Friday, June 7, 2013

What I'm Buying Now (more Secrets of the Hunt!)

Hi Gang- it's been a while, I know. With the school year winding down things have been kind of hectic, so this post has been a long time coming. I have tried to get together most of my recent finds and post about them, just so you know I'm still here! ;)

I'm sure I don't have to tell most of you that buying vintage is a game that is constantly changing. I won't chime in with the general consensus and cry about "how hard 'vintage' is to find in a thrift store anymore." Truth is, I feel like if you really know what you're doing, you can walk into any thrift and 95% of the time, find something worth buying. That said, what we consider to be "good" merchandise needs to constantly adapt to the trends. 

I have been buying vintage clothing for over 15 years and yes, at one time it was easier to find early stuff (1950s and before) and it was cheaper. But as a reseller, my market has changed as well, and there is more of a market for 1960s-80s vintage. And the prices for the earlier stuff have gone through the roof, so even if it is more expensive to buy, it is even more profitable to sell.

I do find early vintage on occaission. In the last few months I have found at least 3 nice 1930s/1940s dresses, but only because I took the time to look through the whole store. This little black number is a perfect example. The store employees had put it in with the regular merchandise (not in the special "vintage" section- and almost all the stores I go to have these sections anymore). Since it is black, it is a classic style and difficult to date unless you can spot the cold rayon and flip the hem over and look at the construction. That beautiful taped seam was a dead give-away for an early 1940s date. I paid $6.50 for it and originally planned to resell it, but, lucky me, it fits me perfectly, so it's a keeper for now!

So, the early stuff is out there, just sometimes hidden in plain sight. But this next dress is an example of the type of things I buy now, and things that also sell well. It's an amazing 60s/70s maxi dress. Dig that amazing print! And the faux wrap style! (What I don't dig is the reek of smoke attached to it- it's now at the cleaners- someone must have partied hard in this one.) So when I set the price for this one I need to take into account what I paid, plus the drycleaning bill, which means I'm already into this for close to $20. But I think it's an amazing dress and I'm sure someone else will think so too.

Pair that with the bowling bag purse I have at the top and you'd have yourself a pretty sweet psychedelic outfit. That bag is something that a lot of people would pass up, especially because it wasn't cheap (in thrift store world) at $8. But I know I can triple my money on that or better, so long as it's in great condition (which it is, thankfully). 

And condition is key. I have a hard time passing things up that are really cool, even if the condition isn't great. But I'm finding out that if I have to put a disclaimer in the listing (like "small hole" or "discolored spot") that item won't sell unless the price is really good. So it's probably not worth my time, and I need to walk away. (But it's still so hard, and I'm not always successful- more on that in a moment!)

I liked these two prints, and any time you find things in pairs (like art or lamps), that's a good thing. They're "big eye" prints from the 1960s which have that really kawaii look. They're fairly large (about 24" tall) so may go to my booth instead of the Etsy shop. But they'd probably sell better on Etsy...

I've been buying lots of planters lately- they're so useful. This fat lava flower pot is not marked, but I'm almost certain that it is German. I love German ceramics, so this is for my personal collection. I also am a sucker for orange, so it was a no-brainer at $3.50.

And you knew I couldn't do a post without Pyrex, now could you? The two Autumn Harvest bowls (402 and 403) on the left are my first of that pattern and it's one I have always liked. They're not mint condition, but are pretty good (not DWD!) and for $7.50 for both, not a bad deal. I will put them away for now and bring them out come fall.

The Spring Blossom 402 on the right is one of those "condition is everything" mistakes. Although, it's hard for me to call it a "mistake" because it is Pyrex, and a mixing bowl which I will use... Anyway, it was cheap (like $2) but really dirty. I knew I could get the dirt off, but it has been through the dishwasher and has a big chip on the bottom which I didn't see until I got it home. Oh well, I definitely can't resell it, but I can use it. Funny how almost all of the daily use Pyrex I have is Spring Blossom, a pattern which I don't "collect" but seem to buy with regularity. Oh well, it's still better than regular glass and way more fun!


  1. Great finds! I especially love the fat lava pot...just beautiful!

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only vintage thrifting gal who has a thing for orange and balks at a $8 price tag!

  3. My aunt has owned a vintage clothing store for the past 30 years. She doesn't carry anything made after 1964 and she is an amazing pro and has taught me a lot about how to date things and what to look for condition wise. I'm so excited that the black dress you found fits you! It's so cute!!!

    Have a great Sunday,


  4. Perhaps some of those Pyrex bowls could be used for plants, you'd have to tip it over to drain it.