Tips & Tricks for Shopping at Vintage Shops

I am a strong believer in filling your home with unique items that reflect who your family is.  I also believe, that you shouldn't spend crazy amount of money on things that you will have a heart attack if something happens to them.  In my book, the perfect solution to both of these goals is – VINTAGE. Tween-Playhouse-Finding-Home Vintage items can be a great way to decorate your home and have it be unique.  From furniture, to artwork and accessories, adding one a kind vintage items is one of the best ways to create your home’s individual personality. I often find items at yard sales, and when time allows, I love to head to a fun auction.  But, when I am really on the hunt for some great finds – I head to my favorite vintage shops.  Shopping a vintage shop, whether you are there regularly or for the first time, can sometime require a bit of skill and artistry.  The first and most important tip I can share – talk to the owner.  Getting to know the person who runs or owns the shop is the key to navigating negotiations as well as finding what you are looking for. vintage-bottle-collection Knowledge is power as they say, so here are some tips to shopping a vintage store: Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover .  The first key to shopping vintage stores is, you have to actually go inside.  Sometimes they look amazing on the outside and sometimes they look downright scary.  The cover does not always match the story.  Some of my favorite shops seems very unimpressive from the outside.  Once you are in, start looking at how things are priced.  You should be able to gauge pretty quickly what type of pricing structure the store has and if it is aligned with your budget. vintage-camea-vignette It it is a local shop, be a regular.  If you are talking to the owner, browsing regularly and buying sometimes too, you will be taken more seriously.  If an owner knows you are likely to be back, they will probably work with you on the price a little more.  You also will have the opportunity to let them know the specific items or category of items you are looking for.  If they know what you want, they are more likely to bring those type of items in. Shops have a method of finding new items.  Find out when they are bringing new items in  so that you have the chance for first dibs on the best stuff. vintage-scale-vignette If you are shopping vintage, the approach of  “thinking out of the box” is your most valuable tool.  If you are looking for a piece of furniture in mint condition, with no work to be done and at a great price, you are probably in the wrong place.  There are three things with vintage to look for – level of work to be done, price and quality.  9 times out of 10, you are only going to get 2 out of the 3.  Are you willing to do a little work?  If not, you are probably going to pay a little more.  Do you want a super high quality item, but at a lower price?  Well, you may have to refinish it our have it reupholstered.  Knowing what you are looking for is essential – but keep your mind open to the possibilities When shopping vintage – now matter where you are doing it – there is one essential rule.  Always make sure that if you walk away and don’t buy it – you are okay with it.  Obviously, don’t break your budget just because you love an item, we all have limits.   However, if you are in love with something (that you can afford) but you are just not sure what you are going to do with it, measure out your options.  What is worse, storing it till you figure out where it goes or regretting it and being haunted? vintage-vignette With a little practice and comfort, navigating vintage shops can be easy and definetly fun.  Happy hunting. All images from Finding Home