Tips For Shopping Vintage Online

In this post you’ll learn some tips for shopping vintage online and where to look. Whether your design aesthetic leans towards modern, transitional or farmhouse…vintage pieces give your home a stamp of its own!

antique french floor mirror

Firstly, I’ve received so many wonderful emails and comments on social media about my decor over the years. I truly thank you for that and it keeps me going, knowing that I provide some inspiration. And this mirror! I just found this beauty last week online, and it inspired ME to write this post that could potentially help YOU to find a special piece. Plus…readers have been requesting this kind of post, so ask and I do my best to deliver!

Decorating Style

master bedroom with vintage french decor

At this time with most of us being home we are looking to further feather our nests. As I sit out on the back patio with coffee in hand to sharpen my brain, I’m thinking back to when we first purchased this home. We have been here for over thirty years now and raised our family in this house. Things haven’t always been easy as life tends to toss in both the good and the not, but it’s been a haven and place of familiarity. Of comfort and of joy.

In terms of decorating I compare it to the undulating waves of life. The tides change and tastes change as the days and years ebb and flow. A color that may have been an obsession in our twenties may not bring peace in our fifties. A collectible craving from our thirties may be relegated to the basement in our sixties. Disorganization and chaos of our forties may give way to quiet in our eighties. And so on. In my own family, mom was well known for wanting to give it all away as she aged. Styles change, we change and I think that’s a healthy and natural way to progress in terms of decor.

vintage french canisters filled with flowers

Be Uniquely YOU

Are you on Instagram and see all of the MODERN FARMHOUSE style? URG! It’s a sea that is somewhat the same. A sea without depth. I think that these are mostly the younger home decorators and they’ll come to a point of change. They might start to question how they can set their homes apart from the rest at some point. Give their decorating some life as well as a more personal stamp, if you will.

white farmhouse kitchens tips for shopping vintage online

My philosophy has remained consistent in that you can have a beautiful and INDIVIDUAL home, regardless of budget. When my husband and I first started out together our budget for decorating was slim to none. I collected, shopped second hand, accepted hand-me-downs, painted, fixed up, mashed up styles and found a way to make it work. Clearly many do this and I’m not alone. Vintage has always been a key element for individuality. Indeed I’ve learned a thing or two about collecting and today I’m talking specifically about tips for shopping vintage online.

Tips For Shopping Vintage Online & Picking Up

Proceed With Caution!

Undoubtedly, there are plenty of scammers while shopping online. Above all, put your safety first and go for a pick up with someone else…preferably a big hunky guy. Hah! If possible do a meetup in a public place, but if that isn’t possible as the seller to meet you outside. Do your research first, not only when evaluating the object’s worth but search the area that you’re headed to. Look at Google Street View and above all make sure that it’s not too sketchy.


Score! I have to admit that although I haven’t been on Craigslist regularly for quite sometime. However, it’s been the source of some of my best finds. Like this exquisite mirror that I found recently!

shopping vintage online

Clearly this was a fluke! I had been wondering if anyone was selling much of anything, since garage sales have temporary halted in my town. I got on and went straight to the Miami listings, since most Craigslist sellers won’t ship. Then I went into the box that says “search antiques” and put “mirror” in the description box.

how to shop on Craigslist tips for shopping vintage online

I have the gallery view open so that it shows images and pricing too. It’s mostly junk on any given day, at least here where I live.

how to shop Craigslist for antiques

I’ve also used the terms of other items that interest me, such as “French”, “Louis XV” etc. If you search regularly you can tick the box that says “posted today” so you only see what’s new. There are other categories in my tips for shopping vintage online to follow. Look in the furniture and collectibles categories, as well as garage sales.

Facebook Marketplace

I have bought both and sold on Facebook Marketplace. Indeed it’s similar to Craigslist, in that many sellers will not ship and you’ll do better to look locally. There are tons of buy and sell groups on Facebook! You’ll find a bit of everything in the neighborhood groups and there are brand specific groups for resale as well. I have sold rugs that I received in collaborations, a Restoration Hardware sofa and other furniture, Serena & Lily linens (which I shipped), Christmas items and camera gear. Keep in mind that people are looking for good pricing and not retail. There is a certain protocol of suggested rules to be followed. You are supposed to connect with potential buyers down the line as they indicate interest. It can be a great way to sell things, nevertheless it is often exhausting to deal with some of these buyers.

vintage bottle collection shabbyfufu

Tips For Shopping Vintage Online With Delivery

Ebay For Vintage

You may (or may not) know that I got my online start in the infancy of the internet over 20 years ago! I had been buying and selling vintage locally prior to that and when eBay came along it opened up a whole new world. As a stay at home young mom I had my spaces in antique malls and not only that, was able to make a full time living on eBay. I quickly became a Power Seller there and those were some great times to buy and sell auction style. As it happens, times change and eventually the eBay auction has seen it’s heyday. However, I’m including eBay in my tips for shopping vintage online because you still can find things and use the Buy It Now feature.

Etsy For Vintage

No longer just the darling of handmade, Etsy has it all! It’s one of my favorite places to shop for vintage online! Contrary to eBay, Etsy was never an auction house style site and you simply use the search feature and go. In addition to sellers in the U.S, there are overseas vendors as well. If you’re searching for European vintage you’re almost sure to find what you’re looking for on Etsy. Keep in mind that shipping from overseas sellers can be expensive, so be sure to check out the cost prior to making a purchase.

Estate Sales (Dot Net)

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this source in my tips for vintage shopping online (and offline). If you’ve ever looked for estate sales where you live, then you might be familiar with Some of the companies that run these sales in realtime have started offering sales on the site as well.

Finally, there are other outlets/sellers/small shops and I could go on and on with other tips for shopping vintage online. You probably have the best chance of getting a good price if you frequent the sites above, but you’ll need patience. If you see something that you simply MUST HAVE, don’t wait or you might lose out. Remember, decorating Rome wasn’t built in a day and it takes time to curate a collective home!


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    1. That definitely is an area that I’m so familiar with and I’m happy to share! xo

  1. Becky Mingle says:

    I would really love to see more posts about supporting your local small vintage shops & antique malls. You don’t always get what you expect when you buy online without actually looking at the piece. Also more than ever we need to support small businesses!!! If we don’t, online vintage will be all we have!

    1. I definitely support small vintage shops, but right now they aren’t open…at least around here. I feel that we need to keep the economy going right now and all of the sellers on the venues mentioned are individuals, so we are doing good to purchase from them. Have a great evening!

      1. Becky Mingle says:

        In most states they are open as of May 1 & they’re struggling! As is all small business. Online has had the business for 6-8 weeks & now it’s time to go local. And thru most of this antique shops & malls have been offering curbside pick up & shipping. Lots of shops & malls have been doing Facebook live to keep their brick & mortar open. Pay now, pick up when they reopen has also been an option & I’m sure it is where you live too! These are just my thoughts as a small business owner.

        1. Yes, all small businesses with retail locations that have been closed are struggling indeed. This article offers advice in shopping small business online though as an alternative, as many sellers have discovered that they can target a broader audience and make more money by offering online options as well.

  2. Christine says:

    Truly enjoyed your site. I recently purchased a mirror on Facebook marketplace similar to the first one on your page. I’ve been thinking thAt it might be too ornate. You have encouraged me to go with it even though my daughter says”mirror mirror on the wall”. Like the fairy tale.

    1. I’m so glad that you’re going for it Christine and in my opinion mirrors are one of the best decorating “tools”!

  3. I just bought wicker chairs and a table for our patio from FB marketplace. It can be so frustrating though when I’m selling as you can get many replies and unlike a garage sale, first come first dibs doesn’t really work well as so many reply then don’t get back to you and you can get a back log of folks asking but here you are being nice waiting for that first person…I’ve since realized it just doesn’t work like that. I try to be open and get that person who actually wants to come get the piece. I like porch pick-up but I hear stories about some who don’t pay..sad. I’ve learned some things from you today Janet. I’ll save the tips too. Thank you for gathering all the links:0)

  4. Hi Janet,
    I have bought from all of the sites that you talked about. I have never sold anywhere except Craigslist. I even shop small secondhand and antique shops when I vacation.
    Do you have any tips for Facebook marketplace to see only local items. When I put something in the search bar, I get a lot of ship to you. I do t have a local only choice. Even when I set my area to 20 miles, I get a lot of ship to you.
    Thank you for a good post.

    1. Donna, try finding local buy and sell groups on FB in your area. That’s what I have done to find my best chance of pick up.

  5. If I may reply to Donna? When you go to FB marketplace, join all the “groups” that are local,and others areas you may be interested in. Then, things will start showing on your FB mp page. Find groups that mention your area and join. They all pretty much let you join. That is how to get your “local” products, both buy and sell, to show up on your feed! Hope this helps!

    1. That’s a great tip too Peggy. I buy and sell in one group in particular in my area and there is a lot less spam there.