Thrift Shopping FAQ

Posted On Wednesday, January 12th, 2011
Filed Under: Looking FLY on a Dime, Thrift Stores

I did a short FAQ post before on thrifting but I figured I’d expand on it as I’ve been getting more questions specifically related to my favorite locations in NYC and tips for shopping there.

Salvation Army:

Unless otherwise stated, all of my Salv goodies are from the location on 46th Street {between 10th and 11th}. It’s extremely organized and some sections like shirts and sweaters are even color coordinated. So if you’re looking for something specific, like a white button down shirt, you easily know where to go. Wednesday is Family Day where most clothing, shoes and books are 50 percent off. Clothing is labeled with a specific colored ticket and on 50 percent off days, there’s always one color that’s not on sale. See how the sign below notes that white ticketed items are excluded from the sale? The pricing here can be a bit weird {I once found a Tracy Reese dress that cost $2 less than one from H&M} but like most stores, the clothing keeps getting marked down the longer it’s on the sales floor. And besides a great, organized selection of clothing, the third floor has an awesome selection of furniture {bed frames, couches, desks, lamps, etc}. In addition to 50 percent off Wednesdays, there are also discounts for students and seniors. Find a Salvation Army in your area.

Goodwill Outlet:

I love the regular Goodwill locations but I prefer going to the Goodwill Outlet in Long Island City {47-47 Van Dam St.}. Unlike the super organized Salvation Army, this outlet has a random assortment of bins you have to dig through. It can be a bit overwhelming if you’re new to thrift shopping, but if you have a little patience, you’ll score a ton of goods. Oh, and everything is priced by the pound {$1.69/lb}. I’ve walked away with more than 20 items for less than $18 {check out my most recent Goodwill Outlet haul}. I tend to find a lot of J. Crew and Banana Republic clothes here, but the shoe selection can be hit or miss. If you’re in to vinyl records, they have a ton and they always have a great variety of books. And don’t forget about the Goodwill Customer Rewards Card, which earns you money as you shop.

Housing Works All You Can Stuff warehouse sale:

This was my first thrift shopping experience in NYC when I moved here almost four years ago. The All You Can Stuff sale, also in Long Island City {4849 35th St.}, is exactly what it sounds like. Whatever you can stuff in the provided bag is yours…for $20. The bag is a big brown one, similar to what you’d get at the grocery store. This is also a setting where you have to dig in bins, but I’ve found some really amazing things here, including Chanel pumps and a Prada bag. Check out my Housing Works haul, where I was able to fit 38 items in my bag. There’s a sale coming up on the 29th.  I’ll be sure to give you guys some tips and tricks to shop the sale efficiently because it can be a jungle in there!