When I pay full-price retail, a little part of me dies. I love consignment, antique stores, thrift shops, tag sales, Facebook yard sale sites, and bogo Noodles & Company coupons. RVA is a good city for my shopping mindset.

Up in Lakeside, you’ll find consignment central — probably more than a dozen of that kind of store that’s furnished like it’s a house (bathroom, kitchen, dining room) with junk everywhere, but everything is for sale. I brought a carload to consign last year, with disappointing results. Shopping is better. Things like a piano bench, a hairdryer, an iron bicycle plant holder, and a record cabinet.

And then there are thrift stores. The Goodwills here are fantastic. The three I go to most often are on Broad, starting in Near West End, and heading West. These have a particular color tag, each week, 50% off. I walk away with new treasures (usually from housewares) every time I stop in. There are a lot of other thrift stores all over the city. We’ll just have to go thrifting together; I can’t name them all.

Lastly, RVA’s beloved Hall Tree, on the westernmost end of Carytown. This is a funny place. Some of us love it, and some of us love to hate it. It’s been here since 1972, and you’ll still see some of the original staff members. I shopped for a while, before I was finally brave enough to consign anything, myself; I’d heard stories. My first experience was positive. One of the store’s most friendly ladies explained how their system worked, helped me fill out my paperwork, and then sorted through my first batch of clothes, even thanking me for consigning with the Hall Tree. I was surprised that everything I brought was accepted, except for a few items I was asked to iron and bring back. Selection seems to be based more on their experience of what styles sell, than on the label. After that first experience, some of my attempts were less pleasant; as you’ll observe from the Hall Tree Google reviews, not every employee is eager to please the customer. It all balances out to a positive experience, as long as you have a sense of humor.

While you’re in Carytown, head a couple blocks farther east, and stop in Second Debut, the Goodwill boutique (Yes.).

Published by Bethany Lansing