Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

Are True Vintage Stores An Endangered Species?

Published on August 30, 2010 by   ·   13 Comments Pin It

Remember the days when you knew the best little thrift shop where you could go on half off day and score an amazing sundress for $2?   This was before the advent of etsy perhaps, when billions of hipsters world-wide scored at their local thrift stores and re-sold their wares online for triple the price.   Before the commercialization of vintage.   And trust us, we arne’t complaining.. we are overjoyed that the world has gone semi-green in their fashion preferences.   The more vintage we all buy, the less crap goes in landfills, the less energy is produced in factories, and the less un-fair labor is being used.   Still, we long for the days of truly cheap, cheap vintage.

So.. What’s the difference between a real thrift store and its overpriced sister – the vintage shop?

See below.   A true vintage store (aka thrift shop) has not been arranged by color or trend, and usually stinks of mothballs (see left). It’s a chore to go through the racks, but once you’ve found your score, you could sing from the rooftops! You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment you just won’t feel at any already merchandised vintage boutique.   The true thrift shop is often connected to a charity (Goodwill, et all) and doesn’t benefit from any sales of items.   A vintage boutique is well arranged, merchandise is laid out to showcase the great items (see right).   In the real vintage store, employees will be similar to the McDonald’s worker demographic/ little old ladies, you will see old teddy bears for sale and even old panties.   At a faux-vintage store, shopgirls n gays will probably be tattooed, beleaguered, and stinking of last nights big party – the merch will all be stuff you could totally see some 80’s ironic revival band wearing.   The prices will be double to triple the price of a thrift store.

So – we are reaching out to you, dear readers.   What are the last of the best vintage spots in your neck of the woods?? (Let us know in the comments section below – let’s compile a sisterly list for all States!)

We know Value Village still hold deals a-plenty for the vigorous vintage scout. Particularly in the Georgia locations.

And in NY (Brooklyn) you’ll be hard pressed to find better deals than at Green Village Junk Shop (gorgeous 1950’s armoire for $70, anyone?   Clothing by the pound!).

Here at GGA HQ   – we dream of a thrift store where all proceeds benefit vegan and animal organizations! But we wonder how that would work in terms of all the non-vegan items in thrift shops (wool, fur, leather, etc).   Would you be offended by a thrift shop selling old wool to benefit the animals?   Most of what we donate to thrift stores is our old non-vegan duds.   So we think the concept may be messy, but it’s an idea we’d love to see someone take on and adjust.

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Readers Comments (13)

  1. Mandi says:

    Portland (OR) is overflowing with vintage shops. Even though there are a surplus of hipsters here, everything remains pretty affordable and eclectic. I have never seen so much Grade A vintage in my life as I have in Portland. (Not even in NYC! Sorry!)

    There is a site dedicated to Portland vintage:

    My favorite spots are Red Light, Magpie, Vintage Pink and House of Vintage.

  2. melanie reardon says:

    the dress code in gloucester mass is great!!!

  3. MF says:

    Community Thrift Store
    623 Valencia St
    San Francisco, California 94110
    (415) 861-4910

  4. jesse.anne.o says:

    I love Green Village but I mostly do housewares there. The only other one I can think of that wasn’t horribly picked over was the Steinway Salvation Army. Although I’ve heard there’s Goodwill “bins” up in Queens as well.

    Strangely, I just had that conversation the other day (resale place that’s vegan) – it’s a good idea but a project best left for someone else to execute!

  5. James says:

    1. Absolute Vintage-London
    2. Fripes Star-Paris
    3. Grandma Takes a Trip-Sydney Australia
    4. KINJI-Tokyo

  6. Urban Vegan says:

    I shopped alongside Penelope Cruz at Rellik in London–near Notting Hill (Ladbroke Grove). Well-edited selection in great condition (U get what U pay for–sometimes!). Helpful staff.

  7. Catherine says:

    Good post! provides a listing of charitable thrift shops (including many that benefit animals).

    In northern New Jersey, I love C.A.T.S. Resale Shop in Westwood, which benefits homeless cats and dogs.

  8. Susan says:

    Step -up in Atlanta , GA

  9. Allison Tray says:

    Ref29 article features a cute little furniture shop here in Brooklyn!

    Clothes is tough because it’s either toooo vintagey or just ugly. I can’t wait to check out the NY suggestions.

  10. Allison Tray says:

    “Clothes is tough” that’ll be the name of my memoir.

  11. Charlize says:

    New York Vintage Lovers:
    The outlets are in Woodbury Commons are great for discounts.. but in terms of
    Vintage shops – The higher end ones; What Comes Around Goes Around, Some Odd Ruby’s, Resurrection, Ina, Tokio 7.. all amazing.
    Cheaper ones: Beacon’s Closet is a must see (in Brooklyn), and walk around Williamsburg. Tons of fantastic thrift there

  12. DBTV: Girlie Girl & The Brute Interview Olsen Haus Maven ……

    We’ve linked to you on . Could you put a link back to us?…

  13. D'Anne Park says:

    I am a vintage seller and have a serious passion for vintage clothes, shoes and accessories! I am also a huge animal lover and rescued one of my dogs from your animals in need section ChloeJo! So grateful for GirlieGirl Army! I started out supplying vintage stores on the Lower East Side which triple my things to make their rent. I prefer doing vintage markets like St. Anthony’s in NYC and the Brooklyn Flea where I can meet buyers and designers and also shop vintage. I let everyone know when I am out selling in NYC at a Soho market with all my vintage goodies. You get vintage updates on when I am selling on twitter.

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