Where to Buy Vintage & Antiques: 15 Proven Places

Hi there! I hope you had a great weekend! My sweet husband and I hit a couple of thrift stores on Friday.  This fits in perfectly with today’s topic: Where to buy vintage and antiques, since thrift stores is #5 on the list!

First we stopped at a thrift that supports our local city mission (where I filled the cart) and then we headed to the nearby Salvation Army where I bought books–because I need more books! [Like a hole in my head, LOL.]

If you’re a book lover like me, let me know in the comments and suggest some good books for all of us to consider. I especially love mysteries and am always looking for new authors.

15 Proven Places to Buy Vintage & AntiquesBefore we jump into the list, I wanted to mention two FREE resources that I have on this topic:

Without further ado, let’s jump into the 15 proven places you can buy vintage and antiques!

1. Garage Sales

Garage saleIn my humble opinion, garage sales provide one of the best sources for vintage and antiques for treasure hunters like us. You NEVER know what you’re going to find, and if you attend them regularly and often, you WILL find treasures!

2. Estate Sales

Merchandise at estate saleEstate sales provide a great source of vintage whether you’re looking to sell or decorate. Arrive early to find the best quality, arrive late to get the best deals.

  • CHECK: Estatesales.net, Craigslist, and/or Facebook Marketplace to find those near you.
  • READ: Why I Love Estate Sales!

3. Curbside

Treasures sitting on the curbsideDiscovering “junk” along the roadside is one of the most satisfying ways to find vintage and antiques because it’s FREE!

4. Flea Markets

Outdoor flea market with vendors under tentsI love a good flea market! You will almost always find booths with prices low enough to allow for resale. Some are annual or seasonal, others are weekly–all are worth checking out.

5. Thrift Stores

City Mission Thrift StoreWhile thrift stores are NOT my favorite place to shop for vintage, I do occasionally find a hidden treasure. That keeps me going back, hoping to find more. During the winter months, when options are few, it’s one of the few places available to shop vintage. Definitely check them out; you may find that in your area they stock great stuff.

6. Facebook Marketplace & Craigslist

Facebook & Craigslist SymbolsI frankly enjoy scrolling mindlessly through FB Marketplace and Craigslist on occasion, and pretty regularly find excellent deals. For example, I bought a hutch recently for $15, chalk painted it, and now use it for display in my booth. It’s priced at $125.

7. Church & School Sales

Indoor & outdoor flea marketsFrequently churches and schools hold garage sales as a means of raising funds for school programs. Usually large numbers of families contribute, so in some ways, it’s similar to a neighborhood sale. Some are indoors (photo on the left) while others are held outdoors (photo on the right). Go early for the best picks.

  • CHECK: Facebook events and/or your local newspaper. Take note of annual events and put them on your calendar.

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8. Destination Garage Sales

Ad: Warrensburg world's largest garage saleAlso on my calendar I have included several large annual garage sales that I want to make sure to NEVER miss. One in Warrensburg (NY), billed as the world’s largest garage sale, has hundreds of sellers and thousands of shoppers. 

9. Friends

Friends--three women with arms around each otherI have both long-distance and local friends who enjoy giving me their cast-offs, which is SO sweet. I pretty much take everything because I’ll just pass non-vintage items onto a thrift store. 

I have a policy against buying vintage or antique items from friends because I feel very uncomfortable setting prices and very often the items they’re selling are not good sellers for me. We have to be very wise about what we buy!

10. Online: eBay & Etsy

Orange Etsy and multi-colored eBay symbolsWhile it takes effort to find items priced low enough on eBay and Etsy to make a profit, they can be found. Look for things inadequately described that others overlook. Check for large lots of items where the price/item ends up being relatively low. You can also make offers on items with fixed prices (on eBay).

11. Antique Shops & Malls

Gristmill Antique Center Troy, NYMy strategy with antique shops is to only shop those that have low enough prices to leave room for a profit. With malls, I do a quick walk through to find the one or two vendors (hopefully more!) who have the kind of prices I’m looking for. ALWAYS ask for a discount on items over $10-20 to get at least 10% off.

  • SEARCH: “Antique shops” and/or “Antique malls” online and you will be served a list of those in your area.

12. Live Auctions

Cartoon auction gavelI love live auctions! If you’ve never been, don’t be afraid. Here’s what to expect: attend the preview, register at the door for bidding number and card, raise your hand with your card in it when you want to bid–lower it after the auctioneer recognizes you, raise the card to bid again and if you win so they can read your number.

13. Advertising

Example of an ad for antiques: ISO gold jewelry, original artwork, and antique linens...Many dealers successfully use advertising as a method for obtaining items to sell. This is especially worth looking into now since there are free online options (e.g., FBMP & Craigslist). Be prepared to make appointments and establish safety protocols for yourself.

  • LIST IN: Your local newspaper, regional antique publications, FBMP, and/or Craigslist

14. Antique Shows

Booth at an outdoor antique showAntique shows are becoming a bit rare in my neck of the woods, but I do attend them, especially during the winter. I treat them much like antique shops in that I’ll walk through the entire show looking for the booths with good prices. I’ll shop from them and treat the rest of the show like a museum that I can learn from.

15. Adirondack Girl @ Heart

I hope you don’t think it presumptuous of me to include myself in the list! I wanted to be sure that you knew that I sell from many venues at reasonable prices. In fact, several dealers around the country make purchases from me, particularly when I run a sale, which is fairly regularly.

I hope you found today’s blog post helpful and that you’ll come back for another visit. If you enjoyed the post, why not subscribe and get access to my Member Library where you’ll find today’s list in printable form (under “Business Resources? JUST CLICK BELOW:

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9 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I’m a book lover too! I’ve been finding lots of nice art & craft books at the Dollar Tree this fall. I mean high quality, not junk. Sewing, fabric arts, painting, crocheting & knitting. Worth a look for a buck! Thanks for your wonderful blog and all the other good stuff.

    1. Ooh, I’ll have to go and check them out Julie–thanks for the heads up! Thanks to for your kind words of encouragement; they mean SO much 🙂

  2. Enjoyed this post–and patted myself for knowing most of it–even if I don’t avail myself of all of the places.

    I love murder mystery cozies. Especially Berkley Prime Crime–the little logo on the binding is of a handprint (like the Harlequin on the romances and rooster on Bantam). Makes spotting them VERY easy. As I can go through 3-5 books a week, I need to find them secondhand!!! One good thing about a lousy memory, though, is that I can read them 2 years later and not remember who the bad guy is!

    I have recently been on an Elizabeth Peters jag–found 3 recently–and love Amelia Peabody, et al! Have learned a bit about Egyptology! It’s hard to beat Agatha Christie, too! I still reread my Emily Loring romance/mysteries especially when I am depressed. One of the bestest, though, is till Mary Stewart!

  3. One place I’ve found items for resale is “Don and Chris’ Old Stuff”. (Not sure if it was alright to link to their site but it’s easy enough to Google.) They resell items from old store stock and warehouses. Amazing finds. I’ve purchased old Christmas, WWII, toys, and so much more. I’ve seen several people resell their items on ebay. Prices are really good.

    1. I’ve bought a few items from them over the years. I agree completely–they have great stuff! Thanks so much for mentioning them Erin 🙂

  4. Have you read the mysteries by Sharon Fiffer?
    Jane Wheel is the leading character. In fact you can search Jane Wheel on Facebook. So far there are only a handful of titles written.

  5. I’m a true vintage gal – I started my mystery reading with Sherlock Holmes, then started digging in to the past! I stumbled across a website that gave me a great reading list (http://mikegrost.com/outline.htm). If you have a Kindle or other e-reader, you can score many of these books for free. Another resource I use for older mysteries is Black Cat mysteries and Wildside Press (same company, different brands). The “megapacks” are an awesome deal.

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