If you’re looking for better ways to stretch your family dollar, it’s time to give some thought to second hand shopping. When you shop at consignment or thrift stores, you’re likely to find quality goods and can’t beat it prices. And because so many second hand stores are locally owned, you’ll be supporting the local economy while you shop.
Bloomington-Normal residents are lucky to have a variety of second hand shop options. We’re fortunate to have a community that is filled with used book stores, recycled music shops and a variety of children’s clothing boutiques.
To help you find the best second hand goods in town, here are some of my favorites:
Frogs and Fairies
What is it: This unique boutique specializes in clothing and accessories for children ages baby through 12.
Why I like it: When you walk into Frogs and Fairies, you’ll think you’ve entered a modern boutique, not a second hand store. Its whimsical décor and bright space makes you feel like you should be paying more for the large selection of name brand children’s items. Despite its upscale appearance, you won’t pay upscale prices. All of the clothing, though in gently-used or like-new condition, is free from stains, rips or tears and range in price from $3 per item up to $15. I found a pair of Nike sneakers for my daughter priced at $12 which looked as though they had never been worn.
Location and contact information: The store is located just off Veteran’s Parkway at 120 Krispy Kreme Drive in Bloomington. You can contact the store at (309) 807-4303 or e-mail email@example.com
The Neighborhood Thrift Store
What is it: The Neighborhood Thrift Store offers great deals on stylish, pre-owned furnishings and household goods.
Why I like it: Don’t expect to find run of the mill, dull or damaged items at The Neighborhood Thrift Store. If you like unique, antique or retro pieces, however, TNT has a selection, and prices, that can’t be beat. To make your shopping even more convenient, TNT has an active Facebook presence where you can peruse their inventory from the comfort of your own home.
Location and contact information: The store is located at 406 N. Main Street in Bloomington, just across the street from the Coffeehound. You can contact The Neighborhood Thrift at (309)827-2500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is it: Bobzbay is your one stop shop for media and collectables. Expect to find books, cassette tapes, CDs, VHS, DVDs, video games and more. According to their website, the store also buys used skateboards, vintage toys, watches, scrap and bullion gold and silver, coins, cameras, laptops, and bikes.
Why I like it: Bobzbay is a fun, local business with a sense of humor and great attitude. Everything about the store tells you that the owners and staff enjoy being part of the team. Their inventory includes a variety of fun and interesting items. Plus they have prices that beat the pants off the big box stores. In addition, they’ve cooked up a fun robot mascot who occasionally makes an appearance and has been known to eat books to the delight of children. (No actual books were harmed.)
Location and contact information: The store is located at 419 N. Main Street in Bloomington, down the street from the Coffee Hound. You can contact Bobzbay at (309)740-2012 or email email@example.com.
What Do You Like?
Do you have a favorite consignment, thrift or second hand store? I’d like to hear about it. Leave me a comment with the name, location, what they sell and why you like it and I’ll try and feature them in a future report.
I’m not affiliated with any of these businesses and don’t personally know any of the owners or employees (unless one of my friends suddenly got a second job and forgot to tell me). In addition, no one gave me any goods, perks, money or other incentives to write about them. These are just local businesses that are, in my opinion, doing a great job to bring second hand selling to the Bloomington-Normal community.