and turn of the Century Furniture. His love for Victorian Art glass, Art Pottery, Mission furniture and early toys started to be emphasized later in the shop’s inventory. In the 1980’s Lars Ostrom, John’s son, joined the family business. John recalled recognizing his son’s interest at a young age, “as a child Lars would save his allowance to buy items he planned to resell.” Lars’ passion for the antique business only began to heighten and now he is the head of operations. Lars, along with his wife Joni Ostrom continue to carry the legacy of delivering quality antiques to all of their customers.

Our Commitment to deliver Quality Antiques

One of the top priorities to us here at Bargain John’s is to compile correctly with each item all the history and information that we can about that items maker, and the time period that it represents and special attention is always given and documented whenever we can share with you history that is unique to each particular item. From signed, artist paintings, and learning the life history of these artists, to furniture that was made and originally used in the Capital of the United States of America, the history that each piece represents is a very important factor in antique collecting, and this important factor of correctly documenting whenever possible the history of an item is a top priority in our nationwide search of outstanding pieces that Bargain John’s offers it’s clients. History and correct documentation is such a valuable part of the true passion of antique collecting.


 At 80 years young John continues to be the shop’s main antique buyer traveling all throughout the United States. On average John travels over 5,000 miles a month buying and delivering antiques!