I know what you’re thinking. What is a consignment shop doing writing a list of the best thrift stores in Boston? Well I wish I had a solid answer for that question other than this; I felt like doing it.
Now, within this list, I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite thrift stores in the Boston area with one caveat. I’m going to start the list by shamelessly plugging Diversity Consignment. That’s it! The rest of the list will be full blown charity shops, that, in my opinion are the best places to go thrifting. I will be ranking them in terms of price, selection, and cleanliness.
When you’re done reading the list feel free to give some shout-outs of places that are your favorites in the comment sections below. (This is a list of Charity Thrift Stores and does not include specialty second-hand stores such as vintage or consignment)
Of course I have to put Diversity Consignment at the top! After all, we did create it!
Aside from that, it’s a fun and eclectic experience just walking in! Vintage TV in the window, crazy awesome window splash outside, N64, air hockey, records and clothing! I mean…come on…. Not to mention, we also host our seasonal Fashion Show (next one in October 😉 ) and showcase local artist work on the walls!
Enough about that, let’s move on to the real list. The best (charity) Thrift Stores in Boston.
Goodwill Hyde Park: 892 River St, Hyde Park, MA 02136
Ahh yes, Goodwill. To start the list off on the right foot I’m going to introduce you to the newest Goodwill to open in Boston; Goodwill Hyde Park. I must say, not all Goodwill’s are treated equally. This one in particular ranks highest on the list in all 3 categories.
Goodwill Hyde Park is well run. You can find a lot of treasure here! Now, it may be speculation, but I have heard that whenever a new Goodwill comes to town, they tend to fill it with gems right off the bat. I know that sounds like hear-say and it probably is, but what would 2022 be without a little conspiracy?
Either way, this Goodwill, in particular isn’t overcrowded with people. In fact, I’m not too sure that many people really know about it! (Cat’s out of the bag now). The prices are excellent! The way they should be. I have yet to see a coat or jacket being priced over $20. For those of you who thrift around a lot; you know coats and jackets can get a bit pricey depending on where you are. Good for you Goodwill Hyde Park; good for you.
5/5 cleanliness, 5/5 selection, and 5/5 price.
Boomerangs Cambridge: 563 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Boomerangs Cambridge is a frequent winner on any top-tier list of best thrift stores, and for good reason! The place is electric! They have an excellent staff of cool cats, a funky atmosphere, and support an excellent cause. Taken from the Boomerangs website:
“Boomerangs is an award-winning family of thrift stores owned and operated by AIDS Action, New England’s leading provider of HIV prevention and wellness services. Serving the Greater Boston area. Boomerangs features a variety of high-quality new, vintage, and gently-loved merchandise to provide critical funding to AIDS Action in partnership with Fenway Health. Together, this partnership serves to enhance the well-being of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community through health care, education, research, and advocacy. All proceeds from Boomerangs directly helps fund work to prevent new HIV infections and improve the lives of thousands of people already living with HIV/AIDS in Massachusetts.”
They also have a super-fun TikTok account. How could you not love them!?
Cleanliness: 5/5, Prices: 4/5, Selection: 4.5/5.
Global Thrift: 322 Moody St, Waltham, MA 02453
I know what you’re thinking, Waltham isn’t Boston! You know what? You’re right, it’s not. But it’s close by and this place is worth a visit!
According to their website: “Global Thrift is a volunteer driven thrift store where all profit goes into the international work of The Good Foundation. Currently all funding goes into creating businesses, providing jobs and rehabilitating medical clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
That’s a good cause! Aside from the cause, it’s a pretty good thrift store too! They have everything from a vast selection of clothing, shoes, household items, and electronics. The household items and electronics section is small, but it’s there at least.
They do host in-store pop-ups for local artists and creators which I am a big supporter of. I have been there on several occasions and was able to come away with quite a bit of really good finds at really good (Goodwill esq.) prices! The downside, according to a few reviews, is that they frequently switch the layout around in a somewhat confusing manner, and they seem to be a little hit or miss in terms of pricing.
Cleanliness 3.5/5, selection 4/5, price 4/5.
Boomerangs JP: 716 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
You better know I wasn’t going to make a Best (Charity) Thrift stores in Boston without tossing out a couple Boomerangs locations!
A local fan favorite, Boomerangs JP just has it all. Incredible staff, an ever-changing selection, and best of all, the top media selection of all thrift stores! By media I mean CDs, books, and other various media types. They also have the best window display in the neighborhood and always keep it fresh! You can even bid on the items in the window!
I would also like to say that the selection of furniture within this particular location also has the other thrift stores beat. They don’t seem to have the largest space in terms of sq. ft. but they seem to organize it really well in terms of furniture display. If you’re looking for that statement piece, look no further than Boomerangs JP!
The staff is super friendly and the overall atmosphere is eccentric (which I love). It really is like a museum to see the unique treasures they get in so frequently!
cleanliness 4.5/5, selection 5/5, price 4/5
Urban Renewals Boston: 630 American Legion Hwy, Roslindale, MA 02131
This place has to be the most hit or miss of all thrift stores on the list.
First of all, the store is 100% cash only. A major drawback if you ask me! They do have an ATM on site, but what a pain to get charged an extra fee to withdraw money!
The big draw to this store is definitely the price points. I mean in 2022 to only pay .99c for anything is insane! Not to mention, they frequently have 50% off sales so you may even get lucky and score something for only .50c!
Another big draw to this store is the size of it. It is literally massive. That being said, I do have a difficult time with thrifting burnout; sifting through a mile long T-Shirt rack. On top of that, I rarely find anything I want to take home with me. I get that the price points are insane, but it always seems like all the good stuff gets taken before I get there.
I think there’s a lot of “thrifting” buzz around this place so it’s never empty. There are hordes of people, pretty much at all times, ruffling through the never-ending racks.
cleanliness 3.5/5, selection 3/5, price 5/5
There you have it! My opinion on the best (charity) places to go thrifting in Boston! Have any thoughts or want to shout out your favorite charity thrift spot? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below and don’t forget to subscribe to our email list to get updates when we post new articles! Remember, keep buying used stuff!
-Much love, Ian Drake – Diversity Consignment