Today I am excited to talk to you guys about shopping at thrift stores versus shopping at antique shops and the difference between them!
I have done a few blog posts now on both thrifting and antiquing. In fact, I even created a post on Antiquing for Beginners if you want to check that out! The Antiquing for Beginners blog post features a YouTube video that includes several tips for antique shopping and things to look for.
Of course I have several posts on thrifting as well, you know I LOVE thrifting and I love a bargain and sharing my treasures with you is always so fun for me!
So much of my home consists of thrifted goods and antiques. In my opinion, this is what makes a home YOUR home. It would be so easy for me to buy all of my items at Target and link all of them for you, but then we would all have the same exact house and decor and none of it would be unique or special!
The thrill of finding items at thrift stores and antique shops to use in your home is amazing and makes your home so specific to you.
He told me we could shop where ever I wanted to and I chose antiquing, just because I was in the mood. I also decided to do a blog post for you on this very topic to explain shopping thrift stores versus antique shops and why I choose one over the other when shopping.
Thrift Stores Require More Digging
The first difference between thrift stores versus antique shops is that thrift stores tend to have a lot more junk that you have to sort through. When you antique shop, most of the items will have some type of value.
Now this isn’t always true, there are a few antique shops I have been in that definitely have some junk, but for the most part the nicer ones tend to have all vintage or antique pieces.
This makes antique shops easier to shop when looking for vintage decor. They each can have treasures to be found though, so if you are in the mood to look through more items thrifting, you can still find beautiful pieces!
Antique Shops Generally Cost More
The next difference between thrift stores versus antique shops is that you generally pay a lot less at thrift stores. In most cases, thrift stores are trying to move merchandise so items are priced to sell and rarely is the worth of the item researched when a price point is set.
Just the opposite is true of antique shops. If you are going to go through with setting up an antique booth, you are going to want to make sure your items are priced correctly so you are getting your money’s worth out of each item for sale. I still have gotten some amazing deals at antique shops though, so make sure you keep an eye out and an open mind!
Antique Shops Allow Bargaining
Another difference between thrift stores versus antique shops is that in most cases, thrift stores are pretty firm on their prices while antique shops are usually open to bargaining. I would say almost each time I am shopping in an antique shop, they are willing to negotiate the price and take off some type of percentage if you ask.
I will almost always ask unless the item is already clearanced by the booth owner. A lot of times I will simply ask, is this the best you can do? Sometimes with smaller thrift stores, they will bargain as well, but usually that isn’t the case.
Thrift Stores Don’t Focus on Display
My fourth difference between thrift stores versus antique shops is that antique shops are usually divided up into booths. In most cases, not always, these booths have themes to them and items are displayed more beautifully.
In thrift stores, this usually isn’t the case. Similar items tend to be grouped together, you just have to do a little more digging. Once again, this isn’t always the case in antique shops, but usually for the most part, organized displays makes it more enjoyable for me to antique versus thrift.
Antique Shops Share History
The final difference between thrift stores versus antique shops is that in antique shops, the dealers usually know a lot about their pieces. I LOVE running into the booth owners at antique shops and I was able to do that when I went with my husband.
The owner told us the history behind a beautiful coffee table displayed in their booth and that just gave the piece so much more value to me. In thrift stores, it’s very rare that they will know the value of the items they have for sale, let alone any history behind them.
I hope these tips helped you when considering thrift stores versus antique shops and the difference between them. If you love vintage pieces and want to incorporate them into your home, I would say shop both! Depending on your mood though, keep these tips in mind so you are able to shop with purpose to find those perfect pieces for your home.
Do you prefer antique stores or thrift stores? Or are you like me and prefer a little bit of both? Let me know in the comments! Thank you friends!