Sunday, 28 August 2011

Stylish thrifting: Bootsale bargains

I've written about my addiction for bargain hunting before. There's nothing more satisfying than routing through a charity shop, car boot sale or flea market and discovering something pretty, useful or [finger's crossed] actually worth real money!

It's rare to find something special and worth money, although last year I discovered an original water colour painting by a celebrated Yorkshire artist - it was signed and I quickly googled his name on my phone and found out it's value before I bought it for £5. I sold it later in the week on ebay for £50 [even the buyer got a real bargain!].

So I thought it would be fun to share some of my finds, and offer a few little tips to get the most from a Sunday morning outing.

Today's bargains weren't quite as exciting as the watercolour, but fun none-the-less.

The Beatrix Potter books were 25p each - Noah has a little collection that is expanding slowly. The Cath Kidston book is brand new, never opened and was £3. The Romo fabric is from the latest collection, it was an end of roll from a local interior designers and would retail for £45 per metre. The small section, enough to make a cushion, was just 20p.

The beautiful Donna Hay recipe book was 50p, and the vintage jelly mould was £1.

A small selection of Gap and H&M clothes for Noah were 50p each.

  • Get to any yard sale or boot sale early to find the best things. But avoid rummaging while people are setting up, it's frustrating for them and for you.
  • Always take change and small amounts of notes, hopefully you will be spending pennies rather than pounds.
  • Look for boot sales and table top sales in the best areas in your local paper. Schools often have fund-raising sales, and it may seem obvious but the better the area the better the things that are going to be on sale [the same rule applies to charity shops].
  • take plenty of bags for carrying your items home.
  • If possible go without your kids or pets in tow, they will distract you, and will constantly be asking if you can buy them the Thomas Tank/Ben 10/ vintage weapons[kidding!].
  • Always take measurements of items you may be looking for with you - it's possible to find blinds / curtain poles / rugs etc. but unless you know your area you'll be throwing money away.
  • Be prepared to look under stalls and in boxes to find hidden gems.
  • Beware of walking away if you really want an item - chances are it won't be there when you come back.
  • With clothing, look for quality brands and fabrics and don't be afraid to haggle if you buy multiple items. The best clothing to look for if you're a parent is for your kids, as children grow so fast, chances are winter coats, summer shorts, smart shirts etc. will only have been worn for a few months before they grow out of them.
  • Don't be afraid to look at the sellers, chances are if you find someone who looks like your kind of person they will have similar taste.

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