Thrifting around NYC can sometimes feel like a hit or miss but, honestly, part of the fun of thrifting is never knowing exactly what you'll find! However, after thrifting the majority of my wardrobe since the fifth grade, I was determined to find all the places to expand my closet after moving to the city. It’s been a journey, but here are my findings to the shops you're most likely to find hidden gems in and those you probably should just skip over.
- SKIP - Buffalo Exchange East Village (332 E 11th St, New York, NY 10003)
Unless you’re going exclusively for a reusable bag or maybe a jewelry find, my experience with this Buffalo Exchange has been nothing but subpar. Usually when I go I can occasionally find one item and even so the store feels like an overpriced Shien. Lacking in unique and dependable clothing, head down the street and check out…
- GO - L Train East Village (204 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10009)
While not my favorite L Train location, in this convenient thrift around the block from the Buffalo Exchange you are far more likely to find nicer, cheaper clothes. Pretty reliable if you're looking for jeans, overalls, jackets, and skirts! Most items here are around $10 or less compared to Buffalo Exchange, where most items are $12 or above.
- GO - East Village Thrift (186 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003)
Located close to the others, East Village Thrift is an independent shop that has much more of a “thrift” feel. While a little more digging may be required, I’ve found some super unique pieces here for low cost. Along with that their jewelry selection is really unique. Totally recommend checking out!
- GO - Goodwill Exchange Center (47-47 Van Dam St, Queens, NY 11101)
If not for clothes, go for the experience. This Goodwill outlet is a trip. Make your way to queens to experience thrifting from bins. While this is more of a hit or miss, these are pieces that haven't sold in stores, you pay by weight so it’s super affordable. I got around 15-20 pieces for $20 total! This is not for the weak of heart however, people take this super seriously and will camp out all day to continuously go through bins. When new ones came out it was like a race, but it also sure was fun. If you do decide to go, wear gloves when digging, dress in layers, and bring a big bag (the ones they give out are super flimsy and ripped before we even made it back to the subway).
- GO - Urban Jungle (118 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237)
This cute thrift located in Brooklyn is reasonably priced and usually does have some hidden gems. A nice collection of shoes and shirts this is a perfect place to check out if trying to vamp up your wardrobe for the new season!
- GO - L Train (629 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
While this L Train is smaller than the East Village location, it’s full of gems. Similar pricing to other L Trains, most items are around the $10 price point. With a huge selection of dresses, floral shirts, skirts, jackets, and pants this location has it all!
- GO - Junk (567 Driggs Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
Are you bored and need some knick-knacks to liven up your space? Junk is like an Easter egg hunt for all ages. Never really knowing what you'll find, Junk has a little bit of it all. While they dont sell clothing, this is definitely a shop to check out, even if not buying anything.