Buffalo Thrift Store guide

How to pop tags with $20 in your pocket


You want to look like $1 million – but only have four dollars in your bank account.

Even though you dragged your entire wardrobe from home to school, there’s never anything to wear.

Fear not, Buffalo area college students, because UB is located near a variety of thrift, consignment and discount shops capable of regenerating your wardrobe even with that “hoping for the best ’cause I didn’t buy books for any of my classes,” budget.

Here some of the stores around both North and South Campuses to help you stand up to that fair-weather denim and reclaim your dreams of stylistic excellence.


Although chiefly filled with racks of clothing for all sizes, genders and ages, Savers suffers no shortage of shoes, bags, furniture, jewelry and even electronics. The average item is priced at $10 or less.

Savers is a thrift store and community donation center less than five miles from UB’s North Campus. Located at 2309 Eggert Road in Tonawanda, the store doesn’t waste one square inch.

Ally Pawlowski, a senior dance major at UB, can frequently be found rummaging through the store’s masses of jeans and browsing its boy’s section for updates to her beloved flannel collection.

“You can find good quality things if you take the time to look and for a small price, which, especially being a college student, is important,” Pawlowski said.

If you need to make room in your closet before filling it with great second-hand finds, the community donation centers situated at each of the store’s locations are a great resource.

In addition to saving your closet from the hottest items of 2005, donations will also help to create revenue for a local non-for-profit charity. Tonawanda’s location is specifically helping to fund the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeastern New York.

Salvation Army

Every item in the Salvation Army comes in through donations, so you will likely spend some time pulling back hangers of ’80s windbreaker pants and getting hit in the face with shoulder pads. The great finds to be discovered are well worth a little patience.

Located almost right across the street from Savers, at 1089 Niagara Falls Boulevard, Salvation Army – although not as big – boasts a similar variety to Savers. The store is mostly filled with racks of clothes, household items, furniture, records and jewelry.

Becca Corbin, a senior dance major at UB, can attest to the hidden gems at the Salvation Army. One day, she left the store having paid only $5 for a brand new, originally $300 parka.

Taking the time to browse through the Salvation Army store is not just worth it in the weight of uncovered treasures. Another benefit is that money spent at Salvation Army is money spent on a good cause because revenue from the stores used to fund their Adult Rehabilitation Programs.

Tuesday Morning

If you’re looking to make your dorm room or apartment a little more like what you had envisioned before moving in and a little less like a scene from “Animal House,” Tuesday Morning, located at 3344 Sheridan Drive in Amherst, might be where you head.

Other than a couple shelves of bags and a small variety of jewelry near the check out, Tuesday Morning has little in the way of clothing. Most of what you will find is household items like comforters, towels, home décor and dishes.

Tuesday Morning is not a used store, but a close-out, off-price retailer – this means you are likely to find designer, name-brand products for a much more affordable price than where the products were originally sold.

This doesn’t necessarily mean what you find will be cheap. If you are looking for the best deals around to spruce up your living space but willing to spend a little money, Tuesday Morning is a great option. If you’re looking for a $10 sofa, you’ll find more luck elsewhere.

Second Chic

Along with new items and local designers, this store only sells donated clothing that aligns with the store’s contemporary vision.

Unlike Savers and Salvation Army, at Second Chic you won’t have to spend as much time sorting through heaps of what your mom wore when she was pregnant with you in the ’90s.

Second Chic is a consignment shop with three locations in the areas near UB – two in the city at 1421 Hertel Avenue and 810 Elmwood Avenue and one in Williamsville at 5454 Main Street.

Second Chic doesn’t filter its donations for you for free, so prices at the store may certainly be higher than other second-hand stores. Its goods aren’t too pricey, but a nice dress you found at Savers for $3 might cost closer to $20 at Second Chic.

The store’s consignment process means frequent sale items and an opportunity for customers to make a little money if they donate.

The discounts occur when a store item has been on the racks for 30 days – that’s when it gets discounted at 25 percent. Once an item is still in store for 60 days, it is discounted by 50 percent.

If you make donations that the store chooses to sell, you will receive 40 percent of the amount it sells for or 50 percent of the price in store credit.

So ditch those ripped pants while you’re still the only one trying to pretend not to see them. The only barrier between you and a polished new wardrobe or trendy living room is a little patience and imagination.

Sophia McKeone is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at features@ubspectrum.com