A Rummager's Guide to Shopping Vintage - Take a Second Look!
Thrift stores can be overwhelming and your attention will be drawn to many things at once. Competing colours and textures and an outrageous number of items thrown together, with no particular organization. This means that during our first look, we'll take in a very general view, giving little attention to detail or to hidden items and may easily over look something wonderful.
Many of my great finds were discovered during this second returning visit to the same section of the store. So, what can you do next time you're in a disorganized shop trying to find that special piece?
I have developed a bit of a routine for myself when shopping the vintage stores, so here are my best tips for you!
Where to look? The obvious spots to look for decorative finds are pottery and glassware, but don’t forget to check out houseware, fabric, and wall art. Often mixed in with old vacuums and electronics, you can often find vintage clocks or phones, along with tattered towels and sheets sets you might find a hand embroidered table cloth or with the pictures and frames could be a masterpiece.
Get your hands dirty – Don’t be afraid to get down and move items out of the way, and dust things off. Items like trays and plates tend to be piled on top of each other making viewing impossible without taking some action.
Flip it around - It sounds silly, but I end up looking at the bottom of everything I find. This is your first step to finding out if it's of serious value, or not. But I must say, even some things that are not "valuable" still make amazing additions to your home.
Use your "Googler" - My 95-year-old mom said it best - use your Googler! Be sure to have your phone charged and ready to go, if unsure about the history or value of an item a quick Google search can give you some quick insight.
Final inspection – Before heading to the cash with your new finds, do a final inspection of your items to be sure that you are aware of any faults or damage. You may fall in love a great centrepiece with a minor chip and chose to go ahead and purchase it, but it is so much nicer to discover this while at the store and you may also be able to negotiate a better price because of it.
Most important tip of all is to enjoy the experience and the process of discovery, you will always remember where you found your treasure, and can relive the excitement of the find as you share the story with friends. Happy treasure hunting!