Tips for Scoring Antiques & Collectibles at Bargain Prices

Retro Booth

Buyers and sellers are all looking for the same thing in the end and that is a “bargain”. The buyer is looking for a bargain item to add to their collection and the seller is looking for a bargain item that can be re-sold to the buyer for a profit.  Many people today still ask “Are there any bargains out there left to be had”? My answer is YES, you just need to know how to spot the bargain and have patience.

Treasure Hunting – as I like to call it requires lots of careful hunting, seeking, and searching to locate that bargain item.  Also, you have a lot of competition as you are not the only one out treasure hunting. With the popularity of online auction sites, antique & collectibles shops, more and more flea markets popping up regularly and shows like Antiques Roadshow, there are a lot of treasure hunters indeed. But, with that being said, all these venues for seeking treasure may actually make it easier to find a bargain…..that’s right, I said easier.

First, it helps to have an idea in mind of what it is you are looking for be it Furniture, Coca – Cola items, Black Americana, Marbles, Fine Art, Oil Paintings, etc…. Get to know what type of items are the most sought after by collectors and develop your keen sense of awareness so when you are out treasure hunting you can quickly scan the area you are looking in for that bargain.

Retro Booth 3

Also, it helps if you can learn the pattern of when shops and stalls receive new inventory and wares and put it out for sale, being first in line to rummage about may indeed yield you a bargain.

Two of my all time best tips for treasure hunting in a antique shop/antique mall is to:
1.    Strike up a conversation with the booth(s) owner and let them know what types of items you are looking for and find out how often they rotate their merchandise. Also, if there is an item(s) you are interested in ask the booth owner if they would consider giving you a discount because you are ready to buy right now. Rental space is not cheap in top locations and if sales have been slow you might get lucky and receive a discount.

2.    Booths that are going out of business = bargains! Some locations mandate that booths sell x and bring in x in sales and if this does not happen then the booth must close up and leave. If you can be one of the first to rummage the going out of business booth you stand a fair chance of finding a bargain.  Usually these booths are in the midst of getting packed up and have 50% – 75% markdowns in the hopes that the owner does not have to haul all his wares away. I can personally attest to these going-out-of-business booths being a great source for bargains as 9 times out of 10, I do find bargains. Also, if you are in a booth that has furniture or cupboards with drawers and doors, open them and look inside as you NEVER know what may be in there or hidden under some paper and linens; I found a lovely Limoges of France pillbox this way! [Read more...]


Vintage Collectibles and Collections – Display Ideas

I am looking for some creative and refreshing ways to display vintage collectibles and collections and of course Flickr is a GREAT resource for tons of photos. Here are few I found and thought you might all like them too!! I thought the idea of using vintage Coca Cola crates as display shelves was great and I also found a pic (sorry not posted) of someone who got super creative and used their childhood little red wagon for a shelf; they took off the wheels and inserted shelves and hung it on the wall and it is super cute. One individual also hung some vintage old vanity cases on their wall (they re-upholstered the interior and added shelves) and now it is a totally unique display and filled with their collections.  These photos are from: Pixie’sCotton Blue, Marusica’s, Kitschen Pink’s, Taramariee’s.


Vintage Christmas Beaded Ornaments

photo 1

Sales in my area have been terrible; nothing but trash/junk to sift through. I am looking forward to next weekend as their is an antique faire in the neighboring town of Healdsburg and we are very excited to be attending that. We went to a rummage sale this morning at a local church and I had given up all hope of a treasure when I tripped over something poking out from under one of the skirted tables. To my amazement it was a bag of vintage beaded ornaments!! I love the vintage beaded ornaments and have such appreciation for all the hard work and efforts that went into making them. Here is a picture of half the bag of ornaments and I was cleaning them and inspecting them when I brought them home. Only a few beads missing here and there and over all really great. Yay!!


Vintage Turquoise Chairs – Mid-Century Modern Deocorating

Summer is in full swing! We are busy constantly and on-the-go. My darn back is starting to act up, I need to explore seating options and am loving these Mid-Century Modern and vintage Turquoise colors!! Stay tuned- I will post pics soon if what I end up with.


Re-Cap of America’s Largest Antique & Collectibles Show in Portland

Portland Antique Show

I know many of you have been waiting for my re-cap post of the July 11-13 Portland Antique Show in Oregon and it is finally here. My mom had heart surgery while I was in town and then she had a complication so there were quite a few days spent in the hospital. I am happy to report she is now home, recovering, and on the road to good health – YAY!!

Ok, so, my twin sister and I got up bright and early on Saturday, July 12th and headed to the Expo Center. Last year we waiting nearly an hour just to get into the parking lot park the car, this year we waiting only 15mins. We parked and got in line, a long line to get our tickets and get inside when we learned that we needed to get into a different line for purchasing tickets. Luckily there was two of us, so my sister held our spot in the original line and I ran around to find the ticket line…. worked out great, we met towards the entrance. Finally, inside we were!   There were 1,600 booths… the show was primarily in-doors but there were several booths outside and you had to walk past the outdoor booths to get inside the Expo Center. Lots of people attending the show. It was very hot outside and we couldn’t wait to get inside.

Once inside, I noticed right away all the signs saying ‘No Photo Taking’ bummer! I snapped very few pics but did post videos I snuck and uploaded to my Vine account – watch videos here.  I headed for the booth directly in front of me. I couldn’t resist the vintage Christmas goodies!! In case you don’t know, I am obsessed with vintage Christmas items!! I found a pair of Holt Howard Santa Claus candle huggers and some vintage Christmas hankies….I was able to haggle with the dealer and so thrilled that I made my first purchase within minutes of setting foot inside. My sister and I re-grouped, we decided our strategy would be to start at the far end and work our way down the isles.

There was the booth that had aliens, the booth that had so many mannequins, booths that were filled with all kinds of this-n-that, booths that had beautiful displays of vintage and antique toys, tin toys, glass, kitchenware, furniture, clothing, seasonal, chocolate tins and molds, jewelry, etc… there really was something for everyone. Many dealers had amazing setups, their booths were beautiful, and they had their glass showcases too. Lots of care and detail went into setting up their booths and it really showed. I have lots of vide footage here that you can see via my twitter stream @CollectorsTips

I thought the dealers were amazing!! They were knowledgeable and were so easy and open to negotiating with. Many times when we entered booths the dealer came right over to say they will gladly give us a discount and to let them know what we are interested in. All of my purchases were haggled and I got them at a really good price. I should also say that I thought prices were very very good, nothing outrageous what so ever. This was day 2 of the show so I was really surprised that dealers were so open to haggling and were incredibly nice too.

After 4 hours or so, we made our way through approx..1,600 booths!! Good thing my sister insisted we take her baby stroller as it came in incredibly handy to store our purchases and our water bottles too!! We were exhausted. After we made our way to the car and unpacked, I started thinking about how the heck was I going to ship all these goodies back home!!!


Here are some pics of my antique show purchases. The boxes you see are other items I have yet to unpack that I also purchased while antiquing my way through Portland. This trip was quite literally the BEST trip I have ever had for antiquing in Portland, Oregon. Each store, mall, thrift shop had really good items and I had so much fun with my family and visiting all my favorite spots!!

Visit us at: Crazy4Me EBay  Crazy4Me Etsy






Happy Independance Day 2014


Hope you are all having a wonderful 4th of July!! Next week July 11-13 starts the big antique show in Portland, Oregon. I will be live tweeting and posting Vine videos live from the show so be sure to follow me on Twitter so you keep up-to-date with all the happenings @collectorstips