Vintage and Gently Used: What to Buy Where

The Best Places to Buy Everything

The best place to shop secondhand depends on what you're looking for -- and on whether selection, quality, or price matters most. The age of the merchandise you want makes a difference too. Whether you prefer very vintage or just gently used, here's a guide on what to buy where:

  • 01 of 09

    Vintage Furniture

    vintage furniture and cothing at Alameda Point Antiques Faire.
    Vintage furniture and fashions at the Alameda Point Antiques Faire. "Supa pink!" by Mighty June / CC BY 2.0 / cropped

    With today's eclectic and layered interiors, vintage furniture is hotter than ever before. New-to-you vintage is far more interesting than just doing new.

    Best Selection

    1. Flea Markets
    2. Live Auctions
    3. Antique Malls
    4. Consignment Shops
    5. Estate Sales

    Best Condition

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Estate Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Tie: Estate Sales and Consignment Shops
    2. Live Auctions

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Craigslist
    3. Thrift Stores

  • 02 of 09

    Gently Used Furniture

    Gently used furniture is your best option if you want new-looking pieces without the new retail prices. 

    Best Selection

    1. Craigslist
    2. Consignment Shops
    3. Flea Markets
    4. Live Auctions
    5. Estate Sales

    Best Condition

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Estate Sales
    3. Facebook Online Yard Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Tie: Estate Sales and Consignment Shops

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Facebook Online Yard Sales

  • 03 of 09

    Vintage Clothing

    Enjoy cherry picking the best fashions from every era instead of sticking with what's in style now? Shop these places to get your vintage clothing fix:

    Best Selection

    1. Flea Markets (if the flea market has dealers specializing in vintage clothing)
    2. Consignment Shops
    3. Estate Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Flea Markets
    3. Estate Sales

    Lowest Prices

    1. Thrift Stores
    2. Estate Sales
    3. Flea Markets

  • 04 of 09

    Gently Used Clothing and Accessories

    Want a best-dressed look without spending your whole paycheck at the mall? Opt for gently used clothing and accessories instead.

    Best Selection

    1. Thrift Stores
    2. Consignment Shops
    3. Facebook Online Yard Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Thrift Stores in Upscale Neighborhoods

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Facebook Online Yard Sales
    4. Flea Markets (especially the permanent indoor type)

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Gently Used Children's Clothing

    Except for special occasions, it makes no sense to pay retail for children's clothing. Children change sizes way too fast. In fact, that's why you'll often even spot "used" children's clothing that's still new with tags.

    Best Selection

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Yard Sales
    3. Thrift Stores
    4. Facebook Online Yard Sales

    Best Condition

    1. Consignment Shops
    2. Facebook Online Yard Sales
    3. Yard Sales

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Facebook Online Yard Sales

  • 06 of 09

    Vintage Lighting and Home Accessories

    Nothing finishes a well-decorated space like a few carefully picked vintage lamps and accessories. It's well worth any cleaning or rewiring you have to do. 

    Best Selection

    1. Flea Markets
    2. Antique Malls
    3. Estate Sales
    4. Thrift Stores

    Best Quality

    1. Estate Sales
    2. Antique Malls
    3. Flea Markets

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Craigslist
    4. Flea Markets

  • 07 of 09

    Gently Used Lighting and Home Accessories

    The Target clearance aisle isn't the only place to find trendy lighting and home accessories on the cheap. Keep your eye on these sources too.

    Best Selection

    1. Antique Malls (the ones that don't limit dealers to actual antiques)
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Yard Sales
    4. Facebook Online Yard Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Estate Sales
    2. Antique Malls
    3. Thrift stores in upscale neighborhoods

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Facebook Online Yard Sales
    3. Thrift Stores

  • 08 of 09

    Vintage Kitchenware and Dinnerware

    From candy-colored Pyrex to old sterling flatware, vintage kitchenware and dinnerware adds a nostalgic touch to every meal. It's also fairly easy to find.

    Best Selection

    1. Antique Malls
    2. Flea Markets
    2. Estate Sales
    3. Thrift Stores

    Best Quality

    1. Estate Sales
    2. Tie: Antique Malls and Flea Markets

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Thrift Stores

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Gently Used Kitchenware and Dinnerware

    Stocking a kitchen with the things you need to prepare and serve meals costs a bundle if you buy everything new. Shop these sources so you can save your cash for the grocery store.

    Best Selection

    1. Flea Markets
    2. Thrift Stores
    3. Estate Sales
    4. Yard Sales

    Best Quality

    1. Estate Sales
    2. Flea Markets

    Lowest Prices

    1. Yard Sales
    2. Facebook Online Yard Sales
    3. Thrift Stores
    4. Flea Markets