Can I see a virtual raise of hands from all the vintage junkies out there? The ones who scour thrift stores and eBay more than they would even think to do in places like Bloomingdale's of Saks. This week's Fashion Friday may not include a bunch of outfit sets, but it still adheres to fashion roots and shopping!
I've been thrifting since I was young, and unfortunately it wasn't because I wanted to, but because I had to due to my family's at-the-time financial situation. I remembered hating it, and I would be so picky and would hate when I couldn't find something from Hollister of Abercrombie & Fitch (I know, dumb right? But I was like 8 and went to a predominantly "rich" school and all my friends shopped there and such, blah blah blah). And now that I look back on it, I'm almost ashamed to type it out and even say it because I know there are people who have bigger problems than not being able to find some generic shirts, and it's so silly how much I LOVE to thrift now! Just last week I stayed up until 2 AM to bid on this gorgeous handmade turquoise ring from eBay (pictured below), and even though I had to open at work in 7 hours, it was worth it!
This week's post is going to show you how to get the best out of your thrifting, whether it be online or in-store, so let's begin!
This goes for antique stores, swap meets, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Value Village, or your local thrift stores/chains in your region, and even Etsy as well! either way you're getting a good deal and here's how to get the most out of the experience!
• Go in with an open mind. It's best not to walk into the store thinking "I'm going to find a vintage white lace dress, and some great vintage slips to pair under my cardigans!", because chances are, you won't find exactly what you're looking for (in either color, size or item in all), and you'll leave empty-handed and disheartened. So keep your eyes and windows open!
• Don't just go by the tag. This meaning size. When I'm thrifting, I hardly ever look at tags unless I want to know what it's made of. Sizes vary over the years, as well as with designers and labels. For example: I usually wear an XS in clothing and a 5 in shoes, but a lot of my best thrifted finds have been Mediums and my favorite vintage loafers are a size 6 and fit like a dream! If you pick it up and it looks like it'd fit, TRY IT ON (if you can).
• Get in the loop! Get to know your thrift stores, especially if they offers sales or maybe even have a loyalty card! A chain called Value Village down here actually has everything marked with a different colored tag, and every day, two different tag colors are one sale. It pays to know, and it'll save you a lot.
• Evaluate damages. Not everyone inspects their stock with a fine tooth comb or a 5 point system, so sometimes you need to thoroughly check the item in question! Some damages can be repaired (ripped seams, small holes, some stains), but then there are others that can't (ground in stains, etc.). And if there's something wrong with it, speak up. You may be able to get a discount off the item (it's best if you don't let them know you're going to fix the damaged part though, that kind of defeats the purpose of getting a "damage discount" ;) )
• Keep it friendly with you tailor. Remember, fabric can be taken in and off, but you can't add back fabric!
• If you're at an antique store or swap meet, don't be afraid to haggle down the price if you can. Don't yell at them or throw an attitude, just be firm and professional about it.
This also includes other online bidding sites as well (does Amazon even do bidding or is that just eBay? I personally prefer eBay or Amazon, who else is with me??). When you first start out, it can be tricky, and I'd be lying if I said you wouldn't get frustrated, but you'll get the hang of it and be a pro in no time!
• Communication is key. buyers and sellers both thrive on great communication. If you have a question about an item that's not listed in the description, just ask.
• Have a smart phone? Get the apps. Or keep the page saved to your homescreen like I have (I only have a 4G iPhone so I try not to overload it with apps I can do from the web just as well). It will save your skin if a watched item you want is ending in 5 minutes and you're not near you computer to bid! The app can also let you know when the item is ending, when you've been outbid, and you can also be notified through your email as well.
• Check the images. Period, and read the description of any damage details! Also, don't be afraid to ask for a better image or measurements.
• SET AN ALARM ON YOUR PHONE. It will help you out a lot and remind of you an item ending soon that may have slipped your mind.
• Don't be afraid to haggle. Even though most sellers have set prices, if an item has been relisted so many times, a seller may down the price for you, so don't be afraid to ask!
• Test the waters with your bids, and have a set limit. This will save you money and get you better at bidding! Say the item you want is at $2.50 right now with 2 previous bidders and it ends in an hour. You have your limit set at $10. Half an hour before the bidding ends, bid something higher than $2.50 if someone else hasn't. This test the other bidders, and lets you know how badly they want the item as well. If they really want it, they will set a high "max bid" price that you have to bid over, or they'll immediately outbid you. Lay off the bidding until the last second, and I mean the last second (I literally hit "confirm" my maximum bid when it says 1s, and it works wonders for me). It doesn't work 110% though, because it's no secret and a lot of people do it. This is another reason why the mobile apps or keeping the webpage up helps!
Aside from the ring
above, here are some of my favorite thrifted items I've found!
I snagged this baby for less than a dollar at a Goodwill warehouse store, where they charge $1 A POUND!!! It features a little horse and buggie print all over in different colors. I don't actually wear it that much though, so it's for sale here!
Some finds at Value Village: a vintage daisy dress, (not actually vintage) a NWT (new with tags) Vera Wang jacket for $5!, a vintage geometric top that I've worn almost to death, and some loafers that were only $2.50 a piece!
The jacket isn't vintage, but the back panel is actually from a Navajo vest I had. I didn't wear it that much but couldn't bare to part with it so I integrated it with new life into this jacket that's going to be an on-going project!
My pride and joys. Literally. These are my favorite shoes and item of clothing I own in general! I found them in 9/10 perfect condition and they were only $2.50! So comfy and I just love them.
Do you have any tricks of the trade when it comes to thrifting? What are some of your favorite vintage finds and places to look?? Let's chat below!
Have a great weekend everyone!!