Whether your definition of thrifting is paying a few dollars for an armload of treasures or scoring a vintage designer item at a small percentage of the original price, this list leads you to the 15 best thrift shops around Austin.
There’s a reason Blue Velvet has been an Austin favorite for more than 20 years: It’s one of the most affordable places in town to buy quality vintage. Blue Velvet offers vintage clothing from all the major eras all the way up to the '90s, but their selection of '70s-era clothing is particularly awesome. There's an inexpensive selection of quirky jewelry and almost always a sales rack of clothing outside the door to greet you before even walking in.
Despite the fact that we haven’t been able to successfully sell any of our clothes here, we still can enjoy shopping at Buffalo Exchange. There’s tons of variety; you’ll find vintage, well-known mall brands, and “alternative” brands like Free People and Urban Outfitters all in one place. While it’s true that the prices on new and highly desirable designer items tend to run high, and the sheer volume of clothing can be overwhelming, if you do some digging you’ll find the good deals.
Far Out Home Fittings
This unassuming store tucked away in a strip center at the corner of South Congress Avenue and Oltorf Boulevard is a hidden gem with unique vintage and used furniture at incredible prices. As the name suggests, the vibe of this place is pretty hippie-ish, but there are some stylish modern pieces snuck in here and there. Found here was a comfortable (and super clean) velvet sofa for just $120, which was delivered the very same day for an equally reasonable fee.
Frock on Vintage
This incredibly well-curated store just north of the UT campus offers a lovely selection of fairly priced vintage. Watch Instagram (which you can buy items directly from) for information about sales hosted quite frequently. And if you do find the perfect piece but it doesn’t fit quite right, don’t fret — Frock On offers in-house alterations.
Goodwill Blue Hanger Outlet
If you delight in digging, this is the place to do your thrifting. The Blue Hanger Goodwill outlet is the last stop for Goodwill items that haven’t been sold in stores or at auction, which is terrifying to some, yet exciting for others. You might dig for hours and not find anything worthwhile. You might get lucky and take home some treasures for the low, low price of $1.39 per pound. One thing is for certain: You will need gloves.
Goodwill Home Store
Following the Memorial Day floods, the Goodwill at 10th Street and Lamar Boulevard re-opened as a Goodwill Home Store, the first Goodwill in Texas dedicated solely to home goods. The store offers new mattresses, linens, and other home goods, in addition to gently used donated items.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
If you’re building or remodeling a home on a budget, this is the place to check out before visiting any big-box home improvement stores. The ReStore sells new and used flooring, cabinetry, light fixtures, sinks, toilets, paint, doors, windows, appliances, and furniture at deeply discounted prices.
Monkies Vintage and Thrift
Student style and Austin funkiness perfectly collide in this West Campus shop offering used and vintage clothing. Here you’ll find cowboy boots, vintage dresses with loud prints, denim cutoffs, soft worn-in T-shirts, pearl snap shirts, and more — all at prices that even broke college students can afford. If you’re in need of a warm winter coat, there’s an expansive selection of suede and leather men’s and women’s coats in good vintage condition.
There’s something magical about a place where you can buy a book for $2 or less, beating some e-reader prices. Paperbacks are $1, hardcovers are $2, and children’s books are just 50 cents. The store is completely volunteer run, and all proceeds support the Austin Public Library. Best of all, the store is affiliated with the City of Austin’s Zero Waste Initiative, and has diverted over 1,000 tons of material from the landfill.
Room Service Vintage
Vintage furniture can cost a pretty penny, and Room Service has dreamy Pinterest-level pieces that are worth splurging on. However, the majority of the store is stuffed with affordable sofas and chairs, dining sets, coffee tables, side tables, rugs, and more. Whether your style is midcentury modern or bohemian, you’re sure to find something you love for your home here. The store posts new and on-sale items to Instagram daily, and if you see something you like, you can place a two-hour hold on the item over the phone. Don’t miss the parking lot sale during the annual North Loop IBIZ block party for some serious deals.
St. Vincent de Paul
This true thrift shop is a welcome reprieve from the pricey strip of boutiques along South Congress Avenue. It’s fairly large, with clothing, shoes, and accessories on the first floor, and home goods, books, and furniture upstairs. Although part of the fun of thrifting is sifting through the racks hoping to find something amazing, if you’re short on time and just want to get to the good stuff, check out the separate sections for vintage and boutique items.
Still in Style
If you’re in need of thrifty interview outfits or business-casual wear, Still in Style is a great place to look. The racks are packed with clothing from brands like J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Express, Gap, BCBG, and H&M priced around $10 to $15, and the shoe display is incredibly well organized. Most notably, there’s an entire section dedicated to plus-size clothing, which is a rare find in most thrift shops. And because it’s a consignment store, the longer an item goes unsold, the lower its price drops.
Top Drawer Thrift Store
This vintage and thrift shop is a favorite of longtime Austinites and newcomers alike, no doubt for the artfully arranged variety loaded into the modest space. There’s furniture, clothing, books, kitchenware, knickknacks, and perhaps the best of all, a huge $1 T-shirt bin. There’s also a sizable section of the store dedicated to vintage electronics and parts. Thrifting here supports a good cause; all proceeds benefit Project Transitions, a nonprofit organization that provides supportive living, housing, and hospice care to people living with HIV and AIDS.
All told, Treasure City is the thriftiest of all the thrift stores in Austin, but that’s only a small part of why this place is so amazing. The store is a collectively organized nonprofit that gives back to more than 20 local and grassroots groups, challenging the traditional charitable donation store model with a “solidarity not charity” approach. Watch Facebook for monthly 25-cent sales and dollar days. Treasure City also hosts the Really Really Free Market on the last Sunday of each month at Chestnut Community Park, where (you guessed it) everything is really (really) free.
Whether you need a thrifting fix or have a few bags of used clothes to sell, Uptown Cheapskate is your go-to spot. There's a nice selection of party and occasion dresses and also an affordable vintage section. Uptown Cheapskate also offers a frequent buyer punch card that gets you 20-percent off your purchase when the card fills up (and never expires). You also receive 15 percent off purchases during your birthday month, so it’s the perfect place for some treat-yo-self birthday shopping.