August 17th is National Thrift Shopping Day. Most thrift stores celebrate with significant discounts.
Why shop at thrift stores? According to the U.S. EPA, a whopping 85% of all discarded textiles – 13 million – end up in landfills every year. Plus textiles and decomposing clothing release methane, not to mention the dyes and chemicals in the fabrics that can saturate the soil. Let’s recycle folks, donate to local thrift shops, your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, Humane Society, local hospital or church thrift shops– there are so many GREAT charities that NEED your donations. The money that these charities raise through their thrift shops help countless others gain a better quality of life and protect out little four legged friends. I think that is one of the best reasons to donate along with reducing our carbon footprint. Plus think of all the people that are able to clothe themselves and their families at a deeply discounted price. I think it is a win-win.
I just happen to LOVE thrift shopping for so many reasons. I love helping the environment and I like trying new styles at a fraction of the cost – if I don’t like it, I just wash the clothes and donate them right back. The key to thrift shopping is patience. If you have some time and go through the racks, you would be surprised at what you can find. You can’t go to a thrift shop think I need a little black dress and expect to find one in one visit BUT if you go to the RIGHT thrift shops, you may just find one. For example, I always say if you want something formal or fancy, try City Opera and Vintage Thrift East in the 23rd St area of NYC. With these two stores, there is a good chance especially with a freshly stocked store – you can put together a great outfit. If you are in the Connecticut area, Stamford Goodwill is one of my favorites as well, their dress section is fabulous. Don’t be afraid to ask when they put out the “new” stock – it sometimes is Wednesday/Thursday in preparation for the weekend. I am also learning to create my own styles. I once found a beautiful black ankle length sequined duster and I paired it with straight legged pants and a clingy top and I received oodles of compliments and it was something that I might not have necessarily worn in prior years. It ended up being a favorite outfit for special occasions.
Life is complicated and chaotic at times and I find when I go thrift shopping I get such enjoyment out of finding that very special addition to my wardrobe at quite the price. I find it calming and relaxing and a great way to emerge myself in something that brings me great joy. I have also met some pretty incredible people along the way.
I look forward to telling you about my thrift shop visits – I have visited quite a few over the summer and I can’t wait to share my findings with you.
I have raved about this sale in the past and it should not be missed. If you get a chance this weekend, you should go to Irvington Presbyterian Church in Irvington, New York and experience the Attic Sale. I promise, you won’t ever miss another one.
There is just so much to love about Life Boutique Thrift on 5th Ave in Brooklyn. The best thing being that this shop donates all profits to Chai Lifeline, an organization that provides services for Jewish children and teens with life-threatening illnesses. They also take care of the family with support programs, counseling, and educational services. Their Camp Simcha benefits 400 seriously ill children each year providing them with an extraordinary camp experience which include talent shows, concerts, and helicopter, hot-air, and motorcycle rides. What a wonderful organization. Please note that they do accept hair donations. Check out the website for further information. http://www.chailifeline.org/program/hair – Kudos!!
Life Boutique Thrift is one of the best thrift shops I have ever set foot in for a variety of reasons. One is that it has an astonishing vintage selection. They have some really great vintage pieces and a wide variety as well. I am sure it changes weekly because their selections must fly off the racks. They have good quality pieces and the clothes that I looked at where all in pristine condition. I think the prices are more than fair especially for vintage. They carry an array of sizes but like all thrift shops, it can vary day to day, week to week.
Life Boutique Thrift has great clothing on sales racks as well as some great shoes so make sure that you check out all the sales. Their clothing racks are loaded with a wide array of store and designer labels. Their displays are well done and I thought the front window was classy and elegant.
You must look at the vast selection of jewelry and accessories; there are lots of great buys plus some unique and lovely pieces. They have a rack of handbags that fit almost every and any occasion and they were all in great condition. The pricing was according to the designer and I think all prices were more than reasonable. They had scarves, sunglasses, gloves, all kinds of accessories.
They have lots of LPs and some great choices if that is what you enjoy.
What made this visit extraordinary was the staff; they could not have been any nicer, any more helpful and always smiling. They are just so professional and they want you to have a great shopping experience and it definitely comes through with their demeanor. I was exceptionally impressed. This is one store that you do not want to miss. It will definitely be on my top ten list.
My dream blog has become a reality. It has been an amazing year (plus). Thanks to some great publicity from the very popular blog, Struck By Wanderlust (https://struckbywanderlustblog.wordpress.com), my blog has been read in over 26 countries including Australia, Israel, and Greece to name a few. Outside of the U.S., the UK folks seem to be reading my blog the most :). My blogs have been viewed well over 4,000 times and the numbers keep growing. The most popular blog was on the Humane Society of New Rochelle. They posted my blog on their Facebook page and it went through the roof. The most popular day to read my blog is Tuesday and the most popular hour is 9 p.m. (Thank you WordPress for all the great stats.) Please note I am posting on Tuesday but not at 9 p.m. 🙂
Thrift Shopping has been steadily increasing over the past few years for many reasons. People who want to have a unique/individual style start thrifting to create these styles. Vintage clothing is hugely popular right now and trending. People are very cost conscious as well especially when it comes to clothing and they find thrifting a good alternative. Most importantly, by reselling and recycling clothing, you are helping the planet.
Goodwill has been evolving and introduced “boutique shopping” and opened their newest boutique in Union Square last year. Reselling websites like Real Real, Tradesy and Thred Up are thriving. Consignment shops are more popular than ever especially in the high end handbag and accessory category. The luxury handbag category is an exceptionally competitive market. In 2014 alone, revenues for the thrift store industry were close to $9 billion
I know a couple of people that buy used items at thrift stores and resell on eBay. They buy top brand name shirts, blouses and jeans at shops like St. Bart’s for a few bucks and then resell on eBay for anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 depending on the quality, brand, etc. and what they paid.
I take great joy in finding new thrift shops, visiting my “regulars” and buying new outfits or something for the house. So whatever you desire, whether to shop for yourself or shop to make money, I hope that you enjoy my blogs; they are truly a labor of love.
Finders Keepers is part of Putnam ARC . PARC is one of 55 chapters of NYSARC, Inc. (formally New York State Association for Retarded Children, Inc.), and is at the forefront in providing advocacy and programming for children and adults with developmental disabilities within the geographic region of Putnam County along with Northern Westchester and Southern Dutchess counties. This thrift store was opened for people supported by PARC services to be able to work in their home community. I absolutely love this thrift store for what PARC is doing for their community and because I am proud to belong to the NYC Chapter of NYSARC.
As for the store, WOW – top quality merchandise and clothing with exceptional pricing. Who could ask for anything more? I went back in March and their Saint Patrick’s Day décor was outstanding and reasonably priced as well as their Easter décor. In fact all their décor is above average, high quality and well-priced.
The clothing selection is excellent. With prices starting at $3.00, I am sure though that they have must have a high turnover with these prices. Finders Keepers carries all brands and sizes for men and women. The clothing is in mint condition. They have a selection of shoes and all were good quality. They even had a pair of brand new Charles David boots. They had a coat sale with winter jackets starting at ten dollars. The coats on sale included Calvin Klein and Kenneth Cole Reaction. This is indicative of their merchandise, pricing and why they are doing so well.
Some of their home décor was brand new and still in boxes and marked slightly below other thrift store which does make Finders Keepers even more appealing.
Finders Keepers also serves as a small gallery for the PARC Crafter’s Guild. These lovely hand-crafted items are for sale.
If in the Putnam area, it would be great for you to visit and support Finders Keepers Thrift Store – it will only help continue the great work that they are doing.
I wish thrift shops like this were open more hours, they are just too good and should be visited by so many more thrifters. This shop is only open on Mondays and Saturdays from 10am until 2pm. This shop is bright and cheery as are all the volunteers. They have everything in men and women’s clothing, shoes, housewares, home decor, small furniture and so much more! Just follow the signs on Sunnyside Lane and enter the world of St. John’s….
The prices are fantastic, the selections bountiful and if they are putting out the latest donations, even better!!! I have to say when I was there every single person shopping walked out with a bag and I thought that was very telltale of the merchandise.
So if you are in the Westchester area, the Pleasantville area in particular, this is a must stop thrift shop. Especially for housewares.
The clothes are above average and reasonably priced but I could see they have a very short rack life! I saw top notch brand like Anne Klein, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren and so much more.
I walked into the Cure Thrift Shop and it was love at first sight – the 50% off sale just made it so much easier. This a great thrift shop and it benefits Juvenile Diabetes Research and Advocacy. The layout is magnificent and so fun to walk around, the staff outstanding and the selections bountiful. The displays are very well done and indicative of the top quality merchandise that this shop carries. The prices are good normally and with the 50% sale, the prices are spectacular.
The selection of both men and women’s clothes is outstanding. Everything trendy to classic pieces as well. The accessories section is generous and the jewelry wonderful.
They had brand new handbags, tote bags and accessories along with many other accessories including belts, scarfs, etc.
This is just one of those thrift shops that you just have to go to and I would be surprised if you did not find anything. The decor/home section has a wide variety of top quality items.
It is a great experience just to browse through this shop!! I highly recommend this shop, it is quite the experience. Kudos to the staff!
This is one thrift shop you should not miss!! Until next time, HAPPY SHOPPING!!!
I just had to revisit City Opera Thrift Shop because I keep hearing so many great things about them. This place is a New York staple and has been in business thirty-five years. Featured in Vogue as “the highest quality thrift shop in New York,” the City Opera Thrift Shop is the city’s only charity SHOP supporting the arts. Browsing through City Opera is just a great experience and they have some truly amazing merchandise in this store. If you have a black tie event, this should be your first stop. The clothing, especially the evening wear is absolutely unique and spectacular. I have seen dozens of skirts, blazers and tons of little black dresses, one better than the other and all REASONABLY PRICED. And this shop just gets better with age!! The clothing is top notch and in great condition too so you can’t ask for more than that. They have a great shoe selection as well.
The front of the store does hold some very special treasures in the form of bags and costume jewelry. You must check this out. All I can say is WOW! Although, I bet the turnover is pretty quick in this boutique.
Don’t Forget the beautiful upstairs – they have some pretty incredible home décor as well as a massive book section. There is also furniture and art work.
This is probably one of the very best thrift shops that the city has to offer. It makes all the lists every year. I highly recommend that you visit City Opera, you will not be disappointed.
CITY OPERA Thrift Shop,
222 E 23rd St,
New York, NY, 10010
Did you know that you can buy and sell your “stuff” on Facebook? Facebook has dedicated groups if you are looking to buy, sell or are “in search of” (ISO). Most groups are geographically based such as Yorktown Mom’s, Bronx Yard Sale, Westchester and Putnam, etc. The groups can contain dozens, hundreds or even thousands of members. Some groups are public which means that anyone on Facebook can join and see who is in the group, the group description and what members post. You can also be invited to join by a member of the group. A closed group is where anyone can ask to join or be added or invited by a member and the only difference from above is that only members from the group can see postings from the group. There are also “secret” groups. Anyone can join a secret group but they have to be added or invited by a member and only current and former members can see who is in the group and what members are posting.
There is an admin(s) who runs the page and approves if you can join the group. Only an admin can change the privacy settings for the group.
How do I join a group? Go to the group you want to be part of and then click Join Group in the top-right corner. Or if you see a group on a friend’s page, you can click on the group.
The great thing about Facebook groups is that for the most part, prices are negotiable. I must warn you that one of the drawbacks is that, occasionally someone is trying to get over or not being honest about their merchandise. That is where the admins come in, the great ones do not tolerate any nonsense or bs and they call out people for their “games”. Most pages also have a set of rules that they expect you to adhere to if you are joining their group. Admins are not paid so they have less tolerance for drama and I don’t blame them. Most admins will post general “rules” for joining their group. One in most groups is that you are contacted in the order that the buyer received the post or message. Things along those lines — one thing that does disturb me is that sometimes people post rather nasty comments when a sale or purchase does not go the way they intended or if they disagree with a price – folks – no need to be rude or nasty – just keep it moving – life is too short. Will what is upsetting you matter in a month or two, I doubt it.
Some of the Facebook groups local to the Bronx area that I belong to are:
Westchester Tag sales
Bronx Yard Sale
Stamford’s Treasures & Tag Sale
Westchester Yard Sale
Bedford Yard Sales
Northern Westchester, Putnam & Dutchess Yard Sale
Above are some of the items that I have posted on Facebook for sale. I have sold many items on Facebook with no issues whatsoever!
One of the issues I have noticed is regarding designer handbags. I have seen a knockoffs attempted to be sold as authentic. Also, please remember it is illegal to sell knockoffs on the internet so buyers and sellers beware. Authenticity can be confirmed with a receipt in most instances. One major helpful tip I can give you is beware of anyone who has just created a personal Facebook page to sell merchandise – that is one major RED FLAG and one that should be taken seriously.
There is also a group that helps people in need in the Bronx & Westchester that you could join ☺:
Helping Friends In Need Bronx/Westchester — it is always great to help those in need.
I have many more options to tell you about buying and selling in the coming weeks!!
If you are into repurposing furniture or like DIY projects, no better place to start than the flea market.
You can turn a $25 coffee table into a repurposed center piece. Find items to create one-of-a-kind wall décor and repurpose furniture to give your home an inexpensive makeover. Just watch “Flea Market Flip” on HGTV. I have gotten so many decorating ideas from that show and they demonstrate great ways to repurpose many different types of items. It is a great show and I highly recommend especially if you are handy and like DIY projects.
With that in mind, let me tell you about a GREAT flea market I visited last weekend;
GreenFlea Market on Columbus Ave between 76th and 77th Street
The market is made possible through the support of the NYC Department of Education. The proceeds from the GreenFlea Market benefits four public schools: PS 87, The Computer School, PS 334 (Anderson Program) and PS 452.
Money generated by the market is used by the Parents Association to provide enrichment opportunities for the schools. Since 1985 GreenFlea has provided the schools with more than $7,000,000.
I really enjoy going to GreenFlea. There is just so much to see and browse through. Absolutely anything and everything that you can imagine and then some. Jewelry, clothing – new and vintage, accessories, antiques, lighting, vinyl records, soaps, candles, too much to list. And as an added bonus, they have awesome noshes while you are there. You must go to the right when you go in and have a piece of spinach pie, baklava, mini mushroom pastry or any of the delicious treats they are selling – the prices are more than reasonable and the food is absolutely scrumptious. The mini spinach pastry ($1.50 each) was almost sold out by 12:30pm and the flea market opened at 10am. And they have a whole space indoors that you should also check out.
One in particular vendor that I loved the merchandise was Latifs Designs. He has the most beautiful lighting fixtures and chandeliers, both traditional and a bit funky. I fell in love with them all.
The jewelry is unique and there are many different types from ethnic to funky and so many unique designs so you are sure to get noticed. You will never find your run of the mill items at GreenFlea. The antiques are extraordinary (or they were when I was there) and they also carry a few modern pieces.
The merchandise for the most part is above average. What I like most about GreenFlea is that they actually have an approval process for a vendor which includes submitting a bill of sale for designer merchandise. All counterfeits and knockoffs are prohibited. They even have a moratorium on items so the market is not repetitive. I have been going for years and I loved it back then and I still love it now.
While we are on the subject of flea markets, here are a few others that you must visit:
Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market
39th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues
Sunday: 9am – 5pm (weather permitting)
It is on the uptown Side of West 25th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue,
(Near The Flatiron Building, Eataly, and Madison Square Park).
Every Saturday & Sunday, year-round (weather permitting)
Chelsea Market and the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market is most definitely worth a visit –you can spend hours just looking at some of the items on sale here. Even if you don’t buy anything, I can guarantee that you will have a blast just browsing. Again, lots of unique and interesting items just like GreenFlea. I particularly love checking out the vintage jewelry especially brooches. I just love brooches; they dress up everything, a denim jacket, that little black dress, so many different ways to dress up any outfit.
$1 admissionat both
I would have loved to recommend the Antiques Garage as my most favorite flea market in the city, but unfortunately, it closed last June after twenty years. I found so many unique items there; I will treasure them more now that it is closed. I am sure some of you remember it.
Now let me get back on track;
While I was at GreenFlea, my next stop was Housing Works on Columbus Avenue. We all know how much I love Housing Works but this one was insane on the day I was there and it was early in the day. It was jam-packed and there was quite a selection of furniture. I thought that the furniture was reasonably priced but the housewares were a bit overpriced. You could barely get by the racks of clothes so many people were browsing. I am not sure if it always that crowded or if the gorgeous weather had something to do with it. J But I am sure that the furniture I saw is sold and long gone.
Just a FYI – Housing Works has membership packages – here are just two —– (please check the website for exact information and other membership packages).
$60 Friend membership gets you 10% off books at the Bookstore Café, a Housing Works tote bag and other special perks.
$120 Advocate gets you all the above plus special member discounts and 25% off on Sundays (exclusions apply). (That could explain the large crowd on Sunday.)
306 Columbus Ave. (At 74th Street)
New York, NY 10023
Right nearby are not one, but two Goodwill stores;
The West 79th Street store is small and I think clothes are the specialty here. Nice variety and setup well for a small space. Being this is spring cleaning season, now may be the time to go. I have seen some beautiful suits, dresses, jeans on the rack and the pricing for the most part was reasonable. The housewares get an honorable mention here.
Goodwill West 79th Street
217 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
The West 72nd Street store has only two dressing rooms which can be a pain when there is line of people waiting BUT I do like the clothes selection here and I thought the dress section was above average although the pricing a bit steep for certain brands. I thought it had an excellent men’s section. This shop is definitely worth a trip.
Goodwill West 72nd Street
157 W 72nd St
New York, NY 10069