Search by subject. Narrow down what you’re looking for to a few keywords that can be entered into a search engine on an auction site. If you don’t, then you’ll spend hours scrolling through items you don’t want or need.
Use your thesaurus. Can’t find what you want? Trying different or similar search words for a specific item might bring better results and an otherwise overlooked treasure. For example, if you are seeking a Dazey butter churn, you might search for “antique butter churn,” “vintage butter churn,” or “antique kitchen appliances,” among other variations.
Stay local. Darlene limits her searches on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to within 25 miles of her home. That way, if she finds a larger piece, she can easily travel to pick it up. Bargains can turn into pricey purchases if you have to add in substantial travel or shipping expenses.
Fly free. Look to see whether your area has a “Buy Nothing” Facebook group that posts freebies, or check out www.freecycle.org to join a group of others who are dedicated to recycling and repurposing goods to keep them out of a landfill.
Connect with collectors. Beyond finding opportunities to buy items, Darlene says she also gathers lots of inspiration and like-minded friends via Facebook groups, Pinterest and various blogs dedicated to primitive decor.
Photographed by Bill Mathews
Styled by Pilar Simon