When you want to buy something vintage to go with your vintage lifestyle, there are two places I’ve found that can’t be beat: Portland, Oregon and Ebay.
Why Portland? Without going into too much detail, they just have the best antique, retro, vintage and/or second hand shops I’ve ever seen. The people in Portland don’t see old stuff as junk, and they don’t see it as “collectible”. They see it as recycling. They figure, why buy a new set of glasses at Macy’s when you can buy a set from the 60’s with ten times more character for five bucks at a thrift store? So the stores have a ton of great stuff cheap.
Now I happen to live in the exact, diagonal opposite of the country from Portland, down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So a trip the thrift shop isn’t happening. And so we come to Ebay.
For those of you who know Ebay, you already know that it’s a great place to find deals. For those of you who don’t know, check it out. It’s easy as hell to set up an account, and you can pay for pretty much everything with a credit card or your bank account through their automated online payment system (PayPal). Search for single word things like “Tiki” and you’ll get a million products. Narrow it down to something like “vintage tiki bar sign” and you’ll get much more concentrated results.
I needed a new ice bucket for my Tiki bar. I wanted either something new and plain that I could customize with rattan to look like it was old, or an old ice bucket in good shape. I searched for “vintage ice bucket” and got about 40 results. Many of them were not very old, or in not very good shape. But I found the perfect one – a 1960’s job with gold trim and leatherette covering. Perfecto! I won the auction and got it for $2.50 plus $8.00 shipping. In a junk shop, that sucker would go for about $40. Fantabulous, baby!
BTW, the seller is http://myworld.ebay.com/leilani95.2007. She was very nice and shipped it fast. It’s in perfect condition and will look great on the Tiki bar. Look her up on ebay, she sells all kinds of neat stuff.