Study Finds The 10 Best Cities To Go Thrifting In America

Having been able to experience several of the hottest regions for secondhand finds in America through ThriftCon’s events, that old dusty adage of real estate success rings true: location, location, location. Some of you out there have a hell of a time finding things to flip often having to compete with several others in the one rundown thrift store within a twenty mile radius. Others simply walk down the street and the treasures are aplenty. It can be rough out there. Or not.

Recently, a storage facility operation by the name of StorageCafe released its findings on the best cities to thrift in America. Whether or not yours cracked the top 15 came down to several important factors. The people in charge of the blog of course had a goal to get people to its site, but looking at the metrics used it was actually a decent way to rank the U.S. in terms of secondhand accessibility. It used obvious things like how many resale stores are in the area and recent trends in thrift-related Google searches — along with more obscure parameters like thrifting sales volume and secondhand purchases per household annually.

Overall, not a terrible way to try and understand what’s going on.

Not at all shocking to the ThriftCon team was that our hometown of Denver came in 1st overall place. As the study finds, Colorado’s capital has more than 190 resale stores within the city’s limits. That’s about 6.6 thrifting venues to every 100,000 people — far more than the nation’s average of 4.8 stores per 100k. Likewise, secondhand and thrifting are a vibe in Denver and it’s always ranked through our vendors just the same. The only downside is not having raghouses anywhere within the city limits. The racks and curated vintage storefronts, however, overfloweth.

Next up were a few Northwest territories like Seattle and Portland. Seeing as how secondhand style has long been a trend there (decades in fact) it’s not a stretch to consider them leaders of the pack, too. What is kind of surprising is that Texas cities like Dallas and Houston didn’t make the cut, but Austin did (we assumed they'd all be pretty equal). Atlanta too. It came in 15th place even though it’s consistently one of the most attended events we throw every year.

Regardless, the secondhand market is still projected to more than double from where it’s at now in 2022 in just a few short years. That means metrics like these from StorageCafe will be an interesting point of reference down the road in seeing which cities stepped up the most and which ones fell to the side.

Popular opinion: things are just getting started.


#1 - Denver, Colorado
#2 - Seattle, Washington
#3 - Portland, Oregon
#4 - Austin, Texas
#5 - Indianapolis, Indiana
#6 - Minneapolis, Minnesota
#7 - Columbus, Ohio
#8 - Phoenix, Arizona
#9 - Richmond, Virginia
#10 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

[cover photo Jay Wennington via Unsplash]