Here are our top tips for how to be savvy when securing unique vintage homewares on social media.
Our favourite Melbourne's sellers on Instagram:
First things first, check out these popular Melbourne sellers and be sure to turn on post notifications!
Determine what homewares are suitable and practical for your space
Once your Instagram feed starts filling up with the latest posts and pictures from Melbourne's best online vintage homewares shops, you might start getting a little lost in the sheer variety and volume of what's available.
Vintage furniture and decor can give your living spaces a distinctive look, but only if you approach the process with a keen editorial eye. Rather than picking up anything and everything that appeals to you, focus your search on a specific period, style, colour or type of item. Consider what homewares are suitable for your lifestyle and complementary to your existing design scheme.
With these parameters in mind, you can be more discerning when window shopping on Instagram. It might take a little while to find what you're looking for, but it will be well worth the wait.
Ask for as many photos, measurements and other details as you need
Making an online vintage homewares purchase can be challenging. You won't really know how the piece looks in person until it arrives. For that reason, it's important to contact the seller directly to get as much information as you need.
Many sellers are happy to share additional photos, detailed measurements and other insights about a particular piece, such as its history and provenance. This can help you decide whether or not it's the right item for you.
If it's not, thank the seller and let them know what else you had in mind. They're always on the lookout and might be able to source something for you in the future!
When you see a piece you're interested in, don't be shy about asking for more information.
Read all shop policies before diving in
Each Instagram seller will have their own shop policies, which address everything from accepted payment methods to delivery and returns. Be sure to review these or contact the seller for additional information.
The last thing you want is to end up with a surprise charge that puts the piece outside your budget, or the inability to return something you weren't sure about from the get-go.
Practice the right claiming and purchasing protocol
Although some online vintage homewares accounts on Instagram will sell directly through the app and invoice through a service like PayPal, others operate their own e-commerce websites. Look at the seller's Instagram bio to find how you can claim and purchase a piece.
Some sellers will invoice the first person to comment "sold" on a post, or ask that you reach out via direct message and others you can purchase directly from their website. In general, refrain from claiming a piece unless you're serious about it. But once you spot that one-of-a-kind vintage item you've been looking for, act quickly! Some sellers get a high volume of inquiries and aren't able to put items on hold.
Keep perusing and enjoy!
Purchasing online vintage homewares through Instagram is undoubtedly different from what many customers are used to in the past. But after experiencing the thrill of the hunt and the exhilaration of finding the perfect piece, you'll want to keep coming back to see what other fabulous finds Melbourne's Instagram sellers have in store.