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Manhattan’s 5 Best Thrift Shops

February 4, 2013 6:00 AM

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Sure, in New York City, shopping can be fairly self-indulgent – not to mention pricey. If you’re smart about it, however, you can make it a cost-effective and altruistic hobby. Manhattan is packed with thrift stores that use the sale of used/donated merchandise to support local charities. Here’s where to start. By Kimberly Rae Miller.

More: The 5 Best Vintage Clothing Shops In The East Village

Spence-Chapin Thrift Shop

spence chapin Manhattans 5 Best Thrift Shops

Photo Credit: Spence Chapin

1850 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10128
(212) 426-7643
spence-chapin.org

The location of this thrift store at 96th Street makes it prime for amazing labels at discounted prices. The ladies who lunch donate their gently used designer duds to Spence-Chapin, and Spence-Chapin donates the proceeds to its charity of the same name that focuses energy on adoption and adoption rights.

Angel Street Thrift Shop

angel street2 Manhattans 5 Best Thrift Shops

(credit: Angel Street Thrift Shop)

118 W 17th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 229-0546
angelthriftshop.org

If Chelsea is more your speed, check out the Angel Street Thrift Shop. Like Spence-Chapin, it’s got its fair share of designer options to choose from, and some great furniture finds as well. The store is neat and clean and free of that “musky” smell so many thrift shops come with.

Arthritis Thrift Shop

Shopping bags

(file photo credit: Clip Art)

1383 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10021
(212) 772-8816

This shop is small, and more of an adventure to rummage through. If you love to rummage through racks and racks until you find the diamond in the rough this store is up your alley. Low prices, and good quality used pieces, this is the quintessential thrift shop. Proceeds go toward the Arthritis Foundation.

Housing Works

housing works Manhattans 5 Best Thrift Shops

(credit: Housing Works)

Multiple locations throughout the city:
shophousingworks.com

There are housing works thrift shops and each has its own distinct personality. Chances are if you’re looking for something classy and tasteful you’re going to want to hit up the uptown shops; something unique and vintage, downtown. There’s much to be had in the genres of books, clothing, house-wares and furniture. One of the great elements of Housing Works is that they are highly trafficked which means that their turnover of new product is ideal for multiple stop-bys a week. You won’t be staring at the same 1991 Prom dress for 6-months, things here go quick and are restocked even quicker. You can even browse merchandise and buy online. Proceeds go toward eliminating homelessness and HIV/AIDS.

vintagethrift2 Manhattans 5 Best Thrift Shops

Photo Credit: Vintage Thrift

Vintage Thrift

286 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 871-0777
vintagethriftshop.org

This 3rd Ave gem is more like a museum than a store. If you’re looking for true vintage bric-a-brac, clothing, and furniture – this is the place to go. Walking in the doors of Vintage Thrift is like going back in time. The merchandise inside is in great condition; most likely you’ll go in expecting to browse and come out with a Madmen-era living room set. Proceeds support the UJC (United Jewish Council), a secular organization that provides meals to housebound seniors, community sponsored events, and shuttle bus service for the senior population of the Lower East Side.

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