by MOLLY AVERY
If there’s one thing that can bring college students together, it’s the desperate need to budget. Whether you need clothes, school supplies, plates for your Pizza Rolls or furniture for an apartment, thrift stores do it all.
However, finding the right thrift store for your needs is difficult because not all thrift stores have the specific items you’re interested in. What if you’re looking for clothes but the thrift store you go to doesn’t sell many? What if you need furniture but furniture at the thrift store you go to is expensive? Which thrift stores will give you the most bang for your buck?
To help with this, I went to 12 different thrift stores in the Fredericksburg area and ranked them from the worst to best.
Number 12: Sequels
When I went to this store, I kept asking myself, could Sequels even be considered a thrift store? They’re a higher-end clothing thrift store, so prices are expected to be inflated, but the prices at this store were ridiculous. Most articles of clothing were in the $30 range, but high-end brands such as Versace were around $100. A woman was interested in a gold necklace while I was there, but decided to pass when she learned it was $700. This is a thrift store that’s meant for “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” not the broke college students of Fredericksburg.
Number 11: Manarc
Manarc has the charm of a small thrift store, but the majority of the prices are inflated. I found a cute frog mug while I was there, but it was $15, which is absurd for a thrifted mug. That said, they have a small book room with fairly priced books and were running a dollar sale on some of their clothing when I went. Don’t expect many clothes if you go though—the thrift store is mainly home decor, miscellaneous supplies and kitchenware.
Number 10: Re-run Shop
This thrift store’s location on Caroline Street is great in case you wanted to pop in while doing something else in the area; however, it didn’t stand out to me. Re-run shop carries clothing, accessories and shoes. Shirt prices ranged from $7 to $10, and pants were around $15. While the prices aren’t bad, better ones can be found. They have fitting rooms and it’s well organized by size, but there were barely any plus-size options.
Number 9: Habitat for Humanity Restore
This is a great thrift store, but it’s so low on the list because of their limited stock. Besides a few shelves of books, it’s all furniture. It’s perfect if you’re looking to furnish an apartment for cheap, but other than that, it doesn’t have much else. The obscurity of the furniture is fun, though! Along with tables and couches, like one would expect, they also have stoves, bathtubs and doors. They also carry a lot of hardware, building materials and tools. I enjoyed going and looking around for fun, but maybe that’s just the fixer-upper in me.
Number 8: Clothes Mentor
I’m not crazy about Clothes Mentor, but I can understand the appeal to others. This is another clothes, accessories and shoes thrift store. It has the appearance of a higher-end thrift store, but the prices aren’t overly inflated. Tops and bottoms at the store average about $10, while jumpsuits and dresses are about $15. While that seems a bit pricey to me, the clothes are all in great shape and they carry some nicer brands, such as Loft. It’s well organized by size, and they have fitting rooms, although they don’t lock. The biggest problem I found with the store is that they didn’t carry any men’s clothing.
Number 7: Nancy’s Thrift Store
Of all the thrift stores on this list, this one struck me as the oddest. The store is a very small room, and, due to their large stock, it’s very cramped. Though they didn’t have many clothing items, the clothes they did have were about $1 to $3. The store is flooded with furniture and, when I went there, they had a whole wall of perfume and a display case of pocket knives at the front. An odd range of technology, like wireless earbuds, a Nintendo DS without the charger, popcorn machines and a singular Wii remote, were available to buy. Other than these oddities, the store also sold kitchenware, home decor, accessories and more. I would definitely recommend it if you’re specifically looking for a bike—they had a ton out front.
Number 6: Dis N’ Dat Thrift House
This is another small thrift store, although it’s not nearly as cramped as Nancy’s. The store smelled strongly of bleach, but I guess that means it’s clean? People looking to thrift clothes should skip this one because they don’t carry any. However, there is a variety of well-priced kitchenware, home decor, crafting supplies, jewelry and a toy room. What was most unique about this thrift store was a room full of fishing supplies: rods, tackle boxes and so on.
Number 5: Re-Tail
If you want your money to go towards a good cause, Re-Tail is perfect for you. All of the store’s profits go towards Rikki’s Refuge Animal Sanctuary, a no-kill sanctuary for animals that need a home. The thrift store itself is about 25% clothes and shoes, and the rest is an ever-changing variety of items. There’s no telling what you may find since the store will sell anything that is donated. However, you can count on finding pet supplies, home decor, kitchenware, books and toys. One of the highlights of my trip was petting the dog another customer brought in.
Number 4: Present and Past Treasures
This thrift store is quite different from most others on this list because it’s sort of like a flea market. The store is divided up into sections, and sellers can rent a section to display and sell whatever they have to offer. There is some consistency, though. One seller has dedicated their whole sector to quality jewelry at fairly cheap prices. Another seller has stacks upon stacks of books for $1 to $2. Right now, they don’t have many clothes, but they might in the future. It’s fun to go in and see what’s available for those who prefer a more spontaneous thrifting experience.
Number 3: Two Times New
Two Times New is just like Present and Past Treasures, except it’s bigger. Due to how much bigger it is, the variety of stock feels more unique and diverse. Although there’s something for everyone, this is the perfect thrift store for geeks like me. There’s a wide variety of merchandise for Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, DC and gamers. Figurines, funko pops, toys, discontinued products and more can be found for all sorts of fandoms here. There’s even a whole section just for comic books. That’s not to say there aren’t your typical thrift finds here; there are also clothes, accessories, home decor, kitchenware and various supplies. Many of the stalls often run sales, and each seller tends to have good prices for what their items are worth.
Number 2: St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
I usually don’t have high hopes for church thrift stores, but this one surprised me. Half of the store is clothing and accessories, while the other half is home living. This thrift store has some of the cheapest prices for clothing with pants and tops at $3 and dresses and jackets at only $5. It’s well organized and there are plus-size options available. As for what you can expect to find in home living, there are dollar books, kitchenware, craft and office supplies, home decor, linens, toys and more. Everything is cheap with all the prices feeling like a steal.
Number 1: Goodwill Fredericksburg Super Store
What isn’t there to love about Goodwill? Racks and racks of clothes take up about 75% of the store. The rest is filled with accessories, shoes, books, home decor, furniture, toys and anything else that your heart desires. There’s a bit of everything for wonderful prices. Clothes are sorted not only by size but also by color. Compared to most thrift stores, Goodwill has a large stock of plus-size clothing. If you’re thrifting with a group of friends who all have different interests, Goodwill can satisfy everyone.