Thrift Stores in Chicago, IL

The 15 Best Thrift Stores in Chicago, IL for Vintage Clothing, Furniture, and More

Last Updated: October 17, 2023By

What are the best thrift stores in Chicago for bargain hunters in search of treasure? Chicago has earned a reputation as one of the best cities for thrifting and vintage shopping in the Midwest.

With its vibrant young creative community and a population always seeking out the coolest hidden gems, it’s no wonder thrift stores are so popular in the Windy City.

Whether you’re a bargain hunter looking for deals on designer brands, a vintage fan searching for unique retro finds, or someone who just loves the thrill of the thrifting treasure hunt, Chicago has an amazing selection.

Key Takeaways

Whether you’re an avid thrifter looking for vintage treasures or just learning the resale ropes, exploring Chicago’s amazing thrift stores offers something for everyone.

  • Discover fantastic bargains on designer brands, unique vintage pieces, and quirky thrifted goods across clothing, home decor, furniture, and more
  • Support meaningful causes and nonprofit missions like healthcare clinics, job training programs, food banks, and cancer support
  • Experience the thrill of the hunt digging through jam-packed racks and bins never knowing what hidden gems you’ll uncover
  • Learn insider thrifting tips and tricks from local aficionados to maximize your resale fashion and decor finds
  • Find your new favorite thrifting hot spots conveniently located throughout the city and suburbs

Whether you’re a bargain hunter or vintage fashionista, Chicago’s thrift scene offers amazing places to treasure hunt for major deals and unique decor. Now go explore resale gold!

 

Why Thrifting is So Popular in the Windy City

Chicago has built a following as a hub for secondhand and vintage shops. The city’s large population of artists, musicians, students, and young professionals have flocked to thrifting as a way to express their individual styles on a budget.

For many, digging through thrift store racks and bins offers the excitement of uncovering unique fashion pieces and decor you won’t find anywhere else. Plus, with so many quality resale stores to choose from across the city and suburbs, Chicago makes thrifting not only fun but also easy.

The Best Thrift Stores in Chicago for Amazing Deals!

1. Village Discount Outlet

With 7 locations across Chicago, Village Discount Outlet is one of the most popular chains in the city. The massive stores, some over 100,000 square feet, are packed with aisles of clothing, shoes, accessories, books, housewares, and home goods at shockingly cheap prices.

Inventory changes quickly, so frequent visits are a must. Shoppers recommend visiting on half price Mondays. A thrifter’s paradise, Village Discount Outlet is open from 9am to 9pm daily.

2. Brown Elephant Resale Shop

The Brown Elephant is a beloved destination for secondhand goods in Andersonville. Sales benefit the prominent Howard Brown Health center. Expect high-end designer apparel like Gucci bags, Prada shoes, and Louis Vuitton accessories alongside Restoration Hardware furniture and decor.

Well organized with new merchandise put out daily. Higher end pricing but cheaper than retail. The Andersonville location is open from 11am to 7pm daily, with extended hours on the weekends.

3. Buffalo Exchange

This national resale chain has an always-buzzing Wicker Park outpost open from 11am to 8pm daily. Buffalo Exchange is more upscale, focusing on trendy contemporary and vintage styles. Bring in your current wardrobe pieces for cash or exchange them for store credit.

They buy, sell, and trade gently used clothing, accessories, jewelry, shoes, costumes, leather goods, and household items. Prices are affordable compared to mall retailers. Be sure to check out the “New Arrivals” section.

4. Crossroads Trading

With 5 Chicago locations, Crossroads Trading boasts huge inventories of lightly used on-trend clothing, accessories, and housewares. Especially strong on vintage and contemporary designer labels like J.Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, and Free People.

Most items $10 or less. A fun thrifting experience. Stores open at 11am daily. Check end of month for 50% off sales.

5. Ragstock

Located in Lakeview, Ragstock’s gigantic 50,000 square foot space holds an explosion of vintage, used, and new clothing plus retro collectibles. With most items between $3 to $15, very affordable pricing makes it a top spot for college students and bargain hunters.

Open from 11am to 8pm Monday to Saturday and 12pm to 7pm on Sundays. Head to the basement for best selection.

6. Kokorokoko Vintage Thrift

This indie shop in Lincoln Park offers a highly curated selection of vintage and contemporary high-end designer fashion from the 60s to the 2000s. The bright boutique space with exposed brick walls also hosts monthly Full Moon Dance parties with DJs.

Higher price points from $40 to over $100 but gorgeous finds. Open 11am to 7pm daily.

7. Thrift & Thrive

Thrift & Thrive is a nonprofit with two Chicago storefronts on the North and South sides. Gently used inventory benefits programs for families and kids. Find clothes, shoes, furniture, housewares, books, toys, and more at reasonable prices.

The Uptown location is open from 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday. The Chatham location is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 3pm. Time your visit to get 50% off tag colors of the week.

8. Urban Outreach Thrift Store

Supporting job training and youth programs, this thrift shop in Noble Square/West Town carries upscale clothing, shoes, purses, and accessories. Current designer styles and vintage pieces curated from donations.

Competitively priced compared to mall retailers. Open 11am to 7pm daily. New merchandise put out constantly.

9. Greater Goods Thrift Shop

Greater Goods offers vintage art, collectibles, jewelry and clothing with sales benefiting Haymarket substance abuse treatment. Reasonably priced with a rotating selection of unique items. Open 11am to 6pm Tuesday to Sunday. Lots of fun vintage T-shirts, sweaters, hats, and 70s bellbottoms.

10. El Dorado Vintage & Thrift

Focusing on Latin American culture, this shop in McKinley Park stocks Mexican imports, vintage decor, and recycled fashion accessories alongside everyday thrifted wares.

Supports local Hispanic entrepreneurs. Small space but packed with finds. Open from 12pm to 8pm Thursday through Monday.

11. Family Thrift Center

Located in the suburbs in Westmont, this huge 25,000 square foot thrift warehouse holds aisle after aisle of amazing deals on clothing, shoes, jewelry, antiques, books, movies, music, and housewares. Different color tag discounts every day make the dig even more fruitful. Open 9am to 9pm daily. Also features monthly themed sales.

12. Thrift & Thrive Naperville

The western suburban outpost of Thrift & Thrive contains an abundance of contemporary and vintage fashion, furniture, and home decor. Chic neighborhood vibe with sales running all week long. Open 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sundays. Huge selection of women’s clothing and accessories.

13. Main Thrift Shop

This thrift shop supports senior care programs via the Evanston Main Aging Well Center. Find a wide range of electronics, furniture, kitchenware, books, collectibles, and clothing at rock bottom prices. Open 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday year-round. Located conveniently downtown near the Main L train stop.

14. Treasure Island Resale Shop

Based in the southwest suburb of Bolingbrook, this resale store benefits the local food pantry. Gently used books, movies, music, clothing, shoes, purses, jewelry, housewares, and furniture fill the tidy store. Open 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturdays. New merchandise put out daily. Time your visit for 50% off Wednesdays.

15. Transitions Thrift Store

The Palatine Transitions Thrift Store raises funds for Wellness House, providing support for those impacted by cancer. High-end contemporary brands and designer labels at reasonable resale prices. Open 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday. Make sure to browse their “Boutique” section.

Thrift stores in Chicago, IL

Thrift StoreLocationPhone NumberUnique Highlight
Village Discount OutletMultiple locations(773) 327-1687Massive selection of super cheap clothing, shoes, home goods
Brown Elephant Resale Shop5404 N. Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640(773) 271-9382High-end designer brands, like-new furniture
Buffalo Exchange1478 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622(773) 380-8081Trendy upscale styles, bring clothes to trade
Crossroads TradingMultiple locationsVariesHuge selection of lightly used contemporary and vintage fashions
Ragstock812 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657(773) 868-926350,000 sq ft packed with cheap vintage clothing and collectibles
Kokorokoko Vintage Thrift1323 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642(872) 206-5893Curated vintage designer pieces from the 60s-2000s
Thrift & ThriveMultiple locationsVariesNonprofit benefitting families and kids
Urban Outreach Thrift Store1436 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago, IL 60651(773) 342-5840Upscale clothing and accessories
Greater Goods Thrift Shop4744 N Broadway, Chicago, IL 60640(773) 549-5943Sales benefit addiction treatment programs
El Dorado Vintage & Thrift2829 W Cermak Rd, Chicago, IL 60623(773) 666-5632Latin American imports and recycled accessories
Family Thrift Center144 W Ogden Ave, Westmont, IL 60559(630) 789-4100Massive suburban warehouse packed with bargains
Thrift & Thrive Naperville125 Water St, Naperville, IL 60540(331) 472-9995Huge selection of contemporary and vintage women's fashion
Main Thrift Shop803 Main St, Evanston, IL 60202(847) 328-1894Wide variety of goods priced low to benefit senior programs
Treasure Island Resale Shop156 Cardinal Dr, Bolingbrook, IL 60440(847) 358-5767Supporting local food pantry, 50% Wednesdays
Transitions Thrift Store516 S Vermont St, Palatine, IL 60067(847) 358-5767Designer brands support Wellness House for cancer patients

Benefits of Shopping at Thrift Stores in Chicago

Beyond the thrill of the hunt, there are plenty of great reasons to go thrifting in Chicago:

  • Find high-end designer items at bargain prices: Chicago’s resale shops offer designer brands like Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton at a fraction of retail prices. Whether it’s a Chanel handbag or Ferragamo shoes, thrifters can uncover gold in Chicago.
  • Discover one-of-a-kind vintage and retro fashions: Thrift stores house amazing vintage clothing, accessories, and furniture from past eras. Step back in time with mod 60s shift dresses, groovy 70s bellbottoms, bold 80s neon, and 90s grunge flannel.
  • Support charitable causes: Many Chicago thrift shops benefit nonprofit causes like healthcare clinics, job training programs, and food banks. Shopping resale allows you to look great while giving back.
  • More sustainable form of shopping: Buying secondhand reduces landfill waste by reusing goods. It’s an ethical way to refresh your look and home.

What to Expect When Thrifting in Chicago

Thrifting in Chicago offers endless variety. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:

  • Range of inventory – clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, home decor, books, DVDs, and more
  • Types of stores – small local boutiques, large chains like Goodwill and Village Discount, upscale resale like Buffalo Exchange
  • Pricing – very cheap at some stores, higher-end vintage at others, but overall great deals
  • Item conditions – some new with tags, others lightly used, some need TLC
  • Presentation – from neatly organized to packed jammed racks requiring digging

The key to thrifting is having patience and keeping an open mind. Be prepared to spend time browsing and rummaging to uncover the hidden gems.

Tips for Finding the Best Thrift Stores

  • Seek out thrift shops located in more affluent city neighborhoods and suburbs where higher quality merchandise often gets donated.
  • Check apps like Thrift Hunter and websites like Yelp to find reviewed and rated favorites.
  • Follow local thrift shop aficionados on Instagram for store suggestions and insider tips.
  • Don’t judge a thrift store by its small or rundown exterior alone. Some hold vintage gold inside.
  • Always dig deep and keep an open mind when browsing. You never know what you’ll uncover.

Final Thoughts on Thrift Stores in Chicago

With its amazing selection of quality resale shops benefitting great causes, Chicago offers an incredible thrifting scene. There’s no better city to experience the thrill of the hunt for thrift store treasures and deals on designer brands.

Whether you’re looking to revamp your wardrobe on a budget or spice up your home decor with vintage flair, Chicago’s secondhand shops have you covered. So grab your reusable bags, put on some comfy shoes, and get ready to explore resale gold!

 

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