Gettin’ thrifty: Nashville’s secondhand shops
Grab that $20 – it’s time to go pop some tags.
Yes, you know what this means.
To celebrate secondhand, Oct. 17 has been officially dubbed “National Thrift Shop Day.” And, in the spirit of big buys and small budgets, the Vision sent staff writer Katherine Foreman to scope out some of Nashville’s notable thrift shops.
Goodwill – Berry Hill
This is not your run-of-the-mill, one-stop-shop-and-go Goodwill. Berry Road’s Goodwill center is a three-for-one thrift shop stop, featuring an added-on donation warehouse and, for those looking to get more bang for their buck, outlet store, which houses huge bins of clothes, shoes, accessories and other miscellaneous items. This means there may be a lot of digging involved and getting your hands dirty, but – and here’s the best part – it’s an all-you-can-carry, pound-by-pound rate of $1.39. The rate even goes down to 99 cents for the ambitious thrifters who come out with more than 50 pounds. Located 2.4 miles away from Belmont’s campus, this is the perfect place for students looking to maximize a tight budget – not to mention there’s zero tax and a 10 percent student discount with an I.D.
Best takeaways from this location:
Black cotton/wool Express trench coat: $12.99
Calvin Klein cotton-blend, royal-purple button-up: $4.99
Levis boyfriend jeans: $3.49
Pearl pink Express blazer: $4.99
3-by-4 wooden bookshelf: $14.99
Distressed teal vintage travel case with gold accents: $2
Southern Thrift Store – Charlotte Avenue
Only 5.4 miles away from Belmont on Charlotte Avenue, Southern Thrift Store is an old-world convenient store-esque shop comparable to Goodwill. But it’s got a dash more warmth. It’s a dollar or two more in pricing with a bit better quality, but a little less diversity. It might seem a little crazy to pay $6.49 for a used, white cotton-blend sweater from H&M, but when you’re only paying $6.59 for a taupe Calvin Klein tunic that might as well have come right off the showroom rack and less than $45 for a mint condition Gucci handbag, the slight price hike is worth overlooking.
Best Takeaways from this location:
Black and white plaid vintage Express blazer: $12.99
Sheer taupe Calvin Klein tunic: $6.59
Gucci handbag: $44.99
Vintage golf clubs: $2.99-3.99 each
Unique Thrift Store – Charlotte Avenue
Take 750 steps to the left of Southern Thrift and you’ll step into what looks like could be your grandmother’s attic – full of eclectic, antique trinkets, furniture and knick-knacks galore. But this isn’t some dusty attic, it’s Unique Thrift Store. However, if it’s strictly clothes you’re after, the first two shops listed have more promising and broader selections. But if you’re in the market for a vintage sofa, lightly-used DVD players under $20, an old Bruce Springsteen record, an antique record player or other treasures you’re likely to dig up in your parents’/grandparents’ basements, this thrift shopping experience takes the cake. Not to mention, the staff is friendly, the layout is charming and, in the fashion of true thriftiness, the prices are negotiable.
Best (and most eclectic) takeaways from this location:
Antique spice rack with labeled jars: $13
Vintage upholstered footstool: $19.99
6-by-3 mahogany bookshelf: $39.99
Antique record player: $74.99
This ‘N That Thrift Shop – Georgia Avenue
While this particular thrift shop caters to a much older demographic (unless, like Macklemore, you can wear your granddad’s clothes and look incredible), the overall small-town mercantile intimacy of the shop and amiability of the staff makes it worth the visit. You might even come across an occasional steal (see: best takeaway from this location). A big part of this shop’s intrigue is the staff made up entirely of aging and talkative volunteers and its philanthropic connection to St. Luke’s Community House. It’s a thrifting experience characterized by good finds, good company and a good cause – and it’s only 5.3 miles from Belmont.
Best takeaway from this location:
Antique mahogany writing desk: $10