My Aunts and Grandmother taught me how to thrift when I was about 10 years old. I was hooked. It was like a sport. Finding that special piece, or getting that fab vintage sundress for a buck. Is there any greater feeling?
Now that I am older, I still love doing it. I get my butt up at 8 30 and I hit every yard sale and second hand shop in town. I have actually gotten really good at it, to tell you the truth. I post a lot of what I find on my instagram and facebook and I have had a lot of people ask me how I do it. Well, I will give you my five tips that I use to help me get the best result for my days of thrifting.
1: If you are going thrifting, do not look like you have stepped out of the pages of glamour. If the person selling that gorgeous antique steamer chest sees that you are packing around an expensive purse and wearing top dollar clothing, chances are they are going to start the price out high because they will think you will pay it. You can’t barter with somebody when you start out like that. They just won’t do it. All they will do is think you are cheap, sorry. Wear jeans and a tee shirt with sneakers or flip flops. Be normal. You don’t need to be all done up for anywhere where you will have to use antibacterial gel after you come out. Dust, people!
2: The early bird get the worm. Seriously. This is so important. Look in the paper or on the internet to see when places open, or when people are having a sale, whatever. First come first serve. Nothing is more of a downer than going somewhere that has been picked over.
3: In places like Goodwill, The Mission, or local second hand stores or peddlers mall, be friendly and have a good relationship with the people who work there or own the place. A lot of times if they get something they think you will be interested in, they will put it back or let you know when they have it so you can come see. They may also let you know when they are putting out new stuff and that is major.
4: Rely on facebook. I know this sounds funny, but a lot of peddlers will post items online when they get them. This, (I think) does take some of the fun out of it, but if you see something you HAVE to have, then you can message them and have them hold it for you. I found Kyle a beautiful Orvis leather briefcase at PJ’s Attic that I HAD to have. I called her and she kept it for me until I could round my kids up to go pick it up. I paid 50 dollars for it, I looked it up online on the Orvis website…..brand new they are almost 700 bucks. Yep.
5: Take the time to scour the place you are going. Make a day of it. A lot of these places are slapped full of goodies. If you are in a rush, you may miss something amazing. When I go with my Mom, Aunts and Grandma, I get a sitter, tell my husband he will see me when he sees me and we go all out. Pack snacks, pop, take a cooler and enjoy your company. We have the best time. Sometimes we find awesome stuff, sometimes we don’t find a thing. But it is always an adventure, and to me that is what it’s all about.
I love getting vintage books for Greyson and River. I never pay over 25 cents for a book. I found these little golden books for a dime a piece. Greyson loves them, and they are also a cool way to decorate a nursery or kids room, they look beautiful in a bookshelf!
Glassware is also a favorite of mine. I love depression glass, carnival glass, McCoy, Hull, Roseville, Milk Glass and I have an extensive collection of Blue Willow China. The problem with glassware is that either the person (A.) Knows what the have is worth money and they price it pretty expensive or (B.) They just want to get rid of it. You can find a lot of good deals on glassware at Estate Sales, places like Goodwill or the Mission, because a lot of times they don’t know what they have. Beware of antique shops if you are looking for a deal on things like this. I recently went to a shop where they had my Carnival Glass punch bowl for sale for 300 dollars. Nobody wants to pay that. Come on.
When I go thrifting for clothing, I always look for durable, classic pieces that will work well with everything else in my wardrobe. Last year, at Goodwill, I found a vintage (1950)ish London Fog all weather trench coat for 5 bucks. It is identical to the one pictured above. I absolutely love it. I had it dry cleaned and I wear it all the time. It was in perfect condition and was a complete steal, it is one of my favorite things that I have ever found.
I like to look for unique dresses too. Especially in the summer. I love sun dresses, I can just throw them on and go. It is hard, (especially around here) to find something that not everyone else has. I have a collection of vintage sun dresses that I have picked up here and there that I get complements on all the time. I always have mine dry cleaned and pressed, it does make a difference. Sometimes those things have been in attics or not washed in years.
Happy Thrifting, everyone! I hope ya’ll find lots of treasures and pay almost nothing for them!!