13 Best Thrift Stores in San Diego for Secondhand Scores
Ahh, San Diego…
Renowned for its pristine beaches, world-class family attractions, and a killer climate.
But what about the shopping, you ask?
Between eclectic festival-ready finds, formal vintage wear, Cali-inspired beachy-chic pieces, everyday essentials, and the zero waste stores in San Diego, this city’s for anyone and everyone.
But they’re not just filled with ridiculously priced apparel.
Thrift shops in San Diego are for bargain hunters and eco-enthusiasts alike, from furniture to books, and even sports equipment – you won’t be left out in the cold (and no we’re not talking about the weather).
Before you head out for second hand searching and the world’s best tacos though, skim through our thrift shopping tips to ensure you get the best bang for your buck (and our planet).
Ready to go thrifting? Here are some of the best thrift stores in San Diego you’ll want to visit.
QUICK LINKS FOR THE BEST SAN DIEGO THRIFT STORES
1. HUMBLE HEART THRIFT SHOP
About Humble Heart
With three thrift stores in San Diego county, the Humble Heart Thrift Stores can’t be beat for unique finds at stellar prices.
You’ll find quality clothing, fun accessories, books, antique furniture, home decor, jewelry, musical instruments, and retro collectibles.
A portion of proceeds are used to support the Ladle Fellowship, which provides warm meals, necessities, and emergency clothing to homeless individuals and families in downtown San Diego.
The family-owned micro chain of thrift stores in Ocean Beach also offers on-the-job training and volunteer work to individuals unable to access opportunities in promotional advertising, and customer service.
Location: Ocean Beach | Ocean Beach
2. HUNT & GATHER
About Hunt & Gather
Need to express your inner hunter gatherer?
With vintage, new, and upcycled clothing, accessories, art, and more, Hunt & Gather is one of the best San Diego thrift stores that allows you to do just that.
Perfect for festival fashion and statement pieces, their one-of-a-kind stock is ready for those looking to showcase a lil’ San Diego style.
Location: North Park
3. HOME START THRIFT BOUTIQUE
About Home Start
Can you think of a better location than a refurbished vintage home for one of the best thrift shops in San Diego?
And that just so happens to be the home of Home Start Thrift Boutique.
The nonprofit thrift store with quality secondhand and vintage clothing, household goods, and furniture.
As a social enterprise, they employ Home Start clients, providing them with a supportive employment opportunity where they can access on-the-job training while learning valuable skills.
“Repurpose for a purpose”, this thrift store helps Home Start as they serve more than 28,000 families in the San Diego area.
Location: Normal Heights
4. AUNTIE HELEN’S
About Auntie Helen’s San Diego Thrift Store
Founded to help those living with HIV/AIDS, while also serving low-income people and the homeless, Auntie Helen’s is one of the best thrift stores in San Diego for clothes.
With a selection so big it spills onto the sidewalk, you’ll find oh-so-many clothes, shoes, household goods, furniture, and collectibles.
Your purchases allow them to provide emergency clothing and complimentary food, hygiene kits, and wellness classes.
They also partner with local medical clinics to provide free testing, preventative care, and educational resources.
Location: North Park
5. CONSIGNMENT CLASSICS
About Consignment Classics Used Furniture San Diego Thrift Store
Looking at doing a little remodeling in your home?
Consignment Classics is a good thrift store in San Diego for exactly that purpose.
It’s like IKEA but for secondhand steals.
They have three massive showrooms with overstock new and gently used furniture and home decor.
In addition to selling one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, they also offer restoration and repair services.
Available: Midway District | Midway District | Encinitas
6. BUFFALO EXCHANGE
About Buffalo Exchange Thrift Stores in San Diego
Buffalo Exchange is state wide.
With more than 40 locations around the US and two thrift stores in downtown San Diego.
Driven by the dual-mission of social responsibility and creating a fun place for people to buy, sell, and trade new and recycled clothing; you can find all manner of designer, name brand, and no-name apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women.
Through their Tokens for Bags program, if you refuse a bag at checkout you can instead pick a charity to donate 5¢ to. So far, almost $1 million has been distributed to thousands of women’s support, family, environmental, and LGBT causes.
They also have an annual Earth Day $1 sale. Last year, this raised over $50,000 for The Humane Society.
They also regularly donate clothes to organizations in need, and have established an arts fund.
Female founders come change-makers, Kerstin and Rebecca Block transformed their entrepreneurial experience into a book, The Way of the Buffalo.
Location: Hillcrest | Pacific Beach
7. RANCHO COASTAL HUMANE SOCIETY THRIFT SHOP
About Rancho Coastal Thrift Store in San Diego
One of the best thrift stores for San Diego animal lovers, is the Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop.
Because it’s located just a few miles from the animal shelter it supports.
For more than 60 years, bargain hunters have found treasures in the gently used merchandise that’s restocked every day—knowing each purchase helps connect abandoned animals with new homes.
100% of proceeds support programs like the animal safehouse, pet food bank, pet-assisted therapy, and pet loss support program.
They accept and sell home goods, antiques, housewares, garden supplies, sporting goods, arts and crafts, vinyl records, apparel, jewelry, kid’s toys, electronics, and much more.
About AMVETs Thrift Store in San Diego CA
If you’re after one of the biggest thrift stores in San Diego, then this one’s a must see.
With locations all around the country, AMVETS Thrift Stores provides a steady source of revenue for veteran support programs.
They sell a massive variety of quality merchandise at a steal.
You can expect to find clothes, household goods, furniture, toys, and lots of other miscellaneous goodies.
Location: Lomita | Middletown
9. PLAY IT AGAIN SPORTS
About Play It Again San Diego Sports Thrift Shop
Are you an at-home gym junkie or looking for some second hand sports gear?
Do not miss Play it Again Sports.
Buying and selling used and new fitness and sports gear, they are arguably the best thrift store in San Diego for sports enthusiasts.
You or your kids can find all the essentials for nearly any sport, as well as harder-to-find items like figure skates, kneeboards, snowshoes, skis, and badminton gear.
Did we mention their fitness equipment like treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights?
And if you’re no longer interested in kayaking or have no use for that old lacrosse stick, you can sell your used gear for cash upfront.
Location: Mira Mesa | Pacific Beach
10. LUIGI VERA
About Luigi Vera Designer Thrift Store in San Diego
Buying, trading, and selling pieces from the likes of Chanel, Hermes, Dior, Versace, and Gucci, Luigi Vera should be fashionably first for San Diegans who want high street fashion at not so high prices.
For high end thrift stores it doesn’t get better than this.
Between bags, jewelry, apparel, and accessories at unreal steals, this designer thrift shop proves you don’t need to be a star to look like one—or be one to the planet.
11. CSU THRIFT
About CSU Thrift Shop in San Diego
With men’s and women’s apparel for any season and any occasion, family-owned and operated CSU Thrift has an impressive collection.
They’re one of the best clothing thrift stores in San Diego for vintage finds (especially retro sports teamwear) and formal wear.
Just over a few years old, and already their clean storefront and range of curated fashion finds make them stand out from the crowd.
Location: Mira Mesa
12. ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF GREATER SAN DIEGO THRIFT SHOP
About the Assistance League of Greater San Diego Thrift Shop
The Assistance League of Greater San Diego Thrift Shop was ranked by a Union-Tribune Readers Poll as a favorite!
Suffice to say they’re obviously another secondhand treasure trove for thrifting in San Diego.
If you’re looking for gently-used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing, accessories, jewelry, household goods, shoes, artworks, books, and more, don’t skip out on a visit here.
To raise large amounts of funds for their programs, they host an annual Treasure Bazaar and Christmas Boutique for discount secondhand holiday decorations.
The thrift shop funds programs like Operation School Bell, which provides essentials to elementary school children.
Other programs support high school-age kids, community college students, or children affected by hearing loss or traumatic circumstances.
13. DAY TO DAY VINTAGE
About Day to Day Vintage
Day to Day is a good place for sustainably sourced clothes from all styles and decades— everything from retro graphic tees and Levi’s everyday wear to Wranglers and Carhartt workwear to Patagonia’s sustainable outdoor clothing.
They’re a well-loved shop for meticulously selected consignment goods, memorabilia, and men’s and women’s vintage clothes ranging from the 1940s to the 2000s.
Considered one of the best consignment stores San Diego has to offer, everything is clean and well-sorted, and a knowledgeable team can help shoppers find exactly what they want.
Location: North Park
WHY GO THRIFTING IN SAN DIEGO?
Thrifting holds a special place in the heart of sustainable and ethical fashion.
Really, there’s nothing greener than wearing new-to-you garments.
From used furniture in San Diego to designer duds, secondhand options should be your first port of call when rehauling your wardrobe or remodeling your living room.
Besides, supporting second hand stores in San Diego means you’re giving a second-life to something valued without costing the earth—not to mention avoiding further landfill waste.
Reusing or recycling just a portion of the 32 billion pounds of textile waste produced every.single.year is the equivalent to removing 1.3 million cars from the roads.
San Diego based thrift stores give us a means to dress in sustainable California style. And that’s about enough motivation we need to visit one of the greenest cities in the US.
Final Thoughts On San Diego Thrift Stores
The best thing about the best clothing thrift stores in San Diego?
There are now so many – thanks to a resurgent thrifting renaissance. Including a plethora of online thrift stores to scroll through on your couch.
They’re better for your pocketbook, personal style, and our planet. Snagging secondhand steals has never been easier.
So whether you’re a San Diegan or just planning a vacay, consider supporting San Diego thrift stores to keep thrifting trending.