A Guide to Thrifting: Pay Less for More

Don’t shop til you drop. Thrift til you’re fit.


Julia McNeill

Outfits in the window of Buffalo Exchange, a thrift and vintage store located on 11th Street. (Staff Photo by Julia McNeill)

Isla Na, Staff Writer

Being fashionable on a tight budget can be daunting. Lucky for us, New York City is teeming with thrift stores that hold treasures waiting to be discovered. Below are five of them to explore nearby.

L Train Vintage $
204 First Ave.

With locations in the East Village, Williamsburg and other neighborhoods, this is the place to go for the true vintage experience. They have a variety of items, including basics that match the latest trend, but they specialize in bold, vintage statement pieces. From worn-in tees and sweaters to eccentric work boots and military jackets, L Train Vintage has items that are authentically from the early 2000s, 90s and even the 80s, for exceptionally low prices.

Buffalo Exchange $$
332 E. 11th St.

This nation-wide chain of consignment stores is a classic introduction to thrifting. With New York branches in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry and other accessories that this store sells are modern and trendy. You might get lucky with a pair of Nike Air Force 1 sneakers that look like they were worn a mere three times for less than $40. And if you have clothes that you no longer want, you can bring them into the store to see if they will buy them. Buffalo Exchange offers 30% in cash and 50% in-store credit.

Wonders of Walter $$
131 Berry St.

Located on the corner of  7th Street and Berry Street in Williamsburg, Wonders of Walter occupies a garage space and spills out onto the sidewalk. Walter, the store’s owner, collects unique items and fills the shop with his personal collection of fashion pieces from his lifetime. His store has items ranging from sports jerseys, jean jackets, 90s Polos and T-shirts of all sizes from rallies, concerts, marathons, TV shows and more. His more expensive and antique pieces are hidden in the corner of the garage. Not all of these items are in pristine condition and most show signs of wear and tear, but you’ll know you’re getting something one-of-a-kind.

thredUP $$

If you don’t want to dig through piles and piles of clothing to find that one shirt you need, this online thrift  store is for you. Although they don’t have men’s clothing, they do have second-hand women’s clothing items from companies like J. Crew, Ann Taylor LOFT, Banana Republic, Lululemon Athletica and Free People at affordable prices.

Round Two $$$
113 Stanton St.

Round Two is a resale store with iconic, high-end labels like Supreme, Nike, Off-White, Palace and even vintage Polo and Guess. This streetwear outlet recently opened in New York City and attracts everyone from kids who cannot afford to pay the full, marked-up price for a Supreme shirt to celebrities looking to expand their wardrobe. Round Two buys, sells and trades clothing items along with a wide range of collectible sneakers.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Feb. 4, 2019, print edition. Email Isla Na at [email protected]