Buffalo’s best thrift shops
The best ‘actual’ thrift shops in the area, handpicked for undergrads
There are two types of thrift shopping.
There’s “vintage” shopping, which essentially consists of going to high-end antique stores, spending Depop money on a worn-out denim jacket and running home to share your “gnarly experience” with your friends who aren’t cool or trendy enough to ever understand.
Then there’s actual thrift shopping: going to Savers, spending the last $6 in your bank account on probably the coolest Hard Rock Cafe crewneck you’ve ever seen and not knowing there’s a giant hole in the armpit until you get home.
We prefer the latter.
Thrift shopping is a task, though. It requires tenacity, an inhaler, wet wipes and knowing the exact spots to hit up and when.
But, in the words of the great Bebe Rexha, “I got you.”
Thrifting is not only good for your wallet, but also the environment. In an era of cheap fast fashion –– made in sweatshops and terrible for the environment –– sustainable brands can be unaffordable for most people. Specnding $100 for an eco-friendly and ethically made T-shirt is a total joke. Thrifting is a great sustainable option that doesn’t burn your wallet.
We’ve compiled a couple spots to get you thrifting in the Amherst area, without putting you in a position where suddenly you’re being charged $80 for a Coogi sweater. You’re welcome.
3177 Eggert Rd, Tonawanda
Look, Goodwill may not be the best stop on this list but what it offers could be considered the complete thrifting package.
Prices are the same as they are pretty much everywhere else, but the selection is a bit sparse. I (Brenton) usually leave with about one or two items on a good day, adding up to $10.
Luckily, the location is a blessing. Right across the plaza is a Ted’s Hot Dogs, where even if you strike out at Goodwill, you can still enjoy probably the best cheeseburger Buffalo can offer.
Goodwill is like the DJ Jazzy Jeff of thrift stores. It’s pretty solid but can’t do it on its own. Just as Jazz needs Will Smith to put together a hit song, if you want to enjoy Goodwill, don’t just go to Goodwill.
4. Attic To Basement Repeats
83 Broad St., Tonawanda
This store stays true to what it claims to have, ‘a little bit of everything.’
Furniture, room decor, craft supplies, clothes, accessories, bags, comics and even hardware –– they literally have it all. It’s not a clothing-only thrift, so you’ll probably walk out with a variety of stuff.
If you are on the hunt for affordable decor and home goods this is the place for you. They have an insane amount of options, either arranged by color or type. If you sift through carefully you are bound to find quirky one-of-a-kind pieces to rock.
Many of them are antique goods and have a great deal of history. However, they are not overpriced in the name of “vintage,” the prices are affordable and most things cost $10 or less.
3. Salvation Army
1089 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst
If you’re looking for the cheapest prices, and some dim lighting, look no further.
The Salvation Army on Niagara Falls Boulevard is like your grandma’s attic but even cooler. Shirts can sell for as little as a dollar, and the store has a bit more of a vintage appeal. Most of the men’s T-shirts in stock tend to be ‘90s or Y2K-era, but you still have to shuffle through the mess of Maroon 5 tour shirts.
Half-off days on Wednesdays are a total treat, and you can leave with a bag full of things for under $10 if you thrift wisely.
The Salvation Army is for more experienced thrifters, those who don’t mind shuffling through racks that haven’t been as updated as its counterpart across the street.
I’ve (Brenton) left empty handed my last few visits. It can be super hit-or-miss but as long as you’re open to trying something new –– and aren’t as laser-focused as I am at thrift shops –– you’ll leave with a new piece in your wardrobe.
Still, no “vintage” shop will ever beat the joy you feel finding a giant-ass Nascar jacket for $5. None at all.
1833 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo
Don’t be fooled by the name, AMVETS has a lot of cool things to purchase. You can find stuff ranging from clothes, accessories, records and furniture here.
AMVETS offers memberships and a 10% discount on your purchase every Tuesday.
Fashion wise, you find a wide variety, ranging from jackets, blazers, sweaters, T-shirts, pants, skirts and dresses. You name it and you are likely to find it.
The find I (Vindhya) pride myself the most for is a cream-linen ‘Larry Lane’ blazer I paid less than $10 for, which I now can’t wear without getting a compliment.
My go-to move here is to rummage through the men’s polo/T-shirt section and either crop them or wear them as T-shirt dresses. This gives me the raddest ‘90s dad vibe, which seems to be the style right now.
2309 Eggert Rd, Tonawanda
If you think you’ll find anything remotely as cool at “Stacy’s Secret Boutique” in Rich Peopleville, as you would in Savers, you’re totally wrong.
Savers has all the things: jackets, hats, shirts, pants, furniture, back issues of Nickelodeon Magazine to go with your early ‘00s random athletic team crewneck. Prices are pretty amazing, too, and you can walk out spending $10 on four or five items if you play your cards right.
I’ve (Brenton) walked out before with some of my biggest outfit staples, including some nice baggy jeans, probably every crewneck I’ve ever owned and even my newly acquired Pigeon Forge, TN hat, which I’ve worn for four straight days now.
And at this time of the year, things get spooky. You can search the racks for slightly used –– or even new –– Halloween costumes for reasonable prices. Its like Party City but with a little more dust and better lighting. One editor in our office –– the coolest one –– is planning on buying a silver space suit and spending Oct. 31 as a member of Brockhampton. So yeah, you can get pretty creative with them, too.
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