vintage-shopping-tips

My Top Tips for Thrifting Vintage

My Top Tips for Thrifting Vintage

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Having a love for all things vintage means my wardrobe has (more than) its fair share of brightly patterned polyester beauties and I have a hard time passing by the groovy granny frocks at the charity shop without snagging a few vintage delights to add to my collection. My personal definition of vintage are items from the 1970’s and older (does anyone else find that their version of “vintage”…

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5 tips to thrift for bags like a pro

Ok, guys, let’s admit it - we all love thrifting. I sometimes get overwhelmed and pick items from the racks on random basis without giving too much thought. Then when I get back home and I see all the imperfections, I am thinking to myself -  “What a waste of 2 hours of my time” or “How did I not spot this hole earlier” or “What the hell was I thinking!?!”.  We all make mistakes and could regret buying things later.  It’s the same when you go thrifting for bags. I love bags and I am almost obsessed digging up for them at thrift and vintage shops. I go thrifting every week. I have purchased hundreds of bags for the past few years. I have sold over 250 bags online so far. I have made so many mistakes and I have learned a lot though the process. There are some rules of thumb about bag thrifting which I have figured out during the past two years. The below 5 priceless tips will help you thrift for bags like a pro.  

1.       Find out when the new arrivals and sales are in each thrift shop - Yes, this seems obvious and easy. But trust me - you need to get on a schedule if you would like to be serious about it. I have about 10 favorite shops here in Varna, Bulgaria (yes, this is where I live). For each one of them I know when the new arrivals are, when the sales are and what time the shop opens. This is huge. It can completely change your life. For me this means getting up early, kick starting my day and rushing straight to the thrift store when the new arrivals are. And yes, they may be expensive and out of your budget, but who cares if you find that amazing bad that you have been dreaming of for the last year! 

2.       Look for natural and quality materials - One of the biggest mistakes I have made is going to the thrift shop and grabbing this amazing bag that looks gorgeous. Not paying attention to the materials or the quality. I just fell in love with bags in a heartbeat and need to own them. I am not even thinking. Then I get back home and I see all these uneven stitches and thread coming off, and the faux leather peeling and … If only I took a closer look. My advice to you is spot the bag you want, but pay attention before you buy. Check the material - if you are a leather lover like me, you probably appreciate all quality leather goods. A bag can last decades and still look amazing. So go for quality pieces made if quality materials.

3.       Check the straps, studs, zippers and buckles - How many times I have come home with a bag full of purses, just to figure out that the strap has a little tear, or studs are missing or the brass buckle is broken. While these imperfections can be fixed, it is a headache to deal with it. When something is broken I need to take the time to go get it fixed and make a decision what type of buckle to replace the broken one with. And on top of it, I need to pay for the repair, which often times is 10X the money I spent on the bag itself! This is exhausting and time consuming, so save yourself the headache. Unless of course you really, really, really love the bag and you are willing to go the extra mile to repair it. My advice - always check if everything works perfectly - if it needs fixing, probably it’s not the best deal.

4.       Inspect the lining and the compartments - The interior is just as important as the exterior. So make sure you check it, before you commit to buy the purse. Some of the loveliest purses have skeletons in the closet. You open the purse and can’t believe the mess! This has happened to me so many times and I can go on and on about the different cases - lipstick chunks, lining completely deteriorated, candies sticking to the lining and other sticky things of unknown nature. You do not want to deal with all that. Dump the purse! You do not need this! Even if you think you can clean it, it will probably take you hours to do that. Many times I have spent over 5 hours trying to clean the interior of a messed up purse. 5 hours! So think - does it really worth it? 

5.       Smell, smell, smell - This is key factor for me. I have a sensitive nose. Some of the bags in the thrift stores have been sitting around at attics and basements, so they could have a pretty heavy smell sometimes. Even if you find the most adorable purse, my advice is to give it a sniff. May sound weird at first, but once you get into the habit, you will find out that it is much better to smell it, rather than regret it. I have come across amazing purses that I just can’t pass by. But sometimes the mold smell is so strong that it just hits you on the head like a rock. Trust me - you may think you can wash the purse or spray it, or bring it to dry cleaners, which may work in some cases. But again - is the purse more precious than the time you will spend trying to fix it when you do not even know what the result would be? I would pass.

These are my 5 rule of thumb tips for thrifting for bags like a pro. I hope you have enjoyed them and you will put them into good use when you go thrifting for purses. If you are lucky enough to find the perfect purse that is made of high quality materials, it looks perfect from the inside and out and it has the natural smell of real leather (or has no smell at all) you are a lucky winner. Grab it and enjoy it :) 

Int. Closet - Day
Pieces of lives she hadn’t lived hung in an array of colors. Spinning in the morning light she threw open the doors to the possibilities of who she wanted to be that day.

A few of my vintage shopping tips are up on the blog today!👗🌂💄💎 (at www.tennesseeroseblog.com)