I am an avid vintage and antique hunter. I mark my calendar for my local antique show every month. When I need a break from the world, I go browse my local antique market, and I’m not above heading to a few flea markets or garage sales on the weekend.
I live for the thrill of the hunt. I have a number of vintage items that I collect (small silver compacts and snuff boxes, Limoges boxes, tea tins, and anything Parisian). I have found that online shops have helped me to further my collections or to find that unique gift for a friend. I have collected my favorite online sites so that you too can shop like a collector! Some of these sites are great for buying and some are great for browsing and gaining inspiration. All are great for getting your vintage fix.
I discovered EBTH about a year ago. Since then, I have made several purchases of unique items. I have purchased everything from mother of pearl opera glasses, an antique French mantle clock, silver snuff boxes to add to my collection, beautiful etchings of Paris and many more items. I admit…I am slightly hooked.
EBTH is an online estate sale marketplace. You shop the sales and make a bid for the items that you choose. If a sale is close to your hometown, you can choose to pick up the item directly from the vendor and save shipping costs or you can choose to have the item shipped to you. I will caution you to pay attention to shipping charges. Some vendors are reasonable and some are outrageously expensive.
EBTH allows you to set up watches for particular items and they will send you daily emails with any new items listed within your criteria. For example I have the following in my saved searches: Paris, Limoges, and Silver boxes. You can also follow an item that you like and EBTH will let you know when the sale is about to end so you don’t miss out on bidding. www.ebth.com
Pros: You can get unique items often at very reasonable prices. I have bought two different pieces of art for $2 and then paid shipping. Altogether, I received amazing pieces for less than $20 each. Also, I did receive a item that was broken during shipping. I found EBTH’s customer service to be amazing. They responded quickly and refunded my money.
Cons: There is no consistency in shipping cost from sale to sale. Be aware of the shipping cost before you bid. Most large and heavy items are not eligible for shipping, only pick up.
I love One Kings Lane. They put together curated furniture and décor ideas to make shopping easy. I love browsing their site just to get ideas. If you are not interested in the rooms they have curated for the day, you can search their whole site to find just the item that you are looking for. One Kings Lane has a mixture of both new and vintage items.
I have purchased several items over the years from One Kings Lane. I have bought everything from coffee table books(they have a surprisingly good selection of new books), to oil paintings (I have a beautiful French street scene in my bedroom that makes me smile every morning) to jewelry. www.onekingslane.com
Pros: Beautiful vintage and antique items in pristine condition. Great selection of items from small items to furniture. They offer a fixed rate for shipping larger items and they offer either entry way delivery or white glove delivery.
Cons: Items on the site tend to be on the pricier side. Not all items on the site are vintage.
The motto for Cherish is “outfitting chic and unique homes.” Don’t you love that? This is also a well curated site with vendors that have met the qualifications set by Cherish. There are some really unusual and unique items available on this site. The prices go from extremely reasonable to extremely expensive depending on your tastes and desires. This site is a designer’s dream site. It allows you to save your favorite items and to even use their app to virtually place an item in your room. www.charish.com
Pros: You can search for vendors just in your area for easy pick up or delivery at no extra cost. They have a wonderful customer service opened 7 days a week to help you with any questions or concerns.
Cons: Shipping is bit on the high side for larger items. They do offer in home delivery for large items.
While this site is familiar to most, it is one of my favorite sites to purchase vintage items. I have bought dozens of vintage items from Etsy literally for all over the world. I have purchased antique tea and coffee tins to display on my coffee bar, Limoges boxes, antique pearls and an original Vanity Fair illustration from the late 1800s of Charles Spurgeon for my husband. When shopping at local antique stores, I look up items on Etsy before I buy them to make sure that the prices are in line. Etsy has vendors from all over the world who ship vey reasonably to the US. I have bought some of my most treasured items from France and England. www.etsy.com
Pros: Items tend to be reasonably priced. Vendors are from all over the world (which makes me feel I am actually shopping at a Parisian Marche). Shipping costs are usually very reasonable.
Cons: The quality of vintage items can vary greatly. You have to read the descriptions and ask questions when necessary. For problem, you have to go back to the vendor directly. Each vendor has their own return and refund policy.
This is a new site for me. Ruby Lane is the world’s largest, curated online marketplace for antiques and vintage collectables. The site boasts of 2,500 vendors who sell $125,000 worth of merchandise per day. They have been around for over 20 years so it is reputable. The items are sold at a set price rather than an auction format. In searching, I have found a number of rare and unique items at Ruby Lane…items that other sites do not have access to. With over 100,000 items listed, you are sure to find something that you can’t live without. www.rubylane.com
Pros: You have three days to return an item for any reason. The site has a magazine, blog and a wealth of information on collecting. Great resources for the newbie.
Cons: Items tend to be on the higher end of both quality and price.
Viyet is now Sotheby’s Home. This is an online consignment marketplace that specializes in vintage and antique furniture and accessories. This site is exactly what you expect from a name like Sotheby’s. It is filled with exquisite pieces that appeal to the serious collector. The site is arranged by designer or type of item that you are looking for. There is a fixed price or an option for you to bid. I do think that they need to figure out the shipping option. I was playing around with the site. I went to purchase 4 dessert plates for $300 and the shipping was $518! They claim white glove shipping that is bid on in real time. This is a great site to learn about designers and to get ideas. www.sothebyshome.com
Pros: A look at high end items that are not featured on other online vintage sites. Great way to educate yourself on high end brands and designs.
Cons: Items are listed at a high price point and the shipping costs are unreasonable. Selection is not as plentiful as other sites.
This site claims they have “the most beautiful things on earth.” It is a global site that offers antique furniture, jewelry, art and décor. This site markets to the super wealthy so their items are unique and beautiful but pricey. The site was founded by an interior designer who got his inspiration browsing Paris Flea Markets. Again, this is a super fun site to browse and to get an idea of how much things are actually worth but it may not be a realistic place for most of us to buy. www.1stdibs.com
Pros: You can shop by time period, creator, origin or material. There are dealers represented from all over the world so there is a unique collection of items. Great for inspiration.
Cons: The items sold here are extremely high end and expensive.
I would be remiss if I did not include Ebay on this list. It may be the most widely known site for vintage and antique items. There are a huge number of listings here so you have to be pretty specific to find the exact item that you are looking for. As far as deals go, if you are willing to put in the time and effort to find and follow and item, you can often get a very good deal! My husband is a church history buff and last year was the 500th anniversary of the Christian Reformation. I was able to purchase some really amazing items on Ebay from around the world: coins from Germany commemorating the Reformation, a vintage drawing of Martin Luther and a marble statue of Luther himself (something that we could not find in Germany when we visited). www.ebay.com
Pro: Likely the largest selection of vintage and antique items on the web. Shipping is often reasonable.
Cons: There is a little bit of Buyer beware associated with Ebay.
I hope that you enjoyed checking out these sites for Vintage decor finds. Do you have a favorite site? Are there sites that you buy items on that are not listed here? I would love to know.