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  • Writer's pictureFarm To Home Vintage

Where do you find your stuff?

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

The most often question I get asked is: Where do you find the stuff that you sell? The quick answer is everywhere! But its really much more complex than that. Here at Farm to Home Vintage I sell vintage and antique goods, along with market merchandise and handmade items. I would say I sell is about 80% vintage, 10% market and 10% handmade items. The only exception may be seasonal items during Spring, Fall and Christmas, where I do bring in more wholesale goods to help decorate for the Season. The following list is where I find my items that I sell:


Estate Sales


Estate Sales are sales that sell a substantial portion of personal property owned by a person who recently passed or for someone who needs to sell their property due to a move. Most estate sales I attend have older items such as vintage or antique mixed in with newer items. The house is set up with everything priced. In my opinion the best time to shop is the first day of an estate sale. Everything is still there and not picked over. Usually the following days of an estate sale you find the will discount items 25% off or 50% off, etc. until the last day of the sale.


My best tip while shopping an estate sale is to head to the basement or garage first!


That is where I usually find most of my finds. Then I will look in the kitchen for pieces like ironstone or other coveted kitchen items like creamers and then look through the rest of the house. A really good source to look for estate sales in your area is either typing estate sale in Facebook Marketplace or searching for local estate sales at www.estatesales.net.


Garage Sales


Who doesn't love garage sale season? Every year in the Spring I get excited when I start seeing those signs pop up on street corners. Garage sales can be a mix bag so sometimes you can find great things and other times not so much. I personally like community wide garage sales where the entire town or neighborhood is getting together and having sales because it gives you the best way to shop as many sales at once. Going on Facebook Marketplace and typing in garage sale can help give you ideas what some garage sales have for sale since you an upload photos. Another great source is an app called Yard Sale Treasure Map. You can search key words like vintage or antique and all the sales in your area will pop up.




Auctions


Auctions can be either online or in person. I will be honest, I am not big on attending auctions in person. I tend to get overwhelmed with all the noise and people there so I prefer online auctions over in person auctions. Its also easy to get caught up in the excitement of bidding and spending too much for something you otherwise may not usually buy. On the plus side, in person auctions allow you time to inspect items you may be interested in person and help determine how much you are willing to pay for an item.


For an online auction, you sign up online with the auction company and it allows you to place a bid. Keep watch, because someone can outbid you rather quickly! Be sure to read all the terms before bidding, there are specific set times when you can go pick up your won items and if you don't make it in time, you are out of luck! Also be kind and take everything you won. The point of the auction is to buy what you bid on, not to pick through your won lot and leaving what you don't want behind. The auctions company still has to deal with all the leftovers. Look online for your local auctions companies or check our www.estatesale.net for local auctions.


Thrift Stores/Second Hand Stores


Thrifting has been a hobby of mine since I was a child. I can remember going with my parents and looking for clothes or toys or furniture and bringing them home and enjoying my treasures. I have a specific list of thrift stores that I go to every week. Sometimes I walk out with bags full and sometimes with nothing at all.





Antique/Vintage Shops


Antique and Vintage shops can often have higher prices, but it you look hard you can definitely find good deals. I prefer booths/shops that have a more cohesive look to them with well styled booths. Going into shops that are more thrown together for whatever reason is hard for me because it feels like a sensory overload when stuff is just thrown in a booth. But I also know some people like it that way. Its all about preference! A good way to find shops in your area is to just Google "antique shop near me" or "vintage shop near me." Also asking a worker at the shops you are in is a good way to find out about those hidden places you may otherwise not find.


Facebook Marketplace


Facebook Marketplace is a great source in finding great items for resale. I have found its all about keywords. The more specific you look the better chance to find what you are looking for. For example typing in "vintage" gets you a lot to scroll through. Instead key words like "chippy," "architectural salvage," "chicken nester," etc. will get you more specific results and weed out all the excess.


If you decide you want am item, message the seller and being flexible for a pick up time is much appreciated. Also please show up and be on time. As someone who has sold on Marketplace, nothing is more frustrating than someone not showing up when they say they will. Its polite to let the seller know that something has come up or you are running late and makes the transaction run so much smoother and it leaves everyone happy.



Flea Markets


A Flea Market is usually outside with lots of vendors selling a wide range of items. I love going to flea markets because of the wide variety of items you can find and the thrill of the hunt! When going to flea markets be prepared to walk through muddy fields, deal with hot temperatures or maybe a sudden rain storm. I always bring a cart or wagon along with some bungee cords to put items in so I can easily take them back to the truck and it also keeps you from becoming overwhelmed with bags or larger items. Bring lots of cash. If you want to pay less for an items having cash and using the question is "Is this your best price?" will make a dealer more likely to work with you. Its okay to ask for a lower price, but please don't low-ball the seller either. Keep in mind: they find it, buy it, clean it, repair it, price it, haul it to the flea, set it up, etc. Its a lot of work and you can often get better deals when you acknowledge the hard work put into the piece or items you are wanting to buy.



Customers


I am asked on a regular basis if I buy items by my customers. The answer is yes! But I also let my customers know that I am looking for specific items or a specific style and I need photos before making a commitment to buying anything. Sometimes I see a piece that I know its not a right fit for me, but I often refer them to other shops and dealers who I know may be interested in what they are selling.




Wholesale Companies


Wholesale Companies can sell both mass produced items or handmade items. These can be seasonal items, decor items meant to supplement the vintage items that I sell, or items like jewelry, clothing or candles. Generally you have to meet a minimum order to purchase from the company and you must have a resale license to purchase and resell from them. Searching online will give you lots of companies to choose from and there are also newer handmade marketplaces that have been popping up recently specifically to sell handmade wholesale items.

As you can see there are so many different places to find items to buy. My favorite part of owning my own small business is the hunt to find items and using them in a creative way and creating beautiful spaces.

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