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Cities with the best thrift stores in America?
Old 03-28-2008, 10:13 AM   #1
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Cities with the best thrift stores in America?

I have done numerous searches on this subject on the net for a long time, but keep coming up with hardly anything. The one thing I did discover on some site, which I wish I had bookmarked but didn't, is that the inner parts of America--anything but coastal areas--has the best junk being resold for nothing. This was from someone in the business.
Can say Chicago is a mecca for junk in thrift stores, but the BEST stuff is being resold by the thrift stores themselves on the internet as they make more money there. They are trying to make a profit, too, so you really are not getting the best stuff that is given to them. Many people are not aware of this, but I made friends with a few managers the year I was there who gave me the scoop.
However, the lack of parking innercity and all the moving around there encourages people to give stuff away instead of having an estate or garage sale often (plus, the high crime rate and safety issues of having strangers in your house/apt.).
Houston, the 4th largest city in America, has zip practically. Lots of garage sales, but this isn't too appealing with the city being so spread out.
Does anyone on this board know which cities are great for thrift and junking? I always fantasized L.A. and San Francisco would be phenomenal, but have no real knowledge about these cities at all when it comes to junking.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:26 AM   #2
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My wife has reported Frisco is the best by miles, but she's mainly into clothes when thrift storing so that's a narrow view. Also the prices she was paying for whatever retro crap she was buying barely qualified as thrift.

Phoenix area has lots of thrift stores and I always assumed it was correlated to elderly population but not sure.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #3
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I think a lot of it depends on knowing where to go. Great thrift shops don't generally advertise, IME.

And I have been to some really awful yard/estate sales, as well as others where I have found some pretty good bargains.

No matter where you are, those bargains are somewhere and you just have to find them! I just love the search.
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Old 03-28-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Not sure what defines a Thrift Store, but for clothes there is nothing like Steve and Barry's. I swear I don't know how they do it and others can't. Everything in the store is currently $8.98. I bought my son a very nice ski jacket and myself some great jeans and basketball shoes. Why is it they can sell so cheap, but the same jeans at the Gap are about $40.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:51 PM   #5
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We have family in the Twin Cities, and holy cow, I had no idea you could get such great stuff at the local Goodwill! I was visiting a couple of years ago and the stuff we found in just a couple of hours was phenomenal -- leather-topped occasional side tables (antique) for $5, Cashmere sweaters for $3, Art Deco lamps, lovely china, crystal, leather-bound books (Classics like Dickens, etc) -- all for so little. My aunt has a house filled with beautiful, vintage and antique furnishings -- all from the local thrift stores.

I'm envious.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:55 PM   #6
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the Bay Area (oakland, berkeley, sf) is very good - for two reasons - there is a culture of not throwing stuff out and giving to goodwill or thrift - and also a lot of secondhand/resale stores that sell nice stuff and don't carry a lot of junk to sift through. Also, tend to be a lot of nice things because people have more money.

However, conversely - in southern cali - more people throw stuff out or give it away but are too lazy/snobs to pick through it all so you do get some good selection here too - whereas it is more common to buy second hand in the Bay area and so it is more picked over. But you'd have a heck of a time driving from spot to spot - very spread out.
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:28 PM   #7
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I live in Alabama and I must say there are numerous thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets, and such where you can find anything and everything. In Boaz, Alabama the outlet malls are truly good deals - not like some of the outlet malls say in Florida, etc. Also we have "First Monday" in Scottsboro where every first Monday turns the town into a major thrift store. Limestone County has major indoor flea markets. Unclaimed Baggage is something else here. Have you ever wondered what happened to that lost luggage? Check it out. And you are right. Good Will is a good place but the Salvation Army seems to have the hand me downs of Good Will. We also have a lot of consignment shops. Dog Day (sounds really red neck huh? it is, lol) but anyone can rent a space for 3-5 dollars a day on Sunday and Monday and sell anything - from clothes to produce to furniture to animals.... We also have the Fiddler's Convention here and people come from all over in their airsteams and motor homes for the week. This brings out more yard sales, etc. We have great antique stores also.

Tennessee is great for thrift store shopping also.

However, you are right too when you say the internet. Seems like that's the way most are going. One guy sold a $3.00 walmart hammer for $7.00 on ebay. He was upfront about it and just wanted to see what he could do. Amazing. There's something for everyone.

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Old 03-29-2008, 08:30 AM   #8
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Two quick comments:
I can see how Minnesota would be a mecca for thrift as there are so many wealthy statistically around the Twin Cities, and can you imagine what fertile ground for junking would be around Drs. alley, Rochester, Minnesota? Never spent time thinking of it, but that area of the country would be a great junkers paradise surely.
Secondly, there is a highway that goes from north to south on the eastern side of America--thru Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia area--that is famous for having a once a year yard sale up and down the highway. It is a main interstate, I think, and I wish I could remember the name of it; but, I surely would like to do that one just once, at least, for the fun of it. I'll bet they have a blast there!
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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We were just watching a special on it . It does look like fun.

127sale
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #10
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Yes, thanks, it is the Rt. 127 sale. Starts in Gasden (near Boaz), Alabama, which is outside Birmingham and on down.
Has anyone ever done that sale on this board I wonder??
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Yes, thanks, it is the Rt. 127 sale. Starts in Gasden (near Boaz), Alabama, which is outside Birmingham and on down.
Has anyone ever done that sale on this board I wonder??
After watching the HGTV show on it, I feel like I have done that sale many times!
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:05 PM   #12
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We went to a not exactly cheap but loaded with treasures thrift shop in Sarasota today . It was definetely upscale . I feel in love with some of the depression glass they have there . So I guess you need to add Sarasota to your list of good places to search for treasures .
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