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Get to Know the World of In-person Resale


You can’t talk about the world of resale without mentioning thrift, vintage and consignment stores. Let’s dig in to how each work.

Thrift Stores

Photo: 2nd Street USA via Business Wire

Thrift stores are often the first stop for those diving into the world of in-person secondhand shopping. These stores typically receive donations from individuals and organizations and offer a wide variety of items ranging from clothing and accessories to household goods and furniture.

The charitable aspect of thrift stores results in diverse and unpredictable inventory and fosters one of the most appealing aspects of thrift stores: the thrill of the hunt. Thrift shoppers never know what they might discover, whether it’s a vintage designer piece or simply a contemporary item at a fraction of its retail price.

Prices at thrift stores also tend to be lower compared to other secondhand establishments, making them an excellent choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

Vintage Stores

Photo: Awoke Vintage Brooklyn

Vintage shops cater to those with a passion for fashion and nostalgia. Unlike thrift stores, which offer a mix of contemporary and older items, vintage shops specialize in curated collections of clothing, accessories, and décor from specific eras, often ranging from the mid-20th century to the 1990s.

What sets vintage shops apart is their focus on quality, authenticity, and style. Owners and curators carefully select pieces that reflect the aesthetic of a particular time period, ensuring that each item tells a story and captures the essence of vintage fashion. While prices at vintage shops may be higher than those at thrift stores, they reflect the value of the carefully curated inventory and the expertise of the owners.

Consignment Stores

Photo: Moss Consignment Austin

A consignment store differs from these models in how the clothing is sourced from the community. With consignment, the original item owner is compensated for the clothing they bring to the store. Consignment stores can either sort and pay for the goods off of the owner up front, only taking what they deem to have market value at the time, or some consignment stores will pay the item owner a percentage of the income after the item is sold

Given this business model, consignment boutiques often feature high-quality, gently used items, including designer clothing, luxury accessories, and upscale home furnishings. The focus on quality and authenticity sets them apart from thrift stores, offering shoppers the opportunity to find premium items at more affordable prices.

Choosing the Right In-Person Resale Shopping Experience

When it comes to shopping resale in person, the choice between thrift stores, vintage shops, and consignment boutiques ultimately depends on your preferences, budget, and shopping goals. Thrift stores offer excitement and variety, while vintage shops provide curated collections for those seeking a specific aesthetic. Consignment boutiques combine quality and sustainability, making them an attractive option for fashion-forward shoppers.

Regardless of which type of store you choose, exploring the world of secondhand shopping can be a rewarding experience. Not only does it offer the opportunity to find unique pieces and express your personal style, but it also contributes to a more sustainable and ethical approach to fashion consumption.

Now that you’re familiar with each, explore the Beni community’s favorite thrift, vintage and consignment stores across the U.S.