Hello. My name is Beth Hawks. I blog at The Modern Lady. I'm new to [The Three Three Oh] Blogger Collective. It's nice to meet you.
Really, how is one supposed to introduce herself these days without sounding like every other new blogger on the scene? I was fresh out of ideas, so I went with the proven self-help group meet and greet. Now that that's out of the way, on to the post.
Living in Northeast Ohio is often known for its negatives. However, in the past few years as I've entered the workforce, gotten married and faced the financial reality that threatens to crush any new purchase I make... I've discovered something that makes this area great. There are a lot of old people. Old people you say? Yes, old people. Old people that offer up fabulous vintage finds to be had at garage sales, estate sales and auctions.
Ohio has some of the best garage sales, estate sales and auctions in the country. With so many companies focusing on vintage-inspired pieces for fashion and the home, it begs the question "Why buy a reproduction, when you can get the original?" Sure the experience of sifting through people's items in a dimly lit room is quite different than walking into Anthropologie or ordering from ModCloth, but if you're game for a good hunt - there are treasures to be found.
Over the years, I've gotten pretty good at working garage sales and estate sales and am now able to run a successful little side business from it. Today, I'm sharing with you my tips for becoming a good vintage treasure hunter.
- Do your research - Most garage/estate sales and auctions occur Thursday thru Saturday. Check out your local paper, Craigslist and even farm publications to see what's happening, where.
- Estate sales are king - If vintage is what you're after, estate sales should be your primary target. Generally, an estate sale includes all of the contents in a home and you are free to walk about it. You will find everything from clothing to kitchen glassware and outdoor furniture to vinyl records.
- Map out your journey - Friday and Saturday mornings are often saturated with sales. It is important to plot out your stops so you don't waste time and gas driving around from point A to point B. I use Google's custom map tool for this.
- The early bird gets the worm - Garage and estate sales are not for bed bugs. It's important to get up early and be there before the start time. Unless it says no early sales, most often people will arrive a half hour early.
- Travel light & dress the part - Leave your coffee cups, bulky bags, impractical shoes and any other physical distraction at home. We want hands free to snatch up the treasures as you see them. This includes your Coach purse ladies. You won't get a good deal with that on your arm :)
- Don't leave a good man behind - If you are even questioning an item, pick it up and carry it with you. You can always abandon it at the last minute. However, if you turn around to think about, it might be gone when you look back.
- Learn the art of haggling - Retail stores have us conditioned to think the price tag dictates what we will pay. These sales are a whole other beast - it's more of a name your deal situation... so don't be shy. Once I bargained down the price of a sewing machine in a real store from $399 to $250. My shopping partner was mortified, but hey... it worked.