You never really know what to expect and that's why I enjoy vintage shopping. Sometimes I will come across a really nice leather tote bag or a small wallet that is unique. One of my favorite instagram is for the two bloggers toocheapbondles. They have have featured all over the news and shop local thrift shops in the houston area.
Before I step foot in a vintage shop I take a look at pinterest and other sites for style inspiration. I take a look at what I have in my closet already, what fits, and what I am missing and use that information when I shop.
Most importantly I think - where can I wear this? And can I wear this? Does it fit well? If there is a stain in a vintage 1940's dress I doubt I'll be able to get it out but if its a strap that needs replacing that is a pretty easy repair.