Sunday, August 8, 2010

Ten Things I Wish I Knew as a Junking Newbie

While I have been collecting on and off for many years, and have been saving curbside treasures for most of my life, I only became serious at the beginning of this year. With the help of great junking communities, forums, and blogs, as well as 6 months experience under my belt, I've learned a lot - although I'm still pretty inexperienced! Here are some of the things I wish I had known from the start:

1. BRING CASH! LOTS OF CASH!! Include singles!!
2. Don't be afraid to make purchasing mistakes when you're new; i.e. pay too much, not the treasure you thought, can't use it after all (the back of my garage is full of them).
3. Choose your words carefully when bargaining. "Will you take this amount?" may go a little further than "I'll give you this amount"
4. Ask questions about items in which you're interested. An aged-looking piece from Bombay Company can look like a vintage goody to a beginner's eye (trust me)
5. Don't bargain at thrift shops. They typically donate proceeds to some type of charity
6. Never underestimate the size of the transporting vehicle you need! Make friends with someone who owns a truck.
7. If you love something, BUY IT. You will find a place for it. Lack of space beats regret every time.
8. Don't decide to "come back later" for a flea market item. You will probably lose it to a quicker buyer.
9. Find an expert, or an experienced collector who doesn't mind being a resource. He/she will be a wealth of information
10. Don't expect non-junkers to understand why you get up at the crack of dawn on your only days off

What didn't you know when you first started, or what did you learn at any time that was most helpful to you? What advice do you have for us newbies?


  1. Oh gosh, love this post! Here are the things I an think of:

    1) sign up to - they'll email you all the sales in your area three days in advance.

    2) Don't be afraid to CALL the estate Sale company and ask what time they'll start giving out numbers - even if it says the sale starts at 8, there's usually someone there as early as 6 (or earlier) handing out numbers.

    3) Find out where the thrift store outlets are near you - they usually sell clothing by the pound. Bargain.

    4) make friends with the people at junk and antique stores - you can ask them to call you if something you love comes in.

    5) If you're in a thrift, grab everything you think you want, and before checking out, look over them carefully again, and DON'T bring home things with issues you can't cope with. Otherwise you'll end up with a repair bag that's sky high. Like mine.

  2. These are great tips Mona! #10 is so true...they don't understand!

  3. Thanks guys! Blythe...GREAT tips!!! I love the "networking" tips, and I, for one, have stopped buying items with damaged's just too time-consuming for me :) Gotta know my limits...