Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Antique shopping advice

I'm frequently asked the question "Where and/or how do you find all your antiques and vintage items?"

Let's start with 'where'...

As most of my readers know, I inherited a few things like my great grandmother's dining room hutch

But most of my finds were acquired by searching Ebay or over at Etsy, where I found my percolator.

Of course, LetGo and Craigslist are great places to find things like my 1950s refrigerator:

I also shop locally or in whatever town I'm visiting at the time.

And other times I find places online that pop up in my google searches.

That's the 'where' part of the story, but what about the 'how'?

Well, let me introduce you to Ryan over at, who has some great advice for all of us:

Spring is almost here, and with it comes warmer weather and the chance to spend some quality time on the hunt for great antiques! If you’re anxious to get out of the house and hit the vintage stores and antique shows, check out some of our tips for making the most out of your antiquing experience! 

Patience Is A Virtue

First and foremost, don’t expect to find the perfect piece right away. Hunting for great antiques is a process that usually requires a lot of patience. This isn’t retail shopping, where you know exactly what you want and exactly where to get it. When you’re shopping for antiques, it’s all about not knowing what you’ll find. That mystery is part of what makes it fun! You’re at the mercy of what the store has, so you should never go in assuming that you’re going to find what you’re looking for, and it may take a while for you to find the piece of your dreams. 

That said, don’t ever give up hope! Antique stores and fairs are usually packed wall-to-wall with an incredible variety of pieces, and it can be easy to overlook things. So summon your patience and take your time to scour every inch and every item. The perfect piece could be right under your nose, or you may find something you never knew you needed! 

Know Your Budget 

Anyone who spends time looking for great antiques knows that they can be rather pricey. This of course can depend on both the item, and the seller, but it is always best to know how much you are willing to spend before you start shopping. If you don’t set these limits ahead of time you could end up falling in love with a piece that is much more than you would normally pay, which can lead to some major buyer’s remorse. If possible, try not to ever get too attached to an item before you know the bottom line cost. Some sellers will let you haggle for a better price, but that’s not a guarantee. You should always retain your ability to walk away from a sale if things aren’t going your way. 

Keep An Open Mind

Even if you don’t find the piece that you’ve been looking for, you could certainly still find something you need. You just might need to do a little thinking outside the box. 

An old dresser can be repurposed into a TV stand/media center. An antique sewing table can become a rustic side table. If you’re keeping an open mind when strolling through a vintage store or garage sale, you may just find the perfect do-it-yourself solution to a problem you weren’t even thinking about! 

Go Beyond Your Own Backyard

If you’ve exhausted all of your local antique stores, thrift shops, and antique shows, don’t be afraid of searching online! There are a wide variety of sites that offer unique finds. From local postings on a site like Craigslist, to reputable auction sites like Invaluable, you’ll be able to find everything from furniture, to vintage jewelry, and collectibles. It may lack the in-person thrill of shopping at the physical locations, but online shopping gives you limitless options and the ability to purchase completely unique items without ever leaving the house!

Thank you so much, Ryan! 

Your advice will surely come in handy for the folks looking to add some beautiful antiques to their homes.

I hope everyone is having a great week!



I received no compensation for this post.


  1. Your stove top percolator is a great find, and so charming with the teapot in the post below. I would think it is indestructible now! xoxo Su

  2. I am never really "on the hunt" for antiques or vintage items, I just happen across them and think "that will go perfectly". :-) I've never had good luck when I'm looking for something specifically, so I just sort of blow in the wind with it all...much like everything else...LOL I just cannot give enough of peeking into your beautiful home!! Love and hugs!!

  3. I really do think that patience is a bit part of the whole process....waiting and not settling for anything less than you really want. Love the old percolator. My grandmother had one like it and I drank coffee (with lots of evaporated milk (ugh) and sugar) that came out of that pot when I was a little kid. I swear she is the reason I am addicted to coffee today. lol xo Diana

  4. Great antiquing trips! I've never bought an antique online; all my stuff has come from local shops. Furniture has been mostly from family.

  5. Knowing your budget is important for me. If I go hunting with a number in mind that I can tell to the dealer it's a good chance I'll eventually get what I want. I've had shop owners make some pretty good deals when they know I'm serious about purchasing if I get the right price. Doesn't always work. But when it does it's a good feeling. I love those yellow bird on the shelf above your stove. Super sweet! xo

  6. I love your finds. Great advice. I am always on the lookout for my list of items. I usually carry the measurements of something I need too. Makes it easier.

  7. I love your home Rue, it's like stepping back in time! Thanks for sharing the shopping tips with us too :)

  8. As an antique shop dealer, I can only speak for myself, but I would like to add that if the price is too dear, you can always ask if you can leave your name and phone number in case the price comes down. If a dealer needs money to make the rent, mortgage payment, or real estate taxes, they may take your offer later. But when they think that a certain piece is already priced at or lower than the going rate, they are more inclined not to take the offer immediately. Tell them you love it, but can't afford it now and they may call you later.

    1. Excellent advice, Ginene! Thank you so much :)


  9. I never am on the hunt for anything in particular but when I come across a piece of history that really speaks to me then I try to figure if the price is fair. Love your vintage refrig. That is so awesome.

  10. I had not heard of LetGo, bu have shopped craigslist and ebay

  11. Great advice, Rue. I'm not much of an antique person but my husband and I do enjoy roaming the shops and booths. I'm not any good at negotiating but I do ask honest questions.

    Thanks so much!


  12. Good morning Rue, fabulous advice when antique shopping. Here in England, we have charity shops such as St Oswold's Hospice. People donate unwanted items and the shop sells them for a relatively cheap price. The money is then donated to the hospice which helps to support patients. This is one of the reasons I support charity shops.
    I have found some wonderful bargains. My taste tends to be more eclectic than vintage, I feel you would love visiting charity shops along with car boot sales which are another wonderful source of pre loved items.
    Your home is beautiful and I feel honoured that I am lucky enough to enjoy it with all your other friends.
    Have a wonderful day today.
    Best Wishes

  13. I love your old percolator! We use a newer model percolator for our coffee, and we love the taste of percolated coffee. Because we live in a tiny home, I really don't go looking for things, but if I happen upon something, I know it right away. I love your 1950s refrigerator. Your home is full of delightful vintage touches... you have a gift for putting them all together to look so lovely :)

  14. Great tips. I have shopped both with something specific in mind (and waited 2 years to find it) and I've also found things when I'm just out looking. I've never bought online. I also have a few things I inherited. Our current house is packed full - I've had to get rid of some things. :(

  15. Great tips! I have several antique furniture items...some inherited and some found at auctions, yard sales and even in a dumpster. ;) I love them all!

  16. Hi,
    Great advice and I will use it!
    I do love your decor.

  17. I love thrift stores and antique shops. I never go in looking for specific items, but I have done that online. I call it virtual thrifting and I have found some very important pieces that I would never have been able to hunt down in least not in a time and cost efficient manner. :)

  18. I love antiques but my home is a mix of old and new. Love the hutch and the fridge! Would not think it would be easy to find one that old still working. Very pretty.


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