The Best San Francisco Thrift Stores for Unbelievable Bargains


The Best San Francisco Thrift Stores for Unbelievable Bargains

Out of the closet model with hat

We know from experience that budget backpackers are always on the lookout for an inexpensive outfit or cheap read.

Luckily, San Francisco is a true hotspot for thrift stores and second-hand shops with great discounted clothes and books on almost every corner.

After many years of sifting through clothes racks — and the odd fashion faux pas on the way — we’ve settled on a few favorite stores.

To help you find the purchase of your dreams (and save a few bucks while you’re at it) here is a compilation of the best value-for-money stores in San Francisco.

To make things even easier, we’ve divided it into clothes and books so that there's something for everyone. Happy shopping!

Best second-hand, thrift and charity clothes shops

Thrift, second-hand and vintage stores are dotted all over San Francisco — hey, we’re a very fashionable city. To help you narrow down the options and find an outfit that you’re going to love, here are some of our very favorites.

Out Of The Closet

Credit: Facebook/Out Of The Closet

Address: 1498 Polk St and 1295 Folsom St

Phone number: Polk store: +1 415-771-1503 / Folsom store: +1 415-771-1503

What do they stock?: Clothes, jewelry, handbags, shoes, furniture, electronics, and bric-a-brac

Out Of The Closet is all about doing good while looking good. Founded by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, Out of the Closest offers a mind-boggling array of gorgeous vintage pieces at prices every backpacker will love. You’ll find men and women’s clothing from across the decades plus accessories and footwear. What’s more, for every dollar you spend, 96 cents goes towards funding AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s HIV/AIDS programs in both the United States and abroad. How cool is that? 

Community Thrift

Address: 623 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone number: +1 415-861-4910

What do they stock?: Vintage clothing and pretty much everything else you can imagine

Community Thrift offers, well, pretty much anything and everything. They’ve got a great collection of men’s and women’s clothes to sift through but you’ll also find furniture, antiques, art, electronics and much more. It’s best not to shop at Community Thrift with something you want in mind. Instead, go in open to the possibilities you might find there. To save a load of cash, head to Community Thrift on the third Monday of the month when they host a 50% sale on their clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories.

Mission Thrift

Address: 2330 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone number: +1 415-821-9560

What do they stock?: Costumes, fancy dress, vintage and accessories

San Francisco’s packed events calendar means there’s always a need for some great fancy dress. If you don’t fancy splashing your whole budget on a completely new outfit, Mission Thrift is a great place to go. The packed San Francisco thrift store stocks a killer selection of outfits for every occasion. But it’s not just wigs and wacky frocks, Mission Thrift is an excellent fashion store too. You’ll find plenty of vintage pieces — for both men and women — at unbelievable prices. It really is one of the best places in the Mission to go cheap clothes shopping.

Decades Of Fashion

Credit: Facebook/Decades Of Fashion

Address: 1653 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number: +1 415-551-1653

What do they stock?: Very vintage fashion plus more modern items

When it comes to vintage, Decades Of Fashion take it very, very old school. While most stores concentrate on pieces from around the 1960s onwards — maybe the 1950s if you’re lucky — DoF offer items all the way back from the 1890s. Imagine that! The specialty boutique stands out from the ultra-crowded San Francisco thrift shop market with their unique collection, making it a great place to shop if you don’t want to be seen in the same clothes as everyone else.

Crossroads Trading Co.

Address: Multiple venues across San Francisco

What do they stock?: Designer pieces, consignment and discounted clothing for men and women

Crossroads Trading Co. are a pretty big player in the vintage market, and has stores all across the US. You’ll find four in San Francisco alone, all offering the most stylish vintage pieces around. As we’ve mentioned before, San Francisco is deceptively chilly, which surprises tourists time and time again (for our in-depth guide on how to dress in San Francisco, head here). We think Crossroads is a great place to pick up some much-needed layers, as they have plenty of cool jackets and t-shirts on sale. They also put together a pretty great blog packed with style tips for when you’re walking around SF.


Address: 1660 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number: +1 415-863-3150

What do they stock?: Designer clothes and accessories for men and women

For San Franciscan fashionistas, Wasteland holds a special place in our hearts. The vintage store has made a name for itself by stocking designer labels and one-off pieces at a very reasonable rate. If you’re looking for something special, like a Louis Vuitton bag or Marc Jacobs shoes, this is the place you’re most likely to find it. Hoodline summed it up nicely: “They’ve got everything from designer labels you’re surprised to see to unique pieces you’d never buy otherwise but, for some reason, feel you must.”

Static Vintage

Credit: Facebook/Static Vintage

Address: 1764 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number: +1 415-422-0046

What do they stock?: Unique memorabilia, vintage clothes from men and women

Haight Street is a hotspot for thrift stores and vintage shops — there are six Haight Street spots we love just on this list! Static Vintage is definitely among the very best. The always on-point store offers a wide selection of unique and out-there pieces for both men and women. We love the huge variety of clothes they have on offer. Head to their Facebook photos and you’ll see what we mean. There’s everything from Beavis and Butthead tees (check it out above) to cool band memorabilia pieces. You can also sell your clothes to Static Vintage if you’re looking to make a few extra bucks to fund your travels.

Held Over

Address: 1543 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number: +1 415-864-0818

What do they stock?: Retro outfits and colorful vintage ensembles

If you’re looking to dive into a bit of history while you shop, Held Over is one of the original vintage stores in Haight-Ashbury. And originality is a key theme for the vintage store. We love their huge range of unique and one-off pieces, both for men and women. You will find items from across the decades that are not only well priced but also eye-catching. If you’re looking to get into the Haight-Ashbury spirit, why not pick up a retro 60s/70s outfit. There are tons available ranging from great maxi dresses to colorful jumpsuits.

Loved To Death

Address: 1681 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Phone number: +1 415-551-1036

What do they stock?: Oddities, accessories, and jewelry made from animal parts

Loved To Death specializes in the weird and wonderful Victorian period, offering macabre accessories that will help you to stand out. The oddities shop, which also sells bric-a-brack and antiques, has a fascinating collection of jewelry - they even have a necklace with real human teeth! When it comes to second-hand, it doesn’t get much more second-hand than Loved To Death.

Buffalo Exchange

Credit: Facebook/Buffalo Exchange.

Address: 1555 Haight St and 1210 Valencia St

Phone number: Haight store: +1 415-431-7733 / Valencia store: +1 415-647-8332

What do they stock?: Designer, vintage and one-off pieces for men and women

You will find Buffalo Exchange stores all across the United States, including two in San Francisco. Offering new and used vintage clothing, you’re bound to find a bargain you love.

If you’re a bit short on cash, the Buffalo Exchange stores also buys clothes and accessories - so you can actually MAKE money at the store instead of losing it. All you need to do is head to the store with what you want to sell plus a government-issued ID. From there, if they like your piece, they will assign it a selling price and give you 30% of that or, if you’d prefer, 50% in-store credit.

Bonus clothing store


Address: 3464 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone number: +1 415-346-6388

What do they stock?: Designer pieces for men and women, handbags and shoes

For the majority of travelers looking for a cheap dress or tee, GoodByes is not going to be the place to go. However, the store deserves a bit of love on this list thanks to the huge savings you can find there. For a true fashion lover with a penchant for designer footwear and handbags, you can find some unbelievable bargains at GoodByes. The luxury stockists hold consignment pieces for men and women, offering luxury brands at a massively discounted rate. You’ll be able to pick up legendary names such as Hermes, Prada or Louis Vuitton for a rate you wouldn’t find elsewhere. If designer is your thing, say hello to GoodByes.

Second-hand bookstores

Every backpacker should bring a good book with them when they head out on their travels, to keep you entertained on layovers and long train rides, or just to read while you're relaxing at your hostel. San Francisco is packed with great second-hand booktores. Here are some of the best places to pick up a good read:

Aardvark Books

Address: 227 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94114

Phone number: +1 415-552-6733

What do they stock?: Books from pretty much every genre

Aardvark Books is a mainstay of the second-hand book market in San Francisco. Founder John Hadreas opened the store on Church Street in 1978 with the goal of offering a friendly and knowledgeable service to its customers. Forty years later, and Aardvark Books has stuck to that ethos. Our Online Community Manager Jessica once spent two hours in Aardvark Books, left to walk to Dolores Park and soak up the sun with her new book for two hours - and then came back and spent two more hours in Aardvark. They even have a friendly bookstore cat that might come cuddle up on you as you read. 

Dog Eared Books

Address: 900 Valencia St and 489 Castro St

Phone number: Valencia St: +1 415-282-1901 Castro St: +1 415-658-7920

What do they stock?: Books, magazines, and art

From their two cute San Francisco stores, Dog Eared Books offers a huge collection of second-hand books and magazines. You’ll find a huge range of books available, including collections from local authors. Plus, you can sell your own items there to make some extra cash. 

Dog Eared Books also holds the San Francisco LGBT Book Club at their Castro Street store on the second Wednesday of every month. Their upcoming meetings can be found on their online calendar.

Green Apple Books

Address: 506 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

Phone number: +1 415-387-2272

What do they stock?: Used and new books, magazines, music and more

Probably one of the most famous used bookstores in San Francisco, Green Apple Books has been selling new and recycled reads for more than 50 years. Head under its dark green awning and inside to explore the rows and rows of great items on offer. After decades in the business, Green Apple Books has become one of the most loved names in the local industry.

Bolerium Books

Address: 2141 Mission St #300, San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone number: +1 415-863-6353

What do they stock?: Specialist books on social movements and activism

You probably know that San Francisco is a hotbed of social movements. Delve into that spirit with a trip to Bolerium Books, a specialist stockists of books and materials about the struggles of cultures and the protests of the people. Whether you have a particular interest in a certain movement or just want to find out more, Bolerium is the place to go.


Conclusion: San Francisco thrift shopping


Media Folder: 

Credit: Facebook/Crossroads Trading Co.

San Francisco thrift shopping is the best. Hands down. You can find real treasures within the many vintage stores and second-hand outlets we have.

While the shops mentioned above are some of our favorites, that doesn’t mean the stores not mentioned are no good. In fact, there are loads and loads of stores worth exploring that didn’t make the list. Part of the fun of thrift shopping is not knowing what you’re going to find.

Did we miss your favorite? Less us know in the comments!

Happy shopping!

Main picture credit: Facebook/Out Of The Closet

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