CLT Bargains: Queen City’s Thrift Shop Guide
For some, thrifting is an art. For others, it’s all about the thrill of the chase. Whatever your fix, here are some of Charlotte’s prominent spots to find great deals.
by Spero Lawson
As the resale market has continued to soar, so has Charlotte’s endless list of shopping stops. We’ve curated a list of Charlotte thrift store locations where you can snag great deals on unique fashion finds. On your mark. Get set. Go find those hidden gems.
Buffalo Exchange is a local favorite situated in the eclectic Plaza Midwood neighborhood. Its vicinity to trendy boutiques such as Social Status and Reggae Central attracts a diverse crowd, which means chic and rare finds. With a mixture of name brands and high vintage, get ready to drop some cash or simply place your items on hold for the next trip. Did we mention they’re a bag-free store?
The Rat’s Nest is an unusual name for a location, but it springs curiosity—so it works! Located in NoDa, the heart of Charlotte’s art district, The Nest offers a chic setup of retro boots, old band tees, NASCAR jackets and vintage Western wear (aka something for everyone).
Visit this all-vintage stop located inside Sleepy Poet Antique Mall. Relive the decade of your daydreams with their dense throwback collections dating from the ‘40s to the ‘80s. New selections are added every Friday at this one-of-a-kind spot on South Boulevard.
With all their flashy and seasonal styles, Plato’s Closet is known as the “No. 1 Ranked Teen Resale Franchise” with a huge selection of popular styles for the up-and-coming generation. The North Charlotte location is the largest Plato’s Closet in the world, so stop by, take a gander and trade your styles in for some dollars.
The name says it all: Get ready for some quality digging at this antique store off South Boulevard. Hidden Treasures houses a collection of discounted furniture—think old-school armoires and retro desks—as well as a little bit of everything else. Plus, they deliver for a small fee.
This isn’t the store featured on the A&E Network, but you’ll find phenomenal deals here just the same. Located in Northeast Charlotte and in Mount Holly, they have a furniture and a special boutique section to make this trip a one-stop shop.
As popular as Goodwill is, you might think you know all there is about the brand and its locations, but the Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont is full of surprises. With a staggering 25 locations in the Charlotte-metro area, you are guaranteed to find a location near you. They also offer a tech store and two high-end specialty stores, one called GW in South End and the other at the Goodwill Opportunity Campus, along with a hidden outlet store called Second Editions. Be sure to give back while visiting any of their locations; they collect donated items and recycled clothes in a designated drop-off area.
Shop Apple Watches and designer headphones at this award-winning resale franchise. Touting affordable prices and gently used gear, Uptown Cheapskate has three locations in the Charlotte-metro area. While visiting, scour their clearance sections for even steeper savings.
You can remember them as Goodwill’s cousins. With over five locations in Charlotte and surrounding areas, Value Village is known, by many, for being a top clothing store. They house collectible treasures, costume jewelry, household items and a hallowed book section. Remember to recycle your unused clothes while here.
Thrift for a Cause:
It can be rewarding to help others while treating yourself. To know that your purchases also benefit others in need only makes the reward that much better. Below is a list where you can thrift for a cause.
- Assistance League of Charlotte Thrift Shop – A nonprofit volunteer organization that puts caring and commitment into action through community-based philanthropic programs funded by their benevolent thrift store. You can expect to find great bargains on furniture and electronics at this 2019 best place to volunteer winner.
- BackPorch Treasures Thrift Boutique - The “back porch” of Matthews HELP Center leads to a fabulous thrift boutique called Backporch Treasures. You can browse a selection of brand new, antique and collectible items. Its mission is to help neighbors and those in surrounding communities survive financial crisis by providing short term assistance.
- Cvan’s Cool Used Stuff - Located in Concord, Cvan’s houses a great combination of fabulous bargains in an inviting atmosphere. All profits are used to help battered women and their children find safety, shelter and support.
- Great Things - a nonprofit resale boutique that offers men’s and women’s designer clothing, designer handbags and shoes. Its mission is to provide homeless, single women with safe, temporary housing while empowering them to become self-sufficient citizens.
- Zabs Place - This affordable, upscale and inclusive nonprofit thrift boutique is situated in downtown Matthews. Zabs’ mission is to provide training and employment opportunities to young adults with special needs.