Best Thrift Stores and Flea Markets of 2010

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As an avid secondhand shopper, I look forward every year to Apartment Therapy’s annual list of the best thrift stores and flea markets in the country. This year’s list was just published, and I’m happy to see many of my personal favorites, as well as shops and sites we’ve featured in Natural Home, included. Apartment Therapy’s list includes online and national favorites, as well as the cream of the crop from 17 cities across the United States.

For national and online shopping, Apartment Therapy highlighted Goodwill, Craigslist, eBay, The Salvation Army and my personal favorite, Etsy, one of the largest online retailers of affordable vintage goods. But while the Internet is a good source for hard-to-find items, I’m always aware that digital come-ons can be deceiving. Ideally, I like to see, touch and experience something before I buy it. For that, I find Apartment Therapy’s list of favorite local flea markets and thrift stores—many of which I’ve yet to visit—very handy.

Uncommon Objects store front 
Uncommon Objects in Austin, Texas, offers 'raw materials for creative living.' Photo Courtesy Uncommon Objects. 

Austin, Texas 

Uncommon Objects: For me, no trip to Austin is complete without a visit to this store on South Congress. I’ve found many of my favorite vintage items in this vast local emporium.

Boston, Massachusetts 

Grafton Flea Market: This indoor/outdoor flea market has hundreds of vendors.

Brimfield, Massachusetts 

Brimfield Antique Show: This three-time-per-year flea market has more than 6,000 vendors.

Brooklyn, New York 

Brooklyn Flea: The New York Times calls this outdoor market in Fort Greene 'one of the great urban experiences in New York.'

Chicago, Illinois 

Jubilee Furniture: Located in suburban Carol Stream, this warehouse is full of mid-century pieces at garage sale prices.

Dallas, Texas 

Canton Flea Market: Within driving distance of Dallas, this is one of the world's largest outdoor flea markets.

Englishtown, New Jersey 

Englishtown Antiques & Used Furniture: An hour outside of Manhattan, Englishtown features retro items for bargain prices.

thrift store shopping 
Vintage furniture and decor bring a one-of-a-kind element to your home. Photo By Dan Sidor. 

Los Angeles, California 

St Vincent De Paul Thift Warehouse: One of the biggest thrift shops in a city that’s full of them.

New York, New York 

Housing Works: Apartment Therapy readers find great deals on used furniture and household products.

Nashville, Tennessee 

Nashville Flea Market: This year-round mega flea market at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds features dealers from more than 30 states. 

New Milford, Connecticut 

Elephant's Trunk County Flea Market: The largest outdoor flea market in New England is open every Sunday from April through November.

Oakland, California 

Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire: This flea market features more than 800 outdoor dealers.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Fairmount Flea Market: The largest summer flea market in Philadelphia.

Raleigh, North Carolina 

Raleigh Flea Market at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds: This flea market claims to have the 'largest selection of antiques and furniture in North Carolina.'

San Francisco, California 

Thrift Town: One of the more undervalued resources for steals.

Shipshewana, Indiana 

Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market: The Midwest's largest outdoor flea market in the heart of Amish country features handmade furniture and local farm stands.

Washington, D.C. 

Georgetown Flea Market: Vendors at the Georgetown Flea Market come out every Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm all year long.

Whether or not one of these markets is near you, post-Christmas thrifting is always ripe with possibility. As people make room for new gifts and clear clutter for the new year, secondhand stores fill up with their cast-offs. Bargains await.