I love thrift shopping and today I want to share with you some of my best thrifting tips! I’m using the word thrifting to include shopping at yard sales, thrift shops, estate sales, flea markets and even antique shops. After years of having this activity occupy my time as a business, a hobby and a way to furnish my entire house I have learned a few things, things that I would love to share with you! Rather than listing some of the more obvious tips such as getting to sales early and hunting often, I have compiled a list of things that I have gleaned through my own experience and observations. These are the tried and true methods that have worked for me. Of course nothing is fail-proof and luck plays a large part in finding the goods.
Search as if someone hid a treasure and dared
you to find it.
A lovely heart shaped chair might be concealed behind a big sloppy piece of upholstery tacked on loosely, when closer inspection reveals its true shape.
Don’t overlook piles of new when looking for vintage.
Hidden treasure can be found in unlikely places. Never assume a collection of items on a table that looks like all new doesn’t have a vintage piece mixed in. Sometimes it pays to take a closer look.
Keep an open mind and try to see potential.
A dirty, grimy trophy vase bought for a dollar can be shined up to become the perfect vessel for a bouquet of pink peonies.
THE NEXT FEW TIPS APPLY SPECIFICALLY TO ESTATE SALES:
Scan each room with your eyes before looking intently at smaller sections of space.
Time is of the essence! This will enable you to zero in on specific areas of interest before methodically walking through.
Don’t get caught up in the frenzy. Take a deep breath!
I’ve seen frantic people with similar interests as me pass right on by items that I was able to pick up by remaining more calm and clear headed.
Leave no stone unturned.
Look under tables at items on the floor. I once found two gorgeous architectural pieces dated 1905 under a table on day three of an estate sale for $5 a piece.
Yes, it’s true. When I saw the pair of heart shaped French chairs at a flea market, they were completely camoflauged by pieces of needlepoint canvas that someone had tacked on. They appeared to have square backs and seats but when I peeled back the canvas just a little I could see the heart shaped seat and back. I wonder how many people walked right by them before I got there! I found the architectural pieces when I walked into a very picked-over estate sale. I looked under one of the tables and saw them. I was sure they must’ve been put there on hold for someone. So I asked about them and was told that they weren’t sold. My lucky day!
Have you developed your own strategy for scoring great finds? I would love to hear about them (if you want to reveal your secrets). And for more tips, check out this article that I was invited to contribute to.