The last time I went to the mall was probably 2.5 years ago and the last time I bought something brand new was probably a gift for someone outside of our family. We typically find most everything we need by secondhand shopping. While I have always loved finding a good deal and going to thrift stores, I have found a complete renewed love of it in the last year as I have discovered some new-to me thrift shops and second hand stores.
So why do I love buying things secondhand? Well first of all, it’s cheaper. Secondly, I believe in re-using, recycling, and being resourceful over finding something new. In fact, I have found lots of new ways to utilize stray toys and even make awesome busy bags out of thrift shop finds. When buying something new, it only signals to the manufacturer to make more… and that’s not what I want! I have lots of frugal tips for buying secondhand , so this just scratches the surface, but hopefully it will inspire you to check out what the city has to offer and be creative in your thrift shopping!
My 5 Favorite Places for Secondhand Shopping in OKC
5. Midwest City Goodwill at Reno and Air Depot – This Goodwill is a larger-than-normal store with TONS of brand new Target items. Over the years I have been able to accumulate great home decor, brand new clothes, and even some beautiful new curtains to fill the entire span of our game room.
This used to be my number one favorite thrift store in the area when I moved to the metro. It is still in my top five, but moved down the list as my ability to handle other places increased.
Pro Tip: For almost all Goodwill Industry stores in the Central Oklahoma area, there is a 10% off discount card that you can buy for just $5 each year. It quickly pays for itself.
4. Bargain Thrift Store at Western & Hefner
Author’s note: Though I was at this store recently, a reader mentioned that this thrift store might be closed. They do, however, have another location at 16th and Meridian for those interested.
I just happened to stumble upon this store one day while running an errand in a part of town I didn’t normal explore. Since then it has been love. I have found multiple very high-end, expensive toys at this thrift shop and am always greeted with such friendly smiles and warm welcomes!
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to look around for pieces. I have found some puzzles without the pieces, but was able to find every single one, just by being diligent and looking. It’s happened several times at this store!
3. Just Between Friends – While JBF is typically more expensive than what I would normally pay for consignment and second hand items, it ranks third in my list because of the organization, variety, and just massive quantities. It’s hard to beat JBF when it comes to organization and I like being able to find what I am looking for with several options available. I just started going to Just Between Friends last fall and it has been well worth my time and money to find gently (or not even) used clothes, toys and books. In fact, I spent about $150 in total at the past sale at the fairgrounds and came away with more than $500 worth of items.
Pro Tip: Save your money to go to each sale. Worth it.
Pro Tip #2: Consigning is worth it just to go to the 50% presale. This last time was my first time to consign and I got in earlier than the rest to shop the half off sale. I walked away with 48 books, a pair of TOMS, a wet bag for cloth diapers, and wooden water blocks for just $42. And books are always a great buy when you can find them for $1 and less each.
2. Mary’s Swap Meet at 23rd and Midwest – No, it’s not glamorous and maybe you need to brush up on your Spanish, but it’s a family outing to see what treasures you may find. It’s like everyone brings their garage sales to one spot. So there is junk, there are treasures, and there is dirt. From tools to toys and everything in between it’s truly like a cluster of garage sales exploding in your face.
It’s always best to get their early on weekend mornings to find the best stuff and the best deals. We even went this past week before we headed to church. Now, I am not sure what was on the bottom of my husband’s shoe when we were done but he didn’t care because we had a great time. And guess what I found for $5? A small wooden cabinet that is child-size, perfect for all of my daughters dishes, silverware, etc.. And she loves it. You know what else I found there? A brand new BOB Revolution SE stroller for $40. Yes, you read that right… forty dollars.
They do offer food, drinks, and even entertainment in different areas of the swap meet, so that’s also not your typical thrift store experience, making the swap meet something even more unique. But again, if you don’t like dirt, crowds, or carrying cash, it’s not for you.
Pro Tip: Bring cash, a haggling attitude, and wet wipes.
1. Goodwill Outlet Center at Reno and Western -Again, not glamorous. Again, you may need to brush up on some Spanish. And again, you may need some wet wipes waiting in the car. However, I have never been disappointed upon leaving the “pay by weight”. The reason it comes in number one as my favorite is because they are open 7 days a week, it’s constantly got tons of new items, and I never leave without 100% satisfaction. (But that’s also the thrifter spirit in me).
So what you need to know walking in… It will NOT be what you expect. It’s troughs of clothing and hundreds of buckets of shoes, toys, and “stuff”. If you are a germaphobe and/or you do not like disorganization this is probably not the place for you. While I am a neat-freak, I am not afraid to dig to find a good deal. Also, it is $1.49 per pound unless there is a sticker on it (usually a bigger item that would otherwise be a lot more).
When they switch out bins and switch out clothing carts, it’s a mad house and be ready for Hollywood-style hysteria after they move the yellow chains. That blew me away the first time I saw it. But MAN have I found THE BEST stuff at this Goodwill and I always seem to time it right that I am there when new stuff is getting brought out. I found two Pottery Barn Over-sized kids chairs for $1.99 each. I have found brand new Lakeshore learning materials for pennies on the dollar, more puzzles and wooden toys than I can count, name brand clothing that still had the tags on it, and so much more.
Pro Tip: Allot some time to go because you do have to dig.
Pro Top #2: Credit cards can only be used for purchases over $12.
Pro Top #3: Put on your big girl panties and don’t be afraid to get dirty because it’s exhilarating to find those great deals.