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I’m sure by now, you all know (due to my incessant reiteration throughout the life of DL), I happen to be a relentless thrift shopper. You could say, as many others have, that I am, in fact, addicted to it. This dependency has been, for the most part, a highly enjoyable and profitable hobby, but to be honest there have been some disadvantages. For one, I have been spoiled by the unpardonably low prices, actually to the point where buying a $20 pair of jeans from F21 seems like a rip off. Secondly, I am broke all of the time now. I know I just said that it was one of the least, uhm, financially demanding habits (well, compared to being a heroin addict…), but you’re probably underestimating how often I go thrifting. The advantages of thrift shopping overall are so infinite that I won’t even get into that, I can, however, tell you about what the scene for second hand is like in San Francisco.

Let’s break it down now.

PROS:

1. Compared to Costa Rica, the chic-meter is notably higher in SF, this means that there are more fashionable people to donate clothes to Goodwill, or wherever they should choose to donate to.

2. Compared to Costa Rica, the overall wealth of the city is higher so people can afford to supersede their wardrobes seasonally and shop first-hand.

3. The city is divided into so many sub-cities so different from one another and the thrift stores in each of the areas reflects the personality of the area. For example, the Goodwill on Haight street is divided into thrift and vintage in keeping with the plethora of edgy vintage shops practically right next door whereas the Goodwill nearest Union Square/Downtown on Geary street has a lot of past season H&M garments.

4. Everyone here has such a different style to begin with, I mean that there are so many different subcultures that when, through trickle-down, their clothes end up in thrift stores, there is room to play with elements of each group. Imagine a fisherman vest and Hot Topic-esque leggings.

5. When you shop at Out of the Closet, you get a free condom with your purchase.

CONS:

1. I reiterate, the chic-meter is much higher in SF, this also means that the people who frequent thrift stores have a much keener eye for those exciting, unique pieces so some thrift stores have a feeling of having been picked through or combed over a few times before you got there.

2. There is a large thrift shopping community especially among college students which is sort of a double whammy because not only is there more competition, but the competition is also sort of poor (everyone knows college kids are always broke).

3. There are TONS of vintage shops, similar to #2, this pretty much means that there are even larger forces out to get to the good stuff before you.

4. There really aren’t even all that many thrift stores in the city to begin with, I mean at least not as many as you would think. A quick google search will show you that there really is a limited number.

5. Bed Bugs are back in California if you hadn’t already heard. Shopping at second hand stores is an easy way to bring this new trend back to your home. Remember to always wash used clothes when you bring them back with you. Bed bugs are gross, no one wants them.

Look out for a post on the SF thrift shopping skinny coming soon – the best and worst thrift stores in San Francisco, scandal will surely ensue.

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