Located on the Pacific coast of California, the city of San Diego is known for its warm climate, beaches, beautiful parks, art galleries, museums and shopping. In this article, we share the best thrift stores in San Diego, where they are and what you can expect to find!
From North Park, Pacific Beach, Old Town, To Ocean Beach and beyond, there are numerous stores that are worth a visit. Whether you live locally or you are just visiting the vibrant city, you need to be aware of the best shops to pop into whilst you are there!
Below you will find a list of best places to visit in the county.
High End Thrift Stores San Diego
Day To Day Vintage
3603 University Ave – North Park
Described as being a super cool store with incredible prices on high quality vintage clothing and items, this store is voted one of the best high end second hand stores in the area. Here, you will find a huge selection of vintage finds from the 1940’s to the 2000’s.
Located in North Park, the Day to Day Vintage’s shelves are restocked daily with new items. So it’s a great place to pop by regularly. Jo the store owner is always on hand and will help you pick out the perfect retro outfit for you. You can even trade in your old vintage clothes at the store, if you want to sell them.
Visit the monthly vintage market every 3rd Saturday and grab a bargain from all the vintage stalls on offer. Day to Day Vintage is a local favorite and a draw for visitors to the North Park area.
Honest Thrift Studio
2609 Congress St – Old Town
If you want great finds at really affordable prices, then this store is one of the best places to visit! Offering boutique finds at second hand prices, if you are a fan of vintage shops, you will love this place!
Alongside a whole host of pre loved items, you will also find a lot of plants. Jess, the shop owner is on hand assist you and is always very knowledgable in plants.
With the ever popular Garden Coffee shop offering delicious beverages located next door, it’s a great place to have a rest after all your thrifting adventures.
La Loupe Vintage
3337 Adams Ave – Normal Heights
One of many second hand stores on Adams Avenue, this is a cute boutique/vintage spot with very reasonable prices. The store specializes in late 1960’s through modern vintage threads and trinkets.
With lots of vintages pieces for men and women, great prices and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the owners are always on hand if you have any questions. Not only can you browse and shop instore, you can also check out items on their site and purchase online.
If you are looking for unique, one of a kind gifts or even a treat for yourself, it is well worth a trip down Adams Avenue to visit the store.
Best Second Hand Stores in San Diego For Furniture
Consignment Classics Home Furnishing
1895 Hancock St
Rated very highly for the range of high quality, afforable furniture, amongst other fabulous finds, this is one of the best discount places for furniture in San Diego. Featuring a huge selection of new and second hand furniture and offering a great selection home improvement items, such as art, lamps and accessories too.
With many great deals to be had on antique pieces, retro items and modern furniture. If you are kitting out your home, this is a great spot to visit and go on a treasure hunt.
Staff are on hand if you need them, however tend to leave you alone so that you can browse the household goods in the enormous warehouse in peace.
Goodwill Stores And Donation Center Point Loma
3663 Rosecrans St – Point Loma
Goodwill is a long standing nonprofit chain of consignment shops with a range of pre-owned clothing, home goods and more. With over 30 stores in the San Diego area, you are bound to find what you are looking for.
Several of the large Goodwill’s offer a range of good quality furniture, such a Goodwill Point Loma.
Whilst some items may be pricier than if you found them in other places, at the Rosecrans located Goodwill you benefit greatly from a parking lot right outside. Very handy if you want to buy bulky items, or drop them off when donating.
Top Thrift Shops in San Diego
Home Start Thrift Boutique
3611 Adams Avenue – Normal Heights
Some claim this is one of the best thrift shops on Adams Avenue. With helpful staff and a clean store to browse around, expect to pick up some great finds at this popular boutique. As there is a candle making store onsite, the building smells amazing and not like a typical second hand store.
The store is well organized, which is a great help when walking around. You won’t have to look hard to find oodles of quality second hand and vintage items, with proceeds from sales going to benefit families in need and local charities in the local area.
In the larger than expected boutique, you will also find a wide variety of items such as furniture, household items, jewelry and more! If you want to try clothes on, there are dressing rooms to find your bargain finds on to check for sizing.
Out Of The Closet
3580 Fifth Ave – Hillcrest
A well respected thrift store for the wonderful customer service from the friendly staff and welcoming vibe. Out Of The Closest offer very reasonable prices on items in their clean and well organized store.
Whether you are looking for the perfect retro outfit or statement piece home decor, expect to find lots of fabulous pieces here.
Check out the $1 racks for absolute bargain finds too! A dressing room is available to try on your clothing finds, which is always very handy in thrift stores.
Cheapest Thrift Stores in San Diego
Team Amvets Thrift Store
3441 Sutherland St – Middletown
This is a big store, so make sure you save plenty of time when visiting so that you can have a good look around. There are lots of great finds to be had, at low prices too, you just need to search for them! Expect to find junk items before you find your treasure, but that is what thrift shopping is all about!
Compared to a lot of other thrift stores, such as Goodwill, Team Amvets is definitely cheaper. You can find anything from name brand clothes (Quicksilver/ Tommy Hillfiger, alongside home decor, toys, books, fabrics, jewelry. As well as cool lighting, wall art and albums, you really will find a raft of great unique finds here. But guaranteed, you will find what you are looking for!
The national thrift store chain offer a daily 10% discount for American veterans and military personnel, with a 20% discount on Tuesdays. This is on top of other offers such as 50% daily tag sales. So make sure you keep an eye out for these whilst you are browsing and show your military ID!
OB Thrift Store
4927 Newport Ave, Ocean Beach area
Whether you are looking for clothes, games or antiques, OB Thrift Store has you covered! Offering fair prices, the large selection of items are of high quality at very affordable prices.
With a retro vibe, you will find this is not your ordinary thrift store! Expect to spend longer in the store than you imagined, as you take time to immerse yourself in the great finds in the store.
Owners Jovana and Alex listen to their customers and stock the perfect selection of items. They are rated as highly as the shop is and are very warm and welcoming to all shoppers. They care about the shopping experience you have in their store and are onhand if you need any help.
This really is one of the hidden gems and is well worth a visit!
Rock Thrift Store
3603 Camino del Rio W – Point Loma
Just like any typical discount store, whilst it is organised to some degree, you will to have to rummage through a lot to find things in this store. Though there are lots of great finds to be had! Expect some special discounts dotted around and don’t forget to remind the cashier if you pick one out.
If you are after a good book to read, this probably isn’t the store for you as the book section is quite limited. However, if you are after high quality second hand clothes and accessories then it’s worth a trip to the store. The gently used items are well priced, with some brand names thrown in too.
Other Thrift Stores in San Diego County
The Salvation Army Thrift Store
3240 Sports Arena Blvd – Midway
One of the biggest discount stores, there are lots of bargains to be had in this charity based store. From a huge selection of clothes for men and women, kitchenware, books and more. It is claimed that Saturday’s are the best day to visit for great deals.
With a fast turnover of stock, it pays to visit the store regularly and especially keep an eye out for 50% off everything sales. Whilst it can be a bit hit and miss on the stock available in the store, you are sure to find a good deal along the way.
There are no dressing rooms in available, nor are there any bathrooms. As it is such a large store, it would pay to make a visit before you enter so that you can fully absorb all the bargains on offer.
Assistance League of Greater San Diego
108 University Ave – North Park
Described as small and mighty, what the store lacks in size, it more than makes up for it in terms of cleanliness and a warm, welcoming environment. In the well organized store, you will find a great selection of clothing, jewelry, homewares and accessories, without the need to hunt through piles of goods.
Prices are very reasonable, exactly what you would expect. By setting a good price on goods, they have earned the rank of one of the most popular discount stores. The store does offer sales, so it is always worth checking out deals of the day.
You will find that parking is limited outside the store. However, it is definitely worth the effort to have a good look around. By shopping here, know that you are helping to make a huge impact in the local community.
What Is The Best Day Of The Week To Visit A Thrift Store in San Diego
There is no ‘ideal’ day to head down as stores are constantly taking in donations and restocking shelves. Some hard-core thrifters state that Monday and Tuesday’s are the best days to to thrifting.
However, you can always check in your favorite store about particular days that are best for new stock rotations.
The Best Shopping Malls in San Diego
In case you do not find what you are looking for at the thrift stores mentioned above, there are also lots of great shopping malls for non-thrifty shopping.
Westfield Mission Valley
1640 Camino Del Rio N
A large open-air mall, located in Mission Valley. Stores onsite include Macy’s Home Furniture, Michaels, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Nordstrom Rack. With plenty of parking spaces, places to eat and a great shopping experience, it’s easy to see why Westfield Mission Valley is a popular shopping mall.
7007 Frairs Rd
One of the largest malls in the California region. Fashion Valley is an upscale, open air shopping mall in Mission Valley.
A paradise for shopaholics! Expect to find stores such as Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Apple, Rolex, Gucci, Luis Vuitton and more. A great place to shop, dine out and hang out.
La Jolla Village Dr Ste E-25
If you want to go ice skating, this is the place! Westfield UTC features an outdoor shopping center with upmarket chain retailers. Alongside a movie theater, a skating rink, dog park and play area for children.
There is plenty of parking, which is free for the first 2 hours of your stay. Trolleys to the shopping centre are frequent and reliable, costing $2.50 each way back into the city. With plenty of shops to suit all budgets and dining options, this is a popular shopping mall in the area.
Great for those looking for awesome nightlife. Described as one of the city’s hottest spots, the Gaslamp Quarter buzzes in the evening. With a great selection of bars and eateries, this is the place to come for a great night out.
Prices can be a little on the high side. However, if you are looking to celebrate a special occasion, it is well worth a visit.
849 W Harbor Dr
Shop and dine, all next to the waterfront at the Seaport Village. Which is adjacent to San Diego Bay, located downtown. With over 70 shops, places to dine and galleries, there are also many great photo opportunities to be had at this mall.
Take in the USS Midway as you walk along the shops at the open-air mall. With plenty of activities, this is a great place to bring the family and is even prettier at night time.
Old Town Market
4010 Twiggs St
A two minute walk from Whaley House Museum, Old Town Market is a historic marketplace with shops and carts offering locally made gift items and live entertainment. A fun place to visit, with so many things to see, with a Mexican vibe.
There is free public parking across the road from the market, so take advantage when you head down there. With host of great restaurants, this is the place to visit if you want to pick up souvenirs of your trip.
Final thoughts on the best thrift stores in San Diego
There are so many great bargains to be had in the many discount stores in San Diego. It all comes down to what you are looking for! Find vintage items, to clothes, vinyls, toys, furniture, electrical items and more. You just need to know where to look for them.
These stores are able to operate thanks to all the kind donations of unwanted items from ordinary people. The very people who use the stores. So if you have bags of items to donate, make sure you take them down to your local donation center. As your donations will help a lot of people.
A lot of the stores are charity based, with proceeds from sales of items going to help people in the local area. So whether you are buying or donating, know that you are doing your bit for the community.
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