Shopping for antiques and vintage items can be exciting and rewarding. Although it also can be tedious, the fun is when you find what you’ve been looking for. It really does feel like a treasure hunt. Follow these tips for successful antique, vintage and thrift shopping.
Treat it like a treasure hunt
Act like you are exploring a page in an “Eye-Spy” book. Look in every direction — the item of your dreams could be covered up or just out of sight. Don’t rush in and out; take the time to be very thorough.
Don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask questions
Haggling down the price of an item is part of the experience and does not mean you are cheap. Often, haggling will lead to an genuine conversation with the dealer, and you will end up learning a lot more about the item. Be sure to ask a lot of questions about the history of an item. Sometimes, treasures will have a great stories behind them.
Take advantage of thrift shops and estate sales
Thrift shops and estate sales often overlook the true value of an item. Someone with a good eye can spot a priceless designer coat for only $2. At estate sales, snoop around. Raid the closets for vintage coats. Peep inside the cabinets for dining sets and silverware. Venture to the garage, attic and basement. At thrift stores, visit at the end of the month or season as donations spike when people are moving or cleaning house.
Carry a wish list
Write down a list of items you want to keep an eye out for and glance at it often. Include measurements for large items such as furniture and bring along a measuring tape. Do plenty of research before you go so you know how much money you expect to spend and feel more confident negotiating.
Trust your gut instinct
If you love it, buy it. Otherwise, someone else will. If the price feels too high, don’t indulge. If you know you don’t have a place or a use for it, avoid buying it. An antique tea set might be beautiful, but it isn’t worth it if you never actually drink tea. And if you absolutely love it, overlook the minor imperfections and scratches.
There are plenty of stores in Highland Lakes to start your treasure hunt. Check out these stores for fantastic deals.
Chique, Unique & Antique
701 U.S. 281, Suite H, Marble Falls
Recently voted “Favorite Antiques Shop” in The Picayune’s annual Locals Love Us reader’s choice awards, this store has a number of booths at which private sellers shill out antiques and handmade goods. The store is packed to the brim, so do a couple of laps to make sure you don’t miss anything good.
Burnet Antique Mall
206 S. Main St., Burnet
Located on Burnet’s courthouse square, this is the prime spot for antique enthusiasts. They sell rare and unusual items from seriously old furniture to clunky vintage gadgets.
Knot Hole Antiques and More
608 S. Water St. (U.S. 281 South), Burnet
The Knot Hole is an indoor flea market. It is a great place for household knick-knacks, occasional furniture and small decorative items. There are odd items thrown into the mix as well such as a bust of Elvis and a pineapple candelabra.
S&H Trading Post
209 W. Polk St. (Texas 29 West), Burnet
Find an array of new, used and vintage merchandise here from more than 22 vendors with booths featuring paintings by local artists, high-quality taxidermy, power tools, handmade candles, collectable dolls and more. There is really is a little bit of everything at S&H Trading Post.
203 Main St., Marble Falls
This store has high-quality antique furniture in addition to new and handcrafted luxury home goods. There is a very large selection of rugs in the back room as well.
Furniture Brokers on Main
216 Main St., Marble Falls
If you’re looking for furniture, this is the place to go. Furniture Brokers has the largest selection of quality furniture, all at reasonable prices. The store also has a great selection of other home goods.
Upscale Home Consignment
904 U.S. 281 North, Marble Falls
In terms of selection, this store is top-notch. Upscale Home Consignment has a diverse selection of furniture and decor from a mid-century modern oak table to a cheetah-print fainting couch.