Here are my thoughts.
Stores labeled as "vintage/antique" usually have a nicer presentation in their products and most of the stores section off certain areas. Everything just flows well together. They also know what's in fashion and most popular, therefore, they price things higher than what we call "thrift" stores. I am also pretty sure that these stores go through many steps to picking certain types of items to showcase and sell in their stores which also may be added to their costs. Both my sisters also have a love for thrift, vintage, and antiques and my youngest sister spoke with a lady who sold women's vintage clothing and other items on her campus back in college. Apparently, they have auctions for all sorts of items from jewelry and clothing to kitchenware and tools. These are usually from abandoned homes or people who pass away and there is no one to claim their belongings. These items are auctioned off in bundles so most of the time, you do not know what the state these items are in, it's all about taking risks! Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. A store I visit once in a while back in SoCal, called American Vintage, apparently has a warehouse where they store and sort out their vintage clothing (after purchasing them) most likely based on season and colors. They then ship the items to their stores when it comes to the proper time. I personally love vintage and antique stores and in my view are more like a museum. I usually do not purchase items from there but go in to look at all past time items and to be inspired.
The "thrift" stores are more so items that have been donated by people. The most widely known thrift stores that I am familiar with are Goodwill and Salvation Army. Many people go to these stores and end up finding treasure that they purchase for a mere price of say $8.99 for a vintage leather chair and then find out that it's worth a lot more. I personally shop at these stores a lot more than what you would call vintage stores because at most times you can find similar things at thrift stores and pay a lot less. I would say the downfall of these stores are how they display everything, but I guess that's what makes the experience more fun and valuable. I guess I would say that thrift stores are more like a treasure hunt. Whenever I walk into one, I usually don't have the mentality of searching for a specific product but I go with the expectation of finding something unique and of past time. And when I do find something I love, I usually do not hesitate in purchasing the item because the prices are usually reasonable and affordable.
All in all, my love for both thrift and vintage/antique stores will always be here. Whether I go in for just a browse or come out with a purchase, both ways I am satisfied with the fact that I am fed in a creative and inspiring sense.
Here are some things I scored at different thrift stores over the past 2 years. (I have so much more, perhaps I will show them on another post!)
Vintage Gold Stretch Belts
Vintage Leather Clutch from Italy
Vintage Handheld Mirror
Vintage Hat by Lipp Hats from NY
Vintage Billi Coat by BillyCoats
Vintage Leather Rider Side Purse
Fashion Textbook from 1986
Vintage Leather Beauty Pouch
"Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend."
"I like vintage a lot."