Thriftin’ ain’t easy, frands. Some have the gift – whether it’s luck of the geographic draw, being in the right place at the right time, or just sheer, rootin’-tootin’ intuition. It’s all good though, ’cause today I’m revealing where I source my thrift finds online.
First things first, ya gotta know what you’re in the market for.
Sometimes a single search term will cut it, other times you’ll need to get very specific to manifest those secondhand dreams into reality. What the heck are you into? Meditate on it, and the universal information will come.
Next up: know your price.
Go all in or get ready to wheel and deal. You see, I lurrrrve hosting your everyday, front lawn, prettily-merchandised tag sale. Nothing gets me going like the art of the haggle.
Listen here, Skip; you’re going to have to sift through a lot of nonsense, so buckle up. We’re going on a magic thriftin’ ride.
No. 1: Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is often my crème de la crème for affordable and budget finds. There’s lots of great deals; a constant supply of product; and there’s a good chance what you’re seeking isn’t too far from home.
Personally, not a big fan of the extra long drive (unless it’s completely worth it). Fortunately, you can populate your finds by distance. Score, man. Score.
All you need is an account to click on that magical little storefront on the lefthand menu. Plus, there’s an added bonus: comfortability. Call me a creep, but I dig knowing the people I’m buying from. I just like to know. Sometimes we have mutual friends. It’s totally awesome.
Patience, grasshoppah; there’s a bit of nonsense to be had. When you DO find what you’re seeking, it’s like winning the thrifter’s lottery.
Notable Finds: Hollywood Regency brass/glass coffee table (at my Mom’s!), Mongstad mirror, Natural jute area rug (new!)
No. 2: EstateSales.net
A very dear friend turned me onto this magical palace of curiosities. You might remember my saucy, 65-year old cactus, Myrtle? She’s my daily reminder of why I love this site.
EstateSales.net is a nationwide directory of estate sales by region. Enter your zip code, click the map or use your location (I’m a pre-tech, 90s-kid who’s still weirded out by this 😟) to find an estate sale, auction, or liquidation nearby.
From private homes, to professional estate sale-rs, you can even customize the precise types of sales you seek. I meant it when I said magical. ✨
The best part about this website is – hands down – the photo galleries!! Most sales have a detailed photo collection of the goods, so you’ll get an immediate feel for whether it’s worth your time, as my grandmother says, straightaway.
No. 3: Craigslist
Craigslist, otherwise known as my best friend, is a marketplace I’ve been using as long as I’ve been thrifting. The tentacles of Craigslist stretch far, and the world is quite literally at your fingertips.
Similar to Facebook Marketplace, you can search for future procurements locally or across the whole damn country. Most states have multiple sections (Connecticut, for example, has five). Your searches will carry over into neighboring areas at the end of your section’s search results.
Pay attention here: sometimes I cry when I find out what I’m looking for is way-the-heck-out-there on Long Island. When you live in Connecticut you prefer to go North, never South. Fact of life.
Check out this spellbinding phenomena: the sorcery of saved searches. Type out a search term, sort the results as you wish (i.e.; has image, posted today, etc.), click on “save search” and voila! The search saves in your account under the “searches” tab. Store the results in your account or setup email alerts.
Me, I can’t stand a messy inbox, so things like “headboard” are not an optimal email notification. Like a zillion a day. No, no bueno.
Craigslist has been given a bit of a bad rap over the years, but I’m here to yell from the mountaintops: I still love thee. Just be smaht: use caution and common sense when buying (and selling). Expect the unexpected from the Craigslist-i-verse.
No. 4: Letgo
When I first met Letgo, I was feeling a bit 😒 about this guy. In a word: shay-day. Even in our fast paced world, I still prefer (mostly) full sentences (and words) as well as generally zero reference to my profile picture. And they said Craigslist was creep. They were wrong.
Nevertheless, over time, and after a handful of substantial scores, I’ve turned over a new leaf. It’s a prime spot to score a real deal.
Letgo is impressively efficient and well-designed. Titles are automatically generated and descriptions optional. In that regard, it can be too simple for my taste at times (I like me a good, robust, molasses-like explanation). However, it’s a great service for a thrifter (and seller) on the go.
With deals comes yet another high level of nonsense-ry to browse through. You’ve been dutifully warned.
No. 5: Local Instagrammers
Instagram is one of the very best ways to score sweet, vintage digs right in your neighborhood and, so conveniently, on social media. Also, double win for supporting your local friends. #loveyourlocal
Ever since I started this interior decorating adventure, I’ve come across the likes of very talented seekers who procure and sell their finds on Instagram. In New Haven alone, a handful of my favorite mid century mavens include Mid Century Collective, House of Michel, Milts Mid Century, and Poop Du Bop.
Truth be told, I love the Instagram sell – it’s just a great way to find something I didn’t even know I was looking for when it pops up on that news feed. Thaaaaank youu, social universe.
How do you find someone in your city? Give Google a-go by searching something like “instagram vintage shop [state]” or “instagram vintage furniture [state]”. You’re bound to come across a nearby shop, and if they’re doing it right, they’re using Instagram, too.
Haven’t found what you needed on the sources listed above? Check yo’self before you wreck yo’self …
Tips of the Trade:
Create bookmarks! I check out my fave five on the reg. All of my sites stored in my web browser’s favorites toolbar. When I make my regular thrift-seeking run, it’s nothing but a quick clickety, clickety. Who knows what’ll pop up next.
Check often, be patient, and the finds will come. Whether it’s once a day, once a week, once you have a free freaking moment, man … there’s always some good pickens to be had. In fact, I just set up an area rug purchase. BAM. 💥
Be picky. Don’t just buy anything. Make sure it’s really going to work and that you LOVE IT. At the end of the day, you can always sell it again.
Need help figuring out what you’re looking for? Start with three words that define your style (I’m going with modern-eclectic-glam). Next, find three to five inspirational photos of the space you want to create. Use this moodboard as guide for your home design. Try to focus on one room at a time. If that doesn’t cut it, leave a comment below. Happy to help you out, girrrrrl (or guuuuuuy).
Do you use any of the sources listed above?
Share your successes with me. 😆
There’s nothing I love more than a good,
ol’ fashioned tale of the thrift.