By Mary Ann Humphrey
Photos By Marisa Rubin
Resale shopping isn’t for the faint of heart. Dedicated thrift shoppers brave the dust and the piles of previously owned items to find unique pieces. It’s the thrill of the hunt that drives many bargain shoppers. And while it can be frustrating to search for a specific item, patience and a good eye are key ingredients to finding a score.
Plaza Dr. and Airport Blvd., Building 840
This is a great place to score vintage furniture, jewelry and art. The Kiwanis thrift store has two floors of merchandise—small household goods, books, dishware, glassware and clothing on the first floor, and downstairs carries furniture, art, antiques, jewelry and more. The Kiwanis also has a warehouse on Plaza Drive which houses tons of furniture—an excellent place to find the perfect vintage chair or table to repurpose for your home.
The Treasure Mart’s three floors of vintage, antique and used items is the place to go if you’re starting a collection, or want to complete one. Items range from brightly colored original international goods to worn wooden milk crates—it’s a place to spend some time browsing for home decorating inspiration. The front patio has larger furniture items where patrons often wait for trucks to pull up with the newest old stuff. Parking can be a challenge, so go during the week when it’s less crowded.
The Ann Arbor Thrift Shop is a well-organized store that looks more like a boutique than a resale shop. Small household goods, dishware, clothing, books, shoes and jewelry are nicely displayed and easily accessible. This is a good place to find higher end clothing for a fraction of the retail cost.
Monday-Friday, 9am–7pm; Saturday, 9am–6pm; Sunday, 11am–7pm
This thrift store takes a little bit of work—it’s big and a bit jumbled, but definitely home to great finds. Linens, crafts, clothes, toys, furniture and seasonal items are available. “PTO” stands for “Parent Teacher Organization,” and the greatest thing about this store is that all proceeds benefit Ann Arbor public school student activities. So whether you’re shopping or donating, you’re giving to a good cause. For every $5 you spend, you get a token in support of one of the student groups which displays information about their enrichment activities in the store lobby. The shop donates $1,000 each week of the school calendar year.
The ReUse center offers 20,000 square feet with a huge variety of lumber, building materials, bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, furniture and electronics. It also boasts the unique “Urbanwood” program; dead trees that are removed from the city are reclaimed and made into furniture and flooring. This is a go-to store for home improvement. Reclaimed wood items are offered for sale in Ann Arbor, Flint and Haslett. For more information, go to urbanwood.com.