Really, if you have the time or money, nothing beats heading out for a day of shopping, visiting country themed decor stores with a close friend.
By theme stores I mean those small shops that focus on just one area of expertise. Shops that are more of a destination and thrill than a mash-up general-store-of-stuff that you may or may not need. (You know the places I’m talking about right? They have one or two of every thing – in non-discerning styles just in hopes that you’ll buy something if they’re fortunate enough to entice you into the store. Some cards, some teddy bears, some candles, some blankets – and no real cohesion or style to any of it.)
The theme stores that really work, that make you feel as though you’ve just walked into your best friend’s living room – are shops that you’d take a day to drive to. These are not the places you’ll go to fill the gap of: “I need to buy something for my second half cousin for her wedding…”
Themed shops are the way of the future. Truly I don’t understand why more ‘gift shop’ types don’t get this. Unless they’re the only shop in town, their sales dwindle every year with the flow of tourists while they scurry around trying to buy more non-descript items for just anyone to buy. They don’t know themselves, they don’t get ‘trends’, and they don’t know their market.
If you’ve been wondering why your small gift store is losing income every year – therein lies the answer.
On the other hand, theme stores continue to pull in the numbers, continue to have full parking lots, continue to make a name for themselves. They ‘get’ branding and they understand their customer. But they ain’t cheap, by any means. Which is why I want to show you great ways to decorate your home, primitive country style, online for less than the price that gift shop pays wholesale for these cheap accents.
Not only are you going to save money on the purchase price, you’ll also save time and gas getting there – and if that’s not caring about your environment while watching your budget I don’t know what is. You get all the joys of having new decorations to play with, without the carbon footprint and the deflated bank account!
Saving on Gifts and Decor by Shopping Online
I’ve been doing this for the last eight years. Browsed all the online decor stores by theme, category, keywords and more and at the end of the day I always end up on eBay. It just fills the bill – well actually it fills the boxes, the bill is always lower than retail.
Furthermore you’ll find thousands of nicely hand-crafted items by artisans who care about the end product (vs. factory made) and you won’t have the same decorating items in your house that your next door neighbor has – even if she’s got the same taste as you. Thousands of products, discontinued or overstock, lots of gift store ware (remember those shops above that are going out of business? This is where they sell off their stock when they’re losing their store. Going out of business because they just don’t have ‘it’) — at lower than average prices.
The joy and the troubles of shopping on eBay is in the numbers. With thousands of products, how will you surf through them all and still have time to make dinner? That’s where I can help. Especially if you’re into primitive country decor. Like I said I’ve been shopping this way for 8 years…
To give you an idea of how I filter and sort items, view the primitive and vintage items at right. They are nothing like the pages you’d find even with a custom search, on eBay. Although they may all be from one category (which as a rule has hundreds of pages and tens of thousands of products). My sorted listing is both varied in selection but still works within one theme. And you get to view forty items at a glance without being overwhelmed or pressured by pushy sales people and stressed out, near bankruptcy, owners.