5 Holiday Shopping Tips for Buying Mid-Century Modern, Antiques & Vintage Collectibles

This is the time of year when we are all looking for gifts for our loved ones and friends and sometimes it seems that the ones with a passion for vintage, mid-century modern, and collectibles are the toughest ones to shop for and much of our shopping is done in antique shops where All Sales Are Final.

We are thrilled with our fantastic finds for that “someone special” until we get them home and then the dreaded “Oh No”, why didn’t I notice that before I bought it, comes out.

So, to save you some of the grief of the dreaded “Oh No”, below are 5 of my tips for holiday shopping in antique shops during this time of year.

5 Tips for Antique Mall Christmas Shopping

1.    Make sure you REALLY examine the item. Feel around the edges and nooks and crannies for chips, dings, fleabites and repairs.
2.    Have good lighting so you can see if paint color is missing or has been colored over with a Sharpie.
3.    If there is tape on the item remove it enough to get a good full look of what is underneath. Learn from my misfortune.  I recently purchased a gorgeous jam jar that had the lid taped on and when I got it home and took the tape off there were several cracks inside the jar and this was not disclosed on the tag and I would have seen this had I lifted the tape and looked inside the jar.
4.    If an item has the price tag tied on make sure to look all around and under the tag. Again, learn from my misfortune. I recently purchased a lovely vintage figurine from an Antique mall and the figurine had a price tag securely tied to the arm. When I got home and removed the tag is when I noticed the arm had been broken and re-attached and the string was covering this repair up.
5.    Smell your item(s). I know this sounds strange but smell your item. You would be amazed at the coats of paint and varnish vintage items receive prior to being put up for sale. To me, this is not ok when I am being lead to believe that I am purchasing a truly “vintage” or “antique” piece. If the seller has re-furbished the item they should state it on the tag. Also, varnish and paint can have a lingering odor for many days and if you intend to be giving the item as a gift the last thing you want is for your recipient to open it and be assailed with a whiff of varnish or paint.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Happy Holidays.


Thrift Store Christmas Shopping Tips

With a lot of people suffering from our current economic climate and shopping at thrift stores being trendy, as we all want to become more eco-conscious and practicing the re-use and re-purpose philosophies, Christmas shopping at your local thrift store is not just practical and financially friendly, but can also be fun and yield some amazing bargains and great finds. We have put together five tips for getting the biggest bang for your buck at your local thrift stores this holiday season.

1.    Sale Days: Many times thrift stores will advertise their sale days or hand out flyers with this information. On Sale days thrift stores will usually be well stocked on merchandise and have colored tags on sales items to reflect the sale and sales price. You can purchase many items on Sale Days at a great savings.

2.    Inventory Rotation: This is important as many times you can visit your local thrift shop and see the same items you have already seen on previous visits. Learning when inventory is rotated will make your visit more productive as you will not be sifting over merchandise that has been picked through countless times.

3.    Best Shopping Days:  Mondays and weekdays are better for finding items than weekends and Fridays. New merchandise is not put out all the time at all thrift stores and by the time the weekend rolls around items have been on the shelves and racks for days and have already been picked over and many times damaged from the many changing hands.

4.    Don’t Bargain: Most thrift stores will not allow bargaining or negotiating, as the price on the tag is firm. But, if the item has damage and you can get the ear of the manager you just might be able to get the item at a discounted price. Also, many thrift shops will not sell an item if the price tag is not with it so make sure the price tag is attached or if it is a housewares item that the price or code written on the item is readable and present.

5.    Shop Early: If you are an avid thrifter, you know the drill, you arrive at the thrift store before it opens and the parking lot is already filled with other eager shoppers and sometimes there is already a line formed at the door. Arriving earlier in the day is better as the store is not as crowded and merchandise is not as picked over.

The holiday season is underway so hurry and get yourselves to your local favorite thrift shops for some money-saving great gifts! To find a listing of all thrift stores in your area visit The Thrift ShopperAlso, if you are housebound or want to shop Goodwill stores all across the country from the comfort of your home visit Shop Goodwill and this is actually the Goodwill’s auction website and its super easy to register for an account and start bidding on hundreds of items from hundreds of Goodwill stores….AMAZING items and deals!!