Thrifting can be an intimidating process. Sifting through what feels like miles of racks can not only be tiring but also disappointing most of the time.
On the other hand, walking into vintage or curated shops for niche audiences presents its own challenges, and often you can't really afford what they are offering.
Here's a guide to help save time and hopefully a couple of bucks the next time you go thrift shopping in Vancouver.
The Salvation Army Thrift Store - Kitsilano
This Salvation Army on Broadway is a small, but mighty, gem located in the Kitsilano area.
Their selection of glass and kitchenware are unmatched, with beautiful salad bowls, mugs and the most adorable wine glasses. These items usually range between $1-7, depending on what you are looking for.
What many people do not know is that towards the back of the store is a collection of discounted digital appliances such as cameras, camcorders, hair straighteners and blenders. One time, there was even an old waffle maker. The great thing about this store is that there are outlets provided to make sure the appliance you are interested in is working. They also have a great selection of books and handbags.
Address: 2714 W Broadway
The Salvation Army Thrift Store - Mount Pleasant
This Salvation Army is another tucked-away gem in Mount Pleasant which offers a range of clothing, glassware and furniture.
Visitors can find a great deal on winter jackets, women's shirts and bags that tend to fit one's 'sporty' vibe. Another great thing about this store is their selection of shoes. Many of them fall around $10, with a variety of sizes and styles to choose from.
This is another great location for porcelain, glassware and kitchen supplies.
Address: 261 E 12th Ave
This Wildlife Thrift store location can easily be comparable to a Winners or Homesense.
The store has an incredible selection of wood furniture like desks and chairs, light fixtures, and knickknacks for your home.
It is easy to find name brands in this store for a fraction of the price (such as a Ralph Lauren raincoat for $20) as well as other more modern brands that are open in malls today.
The great thing about this location is that the racks are very organized. Sectioned by type of clothing and size, it is easy to wander your way through the racks without getting overwhelmed, which also saves you a lot of time to try things on!
Towards the back of the store is a huge selection of shoes such as loafers, boots and sneakers. It would not be far-fetched to say that someone could find a cute pair of Mary Janes here.
Address: 1295 Granville St
Mintage Mall - Broadway at Main
While Mintage tends to have the reputation of being pricier than most second-hand stores, their location on Main has a lot of hidden secrets that make thrifting and vintage shopping extremely affordable.
For starters, if you shop at the right time, you can find a lot of discounted prices on smaller items such as hats or scarves. This Mintage location is also known for carrying a huge range of deadstock and pre-loved t-shirts. While you can find collector's items amongst their numerous racks, many t-shirts are reduced to costing between $5-10.
This location is called a mall for a reason–there are a variety of different vendors within the space. Therefore, some vendors will be priced differently according to others. There has been a time when similar jackets at two different vendors were priced differently (one being a fraction of the cost). While it could take some time, walking through all the vendors carefully could surprise shoppers with a unique, fairly priced item.
Address: 245 E Broadway
A few things to consider
It should be noted that the quality of items at thrift stores will depend on the donations received. There are many factors that can influence how well a store's selection of jeans or dresses is; some people could have great luck finding pieces, while others could not.
To always ensure a great experience thrift shopping, it is best to go in with an open and curious mind, even if you do not find exactly what you are looking for.