If you are all about finding the most valuable and precious (even if just to you) vintage items in your area, than this post is sure to give you some good information. In order to find the really special vintage items, you will have to up your game so that you are out-thrifting the other people in your area. I don’t mean to sound overly competitive in a crazy way, I just mean to give you a heads-up about the reality of the situation. It’s a good reality, don’t worry! We’re not getting all Black-Friday-fight-club in here. Just take note of these four methods and try them for yourself!
Since everyone and their preschooler are on facebook, it makes sense that one of the best ways to find vintage items in your area is through this online social media platform. Many towns or counties have private groups in which locals can buy, sell, and trade items. It is like a 24/7 digital auction, where you compete with your neighbors to be the first to private message the auctioneer.
Convention says (at least in my area) that the first person to message with interest gets a fair shot at setting up an in person trade. If the first person in line flakes out on the trade, then the seller will move on to the next person who messaged, in chronological order. With groups like these, you need to act quickly! When a picture of great vintage heels shows up on your feed, trust your instinct! If your heart says “yes” then send a message right away. If you don’t, someone else will!
2. Figure Out What You’re Working With
Spend a day or two scoping out all of the thrift shops in your area. Do a google search and figure out where each one is. If there are more than five, split this mission up into a few days. Get a group of friends together, and make a day out of it. The best way to thrift shop is with friends who can give you a second opinion on outfits, laugh when you try on huge glasses, and spot the shoes on the top shelf that you were too short to see. Once you’ve gathered your posse, start figuring out what you are working with. Some second-hand stores carry mostly furniture, some are heavier on clothing. Most have a mix of a bit of everything.
3. Visit Your Favorite Stores Often
Once you’ve figured out what you’re working with, choose one or two that are your favorites. These are your gold mines. That’s just an expression, but you literally might start finding money if you check in the right places! Visit them often. You will start to get a feel for what they have on hand, and can begin to spot the new items. Many thrift stores put their most prized items on display of some kind. Don’t be afraid to ask the shop keepers to help you try these display items on. They will be happy to help!
4. Check Classifieds for Local Tag Sales
The newspaper is a great place to check for local tag sales and estate sales. Show up early and be ready to negotiate! Tag sailing is one of the most exciting ways to pick up valuable vintage items.
If you are serious about finding the best vintage items in your area, then this “work” will be totally worth it. Its fun to be the first at a tag sale, or to get to know the shop owners of your local favorite stores so well that you can pop in once in a while and ask if anything new has arrived. You might be surprised at how many great deals you land! Join your local facebook groups and trust your amazing instincts when it comes to messaging someone about an item. Are you a pro thrifter? What methods have worked for you? Let me know in the comments below!