When it comes to shopping, 95% of the time I shop secondhand and vintage. The other 5%, I’ll shop a new piece that’s sustainably made and can highlight my current wardrobe and give it a bit of a refresh. With this in mind, it’s a passion of mine to peruse and shop vintage on a weekly basis. No matter if it’s online or in store, finding a one-of-a-kind piece or something I’ve been on the hunt for is an accomplishment I relish.
If you follow me on stories, you know my favorite way to shop clothing is at a flea market. It’s my own meditation to go browse the different tents and sections of these markets, hoping to find something on my list or my next great deal. A lot of people get overwhelmed by them, which I can totally understand, but the key is to be organized. Know what you’re shopping for, have a budget, and set a time limit for yourself (quite frankly, a game changer to shopping… just ask my husband). I set out a few of my favorite tips when it comes to mastering the art of shopping flea markets here as well as the Rose Bowl Flea Market here. Whatever market you’re headed to, they’re always worth a walk through, if nothing else.
Thrift stores are great for rainy days when you can walk in and take your time perusing the racks. They require more digging, as they often are not as ‘curated’ as other platforms, but we all know this is when you can find diamonds in the rough. Salvation Army and Goodwill can be priced quite low, so you can get a lot of bang for your buck. Other higher end thrift stores will still provide a discount and you’ll be saving the Earth from waste, but you’ll find a higher ticket price more often than not. There are certain items I always buy from thrift stores – I’ve found some of my greatest pairs of Levi’s from thrift stores and it’s where I tell all my friends and followers to go for them!
Estate sales are a goldmine for vintage items, as the owners of these estates have often lived there for a very long time and depending on the home you’ll score on furniture, art, decor and clothing. The aesthetics of estates are also very different to those of modern days, so finding the most beautiful furniture or accent pieces for your home is highly likely. The items are priced to sell, albeit still a bit pricey depending on location, so be prepared to figure out delivery options if you’re purchasing something bigger. While you’ll find the most stuff on day one of the sale, second and third days will offer steep discounts on what’s left. If you have the time, then hit up the sale on day 1 and day 2. Sometimes things aren’t as organized as a curated consignment shop, but the beauty is in the search.
I’ve been shopping on Ebay for a very long time and it’s one of my favorite ways to find vintage and designer items. Chanel, Louis, Jimmy Choo – all my friends hang out there and so it’s always a good time when I sign on to do some searching. When searching online, it’s important to be specific and set a time limit to your shopping (as you would in a store). There are ways to master the art of making an offer, so don’t underestimate what a little bit of research can do for your wallet. I break down my key tips for shopping Ebay here, so I recommend checking those out and giving this platform some more love.
As for Etsy, the amount of creatives who bring their work to life on this site is amazing. Consider it a huge market at the click of a button. Some creators will allow you to bargain, while others will be operating at a strict price point. Either way, if you are specific with your search, you’re bound to find something in the vicinity of what you’re looking for. Like any other only platform, you’ll have to do some digging and have some patience, but the way I see it, it’s a great way to also stumble upon things you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Facebook Marketplace has gained a lot of traction this year. The deals you can find by simply logging onto Facebook at the right time make it a bit addicting to check on a daily basis. The site keeps track of what you click on and search for, giving you more tailored content every time you sign on. Their search feature is great for when you’re looking for something specific, in an area close to you, with delivery available etc. Many people use it to get rid of things quickly, so don’t be afraid to make them an offer and be prepared to hop in your car even before they say yes. When it comes to buying vintage, a lot of times it’s good practice to look for signs of authenticity or knowledge about the piece you’re eyeing. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. The same goes for Craigslist. Unfortunately, in recent years, this platform has become more known for its spam postings, but in the name of finding something special to you, patience and persistence are what will eventually help you get to the point of sale. When you go through online platforms like this, you have the benefit of speaking directly to the seller, creating a personal relationship, and bargaining with them if possible. Try not to get too attached to anything, as it can be gone in the blink of a click.
Vintage & Consignment Shops
The holy grail of vintage will be found in vintage and consignment shops. These store owners have dedicated their career to putting together a vintage oasis, all through their own personal style lens. It’s so fun to travel and pop in a vintage store because you’ll normally find all kinds of things related to your destination and it’s a great way to shop for memorabilia or gifts for your friends and loved ones. When it comes to consignment shops, the owners are trying to sell items for someone who sold it to them for a fee. With this in mind, you’re likely paying a little higher of price because it adds in another middle man, but sometimes you can request for them to look for something for you and have them hunt it down. Consignment shop items need to be in good condition in order to be sold, so you know you’re going to find what you’re looking for in a state that can be used for time to come. Here’s a list of my favorite vintage shops in Los Angeles.
Shopping vintage is something that can span across continents and even the internet. There are tips and tricks for every platform (more guides coming soon!) and overall, the best thing to do is have fun. Never take thrifting or vintage shopping too seriously and allow the Universe to bring you something even better than you imagined.