The question I get asked most often (besides questions about my ethnic background) is probably where I go thrifting in L.A. It’s a bit of a sticky subject because, obviously, I wanna find all of the cool shit, and if you all start going to the same places that I go, well, you might find the cool shit–and then what would I blog about?? BUT I’ve been thinking about it lately and I’ve realized that there is enough cool shit to go around–so today, my dear readers, I’m going to give you a special treat. I’m gonna give you a little L.A. thrifting guide and include some of my favorite little spots where I find my thrifted treasures. I will preface by sharing a few general rules of thrifting that I like to follow:
1. Bring the right tools: Iphone. Cash. Measuring tape. Iphone for photos and looking up info on antiques. Cash because some places don’t take cards and sometimes if you pay cash you get better deals. Measuring tape–well, duh.
2. Don’t Be Cheap: A trap that’s easy to fall into while thrifting is that all of the sudden anything over $20 seems expensive. I get it, a big part of the thrill of thrifting is finding deals, so if you see, say, a great table for like $100 it seems super expensive. Forget about the fact that you just went to Madewell and bought a $130 pair of jeans or that that exact table on 1st Dibs would cost like $4500– you’re at a thrift shop and so everything should be like $4, right? Wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve passed up stuff because I deemed it “thrift-store expensive” only to see the identical item at a boutique (or even the Rose bowl flea market) for three times the price later on. When evaluating prices at thrift shops, don’t think about thrift-store prices, think about boutique prices and then evaluate if it seems like a good deal.
3. Make Friends: Making friends at thrift shops is a good idea. The people who work at or own these shops can tell you when new stuff comes in, can call you if something of interest shows up and can even cut you deals. It can also help if hablas español.
OK so ready? Let’s go thrifting!
Favorite Thrift Shops–
(can be hit or miss so check back often, also because all of these shops get new stuff in all of time, it’s hard to say which is best, you just have to be persistent):
Society of St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store
210 N Ave 21 Los Angeles, CA 90031,
Neighborhood: Lincoln Heights (323) 224-6280
(I found this at BTS Culver City yesterday)
Santa Monica Store:
1908 Lincoln Blvd (@ Pico Blvd)
Santa Monica, CA 90405
p: 310-396-4141 f: 310-204-4706
As far as I’m concerned this is the best Goodwill in the L.A. area:
14550 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91411
If you visit the Goodwill, stop here, too:
Valley Value Center
13630 Victory Blvd
San Fernando Valley, CA 91401
Sun Thrift Store (a bit of a schlepp for me, but usually worth it)
8800 Foothill Blvd
Sunland, CA 91040
Not exactly thrift shops, but not boutiques either:
These are the kind of stores where stuff may be stacked on top of each other, but the owners know what they have–so no serious deals to be had, but they all have beautiful stuff that is more affordable than that ‘normal’ vintage boutiques.
Tini: Mostly mid-century– can find decent deals on stuff that may be a bit scuffed but still totally doable in the right context.
515 S. Fairfax Ave.
Pepe’s (also does custom building, but be patient) (213) 483-1049. 3204 W Sunset Blvd 90026
Hernandez: (Good stuff, not cheap, but not Beverly Blvd. prices, either–for example the masks below were about 3.5′ tall and $85 each). 6158 Santa Monica Blvd
Sunset Bazaar: (213) 353-0576 2508 West Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90026-3904
Revival: Good spot to find gems at affordable prices–weird hours though, so call before hand. (323) 222-6069 181 N Ave 21 Los Angeles, CA 90031
Do you have favorite spots that I’ve missed? Come on Angelenos–I showed you mine now you show me yours! ;)