Shopping Tips for Vintage Fairs - BrokeinLondon

5 Shopping Tips for Vintage Fairs

Shop smart, at Vintage and Craft Fairs

by Becky Hartley from Hancock & Smith Vintage Fairs

Nowadays shopping vintage clothing has become such a trend; there are whole tv shows, magazines and markets dedicated to vintage dresses, 1950’s fashion, boho clothing, indie clothing, vintage wedding dresses and any other type of vintage clothing you can imagine; not to mention vintage furniture. There are certain parts of London I would fear to walk through, in my high street shop type get up, but with an antique button ring or a natty scarf I can pass through the streets with a knowing nod to my fellow savvy shoppers because we know we are wearing something unique.

Vintage clothing is not just purchased; it is experienced! I remember only too well the thrill of finding the perfect blazer in a Harrogate vintage store, and the gorgeous 60’s dress from Brighton I wore for a family wedding. With vintage becoming so trendy though I have found myself priced out of the musty, second hand shops I used to frequent. So I stumbled on something different – the pop up vintage fair. Here are my top tips for pop up vintage clothing shopping:

#1 Vintage clothing shopping – then TAKE CASH

Make sure you carry cash on you or at least know where the nearest cash point is. These are independent sellers who for the most part, will not be able to afford a card machine.

#2 Vintage dresses in volumes costs – so HAVE A BUDGET

Having physical cash in your pocket rather than your credit card can really help you stick to your budget as well. If you don’t have the money, you can’t spend it.

#3 DON’T BE AFRAID TO HAGGLE even for your vintage wedding dress

Haggling is not part of our culture but it is great fun and there is no harm in asking – the worst case scenario the seller says no but best case, you get an even better bargain! Make sure you really love something before you part with your cash and remember, if it’s pre-owned it’s pre-loved so expect a little wear and tear.

Shopping Tips for Vintage Fairs

Vintage armchair


Finding the best places to shop is heavily focused online. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great ways to join groups, follow people and look up hashtags like #vintage #vintagefairs #london etc. Word does spread and the best part is that it is live – I have updated my Facebook page with photos and comments while at an event which has brought other people along on the day so get involved!


I have bought original art work, organic oils, vinyl AND vintage furniture at vintage fairs. These events will usually have everything: from crafts to cupcakes. A retro home-phone could be next to a Georgian tea set, so make time to really explore and enjoy the whole place. Soak up the atmosphere, chat with the sellers and treat yourself to a slice of cake!

Shopping Tips for Vintage Fairs

Vintage bag

Check out Hancock & Smith’s Facebook Event page to find about our upcoming Hancock & Smith Vintage, Craft and Retro Fairs.

You may also want to check our post about Second-hand shopping in London.