The Best Items We Found at Vancouver’s Second Hand Stores

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This one is for all the shoppers that know a good deal when they see one…

Whether it’s a vintage t-shirt that could only be worn out so perfectly from years of enjoyment or a one-of-a-kind picture frame that brings your whole living room together for just a few bucks, there’s nothing like finding the item of your dreams at a second hand store.

The deals are great (obviously), it’s better for the environment (bonus), but shopping used is especially awesome because you get to buy something imbued with its own unique story. Taking that item home is like writing its next chapter. Maybe you upcycle it and it lands in the hands of another thrifter down the line, or maybe it finds it’s happy ending with you.

So, to honour our fellow bargain hunters, we asked Vancouverites what their favourite Value Village finds were. Which one speaks to your own thrifting aspirations?

Name: Adam Nanji
Things you typically hunt for: Vintage shirts and shoes.
Favourite Value Village find: My favourite not-too-tropical Hawaiian shirt.

Anytime I come across a vintage clothing store, thrift store or Value Village, I make a b-line directly for the men’s button-up rack. I had been hunting for the perfect Hawaiian shirt for some time, but it seemed like a lot of those designers agreed that it would be cool to write the names of rum cocktails all over their shirts, which just isn’t for me. Fortunately, my persistence paid off and I got this tropical number for less than five bucks earlier this year. It’s been my go-to summer shirt ever since. 

Name: Bob Kronbauer
Things you typically hunt for: Outdoor gear and camping supplies.
Favourite Value Village find: Grundig radio.

I found this discontinued Grundig radio – in brand new condition – for $7.99 at Value Village. It goes for $130 online! I’d been looking for the right camping radio for years and had gone through a bunch of different portable ones, which never seem to last more than a couple months. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find something new that gets great reception out in the woods and is durable. This one is absolutely perfect for me in all respects. It has a fine tuning dial to zero in on the station when I’m nearly out of range, an emergency wind feature for when batteries are low, a light, and it’s durable as can be. A bonus is that it looks amazing. Ironically, its durability and awesomeness make me want to take better care of it.

Name: Michelle Harding
Things you typically hunt for: Housewares and collectibles.
Favourite Value Village find: Japanese cup and saucer set.

I feel like plain white housewares are a bit boring, so I’m always looking for cheap additions to my ultimate mismatched dining set. I think these were only a few dollars for all four, but they’ve got a great feel and aesthetically land somewhere between traditional, retro and modern, which I love. I researched them a bit online and I actually think they’re pretty fancy, but I don’t plan on saving them for a particularly special occasion other than my morning coffees.

Name: Stephen Andrew
Things you typically hunt for: Records and stereo equipment.
Favourite Value Village find: Elvis’ Blue Hawaii Soundtrack.

People love finding weird/quirky/rare records at Value Village, but I love finding ones that are warped just the right amount. There’s something about a piece of vinyl that’s been played 1000s of times and left in the sun that’s just more fun. It’s almost like inheriting your own special version of the album that no one else will ever have. I love my copy of Blue Hawaii because it’s just ever-so uneven, making Elvis’ sunshine-y island vibe sound a little more melancholy than he may have intended. Whenever I hear the original version, I just miss the dips and skips in my copy.

Name: Katherine Joyst
Things you typically hunt for: Vintage clothing.
Favourite Value Village find: Saks Fifth Avenue Tuxedo Jacket

I love shopping in second hand stores for vintage pieces that I can alter or work into new outfits. This jacket was such a lucky find because it was perfectly oversized and slouchy so I never even needed to break out my sewing supplies. I highly encourage second hand shoppers to check out both the men and women’s sections if they’re serious about finding something amazing.

With more than 96% of the items sold in stores costing $10 or less, Value Village has become Vancouver’s go-to destination for quality-preloved items and vintage finds. 6,000 items arrive daily, contributing to the 100,000 preloved items already on the sales floor – profits from which help fund community programs. Value Village currently partners with over 150 different nonprofit offices across the globe which helps to provide funding for their important programs, which is just another awesome reason to go shopping. So, what are you looking for?