Sunday, April 8, 2012

Thrifting: it's the new retail

Back in the 80's I was like everyone else, hitting the malls and buying everything new. I got really good at finding great retail bargains. It didn't hurt that I was a size 8 and could always find clothes on sale. I ventured out a bit into the the world of thrifting at consignment shops in nearby towns. I had a good time. But when I went to the flea market where I lived, I found mostly cheap new stuff so I kind of forgot about it.

Nevertheless, I created some great collections via Etsy and retail sources. Over the course of the years my house got crowded and I realized that a good culling was in order. I thought maybe I could sell some of my stuff after donating several carloads to charities.

Fast forward to the present… I spend every weekend at the flea market running my own booth and love it! I get to go out picking and have learned a ton about selling vintage items. I've met the nicest people and scored some great deals along the way.

I started out with a booth at a now shuttered flea market mall and sold decorative items I was ready to pass on to someone else. I kept collecting and graduated to a huntress of well, junk. I've developed an aesthetic that embraces the chippy and patinaed. I don't think I can go back to the mall anymore… too boring.

Even if you're never thrifted before, it's not too late to start and I'll be glad to share a few pointers I've picked up along the way. For starters, get a GPS even if you're good with directions. Get to know a few vendors in your local area. When you're ready to open a booth of your own, their advice will be invaluable. Pick at every possible opportunity and get to know typical price ranges.

Most importantly, determine what makes up the essence of your style. Doing this isn't as easy as it sounds but it matters. Whatever it is that you always gravitate to will be what you can sell. One tip I can offer is to try to brand your personal style using only two words to help guide you in your purchases. {I cheat and use three words. Mine are "Shabby Vintage Industrial."}

Don't sweat the small stuff. You'll learn as you go. Just don't spend too much on your wares and remember that thrifting is the new retail. You'll never go back.   

This article is featured in the premier issue of Vintage Finds Magazine
Linking to Debbiedoos Blogging and Blabbing
Linking up with House in Roses Monday Share Your Cottage


  1. Great post! Kathy and I need to get to Renningers real soon. We just can't seem to get to all the great places in the area. Mt Dora is booming!
    Happy Easter~SueBee

  2. Congrats on being featured in this great new magazine!! Love your writing style, your article is very informative and helpful. I always look forward to your tips and info. on Fb! Wishing you and your family a blessed & Happy Easter !!

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment : )

  3. That is awesome...congrats to you. Thanks for sharing with the newbie party.

  4. Thanks for your visit. Love your blog. Good luck with your move.

  5. Congratulations on your feature! I really enjoyed your post. I found you through Debbiedoo's Newbie party. I'm looking forward to following your blog and reading more of your great posts!

  6. I found your post very interesting. You are doing something I would love to do someday. Good luck to you.

  7. It really does take a while to find your style, I don't even pick up other stuff now, I am adding in Paris and rusty, because I understand it! Glad you liked my FF sign, do you have a sign for your booth??


  8. I just found your wonderful blog, at one of Debbie's Newbie parties, and I'm following you now! I share your love of vintage, and appreciate your helpful tips and encouragement. I recently started selling on Etsy. I always wanted to have a shop, but can't afford to rent one or buy a place with space right now, so I'm online. I just love it. Congratulations on the feature in the new magazine!
    Be blessed! Linda @ Grandmalay's Daydreams

  9. I love thrifting and finding old junky treasures. I've thought about having a booth before but not sure if it's the right time. (I think it would be hard selling items that I really liked.) Interesting post! (Newest follower.)