Things I Wish I Knew More About

We can’t be good at everything, but we can sure try. There’s money to be made in every niche of a thrift store. I’m not advocating becoming an expert on a ton of stuff, but knowing the basics of each category can go a long way when your sifting through those cluttered aisles. Below is a list of stuff that I wish I had time to learn more about.

– Wooden, Hand-carved, African stuff (masks, instruments)
– Dolls
– Vintage Jewelry
– Monkeywood stuff
– Vintage Footwear (cowboy boots, Nike)
– Old Books and First editions
– Handbags and Luggage
– Pottery + Glassware (other than McCoy and Pyrex)
– Fabric, Textiles + Patterns

Reader Submitted Topics (Thanks guys!)
Fishing Lures
– Holly Hobbie


What woud you consider yourself an expert in? What would you like to know more about? Anyone want to trade some knowledge?

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3 responses to “Things I Wish I Knew More About

  1. Great post! I definitly need to brush up on a few things, such as coins/books/glassware. But in the meantime google has been quite handy!!

    p.s. I have tried joining your facebook group but the link doesnt seem to be working for me.. .. is it a private group?? Thanks!

  2. I’m a bit of a vintage jewelry junkie… it can be hard to date jewelry though as certain styles remain classic and there were revivals throughout the decades (ie Victorian/Edwardian being popular in the 70s). As a rule lockets and cameos are always valuable and popular. Generally, signed pieces will also be worth more, companies to look for include Coro, Sarah Coventry, Lisner, Miriam Haskell and Trifari. You probably already know that Bakelite is very valuable but it can be hard to tell what’s plastic versus bakelite without doing a test (which is difficult to do at the thrift). Prices of vintage jewelry also varies with current trends– ie vintage Southwestern jewelry and turquoise is hot right now because it’s also a trend that’s being seen on the runway. While I don’t shop retail anymore I like to stop into Anthropologie & Urban Outfitters once a season to see what’s ‘hot’ right now in the mainstream world as trends also increase the demand of their vintage equivalents.

    I’d also love to find out more about ‘primitives’ as whenever I see something at the thrift I’m suspicious it’s Made in India or from Pier 1.

  3. I’m pretty good on Native American Jewelry. There are several pieces in your picture that are Southwest Native American. The one on the far right as well as the butterfly look Zuni. I can’t tell for sure, but some of them appear to be silver but the stones do not look authentic, but it could be lighting. The two on the left appear to be antique and the Zuni pieces may qualify as antique as well. The bracelet on top, second from the left looks like work of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee tribe….North Carolina, not Oklahoma. Those are my best guesses. I’m part Native American, from Oklahoma, and my dad was a silversmith/jewelry maker. Hope that helps.

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