How to Shop Buy Vintage Furniture Guide
Wed 12th, Mar, 2014
Helloooo, welcome, a little note from me today with my guide on how to buy vintage pre-loved second-hand furniture.
I’ve been doing a lot of vintage treasure hunting the last few weeks, in between other life stuff and I’ve found it very therapeutic…after posting a few pics of things I’ve found like the old Bentwood chairs (these cost me about the same as take-away cup of coffee on the beaches, oh and they are here painted yellow), and the old schoolhouse table, I’ve had more than a few questions on how I go about hunting for vintage treasure…some people have asked if I live in an area actually brimming with the stuff….in actual fact I think here on the beaches it’s the opposite…
…so it got me thinking on how do you go about finding, shopping and buying vintage treasure? ….a few years ago when treasure hunting I would say roll up your sleeves, be prepared to get dirty and run for your life hell bent on finding goodies in old and dusty shops…nowadays the internet has been a huge game changer for anyone looking for old vintage things and you can work it to your advantage in the comfort of your own home…anyway I hope this may be of interest…this is what I do…
How to Shop for Vintage Furniture
5 Ways to Source Vintage Second-hand Furniture
1. online auction sites
Up until the last six months or so I’ve not been a huge lover of Ebay – I remember the days when it started back when I lived in England and then it was exactly what I liked, a community for people trading unwanted and second-hand things…I think this changed dramatically and really it became quite far away from that, it turned me off, the snipers, the bidding wars where you just go that feeling that the other bidders were you know not quite just another bidder if you know what I mean and I wasn’t that keen on the whole thing plus I had some serious serious disappointments more than a few times mostly from sellers vastly exaggerating the quality and condition of the things they were selling…the last few years I think bargains have come back again to Ebay, I’m not sure why but recently I have found things on there…the prices seem to be better and I don’t know what but it’s now worth keeping your eyes on it every now and then…it’s easy to save a search if you are looking for a particular item and if you do that you can set it up to be notified when something is listed…too easy!
2. online groups
This is my latest addiction to vintage treasure hunting….so seriously hunt out community groups in your area and stalk them like crazy…I am a recent convert to these and they are awesome…there are lots of groups and places on the internet that have sprung up offering an alternative to ebay for buying, selling, giving away and trading things you don’t want – one man’s trash is another’s treasure indeed…I’ve had most of my luck lately with these groups…(I’ll be blogging my tips on how to have success with these soon)
3. Gumtree / Craigslist
The on-line equivalent to the old second-hand ads in the newspaper…these can be a really good source of things to find in your area….I often browse through these when I’m on my phone waiting in line or you know going about my day, it’s how I’ve found many many vintage things I’ve been on the lookout for for ages…I have a list of things I am after and I just search on those …the best thing about these sites is the price is up there for you to see and you can work from there…I don’t always negotiate on the price because I’ve lost things doing that….if you want something, the price is fair and you’ve been after it for a while, I wouldn’t try to bargain to save say 2o bucks. (Note* Gumtree is the Australian equivalent to Craigslist – Craigslist I think to be honest has not really taken off as far as I can see here, I know in other countries it’s a treasure chest for old furniture, but here at least in Sydney there’s not a lot listed and what is is not really umm pocket friendly).
4. Op Shops / Charity Stores / Goodwill
It’s getting harder and harder to find bargains in these places, I don’t know when the swing back to the good old days will come but I hope it does soon …I actually don’t waste my time in these too much these days, and I know my very good vintage treasure hunting obsessed friend is the same – funny we were out today having coffee and she had just bought a new Pineapple lamp on offer for $25 we both said how the charity shops would be selling a second-hand dated old and worn lamp for not much less than that and how it’s hardly worth even entering those shops any longer… if I’m passing yep of course I’ll pop in but it’s just too much pot luck, too much effort and too disappointing to find something you know has been donated to turn over the price tag see it described as antique with an antique store price to match…and I hate to say it but I often find the staff in these shops quite rude and condescending….I have much much better success these days grabbing a coffee and searching on my phone for vintage finds.
5. Garage Sales / Side of the Road / Boot Sales / Markets
The good old garage sale is still really good for a vintage find, though much more time consuming than sitting scrolling through your laptop or phone for vintage goodies for sale in your area…if you have a Saturday morning free though, you want a bit of time to yourself, you love a good rummage and you add a coffee, well garage sales will often turn up some great treasure.
So that’s how I shop these days for vintage furniture, and though I pretty much love me a rummage around in an old junk shop in the dust, shopping from the comfort of my old white sofa, drink in hand is quite nice too…
Be seeing ya