I'm not any expert by any means when it comes to consignment shopping but I have done extensive research and wanted to pass it along to my readers. I have been looking and wanting some vintage jewelry to add to my wardrobe because I am sure my flower pins are getting really annoying and boring:)
(cameo brooch- can be worn as a pendant or pin)First off, let me just fully disclose that I do not and cannot go into thrift or consignment shops only because I am seriously allergic. I have attempted to many times and twice recently and ended up walking out sneezing like mad and welts on my face. Remember my seven confessions I did a while ago and I told you I am allergic to pretty much anything and everything? Yup, not fun. So I have limited myself to online consignment shopping which is much riskier since you can't see or touch any of the items.
Tips for Thrift Shopping:If you are going to go into thrift shops, first call and find out what day they are having their specials. Some consignment stores have a certain day where the sale is an extra % off. Usually, jewelry is placed in the glass cases by the register so head straight to that and go early during the day. All the good items will obviously go first.
(inspired by AlterationsNeeded)
1.) Price: I always set a limit for myself. Price is important because if it ends up breaking (vintage items are fragile), you are out that money. So that's why I always give myself a limit so in the event the piece is junkie- then I am only out that money. But if you find something spectacular and love it, then definitely get it because it won't be there for long!
2.) Condition: This is extremely important! Depending on the item, I look at the finish, the clasp, the gems, and the back of the item. Any green material on gold toned jewelry is NOT good! That green stuff is corrosion and will not come out and cannot be cleaned. If there are stones, wiggle them gently and some may be able to be tighten- check carefully.
3.) Signed Pieces: Look on the back of the brooch, pin, clasp of a necklace, bracelet or even on an earring clip. If you see a stamped name, that is the designer of that piece. Signed pieces are great because you know it's authentic and not "pretend" vintage. Un-signed pieces are still great and there are some really pretty ones out there but signed pieces are more valuable (if you are buying to re-sell). If you are buying online, they usually disclose if it's a signed piece or not. If there is a copyright symbol, that means that the piece was made after the year 1955 or so. If no symbol, you may have a real vintage piece that could date back to who knows! For sterling silver, make sure to look for 925 stamp.
4.) Pictures: When shopping online consignment (Ebay, goodwill etc...) always ask for pics of the back if they are not posted. You can really tell if a piece is in good condition from the back. And ask questions!! Ask if the pin or clasp is in good working condition. Pictures can be deceiving so buyer beware!
Some of my favorite online consignment shops include Ebay, Shop Goodwill and The Snob. Since I can't go into thrift shops, I love that Goodwill is online now but the competition is stiff! There are always bids on the good stuff so make sure to constantly look for goodies!
Do you have any vintage jewelry and if so, where did you find it?