St. Louis has a number of good thrift stores. They’re good for saving money, and if you’re looking for collectibles, there’s something more thrilling about finding it in a thrift store than a collectibles shop. Here are my recommendations for St. Louis thrift stores.
4121 Forest Park Ave., 63108; 2110 Tenbrook Rd., 63010; 3801 Nameoki Rd., 62040; 218 N Illinois St., 62220. The Salvation Army still operates a number of stores in St. Louis. They still act like a thrift store, selling inexpensive goods to support their charitable ventures. Selection varies by location of course, but the selection is more eclectic and prices are much better than at Goodwill. The store on Forest Park Avenue is the largest and tends to have the best selection.
St. Vincent De Paul
3924 Lemay Ferry Rd., 63125; 4928 Christy Blvd., 63116; 10052 W Florissant Ave, 63136. St. Vincent De Paul is another charity store with good prices and a good selection. It’s an especially good place to get a good price on a mattress, as they usually have new, unused mattresses in stock.
7400 Natural Bridge Rd., 63121. Value Village used to have a number of locations in St. Louis but has dwindled to a single store in the northern suburbs. I have fond memories of hunting for vintage computer gear at former Value Village locations. The same company that runs Value Village also runs Savers; it seems the company is phasing Savers in, at least in St. Louis.
11015 Olive Blvd, 63141; 9715 St. Charles Rock Rd., 63114. Red Racks supports disabled veterans, and their stores tend to have a varied selection and good prices on clothes, books, and small appliances. I’ve even seen large appliances here before.
Family Thrift Center
2500 Lemay Ferry Rd., 63125. This is a medium-sized store with a good selection and usually good prices. It’s close enough to St. Vincent De Paul’s south store to be worth a visit.
Feed My People
3295 Ottomeyer Rd., 63049; 171 Kingston Dr., 63125. Feed My People is a local food pantry; the thrift stores help fund its food pantry mission. Prices tend to be very low. The store on Kingston isn’t far from Family Thrift Center and St. Vincent De Paul, so you can hit all three stores in a single trip.
9618 Watson Rd., 63126; 15982 Clayton Rd., 63011; 10899 Lincoln Trail, 62208; 1920 Zumbehl Rd, 63303. Savers is a nationwide chain. Its stores are large and the merchandise is typically clean and organized. The selection of books and clothes is pretty good here and the electronics section is better than average. Prices are a bit higher than many of the other stores.
Various locations. I’m not a fan of Goodwill. Seriously. There was a time when you could find nice stuff at Goodwill. Today you’ll mostly find Target overstock items or the very, very rare mistake. Goodwill spent a lot of money around 10 years ago learning how to sell online, so anything of any value either goes online, or gets priced in the store at a premium price. Nobody can know everything, so you can find things at Goodwill, but you’ll dig more there than anywhere else.
In Phoenix, Goodwill has largely become like WalMart in terms of becoming a juggernaut. They are expanding at a rapid clip, but have some policies that are good. Most thrifts here have a no-return policy on electronics, but with some things, it’s really a crap shoot (Cameras are extremely difficult to test in the store, same with car audio), but GW has a 7-day return policy for store credit. They also don’t have to charge sales tax (whereas Savers in AZ does have to charge it). GW also has online coupons for use in store, has frequent and varying in-store discounts (no coupon needed), and the Central AZ region doesn’t really buy into the whole “online auction” mentality that seems to have gripped other areas.
Their prices have gone up, but their facilities are neat, well-organized, and easy to shop quickly.