10 Top Tips
1. Always buy something you like and that appeals to you. It’s no good buying something that will just sit in the attic collecting dust. I find, that when I like what I buy, I will spend the time and energy either up-cycling it or selling it on.
2. Take the time to look in your local newspaper and on the internet for antique fairs, car boot sales and events near you. I tend to look in the paper each week and most weeks there is opportunity to go to a antique fair.
3. Don’t be afraid to asking for a discount. I must admit that this is always something I find difficult, but when I have been brave enough I have always had a reduction in the price. It really is worth it! They can only say no!
4. Always handle and inspect the item when you can, to look for damage. I have realised that this is really essential when buying certain objects such as teacups and china, as a couple of times I have bought cups with cracks and chips! The seller will not necessarily tell you about any damage.
5. Try looking in local charity shops. This is my favourite place to find a bargain. Most charity shops have a bric-a-brac section and the prices are so much cheaper than any antique shop. It is worth going every few weeks to allow for the shop to restock the shelves with new items, and of course you are also giving to charity!
6. If you are buying for your home think carefully about where your vintage item will go and if it will fit in with your current decor. Our 1930’s home has character features as well as modern and I have tried to add a vintage piece of furniture or object in each room. If it is furniture that you are buying make sure it is well made and will last.
7. Try shopping online. Of course, this is always a risk as you can’t touch the item and it may not be exactly what you are looking for. The positives are that you can usually get a good price online and can compare many different sites. Just be aware of the posting charge!
8. If you are buying a item to up-cycle and sell on, you really need to find a piece that is cheap to start with, as you will be spending money on paints, materials etc… Look at what is selling in vintage shops and fairs and think about the price you would like it to be.
9. If you are looking for something specific for example some jewellery, make sure you do your research so that you know what you will be likely to have to pay. Look out for hallmarks and provenance. Ask the seller what they know about the item.
10. Set yourself a budget! If you are anything like me set a budget so that you don’t overspend. It is hard not to get carried away in some of the large vintage shops that I have been to, as I love everything in there! Think about what you actually need, write a list of the pieces you want to buy. However, you never know what you may find!
I hope you find these 10 top tips useful in finding your very own vintage gem!