Red Lamp Vamp: How I Shopped Victoriously at EBTH


Red Lamp from EBTH in its new home - Old House Diary
I really enjoy the home decorating site Everything But The House (EBTH.com). I love how it provides a venue to recycle quality items into new homes. I also love seeing other people's houses and how they decorate on the Sale Preview Days. It just makes sense to make recycling easy. Plus, it is one of the most affordable ways to decorate your Old Home with quality antique or vintage items. 
EBTH Red Lamps in their original home

So I wouldn't say I've conquered the EBTH site. I've had a few successes and a few misses, but I can tell you about these awesome red lamps and buying lamps in general from Everything But The House.
The Red Lamps at Checkout 

Buying Lamps in General
Let's face it. Lamps are expensive. And I hate to say it, but they are the last thing I want to spend money on when decorating a room. Granted I am very frugal. I look for bargains which does not match well with my high-end tastes. At EBTH the hot selling (and high-price-fetching) items seem to be the large furniture items. Lamps seem to get much smaller attention at the sales. 
My Red Lamps had previously lived the high life at the Belvedere in North Avondale. 

Choose Your Battles
So last summer, we had decorated our guest room of our beloved old house. Our neighbor and friend Jenny had helped us paint it as a side project. In this crazy old house, it was our ONE done room. Well it was almost done. It needed red lamps to pull together the comforter with the tan walls.
Old Lamp New Home

Pick Key Items and Shop Slowly
So I waited. I have a running list of key pieces I shop for such as a big decorative desk, a kitchen bench, a large dining table, large mirrors, bar stools and rugs. When I look at the site, I choose my city. Then put in my key items like desks to see what's available. I look at prices and watch and wait.
Red Lamp pulls it all together


Find Style Patterns

So when you find one item that looks in your style flip to the entire "Sale Location." If you like another person's desk for example you are going to like most of the things in their sale. The Red Lamps came from a swank apartment filled with antiques and one-of-a-kind pieces. 
Unique red stove on display at Sale Site

Visit the Previews in Person
Visiting the sale locations is a super fun way to take a free "home tour" of items you can actually buy. It's like combining the best things about a Home Tour with shopping. The Previews are also fun because you are often with like-minded fans of antiques and vintage items, collectors and Old House Fans. 
EBTH Photographer was helpful with showing items from next sale that she had photographed that day. Gorgeous rings!

Know Your Limit in Advance
So the best way to shop EBTH is to be on the website at the last minute of closing and put in your highest, most-comfortable bid. In the last minutes items you can get into a bidding war but you have to be there to know if you lost the item. However, items can also go way out of your comfort zone. Know when to stop. I was bidding for a green velvet 1920 Art Deco couch at one sale and it went into the red zone about 3,000-$4,000 range. I had to let it go and was glad I did. Though it was probably well worth the price, it was out of my comfort zone. 

Also don't do impulse consolation buys. So when I didn't get the green velvet couch, I bid for this green carpet that was also there but I only partially wanted. Darn it! I won that one. Sadly the green does not go at all. 



Bid Automatically 

So there is also the ability to place your highest bid in advance and walk away. A part of me wanted to believe that this would be rigged to automatically go to your highest price. But I've tested it a few times and I now believe, it works as advertised. It automatically bids for you but ONLY when you have a competitor. For example, with the red lamps I put in a max bid of $100 for the pair. (A complete steal!!!) They went for $90 and I got the notification in email to pick them up.

Be Willing to ReWork Items

So my daughter wanted a pair of wing back chairs for her room. I would never in a million year find them in a color that was pink enough to suit her tastes. So I bought  a pair of good quality ones and had slip covers made for them. Keep in mind recovering a chair can cost up to $500 per chair. Yikes. But slip covers are more like $250.


So my tips in closing are to be willing to wait. Decorate slowly. Know the few items you need next and shop for them slowly. I specifically needed red lamps. I searched just once a week on Friday and when they came up. I got them.

What are your decorating tips or EBTH tips?

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