From vintage designer dresses to rare books, the aisles of most thrift stores are lined with endless amounts of treasures just waiting to be discovered. Not to mention it’s the most sustainable way to shop these days! Today, we’re sharing the thrift store gems that definitely deserve a place in your shopping cart.
If you’ve ever spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to shimmy your way into a pair of skinny jeans, then you’ll be happy to know that many stylists think these tight pants are on their way out. Another piece of good news is that your local thrift store is a great place to find many different styles of jeans.
Not only do these invaluable stores stock good quality jeans that usually retail for hundreds of dollars, but they sell them for much cheaper! If you find a good place, you can usually find a vintage pair of Levi’s jeans - perfect for embracing the looser fit of jeans affectionately known as “mom jeans."
Unique Molds and Cookie Cutters
Whether it’s because people had more time on their hands, or because they took baking a bit more seriously, the intricately designed baking molds and cookie cutters of yesteryear are practically works of art. It's tough to find ones as beautiful as these nowadays as they're usually made out of silicone or plastic.
But these baking molds, often shaped like flowers, animals, and other elaborate designs, are so beautiful that they can be repurposed as decorative accents in your kitchen. They don't make them like that anymore, so if you come across one in a thrift store, grab it before anyone else does.
If you’re looking for another excuse to skip the workout, complaining about the cost of exercise equipment will no longer suffice. It turns out that your local thrift store can be a good place to pick up some new equipment for your new healthy lifestyle. If your local thrift store stocks it, it's probably still in good condition!
From free weights and bench presses to exercise mats and elliptical machines, you can find tons of props and equipment to jumpstart your new fitness routine with most of these items being either fairly new or lightly used. You’ll enjoy focusing on working out your body and not your wallet.
Though a plethora of scary movies may have creeped some of us out at the idea of owning a doll, many would still disagree. Thrift stores are often the favorite scouring spot for doll collectors looking for antique or unique dolls. You'll find dolls and puppets from the 1940s through the ’80s.
It’s not just collectors that benefit from hitting up their local thrift stores - those looking to resell items can quickly make hundreds of dollars selling their items online. If antique porcelain dolls aren't your thing, thrift stores are often full of vintage Barbies complete with tiny outfits and shoes to leave Barbie looking her best.
For many students, the astronomical costs of many textbooks can be quite a shock. Thankfully, thrift stores can provide a bit of relief when it comes to shopping for next semester’s textbooks. Thrift Stores, especially those located near college campuses, can stock recent editions of many textbooks or reference books.
If you're lucky, you can even find copies of many textbooks that make up the “required reading” sections on your syllabus for college or university. It seems like depending on ramen or their parent’s cell phone plan isn’t the only way college students are saving money when they go back to school!
Glasses and Stemware
If you’re looking to add some additional drinking glasses to your drinking cabinet or home bar or maybe you just want some pretty cups, look no further than your local thrift shop. Create your own “Mad Men”-inspired home bar with a vintage glass decanter, funky shot glasses, or colorful glassware.
Many event halls or couples donate unused stemware or other glasses from weddings to thrift stores which means you may luck out and find many glasses with the same design - perfect for hosting your own events. Even if you’re not a drinker, these glasses are often so beautiful, that they look great even on a shelf!
Coat and Jackets
There are many places in the world where residents find themselves wearing a coat or jacket almost every day of the year - for this reason, many have no issue spending quite a bit on a well-made jacket or coat. But what if you could find a well-made designer brand coat or jacket for far less?
Coats and jackets can be pricey so thrift stores are a great place to stock up on winter weather necessities. You can usually find vintage coats that still look stylish for a fraction of the cost. Stay warm this winter without spending a lot by shopping at a used clothing store.
While some people feel conflicted about using pre-owned food utensils, most know that after a thorough cleaning, this cutlery will be as good as gold … or rather silver. While cutlery made with real silver is typically labeled, if rummage enough you'll sometimes find real pieces mixed in with regular pieces.
Luckily, many experts can tell the difference and are able to add these valuable utensils to their collections or sell them to the highest bidders. So next time you come across a box of mismatched silverware, take a better look - you might just have stumbled onto a treasure box!
If you’ve ever wondered what your mom did with your collection of Cabbage Patch dolls or Pokémon cards, the answer is that like many used items of our past, they ended up in a thrift store. Among the items lining the shelves of most thrift stores are some of the most popular toys of decades past.
Thrift stores and boutiques are one of the first places collectors go when looking for that special vintage toy. From Beanie Babies to Polly Pockets, you'll take a walk down memory lane as you cruise the toy aisle in your local thrift store! Thrift stores are usually brimming with toys and trinkets from yesteryear.
While there’s no shame in shopping in places like IKEA or other stores, you can’t really compare the quality of mass-produced furniture that's made today with the craftsmanship of decades ago. Thrift stores and used furniture shops often carry unique pieces of wooden furniture made entirely out of solid wood.
Even better is the fact that these furnishings are often priced low to move them out quickly. While some are ready to join your existing home decor exactly as they are, others may require a bit of TLC to get them living room-ready. So be ready t grab some sandpaper and varnish for your next DIY project!
Though there have been stories of people finding priceless works of art hidden in the aisles of their local thrift stores, most people typically find artwork commissioned by local artists or even unique pieces created by lesser-known artists. You can even find chandeliers or sculptures that look like they come straight out of a museum!
Though some frames may date certain pieces (we can tell your pastel-colored plastic frames are from the ‘80s), a simple re-framing can make these pieces of art really pop on the walls of your home! Not only that but by buying a unique piece of art, you can say that you own something truly special.
Old Maps and Atlases
With so many apps and websites, the idea of using a physical map can seem practically prehistoric. While there’s no denying the convenience of using our modern maps on our smartphones and GPS devices, there are times when technical difficulties or lack of reception can make resorting to paper maps a necessity.
Some map and atlas collectors also like collecting older maps that how much the world has changed and show the original names of areas around the world that have since changed. Where many see a pile of yellowed and ripped papers, these map hunters see a perfectly preserved piece of world history!
Vases and Other Glass Art Pieces
There’s nothing like receiving a colorful bouquet of fresh flowers and displaying it in your entryway, but sometimes, finding a vase for these beautiful bundles can be quite a challenge. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on beautiful vases and other unique pieces of glass containers.
Thrift stores can often contain aisles of high-quality vases or other pieces of glass artwork. Some thrifters have even been lucky enough to stumble upon vintage glass pieces such as art deco designs, hand-blown glass sculptures, and beautifully crafted lead glass vases - antiques that can fetch hundreds of dollars!
While welcoming a new child can be an incredible moment for families, it can also be an expensive one - baby clothing, while adorable, can be quite pricey. What makes it more difficult for some new parents is the fact that babies outgrow clothing so quickly that piles of new clothing become useless in a matter of months.
For this reason, new parents are turning to thrift stores to purchase gently used baby clothes. By washing the used clothing with a sanitizing laundry detergent, you can be able to find affordable options for every stage of your baby’s growth without breaking the bank. And once they've outgrown their clothes you can send them back to the thrift store.
While this generation will never know the tragedy of a scratched record album, more people are discovering the amazing sound quality and sentimental value unique to vinyl albums. While plenty of expensive vintage stores cater to the “old is new '' loving hipsters, local thrift stores typically carry a variety of vinyl albums from years ago.
If you have a vinyl player then you can again experience the amazing music of yesteryear for prices that haven’t been seen for decades. Even if you find vinyl albums that are scratched or no longer work, these records and record covers can make for funky and interesting decor in your home.
Tools With Lifetime Warranties
It is estimated most people only use the tools in their toolbox for just a few minutes over the course of their lifetime. With such a short period of use, it seems pretty wasteful to spend huge amounts of money on household tools that will only end up collecting dust in your garage.
What many people don’t know is that there are other places (besides the big box stores) to buy high-quality tools and DIY supplies - your local thrift store. There, you can typically find tools like hammers, screwdrivers, and even power tools, all from well-known brands. Many of these brands even offer lifetime warranties for their products.
When it comes to choosing appropriate attire for work, many say to “dress for the job that you want.” But when you’re looking for a job or on a strict budget, well-made professional clothing can seem out of reach. Thankfully, most thrift stores offer business-appropriate clothing items including suits, dress shirts, and even ties.
Thrifters can often find clothing from expensive brands synonymous with business clothes such as Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, or even Polo. Button-up shirts and slacks are typically found in thrift stores and are often high quality featuring expensive fabrics and lining, helping you to feel your best when you nail that interview!
There’s a reason why some bedtime stories are so timeless - whether they’re fairy tales or fables, these timeless stories are a part of our childhoods and will forever remain in our hearts. With so many books written for children, creating a home library for your child can quickly get expensive.
Some parents have begun filling the shelves of their home libraries with books found at their local thrift shops. Thrift stores receive a variety of donations from different places including private collections or even retail stores meaning it's very likely that you may even find new or lightly used children's books - perfect for storytime!
With all of the other concerns that expecting mothers have, having to find nice and affordable maternity clothes shouldn’t be one of them when you can just pop in at a nearby thrift store. Many expectant mothers choose to wear specially-designed clothing created for their changing bodies that will accommodate their growing bellies.
Unfortunately, maternity clothing can be quite expensive, especially considering how short the period of use will be for these items of clothing. Thrift stores or used clothing stores often stock maternity clothes from well-known brands. Mothers-to-be will be able to use the money they saved by buying used clothing for the many new costs associated with their expanded family.
Novelty Kitchen Appliances
Admit it - at one point you’ve been tempted by a particularly interesting infomercial featuring a novelty kitchen appliance. Whether it's thinking that you’ll bake your own bread every morning to buying a waffle maker after using one at the hotel’s breakfast bar, many of us soon find our cabinets full of generally useless (and bulky) kitchen appliances.
For whatever reason, those infomercial-inspired purchases eventually make their way to the aisles of local thrift stores. Thrifters can find these novelty appliances and devices for a significantly lower price and may be surprised to find these appliances have barely been used and some are still sealed in their boxes!
While most of us don’t really think much about baking dishes and oven-proof plates, there was a time when bakeware was a hot commodity and the pride of many homemakers and their homes. Pyrex, an oven-safe glass material used for baking dishes and glass storage products was introduced in 1915.
Vintage Pyrex pieces have become an especially valuable item for many collectors who pay hundreds of dollars for these items. With their unique look and interesting patterns, many collectors often want to display these vintage kitchen items as decor or even repurpose them as vases versus actually cooking in them.
Signed and First-Edition Books
While most thrifters know that thrift stores can be a great place to find bargains on clothing and household items, many know that when it comes to finding some new reading material these stores often carry hundreds of books in varying conditions. You can often find classics that would cost a lot more in a bookstore.
Some of these books are actually signed copies or even first-edition books. These books can be extremely valuable with one first-edition copy of “The Great Gatsby” selling for $150,000! While first-edition books typically have a label printed, signed copies may be a bit more elusive - just another fun part of the hunt!
Meandering through the aisles of your local thrift store can give you an invaluable glimpse at the different interior decor trends throughout the decades. While some once-trendy home decor items can be embarrassingly ugly, some remain highly coveted, but still, there are those items that decades later have become trendy again.
One item that has antiquers paying visits to their local thrift stores is a type of glass material known as milk glass. During the Victorian era, milk glass was used to craft plates, vases, and other decorative accessories. Milk glass gets its name from the milky white color of the glass, making it a very valuable thrift store find.
Whether it's becoming interested in knitting, painting, photography, or scrapbooking, many people enjoy expressing their creativity through an artistic hobby, which we now call crafting. While most craft supplies aren’t too expensive when bought in moderation, costs can add up when your new-found hobby becomes a part of your daily routine.
One unexpected place where crafters can stock up is their local thrift store. Here they can often find new and used crafting supplies like balls of yarn, buttons, a stack of scrapbooking paper, and beads. Some crafters even buy bags of used costume jewelry which they then repurpose into new pieces or use for other projects.
While some home decor trends are regretfully terrible (waterbeds, we're looking at you!), some items still look as beautiful on your shelf as they did decades ago. One of those items is a type of milk glassware known as jadeite and the price for this fine-quality mineral has risen dramatically
As the name suggests, jadeite is a jade-green-colored glass that was once used to make dishes and other kitchenware. Though jadeite reached its peak popularity in the 1940s and ‘50s, it is quickly becoming a highly-valuable item amongst collectors or those wanting to add a pop of color to their homes.
While most video game companies seem to come out with new video games and even consoles every other year, many people have been indulging in a bit of sentimentality and have wanted to play the games they played as teenagers or young adults. You may recognize names like Mario Kart and Minecraft because they're just as popular as they were when they first came out.
While some of these vintage games can be found on online auctions or specialty websites, those prices can't compare to the prices found at thrift stores. There, video game aficionados can find all sorts of new and old video games and even consoles and added accessories to play those games!
In the film “27 Dresses," Katherine Heigl’s character finds herself in a closet bursting with all sorts of bridesmaids' dresses. While the film may be an exaggeration, many women who've been on bridesmaid duty have been asked to buy a dress for each and every wedding they've been a part of.
Unfortunately, despite being told “you can wear it again” many are forced to find dresses in colors like apricot or avocado green from specialty stores. Thankfully, those unlucky bridesmaids are in for some luck - thrift stores often have many lightly used bridesmaids' gowns in a whole spectrum of colors and at very low prices.
With coffee shops and boutique cafes raising their prices to astronomical levels, many people are cutting back on or even forgoing their daily mocha habit in an effort to save money. But those still wanting to get their caffeine fix can still set up their own little coffee corner in their homes.
Thankfully, those trying to be baristas on a budget can find mugs and cups at their local thrift stores. You can find collectible mugs from exotic destinations or vintage espresso glasses at your local thrift store. Now there's no excuse not to check them out next time you pass one by!
Whether it's wanting to find that one statement piece or the perfect accessories for your date night outfit, picking out the right pieces of jewelry can make or break your outfit. With real pieces of jewelry costing thousands, many of us buy costume jewelry when we want to add some bling.
While most modern costume jewelry can look a bit low-quality, the costume jewelry of decades before is generally well-made and more durable. Thrift stores typically have a separate area with vintage costume jewelry and accessories like jeweled brooches and bracelets so you can look your best without spending a lot!
Many thrifters love that behind every thrift store item, there’s a story and that story gives it some character that a new item will never have. From interesting figurines to adorable salt shakers, it’s this history that makes the difference between picking up a piece of “junk” or picking up an interesting piece of history.
From home decor gurus on HGTV to the gems found on shows like “Antiques Roadshow”, many people have picked up extremely valuable items at their local thrift store. Even if an item isn’t worth too much, some items simply bring a smile to your face every time you enter a room - making them priceless!
While most of us use our cell phones or computers to look at the globe, some people are still fascinated by physical globes, especially vintage globes. Pinpointing where you are in the world really is an interesting experience. This is why many collectors frequent their local thrift stores or other stores carrying vintage goods to scoop up these old study room relics.
Many collectors are in search of special globes that were made decades ago. Though they may seem like bulky items to put in your cart at the thrift store and carry in your arm as your heading home, these globes can be quite valuable and make for a great decorative item.
Just like some who look for vintage comic books or records, there are people who are quite interested in vintage or antique board games that are not only difficult to find but also pricey. Someimtes these games are often donated to thrift stores when their owners either got tired of playing them or emptied out their storage.
Their loss, however, can be your gain. One lucky thrifter found a vintage Monopoly Atlantic CIty edition from 1933 and you wouldn't guess the going price for this collector’s item. It was valued at just over $100,000! Not bad for a board game that was probably just sitting on the shelf waiting to be played.
Waterford or Other Valuable Crystal
While some visits to your local thrift store or used home goods store can make you leave empty-handed, others can be extremely rewarding - especially if you happen to find some very expensive pieces of crystal. Many of the items have been fashioned into practical items like glass and bowls.
Among the lesser-known home accessories brands, there are often treasures only spotted by eagle-eyed thrifters. Some thrifters have found crystal bowls or stemware from expensive brands such as the glass company Waterford. These items (if in good condition) can easily fetch prices in the thousands! Just try not to drop it!
One of the most important tips that many stylists stress is that you don’t need to spend a million bucks to look like a million bucks - you can just thrift! And many thrift stores stock a variety of different premium brands, which costs less than a meal in a restaurant!
Thrifters have shared their designer brand-for-less hauls containing silk blouses, leather jackets, and even designer dresses with tags still on them. Because thrift stores typically get new items every day, it pays to go frequently and carefully examine each rack - there could be a designer treasure waiting for you!
Being a necessity for picnics, baskets are also commonly given as gifts. Before you know it, it’s easy to accumulate a variety of baskets in different sizes and even different colors. For this reason, many people tend to donate their baskets to their local thrift store which is great news for thrifters.
You can find woven baskets of all shapes and sizes for your needs - and the best part is it will cost a lot less than buying a new basket in a store. Some thrifters have even repurposed plain-looking baskets for country-chic storage options or displays for plants. The possibilities are endless!
Say cheese! From bathroom selfies to creepy family portraits, humans have been using cameras for centuries. But while technology has changed, some photographers prefer to use the real thing. Whether your looking for a handheld camera or some vintage accessories, thrift stores are here to help.
Thankfully, many thrift stores often sell vintage and used cameras for considerably less. Some cameras are still in good condition, even decades after purchase, and some collectors simply love the look of these old electronics and use them for decorative purposes - a pretty good upgrade from the digital cameras we all used to tote on our nights out!
Before we had our modern computers, the only way to type something was to write it out on a typewriter. These bulky machines were once a staple of writers' homes and we have to admit there’s still something magical about hearing the signature “click-clack” of the typewriter’s keys being hit.
It’s no surprise that these antiques are coming back into fashion, especially for writers wanting to work on their craft without the many distractions that come along with having a modern computer. Typewriters are highly sought out by collectors wanting to use them or just include them in their homes as decorative pieces.
A few years ago we marked the 50th Anniversary of the humble Lego Brick and since then, there have only been a few toys that just don’t seem to fall out of fashion, and one of those is the building blocks from the company, Lego. Children and even adults of all ages can’t seem to get enough of these brightly-colored building blocks.
From creating castles to spaceships, Legos are a common sight sprinkled on the floor of most children’s rooms across the world. While new Lego collections can be expensive to buy at a toy store, thrift stores often sell sets for far less. Parents can let their kids explore their creativity without spending a huge amount of money!
With the popularity of home improvement shows increasing, many have decided to tackle the messiest parts of their home - usually their closets. Interior decorators often agree that one of the biggest ways to change the look of your closet is by choosing uniform styles of hangers, especially those made out of wood.
But considering how expensive a good set of hangers can be, it’s no wonder that more and more people are choosing to buy large packs of hangers at their local thrift store. With so much money saved by buying discounted hangers, you’ll have plenty of money for a new wardrobe!
When you’re sorting through the housewares section of most thrift stores, it’s not uncommon to come across some rather unfortunate-looking artwork. But while it’s easy to dismiss paintings that haven't been well looked after, take a second look at the frame - it might be far more valuable than you thought.
While the actual paintings aren’t always worth too much, the frame can be quite valuable. Even if you’re not looking to cash in on selling frames, these ornate frames can be repurposed or used for new artwork, helping you save tons of money while improving the look of your home.
Most thrift stores get their inventory from private donations - typically when someone is moving, downsizing, or when someone passes. Because of this, most thrifters can find interesting items from a variety of time periods. Items frequently found on the shelves of most thrift stores are accessories for the home.
While many of these accessories and items aren’t worth that much, some items like McCoy brand pottery pieces are extremely valuable. Experienced collectors and pottery lovers are known to search thrift stores for this brand dating back to the 1850s. In fact, one floral-themed McCoy cookie jar fetched almost $3,500!
Vintage Tea Cups or Tea Sets
Blame it on our childhood obsession with playing “tea party” with our dolls, but most people dream of owning a beautiful (adult) tea set of their own. While most home accessory stores sell teapots and tea cups, there’s nothing like finding a hand-painted or completely unique tea set at your local thrift store.
Some people even choose to buy these vintage tea sets to display in their cabinets, while others like to use mismatched (yet still adorable) tea cups as mini pots for small plants such as succulents, that is if gardening is your cup of tea! Who knows! You might even find a full set to use for its intended purpose.
Considering how relaxing gardening is, it’s no wonder that people enjoy getting in touch with their inner green thumb. But while gardens can be beautiful, maintaining one can be expensive. Aside from the costs of soil and the actual plants, high-quality gardening tools can easily put a dent in your wallet.
Thankfully, many plant lovers have donated the gardening tools that they no longer need to their local thrift stores. And because many of these tools have been crafted to withstand all sorts of weather conditions and elements, many are still in tip-top shape, and ready to be used in your garden!
When it comes to fashion, most experts would agree that most style trends can be described as "old is new again.” The cyclical nature of the fashion industry can mean that it’s probably best not to invest too much money in a particular trend, considering it’ll soon be out of style.
Because of this, many fashionistas scour their local thrift stores to find funky accessories or vintage clothing that have come back in style. You could find funky bold prints from the '60s or the perfect vintage sundress (and matching sunglasses), a trip to the thrift store is all your closet needs!
It’s no secret that most of the products we find in retail stores are mass-produced and of generally lower quality than the products people used to buy decades ago. Even if you buy from the more expensive stores, the quality is still mediocre. Fortunately, one of these well-made items is the leather goods found at most thrift stores.
Thrifters can find real leather belts, wallets, shoes, and even bags in good condition and for far less than the products in most modern stores. Another plus for most shoppers is that because of the age of products, most of the leather has achieved a unique worn look or has softened over time.
For many people, it’s not the holiday season until you’ve decorated your house accordingly. From garden decorations to accessories for your table, people spend hundreds of dollars decorating for certain holidays. But considering how short most holidays are, it seems a bit wasteful to spend so much on decorative accessories.
For this reason, many festive shoppers are turning to thrift stores where they can pick up unique seasonal decor for a much lower price. Some thrifters even prefer to buy items like Christmas tree ornaments at thrift stores because they can find hand-painted and truly special pieces for far less.
Antique Luggage Sets
There’s no denying that one of the greatest pleasures in life is traveling - a belief that hasn’t changed even in our modern age. While most of us focus more on the destination, many collectors have a deep interest in the luggage. And yes, there are collectors that scour thrift stores for old suitcases and bags!
These collectors have no issue paying for unique vintage luggage sets, especially if they’re in good condition. Even small or lesser-known brands of luggage can command high price tags, even thousands of dollars! Next time you’re at the thrift store, take a trip down the luggage aisle - that antique luggage set might just pay for your next vacation!
Whether you’re a child or an adult, there’s nothing like dressing up on Halloween. A quintessential part of taking part in the “spooky season,” costumes are an important part of celebrating Halloween. But with the prices of most Halloween costumes being frightfully high, many people are turning to their local thrift stores to help them win “best costume” awards.
Thrift stores often carry a variety of vintage clothing that can be repurposed into a costume or even lightly used Halloween ensembles that have probably only been worn once. From flapper dresses and old wedding gowns to masks and ghostly capes, these inexpensive stores have tons of possible costumes waiting just for you.
When it comes to valuable collectibles, one of the most profitable finds is related to sports memorabilia, particularly sports jerseys. Depending on a variety of factors, these highly coveted pieces of fan apparel can sometimes go for thousands of dollars. If you find a good-quality jersey that looks vintage you might be in luck!
Expert thrifters check whether or not the lettering or numbers on the jersey were screen-printed or stitched on - qualities that can make a big difference when it comes to assessing the jersey’s value. Thrift stores are a great place to look for sports jerseys or other sports memorabilia, often for far less than online auction sites.
We all have those moments when we want to try out a new hobby or take up a sport. Unfortunately, spending tons of money on said hobby won't ensure that you’ll actually continue it. It’s because of this that many thrift stores are almost graveyards for poorly thought-out pursuits that don't actualize.
From bowling balls to hockey sticks, you can find a variety of sports equipment in working condition. While many of these items are good to use, most experts suggest skipping equipment like helmets or other protective goods because they can have small hairline cracks or other hard-to-see damage that can negate any protective qualities.