The Best Cities for Fueling Your Thrift Shopping Habit
Pack your bags (and bring an extra suitcase).
Updated Sep 20, 2018 2:27 PM
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You can spend an entire day weaving in and out of the aisles of a vintage store, sifting through old jeans and retro table lamps alike, and still come out of the entire excursion empty-handed. It’s frustrating, but bad thrift-shopping days just can’t be helped. Or can they? Perhaps some places are simply better than others. That’s what a new report, based on Yelp search data, is trying to prove; commissioned by Joybird, the survey examines the best places for thrifting in the U.S.
Factors like Yelp reviews, the average price of items, and the sheer number of thrift stores in the area determined the final list. The top slots went to Riverside, California; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Orlando, Florida; and Tampa, Florida. Sorry, Brooklyn: NYC didn’t even make the top 25.
The next time you’re in any of these spots, be sure to leave a little extra room in your luggage for secondhand scores—you never know where you’ll discover the perfect antique bookend to finish off your mantel. In the meantime, don’t let your zip code stop you; here are some of our favorite tips for finding a diamond in the rough, no matter where you live:
Do Your Research
Designer (and pro antiquer) Charlie Ferrer has one major bit of advice: “If something is represented as ‘important’ and [is] attributed, a quick Google search will bring up comps,” he explains. Check prices elsewhere so you know what you’re getting yourself into; if nothing major pops up, it may not be as valuable as you think.
Think Outside the Box
It’s best not to go in with too many set expectations—if you’re searching for one specific thing, chances are you won’t find it. “Whatever your eye is drawn to, let that drive your aesthetic, not a time or a place,” says designer Jonny Ribeiro, whose Brooklyn apartment looks like the coolest thrift store.
Don’t Sleep on Craigslist
It’s everywhere, and while there may be some questionable pieces on there, there are equally tons of hidden gems. Some tips Domino editors have accrued over the years: Search by place of origin for specific aesthetics (like Scandinavian or Italian mid-century), and if you find one thing you like, click “more from this user” to see what else they’re selling. You never know, you may end up with an entire set of matching glassware.
See more about shopping secondhand: How to Get the Most Money for Your Used Furniture The Simplest Way to Make Thrift Store Art Look Cool 11 Craigslist Shopping Tips So Good, We Almost Didn’t Share Them