Monday, May 4, 2015

Guest Post: Chic Stripes

Like so many other people in this world, Twitter was the conduit that brought Bella and I

together. I don’t really remember how, but I do recall thinking that she was one of the few “real

women” bloggers who maintained an authentic voice. She’s also a champion of

#secondhandfirst who inspired me to spend an entire year only shopping the second hand

market (yes, this means I missed out on a few of those Target collabs but surprise! many of the

pieces turned up in my local second hand haunts). I recently chimed in on a second hand first

link up and she reached out for a guest post.

I will assume you all are sick to death of those “how to thrift” posts, but I loooove the

second hand market and wanted to share that passion. Something new (to me) that I’ve totally

jumped on the bandwagon with are estate sales and online estate auctions. So without further

ado, here’s a little list on “how to shop estate sales/online auctions”!

1. Find out where they are. This may sound a little obvious, but just like sniffing out new

thrift stores, you will have to do a little digging to find estate sales and online auctions

that are worth the hassle. Start your search online with Google and Craigslist using buzz

words like “estate sales/online auctions in (your area).”Google is great for finding

general places or companies while Craigslist will help you find physical sales for the

upcoming week/weekend. Once you’ve found an online auction or estate sale company,

make sure to sign up for their newsletters to stay in the know of what’s happening


2. Prepare to persevere. Whether you are looking through listings on an online auction or

poking through bedrooms in a physical sale, get ready to sort through a ton of junk. You

will come across more paintings and china than you care to look at, but sort through

online listing carefully and make sure to move items around if you are in person. It can

take some time, but the true treasures are worth the hunt.

3. Examine closely. Estate sales and online auctions have no return policy. Once that card

is swiped or cash handed over you are the proud owner of whatever trinket or trendy

item you had to have. If there are hinges, move them. If they are clip on earrings, make

sure they will stay clipped on (learned this lesson the hard way). Make sure there are no

visible cracks, wearing, tears, holes, spots, pieces, etc. Do the sniff test. Try it out, turn it

over. You can find quality pieces for a fantastic price, but if it doesn’t work, it’s not so

fantastic anymore.

4. Know your limit. One of the great things about online estate auctions are the prices.

That being said, things can get pretty expensive pretty fast. Think eBay times ten. Know

your max limit for any item and stick with it. Once you pass that limit, it no longer

becomes a deal and you will spend more time regretting the purchase than enjoying it.

The same can be said for in person sales. Set a limit and sift through your picks to stay

within that limit. 

5. Do the heavy lifting. If you make it to a sale, brave the people, wait out the line, or buy

something hefty in an estate sale/online auction, get ready for more work because you,

my friend, will be packing up all those gold rimmed wine glasses you just had to have or

moving that humongous headboard that is your destiny. Also make sure you have plenty

of bags, boxes, a tarp, bungee cords and/or rope to pack and secure your purchase(s). If

you can swing it, bring a burly back up as well, because most places don’t include those

(for lifting of course).

Photos show all items I have gotten at estate sales, or acquired from thrift stores and consignment shops.

Sydney Page Lester blogs at Chic Stripes, works with personal styling clients, and helps save the world through nonprofit grant writing. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or good old email.


thorne garnet said...

with on-line auctions be sure to check on the cost of shipping. Sometimes it can be many times the price of what you bought. That $4 win gets pretty pricey with a $12+ shipping tacked on.

Becky said...

Awesome post!!! Secondhand is the way to go!!!!

Patti said...

excellent advice, thank you! xo

LV said...

Great advice. I am such a fan of thrifting and finding great bargains. Great looks too!

darkelady said...

Hi I followed you here from Bella's link. Great piece with some good advice. I am so addicted to thrifting. One of my local stores has regular 10 cent sales to clear stock. They toss everything into big totes and you have to get down and rummage but it is worth it. One time I found leather pants in the 10 cent bin! Sadly not my size or my thing.