One of the best ways to save money and still find quality items is to shop at thrift stores near you.
There are plenty of great shops in your local area that will ensure you aren’t overspending on things like clothes, toys, books and much more.
And if you can’t find great deals or are limited to thrift stores, you can always go online for great discounts and savings too.
Below you’ll learn how to find quality thrift stores near you, the best thrift store chains to consider, and online stores where you can find great deals.
Let’s get saving!
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How to Find Thrift Stores Near Me
If you are an avid fan or shopper of thrift stores, then you have probably at some point typed into a search engine, “Thrift stores near me.”
Pending where you have your location on your phone, you’ll get quite a few results and options to choose from. However, pending the town and city you live in, your options could be quite limited too.
Here are some quick ways to find thrift stores near you that are worth checking out.
1. Google it and look at the maps
Start by Googling it or opening up your Google Maps and search for “thrift stores near me.”
You can also look for some of the affluent neighborhoods and search for thrift stores there; wealthier people tend to give away higher quality clothing, and if they give clothes away they’ll give them to the thrift store that is nearest to them.
On Google Maps, you’ll be able to see a few dots of all the thrift stores around several neighborhoods — that’s a good place to start. But before heading out to any, continue your research a bit.
2. Read reviews of the stores
You’ll now have a list of around five to ten thrift stores to explore (maybe more). You can check those thrift stores on Google maps and read reviews people have written about their experience there.
Have people found good stuff? Is there good customer service? What kind of items will you find?
You can also type the name of the thrift store into Google search and see if they have a website or if anyone has written a comprehensive review about them.
This will give you a good idea of the best thrift stores to check out and will narrow down your list to under five shops.
3. Drive around shopping areas
If you have trouble finding thrift stores, a good option is to take the car and drive around large shopping areas. There are thousands of thrift stores across the country, and some might not appear on Google maps or have their own website.
Some churches may have their own thrift stores, and many charities use thrift stores to raise money for important causes. Do some driving around shopping areas and you may be surprised with what you find.
There are bound to be some small local thrift stores too, which can yield some affordable finds.
Why Thrift Stores Can Be Great Places to Shop
It should come as no surprise as to why thrift store shopping can be a good idea, but here are a few reasons to consider when shopping at these stores.
Saves you money
The main reason people go shopping at thrift stores is that you’ll save money. For example, you can get great name-brand clothes for a quarter of the price, which means dressing up no longer needs to cost a fortune!
Helps you stick to a budget
If you’re on a tight budget, shopping at a thrift store will make it a lot easier to stick to the limits you’ve committed to.
You’ll be spending less on clothes and other items, which means you’ll have more money to spend where needed.
Buying quality used items for cheap means you might not even notice you’re on a budget!
You can find quality items for much less
Cheap items like clothes, toys, and books don’t have to be low quality. With thrift stores, you can still dress well and find quality brands without breaking the bank.
You can get designer dresses, shirts and pants that normally cost $90+ for something like $5. Now that’s a good deal!
You get to furnish your home on a budget
When you move into your first flat or house, you’ll need to spend money on cutlery, furniture, decorations and a lot more. It’s a very exciting prospect, but it’s usually not a cheap one.
The good news is that with thrift stores you can buy basic furniture all second hand and for half the price. Not only that, you’ll be buying items that have lasted a long time already — so they are likely to be durable and good quality!
You can make a sweet profit
If you discover a hidden talent for finding good deals, why not consider selling items for higher prices and making some money on the side?
Thrift store flipping is quite common and many people use that as a side hustle.
You may get very good at sniffing out good deals and then selling the best items for a profit, making a pretty penny.
And many people donate items and don’t realize how much they’re worth, which can be a great opportunity if you’re good at selling.
Of course, I always recommend donating items to people who may be in need as well. But you can make some money from flipping thrift item finds!
You don’t have to keep buying new baby clothes
Babies and children outgrow their clothes incredibly quickly. It’s not worth buying new clothes for babies if they are going to outgrow them in a few months.
You might as well buy baby clothes from thrift shops, so you can dress your children for half the price!
What Are the Best Thrift Stores Near Me?
There are two main types of thrift stores: chains and local shops.
If you are looking for local shops, the best way to find thrift stores is to do a quick search on Google in your area.
Or if you’d rather buy from a chain, here are a few good ones with locations across the country:
Goodwill Thrift Stores
It’s likely you’ve already seen these around. They are one of the largest thrift stores in the US and even have stores in other countries.
Everyone loves Goodwill because you’re likely to find anything from art collectibles, designer pants, and fun home decor. Their mission and cause are to provide jobs to disabled workers.
The Salvation Army is a thrift store that is an evangelical Christian church. Their mission is to provide food and support for people recovering from addiction or struggling in general without discrimination.
They have many stores all over the country and also set up “drop off” locations so people can donate their items easily.
Savers is a for-profit thrift store with over 315 locations across the US, Canada, and Australia. They’re also known as Value Village and receive their items by purchasing them from other charities and donations from individuals.
Crossroads Trading only has 37+ locations across the U.S. but they usually have much higher quality clothing and items overall, although they do tend to be a bit more expensive.
They usually pick items that are “trendy” and are with the current times, which means you’re more likely to find something you like quickly.
Buffalo Exchange has over 50 shops so you’re likely to find one in your own state. Their prices are affordable and they also make an effort to sell on-trend items of clothing.
They put quite a bit of emphasis on nice clothing and employing people who are into fashion.
What Are the Best Online Thrift Stores?
Not finding many thrift stores near you? Or have you exhausted on some of the stores in your area? No problem! There are plenty of online thrift stores too that will let you shop from the comfort of your own home.
ThredUp is one of the best thrift stores online. They only sell women’s and children’s clothes, but offer thousands of brands and lists for the millions of items they sell every week, making them one of the biggest online thrift stores.
They are straightforward to use and offer a whole arrangement of clothing types. You’ll certainly find something you like on here.
Flyp is focused on decluttering people’s homes. They’ve made it very easy to sell clothes: you just need to take a photo of your clothes and someone else is in charge of selling your item.
Once they sell the item, you receive the profits minus their commission. They accept all types of clothing from designer brands so you’re sure to find some good stuff on their website.
Patagonia Worn Wear
Patagonia is well-known sportswear and outdoor clothing company. The Worn Wear page sells second-hand clothing online and you’re bound to find good quality outdoor clothing for half the price.
Their sustainable clothing and business ethos mean you’ll find some great items that always remain in style and can easily be repaired thanks to their Ironclad Guarantee.
A bit like eBay, Poshmark is a marketplace to sell used items. If you know what you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find some great designer clothing. The main negative is that you can’t return what you buy and some of the items are a little overpriced.
Swap.com is a great marketplace to find high-quality unique items. You’ll find second-hand designer brands or brand-new clothes at discounted prices. They are also big on sustainable brands and recycled material.
Although you might think of Etsy more for unique arts and crafts, you can find some vintage clothes, accessories, and other items that would generally be in thrift stores.
There is quite a large market for people looking for these types of items and there are plenty of sellers doing so.
Note that some of those may be a bit more expensive than being in a physical store, but you can still find some sweet deals on Etsy too.
Best Items to Buy at Thrift Stores
Naturally, when you start to shop at thrift stores there are some items that are worth buying compared to others. Here are some of the best items you should consider buying from thrift shops.
There’s a big difference in price between new books and old books. You can buy old books for a few dollars, and use them to decorate your house, pull apart from projects, or even… read!
Holiday decorations are always overpriced. Buy them second-hand and in low season at a thrift store and you’ll love how your house looks.
Vases, Bottles, Home Decor
If you’re furnishing you’re new home or feel that your house needs a bit of lightening up, the thrift store will likely have a ton of nice jars, vases, and general home decor.
Toys are also generally overpriced. A toy that some kid has lost interest in or has outgrown is likely to end up donated to a thrift shop. If you’re looking for a toy to brighten up your kid’s day or as a holiday present, you’re bound to find something nice in a thrift store.
Art is incredibly subjective and it can be difficult to find something that fits your taste. Spend a few hours exploring thrift stores and you’ll likely find something you like. If not, you can always buy picture frames and add in the photos or deco yourself.
As mentioned before, thrift stores are perfect for kids’ clothes. Since clothes wear out so quickly and kids outgrow them, it’s worth buying items second-hand. You’ll find cheap clothes that are perfect for your children.
Worst Items to Buy at Thrift Stores
Although I’m a fan of thrift store shopping, not every item is a good idea to buy at these stores. You might be okay from time to time, but many of these you should stay clear from.
Buying a mattress at a thrift store is not a good idea for the main reason that it could be full of bed bugs or contaminated with dirt and who knows what else. Your best bet is to buy a mattress that is clean and won’t risk getting you sick.
Shoes must be bought new and of high quality. Bad quality shoes will cause you back pain and can be incredibly uncomfortable. Buy something that you are sure fits your size and walking habits.
If a helmet receives impact once, it won’t be as effective for future impacts. When you buy a helmet at a thrift store, you don’t know how many collisions it’s had. Buy a new helmet to ensure you can protect your head from injuries.
Second-hand make up is a big no-no. The makeup could have passed its expiry date and been in places you’re better off not knowing. Buy new makeup.
Cribs and other children’s items are supposed to meet strict regulations. You won’t know if a second-hand crib has fallen or received an impact, so it’s best to buy a crib new so you don’t have to worry about keeping your baby safe.