The best thrift stores in California

The best thrift stores in California
Source: Pexels, Burst

The best thrift stores in California are a favorite hot spot for those looking for unique pieces without a hefty price tag. The art of thrift store shopping is a well known pastime among millennials and anyone else who fancies hunting through piles of clothes for a vintage piece of denim, classic rock concert tee or other stylish, unique treasure that can’t be bought new. Rummaging through endless amounts of donated clothing seems to be taking over the way younger crowds shop all across California – what better way to stand out with a unique style on a budget?

Although many Californians may not even think about buying used clothes (or be caught dead in anything less than designer), the treasure hunting aspect of finding reusable clothing (and other items) at a reduced price is appealing to many, especially hipster types with a quirky sense of fashion, eco-conscious shoppers that care about sustainable fashion and people that are just trying to stretch out their budget. Not to mention that thrift stores often offer shoppers a chance to redecorate their home at a much lower price than buying brand-new furniture and home goods.

There’s a dark side of fast fashion that many budget mall shoppers may not be aware of. So, thrift stores are often able to meet a tighter budget without directly engaging in this production chain. It’s no wonder thrift stores everywhere have become a cultural fashion hub for those looking to spice up their wardrobe with pre-loved fashion. Read on for a list of some of the best thrift stores in California worth checking out on your next treasure hunt.

California thrift stores for your next treasure hunt

Buffalo Exchange

One of the larger thrift stores in the United States, Buffalo Exchange originally started in the city of Tucson, Arizona. A local thrifter by the name of Kerstin Block had the idea of opening up her own updated secondhand shop. Block devised a business model where people can not only buy cheap clothing, but also sell their own clothes for cash or trade on the spot.

Current with the latest trends in fashion, Buffalo’s clothing aesthetic molds to each city that it’s located in. Not every city has the same sense of fashion, so naturally each shop has their own unique look and fashion trends available in the inventory. Because this shop is on the cheaper side and is located in most larger cities in California, it’s at the top of the list for one of the best thrift stores to visit in the US.

4th Street Retro Row

California’s Long Beach has always been known for its diversity and cultural ambience surrounding the city, and East 4th Street is the epitome of just that. Unique stores line every block, and this row of shops is full of different cultural spaces to step into. In search of vintage clothing from the 1940s? Or are you looking to find a stylish 19th century lamp for your coffee table? Around every corner, there’s a different boutique, vintage/thrift shop or somewhere to grab a quick bite to eat. If you’ve never been treasure hunting, Retro Row is probably your best place to start if you’re looking to make a day of it.


Originally from Japan, 2nd STREET is committed to increasing environmental efforts and reducing the amount of discarded apparel that reaches our landfills. Expanding their network to the US, this shop is always updated with regularly added, top tier clothing. Selling and buying premium quality and designer clothing, 2nd STREET is known to have a wide variety of styles catering to a high-fashion taste. From trendy street wear to designer clothing, if you’re looking for quality and quantity (and have a little extra money in your pocket), this is the place to go.

It’s A Wrap

One of the most famous featured shopping experiences in California comes from this store that sells actual wardrobe and props from movies and television sets. It’s A Wrap is exclusively known for stockpiling things from Western, vintage and sci-fi genres, among other specialty items. Having a varying stock full of clothes/props from major motion picture studios and independent production companies, It’s A Wrap supplies literal one-of-a-kind goods for those fans in search of cool looking movie pieces.

Big Daddy’s Antiques

Offering home décor from around the world, this antique store has everything from vintage collections to home appliances. Find visually aesthetic inspirations here to upgrade your room, garden or entire home. Their team consists of in-house welders who refurbish and customize pieces just for you. Expect to spend what you’d spend at a regular home appliance store, except on a warehouse full of hand-picked one-of-a-kind items from around the world. If you aren’t looking to spend too much money, it never hurts to browse.

If you’re in California looking for ways to transform your closet or even your house, there are plenty of options from dirt cheap to higher-end. Whether you’re looking for sunproof hats to wear for a trip to the beach or a decent piece of art for your bathroom wall, the choices are plentiful in this state. Scattered among the most cultural cities are some of the best thrift stores in California – all you need is a little bit of cash in your pocket and some patience to find the treasure you’ve been looking for.

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