7 Reasons to Love Thrift Shops


You never know what you’re going to find.  Every time I visit a thrift shop or browse Craigslist, I stumble across something that stirs my imagination.  Take the regulation sized bowling pin ashtray I saw last week.  Imagine the room that was in!  There had to be bowling trophies on display, right?  And dark 70’s paneling?  And a home-built bar?


Buying second hand is the most environmentally friendly way to shop.  There is no manufacturing cost, not even the cost to recycle.  No cargo ship or train had to bring that item from China to you.  You’re doing the earth a favor.  You might also be putting a child laborer out of work.

Old Fashioned Thrift.

I like saving money.  At thrift shops, I buy labels from shops I’d never enter because they are out of my budget.  Also, it’s convenient to try on clothes from a dozen stores, and discover ones that fit and ones that don’t.  Now, I know which stores to avoid if I find myself at a mall (which has not happened yet this year).

Patience Rewarded.Vintage Cosco Stylair Step Stool

Patience is a virtue, and virtue is its own reward, right?  Yes, but it certainly is nice when patience pays off in a more tangible way.  I could have gone to Target and bought a reproduction Cosco Step Stool, or I could have bought an original on ebay or etsy for $100, but after a year stalking Craigslist, I found a vintage Stylair for only $20.   The rust is vintage, too.


Most thrift shops are fundraisers (or job training) for charities.  By shopping there, you are supporting a worthy cause.  If you don’t consider it worthy, you don’t have to shop there.


Whether it is furniture from an earlier generation, or fashion from a prior season, shopping second hand means you and your home do not look like the rest of the neighborhood.  Tired of the new neutral already?  Go to a thrift store; they still have black … or brown … or navy … or white … or beige.  Are you tired of your square plates now that all your friends have them, but afraid you’ll be jumping from one trend to another if you replace them at CB2?  You’re right; you will be.

Commitment Phobia.

I am not attached to my decor.  I get tired of looking at the same old things.  When I’m buying items second hand, I have no qualms about changing them out as often as I please.  If I buy a table on Craiglist and sell it a couple years later for half what I paid, I’m happy.  It’s like renting furniture, but cheaper.  Also, these are not my family’s heirlooms.  I might be reluctant to paint my grandmother’s table, but I have no reservations about painting your grandmother’s desk.

8 thoughts on “7 Reasons to Love Thrift Shops

  1. I’m not much of a thrift store shopper – I volunteered at one for 6 years, maybe I just burned out – but I’m an avid bargain shopper! I try to never buy anything at full price. I do like the Rose Bowl and Long Beach swap meets every once in a while.

  2. I’m both a bargain and thrift store shopper! It’s the thrill of the hunt and find! Very little to no buyer’s remorse since little investment needed!

  3. Agreed on ALL of this! My oldest sister & I were “green” before it was cool, because we are notoriously CHEAP! And with children, they are going to destroy everything anyway, so why spend the money? She loves resale shops so much that she now works for one! Our house is FILLED with great, cheap finds, and we have to better about re-donating what doesn’t fit, or the toys the kids don’t play with anymore, or else we will be on a new show called “Resale Hoarders” but at least we don’t have a ton of credit card debt!
    p.s. I really wish you had gotten a picture of the bowling pin 🙂

    • I actually went back to the thrift shop the day I wrote this, hoping to photograph the bowling pin, but it was gone – proving that there is something for everyone or someone for everything at a thrift shop.

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