Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thrifted Thursday // Pair of Vintage Blood-Orange Lamps (& A Haggling Cheat Sheet)

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I have a serious thing for lamps. They keep finding their way into my house at such an alarming rate that the Mr. believes they're procreating like bunnies. Oops.

But the thing is ... they're just so darn pretty. And useful. And necessary. I mean, of course I have to snap them up; I have clients with needs people!

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This pair is extra special: great lines, great color, great scale, great bases. And there are two of them. It's the trifecta of vintage lamp shopping (or whatever the word would be for something that has five things going for it as opposed to just three).

If I wasn't literally in the midst of packing roughly 20 lamps right now, I'd be beetling up to Peabody to check these guys out and then ordering a pair of black shades (same height and diameter as the ones on there already) faster than you case say "hoarder". But seeing as I'm already getting the hairy eyeball from both my husband and the movers, I think it best for everyone if I pass these on to you guys.

If you're going up there (and trust me when I tell you that there are treasures galore in this place; it's one of my favorite treasure hunting spots), here are a few in-person thrifting pointers:

  • Be prepared to do a little haggling. The $145 price is actually very fair for retail sites (here are similar pairs on One Kings Lane and 1stDibs ) that are selling to high-end buyers and designers with very large budgets but I think there's room to get a better price in a place like this. I'd offer between 20-25% less than the asking price ... something between $109-116. If you're feeling your bargaining oats maybe even $100 (they need to clear their shelves and this has been taking up space for over two weeks) but be prepared for a counter offer.
  • No really, be prepared to haggle. The idea might seem terrifying but it's not really. Sellers at places like this expect some back and forth before a purchase is made ... it goes with the territory and many of them enjoy the process. So take a deep breath, put on your big kid shoes and go in there expecting to come out paying less than asking. What's the worst that could happen? The seller doesn't budge on the price. What's the best that could happen? Right. Trust me, the thought might seem scary at first but once you've done it once you'll be hooked on the rush (ask any of my clients who've been introduced to the process on buying trips with me).
  • Cash talks people. Bring cash. 
  • If there are other items in the booth that appeal to you/you need, consider grouping everything before making an offer (for example: I spy a vintage ice bucket in the picture above ... everyone needs a vintage ice bucket). The more space they can free up for new merchandise, the more likely they are to make a deal.
  • When haggling, remember to be friendly. This might seem silly but it's really imperative. Whatever seller has these lamps did all the back-end work to find it, buy it, haul it and clean it. They should be applauded for the find and thanked. Tell them they're beautiful (because they are!), tell them you love them (because you do!) ... and then tell them that you can't afford to spend $175. Everyone likes to be told that they're good at what they do and everyone understands that different people have different budgets.
  • Please don't lowball them just to feel like you're getting a better deal. These sellers have put a lot of time, heart and effort into their pieces ... and often times they depend on the income from the sale of the items. 
  • Be prepared to walk away. Yep, sometimes things don't go your way. But if you're not willing -- or able -- to spend the full asking, then you need to be ready to say goodbye. Sometimes just the act of walking away will make the seller more willing to negotiate but sometimes they really need to stick to their price to recoup their own expenses. Either way, you have to be willing to do it.
Good luck!

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