Looking to redo your wardrobe? Searching for furniture to revitalize your living room? Tired of the same mismatched plates and glasses — but still working with a limited budget?
Step away from the superstores and look into some local secondhand shops. Thrifting is wallet-friendly (extra-important during COVID-19 shutdowns), provides a variety of unique options and helps support local businesses and others in the community.
Dressing rooms may be closed and return policies have changed, but with a flood of donations coming in as many redecorate during quarantine, there’s something for everyone at these four area thrift stores. (Remember to bring a mask!)
The Prop Shop
While Eden Prairie nonprofit and resale store The Prop Shop has a wide variety of items, the clothing section, which takes up over half the store, is the star of the show. The color-coordinated racks are aesthetically pleasing and the frequent tag sales mean it’s easy to find a shirt for under $4.
However, the retail store isn’t the best part of The Prop Shop. The Family Service Area in the back of the building helps local families in need of clothing, furniture and other household goods. All donations are quarantined before they go out on the floor, and people can schedule appointments to browse and take whatever they may need. Since opening the Family Service Area in 2013, they’re served 2,901 families.
Favorite find: Vince Camuto satin top for $3.50.
If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, Chaska’s Goodwill Outlet is for you. There’s no organized racks or neat shelves — walk into the warehouse and you’ll find giant blue bins stuffed with a variety of clothes, blankets, bags, shoes, books, dishes, etc.
Nothing is divided by size, and there’s not a price tag in sight. Instead, Goodwill charges by the pound for most items. The more you buy, the cheaper the price (think $.99 per pound if you buy over 20 pounds). Reserve a few hours, bring a friend and prepare to battle the woman next to you for a like-new pair of heels.
Favorite find: Vintage Sun 600 Polaroid camera in perfect, working condition for approximately $1.
Looking for something a little more curated? Head to the heart of downtown Victoria to visit Gretchen’s Room, a consignment boutique focused on quality clothing and shoes at reasonable prices. If you can’t make it to the physical store, fear not — unlike most shops, Gretchen’s Room has all of its inventory on Mercari, an online marketplace.
If you’re looking to get cash for your own clothing, they also accept consignment. Drop off your new or gently-used items for staff to evaluate. If they’re interested, they’ll give you an offer or have you sign a consignment agreement, where you collect payment if the item sells.
Favorite find: Gently-used Nike running shoes at 45% off.
Bethesda Thrift Store
Bethesda Thrift Store, located off of Highway 101 in Minnetonka, is one of the best nonprofit shops in the area for just about anything you can think of. With a multitude of items at reasonable prices (and frequent tag sales for 50% off), any visitor will leave with much more than they planned on buying.
One particular standout? The shop’s impeccable organization. The hundreds of books are sorted by genre and in alphabetical order, clothes are arranged by color, size and style and each aisle is dedicated to a specific category. Tip: check behind the counter for high-end items you may otherwise miss.
Favorite find: Vintage wool floor-length coat for $5. (Summer is the best time to buy winter clothes!)