Readers Say

Here’s where readers say you should be thrifting in Greater Boston

"I feel like I am supporting a good cause while also saving money."

The pay by pound section of the Garment District thrift shop. Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

The secondhand retail market is booming and Boston.com readers are among the millions of Americans who love browsing through their local thrift stores for vintage and unique finds. 

Whether they’re looking for new items for their wardrobe or home, readers told Boston.com they love the thrift store options Greater Boston has to offer. Just as we did last year, we asked readers where they go thrifting in the Bay State and they shared 28 recommendations of secondhand shops in the area. Some of the shops featured on this list were mentioned last year, but several recommendations are new to our best thrifting guide.

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Most of the readers who responded to our survey said they like to shop secondhand because it saves them money and helps them live more sustainably, something experts warn we should all be more mindful of when it comes to our shopping habits. Gerald D. from Melrose said they turn to thrift shops to find “older, higher quality clothing that doesn’t exist anymore.”

Below you’ll find a list of the top five thrift stores recommended by readers, including a couple that were among the reader favorites last year. We’ve also included a map of all the reader-selected shops in Greater Boston and the full list of this year’s recommendations. 

A 🏆 means that this secondhand shop was also recommended by readers in 2021.

5. Garment District (200 Broadway, Cambridge) 🏆

At any given time, you’ll find more than 40,000 unique items at this vintage store. They have pieces organized by style and decades. For those really looking for a bargain, they also offer a pay-by-the-pound selection. Ashley R. from Grafton relies on the shop for creative and practical needs. 

“I am a costume designer for youth theatre so I do a lot of my sourcing from thrift shops,” she said. “I also have a teen who is still figuring out their sense of style and we love the pay-by-the-pound option Garment Distract has. The organization of decades also is an attractive feature.”

4. Goodwill (multiple locations) 

Goodwill is a staple of the secondhand shopping market and serves multiple communities in the region. Readers said they’ve found quality pieces of clothing and items for the home. Liora N. from Somerville said she likes the David Square location because it’s “not overwhelming in size but really packed and good turnover.”

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For Jennifer L. in South Boston, her local store is her most frequented thrift store. 

“The store is a bit small, but it has excellent brands and finds. I have been going here for years and have found some strike golds,” she shared. “There are other consignment shops in Southie, or should we say secondhand shops, but they are super expensive.”

3. Savers (multiple locations)

At this thrift store chain, you’ll find stylish pieces at fair prices. There are more than a dozen options to choose from in Greater Boston. During a recent visit to her local Savers, Cynthia O. from Newton Highlands said she bought “two designer cashmere sweaters, one silver turtleneck, and a lovely grey Madewell sweater for $32.”

“Racks are always chock full. Generally, there are many many designer brands to choose from.  The housewares department is full of great decorative items and kitchen items,” she said. “Very easy to drop off donated items outside and the … 20% off coupon is a plus. The Tuesday 55+ shopper discount of 30% is awesome.” 

2. Boomerangs (multiple locations) 🏆

Yuki Okada, 5, reads a kid’s book as her mother shops at Boomerangs thrift store in Cambridge. (Kayana Szymczak for The Boston Globe)

When you shop at Boomerangs you’re not only getting a good deal, but you’re also helping to fund AIDS Action, a New England-based HIV prevention and wellness services provider. Boomerangs accepts donations and resells them with the purpose of supporting the fight against AIDS. 

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Margaret from Jamaica Plain said she loves the items she’s found at the Jamaica Plain location. 

“I have amassed an art collection, originals signed that I could never have afforded in galleries,” she said. “I have wonderful scarves, warm winter coats, and dishes that make me smile when I see them.”

John from South End does his Boomerangs browsing at the South End store because it’s a “higher-end secondhand shop.” 

“It has wonderful, classy finds for the house, and it has a lovely curated clothing section,” he said. “This location takes the junk out of thrift stores.”

1. The Thrift Shop of Boston (33 Corinth St., Roslindale)

This nonprofit thrift store is nearly a century old but it still carries fashionable items for your closet and home. The team of staff, volunteers, and shoppers have raised more than $1 million for The Home for Little Wanderers, a child and family services agency. Karen L. from Walpole said her favorite finds include “a wool coat from La Maisonette, an Ethan Allen maple dining room table, and gorgeous suede boots.”

“The Thrift Shop of Boston sells very high-quality clothing and home goods. In addition, they have a connection with a children’s clothing distributor that donates beautiful high-quality sweaters and clothing. All profits are donated to the Home for Little Wanderers so I feel like I am supporting a good cause while also saving money,” she said. “The staff are wonderful and take an interest in all customers’ needs. They are an integral part of the Roslindale community.”


Where to go thrift shopping in Greater Boston, according to readers