How Do We Do It? All Your Questions Answered Here!
Q: Where do you find things for your store?
A: We find the amazing things we put in our store from a variety of sources. Many pieces are brought to us by pickers or scouts, but we also do some shopping around at auctions, estates sales, and garage sales. In addition, many items just walk in the door with people who are looking to clean out and clean up!
Q: Do you take consignments?
A: No! Consignments would be a nightmare for us, given all the different people and companies who supply us with goodies. Each item would need to be individually tracked and inventoried, and we just don’t have the time or labor for it.
Q: Do you buy things from regular people, or just dealers?
A: We buy stuff from regular people all the time. Not necessarily normal people, but generally regular.
Q: What kinds of things do you buy for your store? Is the stuff I have something you want?
A: We take items from specific eras of history, generally from about 1900-1970. Kris is the buyer for clothing, jewelry, accessories, linens, kitchen gear, garden goodies, sewing patterns and materials, and anything old-techie, like typewriters and cameras. Items need to be in good condition to be considered for purchase.
Q: How does the buying/selling process work?
A: You can send us photos first if you have them available, via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text messaging. If you have a house full, we can arrange to come to you. We will inspect the items for condition, rarity, age, quality, etc, and negotiate a purchase price. We pay by cash or check, on the spot, for your items. Please call before bringing items to the shop since we are not always buying.
Q: How do I know what my item is worth?
A: We really prefer that people do a little homework first and come to us with a price in mind (even if we still haggle over it a bit). Consider what you paid for the item, what it’s worth on the open market (i.e., Ebay) and then think about what our store could get for it (about 25% less than Ebay, as a rule) and then divide that in half or by thirds, or even a quarter if it’s something really common. So for example, a 1960s pillbox hat might fetch $20 on Ebay. We’d probably get about $16. So the most we could pay you would be between $4-$8.
Q: What happens if I sell the store an item really cheaply, and it turns out to be worth a lot more?
A: We truly do try to give everyone a fair price, but mistakes can happen in both directions. In the event that your item turns out to be substantially more than we originally estimated, you’ll need to chalk it up to a life lesson. On the other hand, if we pay you a lot for something that turns out to be a lame duck, we won’t chase you down and ask for a refund either.
Q: Does your house look like the shop?
A: Nope. I live in a “normal” house with relatively modern styling. There are certain decor elements that do creep in from time to time, however.
Q: Is this a thrift shop?
A: No. And if you ask us that again, we’ll put an ugly hat on you and use you for a window mannequin.
Q: So what exactly is the difference between a vintage boutique and a thrift shop?
A: A thrift shop will sell pretty much anything, in any condition, at any price. As a vintage boutique, we sell clothing and accessories that are at least 40 years old (read: pre-1980s) that are in fair to excellent condition for their ages and rarity. We base our costs on the same factors.