I was simultaneously excited and nervous about moving to the Bellingham area because of the uncertainty around the quantity and quality of thrift stores in the area. I have a reselling buisness and I was able to scale it so quickly because the thrift stores in Bozeman, MT were amazing! I’ve been here a month now and can offer some great insight into the Bellingham thrift scene.
One thing I noticed right away is that most thrift stores in this area are pricey. They know the quality of the items they have and they charge for it. So, I’ve definitely had to be more picky with the items I pick up, but higher quality items and brands will always sell for a higher rate, so there is still some room for a profit.
In addition to reselling, I’ve also been thrifting for my own wardrobe and home decor. The thrift stores here have been AWESOME for this! The higher quality items mean I’ve found things for myself on almost every thrift store trip.
Here are the thrift stores I’ve been to in Bellingham in the order of how much I like them:
The first time I visited Value Village, I was STUNNED by how big it was. I had been used to the mom and pop thrift stores of Bozeman, MT and after walking in, I just knew I could spend all day here. They have great items in just about every section: shoes, clothes, home goods, furniture.
Pro Tips: If you sign up for their rewards program, you’ll get 20% off your next purchase when you reach $100 in spend (can be over multiple trips). You’ll also get a coupon for 20% off of $100 when you donate anything. There’s also generally a certain color tag on sale.
Here’s more information about the store. Note: they actually open at 11am as of me typing this article.
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I’ve been to plenty of Goodwills across the USA and this one is one of the bougiest stores I’ve been to. This means they mark up the prices pretty significantly, but it also means they have some great items. You’ll find the best brands/styles in the “Fashion Forward” section of the store right when you walk in. This also includes anything with a black tag (unfortunately, this color doesn’t go on sale).
Pro Tips: You’ll find the best sales Thursday through Monday. Thursdays start a 30% off sale of a particular color tag and by Sunday, that color is 50% off. On Mondays, that same color is just $1.99.
I haven’t figured out exactly where Penny Pinchers gets their inventory, but I have a hunch. I think they are kind of an aggregator of estate sales. Instead of having an actual estate sale, people will call them to come pick up the items and then sell it in their store. I think.
This store definitely has higher quality items than a regular thrift store. They have a lot of vintage items, art, furniture, and things from around the world. I don’t usually get a lot when I go here, but I always find something fun! Generally, this is a store I shop at for me, not for reselling.
Second Chance Thrift Store
This store is a bit of a drive from Bellingham, but it’s closer to my house, so I visit it almost weekly. This is more of a mom and pop thrift store in Lynden with clothes, furniture, and home goods. I’ve found a few gems here to resell and also a few things I’m keeping for myself. I wouldn’t necessarily drive from Bellingham to Lynden just to go here, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a trip!
Trash to Treasures
Another smaller thrift store in Bellingham, Trash to Treasures is a great spot if you’re looking to kill some time and browse their shelves. They always have clothes and home goods, but they have a more random selection of items than other thrift stores in the area which can be fun. The prices here are also much more reasonable than the bigger stores in the area.
Pro tip: On Saturdays, a lot of their items including clothes and furniture are 50% off!
The Humane Society is last on this list because I’ve only ever found a few things in this store. Just like the last one, this store has a random assortment of items which could be good or bad, depending on the day. Obviously, the proceeds go to a good cause, so that’s why I don’t mind spending some time here and supporting them.
Which one is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite thrift store in town? Which one of these do you like visiting most? Let me know if there are any thrift stores in Bellingham that I’ve forgotten in the comments!