Thrifting Binghamton NY

Everyone writes about their super incredible,  awesome thrifting trips.
Today I’m gonna write about a bad one, cause it happens.

I realized that I’ve never done a proper thrifting trip in Binghamton, NY. There several major thrift stores and few smaller independent ones. I’ve previously visited only two thrift stores in the area.
Sounded like a fun day trip.

#1) Salvation Army Endicott, NY

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First up was this cute, smaller, older Salvation Army. I was kinda of hoping this out-of-the-way location might hold some gems. First thing I see when I walked in was the “Brand Name” rack. I rolled my eyes. Nothing like paying top dollar for what one perceives as high-end. “American Eagle” is not high-end folks. I walked around and found $5 t-shirts….

There was no gold here. There wasn’t  tin either. There wasn’t much of anything actually. Nothing in the way of furniture. The changing rooms were boxes with curtains on them. I asked where the restrooms were and was informed that they did not have one. I was about to leave when I spot a staircase. It leads to a small room full of vinyl records. I’m excited, I haven’t seen this volume of records in a thrift store ever. Easily over a thousand LPs.  They were haphazardly piled everywhere. I flipped through them and sorted as I went. After 35 mins, I give up. I only made it through a third of them. It was too big of  an unorganized mess and nothing of interest to me.

At this point, my GPS decided not to work. I sat in an empty parking lot for 40mins attempting to get it to connect. Then I remembered I took a screenshot of the map and saved it in Evernote. (How I love you Evernote!!!) I pulled up the map and I am able to figure out the way to the next location.

I stopped by House of Music (musical instrument store),  I have not been here in at least six years. Tiny store, decent selection of used instruments. Everyone was nice and friendly.

Pretty much next door, is Sound Go Round – comics, video games and records.

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Same as above, I haven’t been there  in several years. Store is much larger than I remember. They must have expanded. The store was gigantic. Great selection of comics, dvds and video games. Their record selection was much much smaller than my last visit.
Since I was running way behind schedule, because my earlier GPS mishaps, I browsed for about 15 mins before I took off.

When I travel, I like to visit local eateries. I usually don’t’ use yelp as a resource, but I made an exception for this trip. I found a Vietnamese place called NHU Y, which had some good reviews.

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The GPS directed me to a shopping plaza, which at first sight, made me a bit worried. I’ve never had much luck with restaurants in shopping plazas.  Super tiny place, fits maybe six tables at most. Despite my fears, the food was excellent.

#2 Goodwill Vestal, NY
This store was a total bust. Yet another small Goodwill filled with Target castaways. Nothing of interest. Walked out emptied handed after 10 mins. Nothing in the way of furniture. Store was well lit and clean though.

#3 Lighthouse Binghamton, NY
When exploring a new area, I like to use the website, thethriftyshopper.com to find all of the local area thrift stores, big and small.
Lighthouse was on the list. The website says they should have been open, so did the sign on the door. But they were closed.
lunch maybe? Oh well.

#4 Goodwill – Binghamton, NY
Much bigger than the store in Vestal. This location was also very well-lit, clean and well-organized. Found it also to be a dumping ground for unwanted Target stock. Did not find much of interest.

#5 Stephen’s – Vintage Binghamton, NY
Supposedly a vintage clothing store. According to the hours on their door, they should have been open. But were not. Had decent yelp reviews. Oh well.

#6 Downtown Thrift – Binghamton, NY
According to thethriftyshopper.com this place exists. Didn’t find it. I’m assuming it is closed.

After several strike-outs, I decide to stop and eat again. This time,  I checked out Chroma Cafe.

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Another great suggestion from Yelp. Here I got the special; pulled pork sandwich with cold slaw on a pretzel roll.  I got a free cookie with my order. Delicious!  Wish I had tried the coconut and pistachio cookie. Overall an excellent choice! Highly recommended.

#7 Salvation Army Binghamton, NY
Last stop of the trip. I’ve been to this location before and have done very well. I step out of my car and just as the door slammed closed, I pat my pockets for my keys and see them still in the ignition.
I called around town, shops are asking $70 and up, to open my door. That’s highway robbery if you ask me, for a minutes worth of work. I call a buddy; told him if he got my spare key from house and drove it to Binghamton, I would throw some cash his way. He’s the best!
In the meantime, I go into the store. Quite the opposite of the Goodwills in the area.  Big, dark, kinda of dirty, prices were cheap. My kinda of place. Staff was very nice. They kindly charged my dying cellphone while I browsed the store.
Found lots of great, inexpensive deals. Much, much better pricing in comparison to the Salvation Army in Endicott.

Overall, the trip was a bust. Only spend $40 in total at all of the thrift stores. One store didn’t exist, two stores were closed. The ones that were open, didn’t have much of anything, except the last store. Got locked out of my car, had to wait two hours to find a restroom. Considering what I did purchase; my gas and food expenses, I’ll be lucky to break even for this trip.
If nothing else, I ate well.

Due to time constraints, I skipped the Volunteers of America store in Endicott and the Thrifty Shopper (Rescue Mission) in Binghamton. I have not had too much luck at the Volunteers of America locations I have visited in Rochester. I do try to visit every store at least one though, because every store is different. I have visited that particular Rescue Mission before and found them to extremely overpriced in my two/three other times I have visited.

Other areas I’ve thrifted recently: Ithaca, Cortland, Rochester.
New areas I would like to try sometime in the near future: Albany/Kingston, Philly, NYC.


Newly listed items:

Store           J       F     M
Ebay           47     ??    31
Etsy             62     38    57

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2 thoughts on “Thrifting Binghamton NY

  1. Fun read- sounds like my life! I thrift in Albany area but will only stop for ice cream. You will be disappointed here- Goodwills have Target junk like all the others, and depending on the SA, prices have become crazy and not worth touching except at half price. We are getting new SA’s and consequently, new cast- off items. Getting harder and harder to find good vintage at a decent price. Perhaps PA will offer you a better trip experience.

    • Thank you very much for comments! I agree, much of the state, north of Westchester to Binghamton is horrible for thrifting. Seems that estate sales, tiny junk shops and church sales are best in those areas, if you can find them. Years ago, I found some neat little shops around Kingston, but I’m sure those are long gone.

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