NYC Guide

The best thrift stores in New York City – Vintage | Second hand | Consignment

The second-hand market is growing increasingly globally – a report estimates that the U.S. secondhand market will more than double by 2026, reaching $82 billion. In addition to the economic factor, buying second-hand is more sustainable because it bypasses the production stage. Sourcing materials and the production of clothes are the most polluting parts of a fashion supply chain – this industry is responsible for 8-10% of all carbon emissions. Also, there’s the bonus of getting great products paying less – meaning savings. I don’t know about you, but I get so proud and satisfied when I get a great price for a piece of clothing – and that item becomes more special to me.

New York has many thrift and second-hand stores – there’s something for all tastes and budgets! Back in 2015, I took a vintage shopping workshop at FIT – Fashion Institute of Technology – and got to know several thrift stores in the city. Since then, the business has only grown. I confess that I’m a big fan of online thrift stores – and I’ve already shared a post here on the blog about the subject – but if you want to explore thrift stores around the city, I prepared a super complete guide with suggestions for thrift stores, second-hand stores, and consignment stores for you!

Best thrift stores for bargain hunting in NYC

There’s a thrift shop of all kinds. If you have the patience to dig around and you like to find different and unique things – and even vintage – it’s worth visiting these stores in the city (I put the link to the profiles on Instagram so that you can check out more of the vibe of each one):

  • Buffalo Exchange – the space is huge, and everything is divided according to categories: t-shirts, skirts, dresses, pants… There’s a vintage section – by the way, did you know that, to be considered vintage, the item must be 20 years old or older? You can also find handbags from cool brands, like Kate Spade. There are several locations around the city.
  • Goodwill – Goodwill stores sell donated items – and all the profits are used to help people with disabilities and vulnerable people. Here, more than anywhere else, you’ll need to be patient – but it’s probably going to be the cheapest thrift store around the city. I’ve seen a lot of very cheap things at Goodwill; some units have decoration items.
  • Crossroads – I love this one! They have a great curatorship. The prices are not exorbitant, and you can find cool stuff. For example, I once found a Diane Von Furstenberg dress for $30. I’ve seen cute sweaters for $7, and jackets for $15. Anyway, I think it’s the kind of place you’ll always find something cool! And the prices are great. You’ll also find plenty of fast fashion for under $20.
  • Housing Worksthis chain is really cool. The clothes are organized by color, and the hunting is very pleasant. You can find shoes from more luxurious brands, like Valentino and Armani Exchange. Housing Works also features furniture and other decor items… even DVDs and books!
  • Beacon’s Closetthere’s no way to talk about thrift stores in New York City without mentioning Beacon’s Closet, which has locations spread throughout the city – the one in Williamsburg is one of the most famous. It’s such a cool place. Be patient; the store is huge, and so is the selection of items!
  • The Thrifty Hog – it offers a curated selection of gently used, vintage & new clothing, and accessories for men and women, as well as an eclectic selection of décor items. Besides that, it serves as a job training program for homeless moms. All net proceeds help homeless moms, and their children reclaim their lives. The store is neat!
  • Urban Jungle – known as the vintage mecca for all of NYC. This store might be the biggest thrift store in New York and you can find a bit of just about everything you can think of when it comes to thrifting. It reminds me of Buffalo Exchange, but more organized. You will find items starting at $6 – shirts, jackets, pants, tops… It’s that kind of place where you need to be more patient, and if you have an open mind, you can get great finds.
  • 2nd Street – I love this chain of thrift stores. The curation is diverse, and you’ll find cheap things up to $20 and luxury items – like bags and coats. Everything is super organized. There are a couple of locations in the city, and there are always cool items.

Vintage shopping

Okay, but let’s say you like unique finds and vintage items – those places of different things, colorful, from many years. So it’s a good idea to check out these:
  • Reminiscence The store is huge and, believe me, you will find many exotic and bold styles. There are even costumes. For me, the highlight was the super warm coats and vests for winter. There is also a lot of knickknacks.
  • Spark Prettythis thrift store specializes in vintage clothes, super colorful pieces from the 80s and 90s, accessories, and even objects like dolls.
  • Risk Gallery – without a doubt, the coolest thrift store I’ve ever been to here in New York. Owner Lindsay Rose Risk uses the place as a gallery – where her paintings are displayed, which share space with an impeccable vintage collection of pieces that belonged to her mother and grandmother. The collection features incredible clothes and accessories, all so colorful! And the prices are great too, from $20 to $100.

Consignment luxurious shops in NYC

If you are looking for luxury and designer items, you need to visit these consignment stores:

  • The Real Real – it is one of the largest second-hand websites in the US and focuses on the luxury market. You won’t find clothes from Zara or Old Navy – the curation includes luxury brands and famous designers. You can check the complete list of brands available by clicking here. They have two locations in NYC – and I think Soho’s location is the best one, featuring two floors. The Real Real has the most rigorous authentication process on the market – a team of experts evaluates items to verify that they are genuine (very important when we are talking about luxury items).
  •  ReBag – this store started out as a website specializing in a niche – second-hand luxury bags. The selection includes more than 40 brands. They are still famous for selling handbags – but you can also find shoes, watches, and even clothes from luxury brands. All items undergo a review process by an in-house team of experts. ReBag has been buying and selling handbags since 2014 and has acquired hundreds of thousands of items, making it one of the top websites in the world. They certify all items and offer 7-day returns for any reason. You get 10% OFF on your first purchase when you use my link.
  • FASHIONPHILE – specialized in second-hand luxury bags, this website began in 1999 – and they have a showroom open to the public in New York City. It is now one of the world’s top resellers of pre-owned luxury and the exclusive re-commerce partner of Neiman Marcus. They are specialized
  • Michael’s Luxury Consignment Shop for Women – it’s an institution and a staple in New York City. Established in 1954, they select luxury and haute couture items like clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and furs.
  • INA – it’s the most established designer consignment store. Since open in 1993, they have been accepting only the finest designer clothing, shoes, accessories, and select vintage, all carefully curated. Because of the extensive network in the fashion business, from designers to business owners, stylists, editors and models,  INA often receives current pieces and limited edition items. The inventory changes daily. Also,  the founder Ina Bernstein has been part of New York’s fashion industry for over 40 years.
  • Consignment Brooklyn – this place has been around for the past 23 years — and it is a well-curated luxury secondhand consignment shop mixed with vintage clothing – and they also carry jewelry, bags and shoes. Consignment Brooklyn carries from Chanel to indie designers, vintage Levis, Gucci, Prada, Isabel Marant, MA+, lots of “dark fashion” ANN D, Chloe, along with so much more.

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