As Madonna once said, we live in a material world. And after all, we all love cute clothes and well-outfitted homes – but that doesn’t mean you need to get everything brand-new. In fact, shopping secondhand at a family thrift store such as Goodwill is a great way to find deals and steals, help the environment and contribute to a great cause.
Where Is the Best Thrift Store Near Me?
We’ll save the best for first and answer the question, “What is the best thrift store near me?” Naturally, this depends on where you live. E.g. if you reside in Timbuktu and don’t have access to a Goodwill, then who knows what the best secondhand shop is? On the other hand, if you live anywhere in the United States – or many other countries – the answer is clearcut: Goodwill is the best! (But hey, we might be biased.)
More specifically, the best way to find a thrift store in your neighborhood is to use our handy store finder. You can filter locations by address, city or zip code, as well as by the type of Goodwill facility you’re seeking: retail, clearance, donation, career center and more.
There’s a reason Goodwill is the most popular thrift store, and it’s because we offer so much versatility all under one umbrella. With us, you can get rid of unwanted goods without throwing them away, as well as save money on things you do need – and feel good knowing you’re helping your community at the same time.
What Can You Find at a Family Thrift Store?
Goodwill carefully curates a wide selection of items for families, including:
- Sheets, pillowcases, comforters and duvet covers, blankets, throws, pillows and more
- Dishes, cutlery, table linens and cookware
- Chairs, tables, shelving, desks and many other types of furniture
- Books, magazines and office supplies
- Home décor items such as pictures, plant pots, trays or wall hangings
People shop with us for a wide variety of reasons, including finding the perfect gift, outfitting a youngster’s first apartment, finding coordinated outfits for family photos, and more! When you head to Goodwill, though, make sure to go like a pro.
Pro Thrift Store Tips
Thrift stores take a little patience, especially if you’ve never spent much time in one. They’re arranged differently than a retail shop, and because everything there is one-of-a-kind, you’re unlikely to find something you want in another size. Instead, take your time and really explore all your options … that’s when you find the good stuff!
To maximize the experience, here are a few tips to follow:
1. Go When It’s Quiet
The best days to go to a thrift store are when other people aren’t there. Busy days make it harder to get to the rack and mean there’s more competition for what you’re looking for. After a few trips, you’ll get a feel for when things are quieter. Some good options for finding quieter times include:
- Go when school is in session, which makes it less likely you’ll encounter whole families shopping at once
- Avoid coupon days that don’t relate to you (for instance, don’t go on Senior Discount Day if you’re not a senior)
- Go right when the store opens or right before it closes
2. Get a Cart
You might be surprised by how much you find at Goodwill, as well as how much of it you want to take home with you! Sure, we all have budgets, but because secondhand items are so affordably priced, you may find yourself in possession of a lot of great steals.
What you don’t want? To realize you’ve got more items than any sane person can carry … but you’re on the opposite side of the store from the carts. Make your life easier by grabbing a cart on your way in. Even if you don’t use it, you won’t have to go back for it later.
3. Leave the Kids at Home if You Can
Where possible, try leaving the kiddos with someone else or going while they’re in school. Busy dads and moms don’t have a lot of time to themselves, and getting a moment to think while doing the shopping is always a nice feeling. Plus, it will speed up the process when you get to hear your own thoughts for once!
Of course, if you’re shopping with your family, you might need to take them all along. In that case, it’s smart to go during the morning when there are fewer people there. Give everyone a specific job to do to keep them focused and occupied. For older kids, you can send them on errands around the store. Younger kiddos should stick by your side, but you can tell them to watch out for certain things, such as the next installment in their favorite book series or a shirt of the right color.
4. Check All the Sizes
Because thrift stores have clothing from every brand under the sun, the sizing is often very inconsistent. We make it easier by arranging clothes on the rack by color rather than size so that you can find what you need much more easily. However, don’t be dissuaded if that perfect-looking top says it’s a small when you’re a medium. A lot of sizes run larger or smaller, and they might actually fit even if they don’t look like it.
Always take the time to check every section and then try things on. If you can’t try something on due to lack of time or dressing room space, take it home and see if it works, then return it within the window.
5. Watch for Discount Days
Goodwill runs a lot of discounts to help you save even more. In addition to Senior Discount Day, we help teachers and first responders, military personnel and students get good deals. We also have 50% off select color tags each and every day. Don’t pay more than you have to … instead, track those sales here!
Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona: Why Shop Here?
If you’re looking for clothing, kitchenware, toys, furniture, office supplies or anything else in the home or apparel category, there’s a good chance you’ll find it at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona! We’ve got a huge selection of clothes sectioned by color rather than size, for instance, to make finding that perfect outfit easier. From brand names to books, you’ll find gently used items that still have lots of life left in them!
There are plenty of other reasons to shop here as well. For one thing, you’re helping us keep clothes and other items out of landfill, for which Mother Earth thanks you. For another, each purchase you make helps us provide job training services to people who need them. If you’d like to learn more about those training services, or you want to donate goods, please do. But if all you want are more great deals to keep your bank account in the black, we’ve got you covered.
We invite you to come check out a Goodwill near you soon!