During my trip back to my hometown, Ipoh, I tried my luck in searching for vintage bags. With little knowledge of second hand or thrifted shops in Ipoh and purely based on my recollection of memories of a closed down departmental store, I further pursued my quest with little hope.
My memories did not disappoint me. I found several second hand stalls which sell used items - electrical, clothing etc. I was thrilled to find couple of vintage bags and without hesitation, I bought five bags in a go. I bought two more bags from other stalls respectively. There were good deals and I could not get such good offers back in KL or from blog shops.
After back in KL and checking through my purchases, I have summed up the following points when purchasing vintage bags directly from second hand or thrifted shop or jumbo sale:
Check the condition of the bag
Check every bit of the bag - zip, pockets and strap. Look for scratches and other faulty bits.
To restore or not to restore
Ask yourself; are the scratches acceptable? Can you clean the bag yourself or do you need to send it to someone professional to do it? If you need professional, how much would it cost?
Have contacts of shop or someone who can assist you with the cleaning or repairing the bag if there is a need. Leather cleaner or polish or any other tools required if you want to DIY.
Do you have the budget to repair or restore the bags? If yes, does it worth it to do so? I mean, we have to be realistic and practical at times, say the bag was purchased at less than RM20 but to restore or repair it cost more than RM20. Need to work out the maths here: repair or restore cost vs the aesthetic value of the bag.
Well, the above pointers are few things that you may would like to think about. Vintage bags hunting can be fun but do not let the fun and excitement blinded you. I have few vintage bags which need to be restored and I am still contemplating about it and trying to find more affordable means to do so.
Top right: dirty condition inside of a bag
Bottom right: need to be glued