Secondhand Shopping

Ah, yes second-hand shopping, a favorite past-time of mine. When I realized that neither my wallet nor my sustainable-living habits matched my excessive shopping habits, I found a solution to my problems in thrift shopping. I spend too many days and hours scouring the various Goodwills of the world, and I can definitively rank my favorite local shops for all your thrifting adventures.

#5 Crossroads (Shattuck and College locations)

This would be better put as a consignment store than a thrift store because they only buy nice brands and vintage pieces, but hello it’s all about the sale section! If you’re just getting used to secondhand shopping, this is an easy place to start, but be mindful about how much you’ll dish out for something. A used dress isn’t always worth $30, so I recommend only going for high quality or clearance.

#4 Goodwill (University Ave)

Shopping at Goodwill on a day when the power outage kept us from going to class
When the power went out on campus, we spent our free day at Goodwill!

Of the dozens of Goodwills I’ve encountered in my life, this one doesn’t top the list because it’s a little on the pricier side, but it is well-organized and rotates through the clothes pretty quickly (oops I just exposed how often I go here…) Instead of individually pricing items, they make all of the same type of items one price. It’s also really close to campus and is an easy stop back from downtown Berkeley!

#3 Anastasia’s (Telegraph)

You have passed this shop every time you’ve walked down Telegraph whether or not you realize it— looks can be deceiving because the windows only display some new, fast fashion clothing, but the majority of the store is actually some well-priced and colorful secondhand pieces! One of my favorite articles of clothing ever is a backless denim jumpsuit I bought here and have worn for every occasion— semi-formal, professional, and to summer concerts. Just don’t get trapped up at the front of the store where they have new items, the real treasures are found the farther back you go!

#2 Out of the Closet (University Ave)

Take a good 20 minute stroll down University or hop on AC Transit to get to this eclectic pink building, that donates most of their profits to AIDS and HIV relief. It’s not just the cause that makes this shop awesome, they just have some really cool selections with special discounts on different colored items everyday (75% discount anyone?) This has been a good place to score Halloween costume pieces, funky tee shirts, and fun party dresses. Don’t sleep on this iconic Berkeley shop.

Katia wearing a Monsters University Halloween costume.
Me with my sweater and skirt that I bought at Out of the Closet! (Fun fact: Monsters U–the Pixar film– features our very own Sather Gate!)

#1 ReUSE (Basement of MLK) Yes, folks, the best, cheapest thrift store (in my opinion) is right on our very campus! Everything here is $3 and under, but if you donate old clothes, you get the equivalent amount of credit. You already know college kids sport some dope brands and styles, and here you can cop those looks for cheap. Yesterday I literally bought some practically new white Adidas kicks, if you get where I’m going. I volunteered here for a good portion of my freshman year and admittedly about 20% of my large wardrobe is probably courtesy of ReUSE… but hey, I can always donate or exchange for new pieces!

Got another place you really love? I’d love to hear about it! Honorable mention goes to Buffalo Exchange on Telegraph, while a great place, I don’t know if we can really call it “thrifting.”

Author: Katia Gibson

Hello! I'm Katia, a senior chemistry major and Cal Teach minor, and you'll either find me in the 24 hour library studying or out chasing sunsets on my long runs. I'm a Bay Area native and I also do work in the environmental community, research in an organic chemistry lab, and dance with Ballet Folklorico Reflejos de Mexico. Hoping that I can share a little bit of Berkeley's magic with you all, go bears!