Are you ready to discover hidden treasures of yesteryear and bag yourself a bargain?
What’s old is new again, and trawling through antique stores for old-school goodies isn’t just for 65-year-olds anymore. (That’s right, Carol. The young whipper-snappers are hot on your heels.)
But antiquing isn’t all sunshine and vintage tees. Whether you’re hunting for on-trend vintage threads, mid-century furniture or quirky retro knickknacks, you’ll want to have a few tricks up your sleeve to make the most of your antiquing adventure.
Get your vintage fix with our ultimate guide to antiquing, and up your chances of a successful treasure hunt.
Make a List
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the awesome bits and bobs antique stores have to offer. You can be wandering through a shop minding your own business, just having an innocent browse, and suddenly your car is full and your partner has to catch the bus home because the passenger seat is occupied by a vintage typewriter.*
But unless you’re made of money (we strongly suggest visiting your GP if you are) or want to accidentally end up with four ceramic cat statues, you should probably make like Santa and make a list.
Write down the stuff you actually need before you hit the shops, whether it’s some funky new glassware for an upcoming dinner party, an armchair for that awkward empty corner in your house, or four ceramic cat statues for some other third reason. Having a clear idea of what you’re looking for can help you avoid getting carried away.
*Or something like that. We wouldn’t know…
Sure, there’s no official dress code when it comes to antiquing, but that mankini and ugg boots combination is just plain impractical.
If you’re serious about trawling through antique warehouses, flea markets and second-hand stores to find the goods, comfy clothes and footwear are a must. The last thing you need is to cut your antiquing adventure short because of a pesky blister.
Antique stores can also be a bit dusty, and you don’t want to risk messing up your favourite dress when you’re picking through items, do you? No, you don’t, because you’re no fool.
Top tip: Along with many other ‘90s comebacks, jeans and sneakers are now a popular look among youths. Try this comfortable and stylish combo for your antique shopping, and if you get discovered by a model scout, you’re welcome!
If the Lion King taught us anything, it’s to be prepared. And that spontaneously breaking out into song is always a good idea.
Some of the things you should always have on hand when hitting the antique stores include:
- Measuring tape. You’ll need this to measure potential new pieces to make sure they’ll fit. (Be sure to measure the spots in your home you’re hoping to fill. This includes wall space if you’re looking for artwork.)
- Pen and paper. Handy for writing down measurements and prices to compare different pieces. (Using the Notes app in your phone is also an option.)
- Emergency cash. Some antique stores don’t accept plastic.
- Snacks and water. You could be out there for hours – stay hydrated and don’t get hangry.
As Scar once said: a shiny new era is tip-toeing nearer… and every hipster and their mum is hitting the antique stores on weekends to up their vintage-cred. Being prepared with this list of must-haves will give you the edge you need for smart antiquing.
Borrow a Ute or Hire a Trailer
You don’t know true heartbreak until you find the perfect piece of retro furniture only to have to part with it because it won’t fit in your 1993 Toyota Camry.
Why put yourself through this torture when you can borrow a ute or hire a truck, trailer, or van? Whether you’re specifically on the lookout for large pieces or not, it’s always best to have the option to take them home should you fall in love with them.
Top tip: The National Storage team offers truck and trailer hire (as well as delightful banter and attractive smiles).
Take a Friend
If you’re lucky enough to have a friend, you should make use of them every now and then, right? Solo antiquing can be fun, but taking a friend, partner, or family member along with you can really enhance the experience.
They’re pretty handy for getting a second opinion, holding the other end of the measuring tape, patting the sweat off your brow with a hanky, and helping you carry heavy items out to your vehicle. They may even feed you snacks while you frantically riffle through vinyl records in the hopes of stumbling across ABBA Gold.
Do a Lap
Look, we’re not saying we don’t believe in love at first sight, but we do recommend getting a good look at everything on offer before you commit to a purchase.
If you see something you love, keep it in mind (or write it down – see how handy that pen and paper is?), do a lap to see what else is on offer in the deepest, darkest corners of the store, then come back to it.
Top tip: Take a large dog to guard anything you’re interested in so no one else can snap it up. (Not really.)
Now show off your ceramic cat statues and other vintage finds with these 5 unique ways to showcase your collection.