Buying tips: vintage weigh and pay sales

Weigh and pay sales seem to be springing up all over the place, with more wholesalers realising they can shift stock, and more people wanting to get in on the vintage trend.  The idea is really simple; you simply pay for your items by weight, with all the sales I’ve been to priced at £15 for 1 kilogram, and large items capped at £15.

I love visiting weigh and pays because it’s a really cheap and fun way to pick up unique items to spice up your wardrobe.  Here are my top tips to get the best out of a trip to a weigh and pay sale.

  • Go early bird

Usually weigh and pay sales carry an entry fee of around £1.50 – which often is doubled for the first hour.  Fewer people go meaning it’s considerably less busy, so you don’t have to be quite so elbows out.

  • Consider your outfit beforehand

Often the venue won’t have a proper changing room, so you’ll either need to try things on in the toilets (and there will be a queue) or the organisers will fabricate a changing room that consists of a tarpaulin and a clothes rail.  I try to make sure I wear a couple of skinny layers to keep warm, skinny jeans and a flattish belt so as I can try items on over my clothes. You might also find it’s easiest to try items over your clothes in front of a mirror in amongst things.  Also worth remembering that if you’re going early bird you might not need to queue outside, so you might be able to ditch the coat – one less thing to keep track of while you’re busy routing out goodies.

  • If you like it, grab it

I tend to pick up anything I like, and once I have too much to carry I decamp to a quiet corner for a little try-on or discard session.  Once I have something I like, I’ll pop it into my carrier bag.  If I don’t like it I’ll stick it back on a rail.  I usually do this a few times as the organisers are often putting out new stock.

  • Be methodical

If you have Fear Of Missing Out, take a moment to recce the room and plot a methodical course around.  Usually items are grouped together – e.g. all dresses together, all shirts together – so if there’s something you’re after in particular then this can allow you to narrow your search.

  • Take cash

I always try to take cash with me, as well as a card.  The first sale I went to was massively understaffed when it came to paying – I had gone to general admission not early bird – and they ended up calling cash buyers forward meaning I skipped the enormous queue and could get out quicker.  If you’ve not got anywhere else to be later in the day then don’t worry too much, but if you’ve got somewhere to be you’ll be glad you hit the cash machine first.

  • Don’t panic (too much) about how much you’re spending

There are usually weigh stations around the venue so you can keep track of your spend – the only thing this means is that if you’re on a budget you’ll have to figure which goodies you can part with!

  • If it doesn’t fit, all’s not lost

If there’s an item you love but it doesn’t fit quite, consider whether it is something you can adjust yourself.  I found an awesome 80’s party dress which really doesn’t do up at the back, but am planning on chopping into a skirt so I can still wear it.  If you get something home and find it doesn’t look quite as you expected and you’re not confident adjusting it, take some nicely styled pictures and whack it on eBay.  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

I think that’s it for now – but I’ll add more if I think of any!



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