"S uccessful thrifting can, at its essence, be boiled down to perseverance, some basic knowledge and pure luck," says Bridget VanWart, founder of and finder behind Holy Roller Vintage—a furniture and accessories seller that's online home is Instagram. In just 10 months, she's taken her obsession with home decor, deal hunting and bringing vintage pieces back to life and grown a dedicated sea of followers who buy up her latest finds in mere minutes. "From the very beginning my intent with selling vintage was to sell items that I would happily have in my own home while trying to make shopping second-hand more approachable, accessible and commonplace," she says. "I get the greatest joy when someone messages me that my account inspired them to check out a thrift shop for the first time." Here, VanWart shares her best advice for getting your money's worth in the vintage world.
1 "When shopping for larger pieces I'd recommend seeking out local estate sales and auctions—in my experience, this is where you'll get the most bang for your buck."
2 "If shopping from a dealer like myself, never ever be afraid to ask questions about an item's history—it is my firm belief that part of charging a more premium price for an item means the appropriate work has been put in by the seller to both source its history and transparently communicate its quality. With 'vintage' becoming more of a trend, it can be easy to slap that word on anything that looks like it could be old—the last thing anyone wants is to pay a premium price for an item they believe to be vintage, then see it on a shelf at HomeSense the next week."
3 "If shopping from an online source like Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace, a few quick tips: Make your search terms as vague as possible. Even if you're specifically searching for a round, wooden, mid-century coffee table just search 'coffee table.' Most listings don't have detailed descriptions and you could miss what you're looking for by being too precise.
Always ask if there's damage to the piece if it isn't specified. You'd be surprised what a well-angled photo can hide. If the item is upholstered, ask if there's a smell. Trust me. I have majorly regretted not doing this. And always be super respectful of the seller—show up on time and bring cash!"