Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thrift Stores & More - Long Beach City Guide

I moved to Southern California about a year and a half ago, and have had so much fun exploring the LA Metro areas.  I drive a lot for work, so I added a bunch of Thrift Shops onto my GPS and made it a goal to stop into at least one new store a week during my commute or lunch break.   Hey, I'd rather shop than eat any old day!

I have been documenting my reviews on a Yelp List, "Thrift Stores & More" but am happy to share my favorites with you here too!

Long Beach: 


The Long Beach Depot for Creative ReUse

320 Elm Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90899
(562) 437-9999
Categories: Hobby ShopsArt Supplies 
5 star rating
If you can't find inspiration here you should get your head checked!!!  This is the place to come to let your imanigation run wild and unleash your creative spirit.  At Creative ReUse the shelves are lined with misc everyday items that can be used for their original purpose, or transformed into something unique.  Door knobs, picture frames, material scraps, leftover boardgame & puzzle pieces, gift bags, books & never know what you might find and the prices are right!  This is a wonderful little shop with a wonderful little mission in the community.  The owner Lisa was so friendly (and even paid the parking meter for me while I shopped -I have an excuse, Im new to CA & HAVE to start keeping change in the car for the meters!)   If you are starting any sort of project...go here 1st!  You'll probably find what you need, and even if you don't, you'll find something you want :-)  

Out of the Closet

3500 E Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90804
(562) 494-0340
Category: Thrift Stores 
4 star rating
I love to thrift...and I have scored big here every time. So far, it's my favorite thrift store in Long Beach. The staff is friendly (they have carried bigger items to my car), the selection is good, and the store is clean (Friday there was an employee actually dusting all of the shelves and glass items!) They have a large selection of home goods, bric-a-brac, and art books which I love. I picked up a nice area rug ($15...wool & in excellent condition) & an art book which has sparked a whole new creative journey (Charlotte- $10...which resales for $95+ on alibris). I'm not usually into clothes when I thrift, but a few weeks ago I picked up a beautiful Hawaiian (Asian inspired) long vintage dress ($10) that I have worn to the TV Land awards & Opera & have received so many compliments! I look forward to many more great finds at Out of the Closet!

St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

2750 Pacific Coast Hwy
Long Beach, CA 90804
(323) 224-6273
Category: Thrift Stores 
4 star rating
I have stopped by this thrift store a few times, and I am a fan.  It's big, new, clean, and safe parking.  There is a security guard at the door who never fails to be friendly.  The rest of the staff is also very helpful.
I have scored a few good finds here, one being a Bernard Buffet lithograph of the Notre Dame Cathedral for only $6.oo.  WooHoo!
The store is well organized with a separate room for books & furniture.  The furniture area ROCKS and the prices are really good.
There seems to be a very big selection of clothing, but there is no dressing room which is a bummer if your shopping for clothing.
Since I pass this shop often, I know I will visit many many more times & look forward to many great finds!

Assistance League Thrift Shop

2100 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 434-7121
4 star rating
I like this shop.  It's clean with a nice selection of merchandise that is all very well organized.  There are always cool items to be found in the display cases, and unlike many other thrift stores I actually take a quick look through the boutique clothing items.  I've bought a few cool things here at very good prices, and find it much nicer than the Aids Assistance across the street.

Disabled Veterans Charities

5117 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 423-8528
Category: Thrift Stores 
3 star rating
  First to Review
I don't know how I could possibly be the 1st to review this great thrift store...but I'm glad that I found it.
The Disabled Veterans Charities leaves donation bags on my front door regularly, so when I passed by the store today I decided to stop in. It was huge & clean I've never been to a thrift store with so many brand new score for cheap new clothes (many still with tags). I'm not usually a clothes shopper when I thrift, but I kept seeing multiples of the same items so it peaked my interest. There seemed to be mostly brands from Target, JC Penny, Sears, but I did run across some Ann Taylor & J Crew in my digging. According to the cashier, the store buys out inventory from closing businesses. The selection of women's clothing was great, and very cheap.
Household items were not abundant, but they did have some nicer pieces of furniture and other housewares. This is a great shop, almost hesitate to Yelp it. Enjoy!

Long Beach Rescue Mission Thrift Store

1313 Pine Ave
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 599-8818
Category: Thrift Stores 
3 star rating
I have had the opportunity to visit this thrift store twice now.  Actually 3 times, if you count the 1st when I wasn't sure if it was safe to get out of the car.  But, after hitting the 6 month mark in CA I am enjoying exploring lots of new areas and feeling much braver.
1st impressions, obviously a little sketchy depending on what time of day your there.  But, once inside there is a relatively clean & well organized shop.  The staff was friendly, and there was a decent selection of furniture & home items...which is always A+ in my book.  On my last visit, the store was running a 50% special on house & books.
Although I haven't made a purchase here yet, I wouldn't hesitate to swing back in to see what's in-store if I had a few minutes to kill & was in the area.

Goodwill Industries of Long Beach and South Bay

8524 Alondra Blvd
Paramount, CA 90723
(562) 602-1856
3 star rating
   First to Review
This is a new location for Goodwill.  It's conveniently located in a strip mall in a building that looks like it could've easily lived it's life as a chain restaurant.  Well marked, clean, safe, and new are all a huge bonus for thrifting, especially in this area of LA.  The only downfall to being new is that this location hasn't had quite enough time yet to acquire a large selection of merchandise.  I predict that within the next year this could easily be a 4-5 star Goodwill location.  Only time will tell.

Hide & Seek Boutique

203 Covina Ave
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 621-1122
Category: Shopping 
4 star rating
This is a very cute shop right in the heart of the 2nd St Belmont Shore area.  All of the proceeds go to research for lysosomal disease.  It's small, but well organized and consists of mainly home & small furniture items.  No junky clothes here!  Another HUGE plus is that all of the books here are free.  The shop wants to encourage reading, so take your pick upon the selection they have.
The volunteer was super-friendly and took time to explain the shops mission.  I enjoyed my visit and walked out with a few items, in addition to 3 wonderfully free books!

AIDS Assistance Thrift Store Inc

2011 E 4th St
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 987-5353
3 star rating
I've stopped into this shop several times and never made a purchase.  It's in a cool area among the Retro Row shops, but it seems dirty and expensive.  In all fairness, I don't dig through the clothes and that seems to be what many other reviewers find best here.  For home items, yuk! and art (my favorite splurge as I have a huge thrift store art collection) the selection is decent but very overpriced.  Will I be back? of course...I can't resist a thrift!  But if I had to choose, I'd hit the Assistance League thrift shop across the street first.

 South Street Thrift Center

3315 E South St
Long Beach, CA 90805
(562) 633-1870
Category: Thrift Stores 
3 star rating
This is a decent shop, and it's always jammed packed with shoppers! Check the neon sign above the register for the daily specials, work your way around the crowds, and see what you can find.  I wouldn't say it's the cleanest or nicest shop, but there is a parking lot and security guard which always makes the experience a little safer.  I've only made 1 purchase here, a cool vintage poster sized monopoly park place property deed.   Well worth the $6 tag.  The housewear & knick-knack section is extensive, but the furniture usually leaves much to be desired.  Heads up, it's cash only but there is an ATM in the store if you forget.

Salvation Army

1370 Alamitos Ave
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 218-2355
2 star rating
I only visited this SA location once, and I was very unimpressed.  It was big, dirty, and way overpriced.  The boutique area seemed like a total rip off, anything remotely vintage was stashed on the racks jacked up about 50% because it was old.  There was a lot of furniture, but most seemed lower quality with a pretty price tag.
I'm sure I will give it one more shot, but there are so many other great thrift shops in LB that I can't imagine going out of my way anytime soon.

Saint Mary Medical Center Guild's Heaven 11 Thrift Store and Mor

1045 Atlantic Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90813
(562) 491-9087
2 star rating
  First to Review
This little store is located in the Saint Mary's Medical Office Building on Atlantic Avenue.  Located on the ground floor, it's mostly gift shop/ convenience with a little bit of thrift.  The proceeds from the thrift portion of the store go towards the Guilds pledge for equipment for the hospital.  Mostly clothing, don't think I have seen any furniture and very minimal housewares.  Im in that building a lot, and swing in for a soda once every 2 or 3 months.  I have yet to find anything that peaks my interest, but the people are friendly, and there is a little outdoor seating area to enjoy my soda before heading into my next account.

Finders Keepers

3434 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 424-9252
Categories: AntiquesFurniture Stores 
2 star rating
I really wanted to give Finders Keepers a good review.  The proceeds go to help out food banks, and it's in my neighborhood.  I like shopping for a cause and supporting local businesses.  I drive by it every day and never stop in because I remembered my 1st visit about 6 months ago was nothing memorable.  There's actually 2 locations (soon to be 1 again) on Atlantic Avenue.  Lately both stores have been posting 50% off signs in an effort to consolidate the 2 stores.  I stopped in both stores this past weekend, and again...nada.
I am strictly reviewing this listed location, where there are some larger pieces of furniture, but all very expensive for what they were.  Many of the items were dated, but not in a good way.  70's JC Penny is what I felt.  Tchotchkes is also a valid word for much of the store as the 1st reviewer used. I found that many of the items (china, paintings, books) were priced based on e-bay searches, so I guess if you didn't have to pay shipping that could justify the price...but whatever.
Sorry to say, but I haven't found anything worth keeping at Finders Keepers .

Giltcomplex Antiques

4270 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 427-2299
Category: Antiques 
5 star rating
  First to Review
Oh me, Oh my what a delight for my eyes! GiltComplex has landed in Bixby Knolls and I can't stop picturing all of the beautiful items placed in my own home!
Wonderful & unique accessories, paintings & furniture linger both high & low in this amazing shop.  I especially love the artwork and collection of globes that sit amongst the treasures here.  I can't wait to visit again!

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