Hunting for vintage Pyrex in thrift stores has become one of my favorite pastimes. The thrill of seeing a piece on the shelf, the rock-bottom price tags, the satisfaction of cleaning a grimy dish and returning it to sparkling condition — it all adds to the fun of collecting. Here are 10 tips for making the most out of your thrifting experience.
- Go early and often. Many thrift stores stock their shelves multiple times a day, seven days a week. Collectible items like vintage Pyrex get snatched up fast, so the best way to get lucky is to hit up the stores frequently.
- Prioritize. It’s hard to scan for multiple items at once. Pick one type of Pyrex to look for — say, casseroles vs. mixing bowls — and focus on that first.
- Take another pass. On crowded shelves, great stuff can be missed. When you’ve finished looking up and down the aisles, go back through at least once.
- Look in unexpected places. Pyrex can turn up in the holiday section, in the plastics, in the cookware — a quick glance down the “wrong” aisle can turn up gold.
- Watch your competitors. Is anyone else shopping the same aisle? The items people pick up can clue you in on whether or not they’re looking for Pyrex. You might need to move fast to beat them to a coveted dish. Conversely, if there’s nobody around you can take your time to scrutinize every shelf.
- Check carefully for flaws. It’s better to discover chips, scratches or color loss (aka dishwasher damage) in the store rather than at home post-purchase. Then make an informed decision about whether or not you want to buy.
- Don’t overlook lids. In many cases, the lid is harder to find than the dish it fits. When you see a lid without its mate, it’s often worthwhile to grab it now and match them up later!
- Do some research. Try to get a feel for which patterns or sizes are common and which are harder to find. Should the dish have a lid? Is it part of a set? Could you get it for less on eBay?
- Ask for a discount. Don’t be afraid to ask (politely) for a better deal, especially if an item is damaged.
- Be choosy. It’s tempting to buy every piece you come across. But the reality is that most vintage Pyrex is not all that rare — you can find a lot of great dishes over time if you’re patient. Remember, chipped Pyrex should not be used in the oven, so chips take away from a dish’s value and utility. Dishwasher damaged Pyrex will never regain its shine. Some pieces you find might be severely overpriced, even in a thrift store. Keep all of that in mind, but if you love it, buy it!
One thought on “10 Tips for Thrifting Vintage Pyrex”