I’m a born and bred New Yorker. I was also born into the thrift life. The combination of these two things has made me uniquely poised to offer some insight into the world of New York thrift. One thing I hear all the time over on my Instagram feed is, “wow thrift is so much better where you live than where I live!” As a thrift lover who is also a travel lover, I have to say that each part of the country that I have visited offers a unique specialty in the world of thrift.
New England and the South are WONDERFUL for scoring antiques with lots of soul, while spots like the Metro NYC are and Los Angeles are best for scoring high-end pieces from the mid-century to contemporary. There’s a lot of wealth with a high population in these areas, which often results in people throwing their very valuable things to the curb or the thrift without thinking twice about it. I would say that Long Island has a slight edge in pricing over Manhattan, but I’ve had many a great cheap score in Manhattan, and have seen sky high prices here on Long Island. The trick is hitting up estate sales, auctions and the thrift stores regularly so you can find that gem that’s priced as a steal. And that just isn’t going to happen every day. You’ll quickly learn why curated vintage shops charge the prices they do. It takes LOADS of time to score, curate, research, price and sell vintage pieces. I used to have skin in that game, and I would never begrudge a reseller their (often) high prices.
The goods news for those of you looking to tap into the NYC thrift market is that you don’t even need to travel here to take advantage. During the pandemic, many estate sale companies shifted to online auctions and often offer shipping throughout the USA. But for those of you who ARE local to New York, I want to tell you about my favorite spots for scoring some true THRIFT (aka not a vintage resale shop). My very favorite way to score great secondhand pieces will always be estate sales and auctions, but when I need an extra thrift kick, these are my top local spots for scoring a great (cheap) haul:
Island Thrift —— 1770 New York Ave. Huntington, NY
Island Thrift is one of the best for smaller home decor items, like vases, cookware, lamps, books, glassware… you name it. They are grossly overpriced in certain areas, but the good news is they overcharge for things being resold from places like HomeGoods and Marshalls, and are generally VERY underpriced in collectible and valuable vintage. Whoever does the pricing at Island Thrift is utterly clueless, and that’s often a good thing. They don’t get a ton of furniture, but when they do it’s nearly always underpriced as they like to move it out fast. I suspect this is because they don’t have a ton of room for it.
St Vincent de Paul —- 1705 E Jericho Tpke. Huntington, NY
This spot doesn’t have the best prices, but they’re always stocked with great furniture. They do have home decor pieces, but their selection of smalls is not their strength. I often come here when I’m looking for a furniture piece and don’t want to pay Chairish prices. Lots of mid-century, 80s deco.
St Vincent de Paul ——- 2160 Jericho Tpke. New Hyde Park, NY
This is maybe my favorite thrift store on all of Long Island. It’s quite close to Queens, so it’s a great spot for anyone in NYC or Western Long Island. Prices are not always the best here. Or maybe I should say, prices often suck here. But this place is huge, is ALWAYS stocked with amazing items in both furniture and decor, and it’s not totally out of the question that you’ll be able to score a great price. I don’t think I’ve ever left here empty-handed, and I go here very often.
North Shore Holiday House —- 74 Huntington Road Huntington, NY
This is a small local shop in the uber-expensive area of Lloyd Harbor, Long Island. Super rich people often drop their stuff off here. This shop’s strength is clothing. It’s a great spot to find designer clothes for very reasonable prices. But they also have a small, but admirable selection of small home decor pieces. Don’t come here looking for furniture.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore —- 2111 Lakeland Ave. Ronkonkoma, NY
Hands down the best spot on the Island to score thrift for your construction project. Yes, that’s a thing. I’ve scored huge brand-new Marvin windows for a mere $100, tiles for 30 cents/square foot, a brand-new $40 sink, among many other things. They have EVERYTHING from couches to refrigerators, to kitchen cabinets. The prices are usually VERY good, but they did try to charge me $750 for a tulip side table once….so there’s that.
Suite Pieces — 1038 New York Ave. Huntington, NY
This is the only place on my list that isn’t “technically” thrift. It’s a warehouse filled with lots of different shops from different vintage sellers. So, why am I including it on my thrift list? The prices are generally very, very good, the shop is curated with amazing vintage pieces, and if things sit long enough, they will be offered at thrift prices. All in all, maybe my favorite STORE on all of Long Island. They’re strong on furniture and smaller decor pieces, and even have architectural salvage.
NEW YORK CITY
Salvation Army (Hell’s Kitchen) —– 535 W. 46th Street
I used to live on 42nd. street, just a few blocks from this Salvie (as my college friends and I used to call it). I would go here way too often to score furniture, home goods, and clothing. It’s an enormous warehouse that’s always stocked and the prices are nearly always good. I’d say they have an edge in the furniture department above all else. I may be dating myself here, but Hell’s Kitchen also used to have a bomb-ass flea market on the weekends and it was my FAVORITE but like many flea markets in the area, it no longer exists. Any locals remember the one at the Belmont Stakes?
Brooklyn Flea —- 51 N. 6th Street, Brooklyn
One flea that’s still going strong in NYC is Brooklyn Flea. It feels almost silly to put Brooklyn Flea on the list because WHO DOESN’T KNOW BROOKLYN FLEA!? A generally overpriced, but must-visit experience with lots of different vendors selling lots of different things.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore —- 6201 Northern Blvd, Queens
This ReStore isn’t nearly as good as the one on Long Island, so if you have a car and a few hours, it’s worth making the drive east. Ronkonkoma is very close to some incredible vineyards, junk shops and farmers markets, so you can make a day of it. That said, if this spot is local to you the prices are very good, and they have a decent selection.
The Thrifty HoG —- 11 W. 25th Street
This is a great spot for clothing, homewares, and furniture alike. Especially clothing. A must-stop if you’re in the neighborhood and I love that the proceeds go to helping local homeless mothers.
RemixMarketNYC —- 10-39 44th Dr, Queens, NY
This spot has some great furniture pieces and the experience is an adventure. Get ready to do some digging to find your treasure. They have moved locations since I was last here, so I’m guessing the newer spot is cleaner and nicer. Lots and lots of gems at this spot and prices are really generally very good and proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity.
Housing Works – 1222 2nd Ave. —– locations all listed here
Housing Works is another thrift shop whose proceeds go to a great cause – helping those suffering from AIDS. I haven’t been to all of their locations but I used to pop into the 64th & 2nd. Ave. location on the regular when I worked in the neighborhood. They always had a great selection of everything from clothes to decor items to furniture – but especially clothes! I would imagine all their shops are structured a bit differently.
This list is by no means comprehensive and I plan on updating it as things come to mind, or as I happen upon new gems, so be sure to come back to this post on the regular.
If you’re also a local New York thrifter, please leave your favorite shops in the comments below!