As we limp through the last few months of 2020 and into 2021 with the pandemic still surging I started thinking about the kinds of items folks are buying beyond the necessities. Certainly there’s been an uptick in office and gym equipment, and comfy clothes have hit a home run as have alcohol and jigsaw puzzles! But I’ve also seen a 30% growth in my vintage biz and that surprised me. Hmmm…why would vintage and antique things be more desirable at this time? I have a few theories….
I think many of us are looking to reconnect with a more innocent, safer time in our past—likely when we were children and didn’t have the weight of the world on our shoulders. Maybe that’s why some of us are buying back our childhood now. We want to step back in time so we buy the 1960s Barbie we used to own, the red Fenton candy dish that sat on our parents’ coffee table and the granny square afghan that (not surprisingly) was made by our grandmother. Additionally some of us may be buying items we wish we had had as kids!
I’m not a huge fan of shopping therapy, but I can understand it and confess I have done it once or twice. During this time I don’t doubt that some folks are indulging themselves with a bit of bling or that special something to bring a little (albeit temporary) joy into their lives. Enough said!
Feathering Our Nest
With more time being spent at home I think some of us are investing time and money into creating more pleasing nests. Makes sense. Truly now more than ever our home is our refuge so many of us have been cleaning out closets and sprucing things up. Part of that “sprucing up” includes buying wonderful vintage paintings, prints and pottery. This year on Chairish alone I sold six pieces of artwork, which is particularly surprising as my Chairish store (Cloak and Dagger) is very small with less than 20 items. Here are two of these sales…
Rekindled Desire in Religious/Spiritual Items
For some of us this difficult season has caused us to rely more heavily on our faith. We may find ourselves praying and meditating more, and as many houses of worship are still closed or limited, we may seek to set up personal home altars.
So far in 2020 my sales for religious items have been strong. I’ve sold crosses, crucifixes, statues, replica icons and antique silver Russian travel icons. Typically I have menorahs in the mix too!
These two items sold a few weeks after I listed them.
[I wrote a post in August that you might also enjoy titled: What I Look for in Religious Items to Resell.]
Will the vintage buying boom continue in 2021? Perhaps boom is too strong a word, but I do think interest in older things will be remain high. As we continue to spend more time at home (particularly as colder weather starts here in the Northern Hemisphere), we will continue improving our living spaces and vintage items will provide the warmth, soul, quality and memories often lacking in newer items.
Here are some of the broad vintage/antique categories that I think will do well in 2021:
- toys/stuffed animals
- religious items
- travel souvenirs
Does any of this resonate with you and/or your business? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment.
P.S. If you haven’t visited my Etsy store lately I have quite a few things on sale as well as some interesting new additions!
I agree with everything you have said but also, have you listed more items online now that you are home more? I know I have! Be well…
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Hi Debbie. I wish I had listed more items. I’m a bit down from where I was last year. Hope your store is thriving!! Yours, Karen