Whether you’re a local or a visitor, thrift store shopping in Richmond is a fun alternative to traditional retail therapy. Luckily, the city has a tempting array of stores to check out, so long as you know where to go. Keen to give it a try? Plan your own Richmond rummage crawl by visiting some of our favourite local thrift stores.
RICHMOND HOSPITAL/HEALTHCARE AUXILIARY THRIFT SHOP
3731 Chatham Street, Steveston; www.rhhaux.ca
Covering every interior inch of a former church in Steveston, give yourself plenty of browsing time here. Regulars keep coming back for the racks of bargain clothing, most of which takes a simple ‘universal pricing’ approach. That means tops for $5 each, rails of $1 for kids’ clothing and shelves teeming with footwear ready to walk out the door at just $5 per pair. If you’re looking for something special, there are also some individually priced ‘boutique clothing’ items you might find in higher-end vintage stores.
But there’s much more than clothing to discover here. Don’t miss the books, toys, hardware and jewellery sections––and check out the racks of old vinyl records as well. Also, save time for the curio tables, where you might find everything from German beer steins to colourful Mexican bowls. Keep an eye on their Facebook page (accessible via the website link above) for announcements about upcoming sale days where steep discounts abound.
SOS CHILDREN’S VILLAGE THRIFT STORE
3800 Moncton Street, Steveston; www.sosthriftstorefoundation.org/thrift-stores
Also in Steveston and dedicated to raising funds for foster families and at-risk youth, pass through the unassuming blue-accented façade of this store and you’ll find a larger browsing area than you might have imagined. Value-priced clothing dominates the wide front section, which is lined with rails covering every possible wearable item, neatly divided into sections. Womenswear takes up the lion’s share of floorspace here and it’s the kind of shop where dedicated browsing uncovers unexpected gems––we spotted a hip 1970s sweater for $5 on our visit.
The L-shaped back room almost feels like a different store. It’s lined with shelves displaying ornaments, housewares and quirky knickknacks but there can also be cool collectibles here, depending on what’s been donated. We recently spotted some ornately painted plates that vintage train fans would love plus several feline-themed items for fanatical cat lovers. At the very back of the store, there are also plenty of books, DVD’s and board games to check out.
8240 Granville Avenue; www.valuevillage.ca
The department store of vintage retailing, the Richmond branch of this Canada-wide chain is a huge, well-organized affair with dozens of aisles. Divided into neatly-defined sections, it’s easy to track down what you’re looking for here––whether it’s velvet paintings, cute collectible teapots or back issues of vintage magazines (anyone for a December 1982 National Geographic?). Clothing is especially well-represented with entire aisles dedicated to men’s jeans, women’s jackets or leather belts, for example. Shoes are also a top-seller: we spotted some barely-worn Merrell hiking boots for $25 on our visit.
Save time to peruse the electronics section in the store’s back corner. It’s like a museum of yesteryear gadgets that all of us once owned, from top-notch Samsung DVD players to state-of-the-art (in 2005) digital cameras. There’s also a handy rack of bagged vintage cables here if you’re looking for a way to connect your 1990 VCR to your TV. There are frequent sales to keep your eyes open for at Value Village, including the weekly Senior Tuesday deal where over-60s enjoy a discount of 30 percent on most items.
RAPS THRIFT STORE
8260 Granville Avenue; www.rapsbc.com/raps-thrift-store
Next door to Value Village, the Regional Animal Protection Society––aka RAPS––operates one of its two Richmond stores. Supporting the vital animal welfare work of this popular organization (they run a busy cat sanctuary you can also visit), this friendly, well-stocked shop offers an eclectic but brilliantly browse-worthy array of housewares, toys, clothing, craft supplies and just about everything else. We loved perusing the quirky ornaments and knickknacks––where else will you find a smiling ceramic camel alongside a handsome pottery heron?
Pet-owners should also check out the store’s back wall, where racks of animal-friendly items include dog coats, cat toys, aquarium supplies and even a box of little rubber rain boots for your beloved Fido. Keen to support RAPS even more? Their second Richmond store is a five-minute drive away at 9040 Francis Road.
RICHMOND FAMILY PLACE THRIFT STORE
8660 Ash Street; www.richmondfamilyplace.ca/thrift-store
A smaller, hidden gem store that’s well worth hunting down, this bright and friendly volunteer-run shop supports programs that help children and families throughout the area. Clothing abounds but you’ll also find books, jewellery, linens, household items, and more here. We enjoyed perusing the paperbacks on our visit a while back, adding to our at-home library with two almost-new copies of some sought-after David Sedaris novels.
Bargains are the approach at this store (clothing is especially well-priced), but there are also regular Sale Days when extra discounts apply. These include half-price days on specific categories (shoes or books, for example) as well as bag sales when you can fill a provided bag for just $5. Ask the friendly staffers when the next discount day is coming up––but keep in mind that Mondays are always half-price for seniors.
BC SPCA THRIFT MART
160-5400 Minoru Boulevard; www.spca.bc.ca/about-us/locations/thrift-stores
Visible from the Canada Line in the heart of the city centre, this large store has the jam-packed junkshop look of a warehouse storage space that got out of hand––in a good way. Everything is piled high and crammed into every conceivable corner, and you need to give yourself plenty of time to check it all out while squeezing between the housewares, electronics, tools, and just about everything else you can imagine.
This sprawling space isn’t brightly lit, so you might want to bring a small flashlight with you to properly explore all the hidden nooks and crannies. Keep in mind that many items are not priced, which means bargaining is acceptable and deals can definitely be had: we picked up a large glass vase for a dollar a while back, after discovering it hiding behind rows of old beer glasses. It was a great find but it had probably been there for years and it needed a lot of cleaning!
Last Updated on November 5, 2022 by Tourism Richmond