Second hand stores come in handy for all kinds of reasons — finding an outfit for a special occasion that doesn’t break the bank; trying a new sport without investing too much; and when you absolutely, positively need more plates, cheap. And after the holidays, the chance to get new-to-you stuff on a tight budget is particularly appealing.
Second hand stores are also great for clearing out your closets and pocketing a little extra cash in the process. Here are some Austin favorites:
While part of a national chain, the Guadalupe Street location puts out a distinctly Austin vibe, packed with racks of stylish new and second hand clothes, accessories, and shoes, including designer and vintage items. Plus, selling your stuff for re-use is a very Austin thing to do. The store buys outright, rather than placing items on consignment, assigning a retail price and giving you 50 percent of that in store trade or 30 percent in cash.
This consignment shop specializes in designer clothing, with bridal and formal gowns, furs, vintage and casual clothing, as well as shoes and bags. Remember it as a great place for affordable prom wear. To sell your things here you’ll need a minimum of eight items, either new with price tags or gently used and undamaged, not more than 2 years old (except for vintage).
Half Price Books
Founded in 1972 in Dallas, Half Price Books now counts 120-plus stores, including seven in the Austin area. Austinites are a literate bunch, after all. Shop for bargains on books of every kind, from kids' pop-ups to textbooks, as well as music, DVDs, videos, magazines, and rare books. The store will buy all this stuff from you too.
Bohemian generally refers to someone with a wide and varied range of tastes in music, fashion, art, and literature. The name suits this vintage fashion shop, which carries a wide and varied range of vintage and offbeat clothes, shoes, accessories, and jewelry, along with random dishes and other items.
Next to New
A consignment shop and outreach ministry sponsored by St. David's Episcopal Church since 1959, this place carries just about anything. In addition to women’s clothing, find household furnishings, appliances, housewares, dishes, books, office supplies, and artwork. Items can be donated or placed on consignment, with price reflecting existing inventory. Consignees receive 50 percent of the sale price.
Play It Again Sports
Two locations carrying everything from baseball bats to weights help keep Austin active. The stores carry gear and accessories for football, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, hockey, golf, disc golf, and watersports, plus skates, bikes, and skateboards — new and gently used. Perfect for trying a new sport or outfitting a growing child.
Second Time Around
This consignment store carries women’s couture, designer, and better label clothing, as well as shoes, handbags, and jewelry. Selling requires bringing in a minimum of 20 items to inspect, in season and less than 2 years old, by appointment. Preference goes to top designers, labels, department stores, and boutiques. The spacious fitting rooms are a nice touch.
State Surplus Property
As its name suggests, this store, run by the Texas Facilities Commission, carries surplus state property such as desks, file cabinets, chairs, tables, and even vehicles. It also sells items lost or surrendered at the airport at a very low cost.
A bit of a twist, this is a toy lending library for children ages 6 months to 5 years old. Essentially you are renting, rather than buying, for a membership fee. It is still a great way to save money and not clutter up your closets.