As you all know I am a huge fan of vintage shopping. I just love the fact that you can go to a vintage fair or shop and not know what you might come out with. So, if you haven't caught the vintage shopping bug yet or you feel a bit daunted by it all read my top tips for getting the most out of your vintage shopping trips.
From previous posts you know that I am a regular visitor to a vintage fair in Chipping Sodbury and a vintage jumble sale in Rangeworthy. These places are not too far from me and I would recommend that unless you are sure a fair is going to be good stay local. It would be disappointing to travel a long way and find out that the fair wasn't really your cup of tea. However, if you are going to do this check online or in magazines first to see if you can find out any more information about the fair. Holidays can sometimes be a good place to pick up vintage buys if there are any vintage shops in the place you are visiting.
Get there early! It is really worth making the effort to be there for when the fair opens, unless you want to miss all the best items. It really is amazing how quickly things go, especially if it is a busy fair.
Stay clear of antique shops if you want to find lower priced items, in my opinion the items on sale in antique shops are way too overpriced. From my experience I have found items at vintage fairs that could easily be in an antique shop and would have been much higher priced.
Don't be afraid to rummage! Stall holders/ shop keepers won't find if you have a good look through and most of them will encourage you to pick things up and have a closer look. This is particularly important if you are buying fabric because you will need to check if the fabric is stained and how big it is.
Don't go with a shopping list because what would be the fun in that?! Its best to go in not knowing what you want to buy and that way you won't be disappointed if you don't find the particular items you wanted but you will come out with lots of great unexpected items. If you want to you can think vaguely about what you might like to get. For example, china, fabric, buttons because you know these items will almost definitely be on sale.
You have to bear in mind that fabric may be stained, china may be chipped and jewellery may be broken. Consider how much you love the item and if you are willing to look past it's flaws or are able to fix them.
Most importantly set yourself a budget! It is very easy to get carried away and spend all your money, trust me I know! So maybe only take in a certain amount of cash, that way you won't lose sight of what you are spending. However, it is very important to remember that if you don't buy a particular item it is gone forever so think carefully.
I hope these tips help you and you find lots of brilliant vintage bargains in the future!