This post is an update of one I wrote a while back, shortly after I started the blog. Since then, I’ve become considerably more familiar with the local thrift scene and am excited to revisit the topic.
Manny and I have always been big fans of secondhand stuff. When we were still in New York, we lived right next to the Brooklyn Flea, a Williamsburg institution. We love antique shops, estate sales, auctions, yard sales — you name it — because you never know what you’re going to find. Since moving into our bungalow last September, we’ve honed our thrifting skills big-time.
Note that I’m leaving off the high-end antique stores you’ll encounter in the Savannah historic district. I like to look in those place, but you won’t find anything in most of them less than a couple g’s (or at least a handful of Benjamins). Again: Fun to look, but out of reach.
And so without further ado, here is my go-to list of the best places to thrift and score affordable antiques when you’re in Savannah:
Blessingdales — This is a true thrift store, but it’s got a kind of boutique feel to it. Give yourself a good hour or so, as it’s fairly large. They have a lot of household goods — I’ve seen some pretty awesome rugs here from time to time — and a good selection of clothes and fabrics.
Pick of the Litter — Aka, the Humane Society Thrift Store, this is a small place — so small that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s not worth the stop. But I have had some great luck here. And proceeds support pet adoption in Savannah!
Goodwill on Sallie Mood Dr. — There are a few Goodwills in Savannah, but this is the best, in my humble opinion. It’s large and has a decent housewares section. Definitely worth the trip, and it’s a stone’s throw from POTL mentioned above.
Craigslist — Never overlook this avenue. Savannah’s Craigslist can be hit or miss, but I’ve definitely scored some great stuff this way.
Keller’s Flea Market — How to describe Keller’s… hmmm… It’s a series of ramshackle corrugated metal huts, poorly ventilated and often stiflingly hot inside. The booths — and there appear to be thousands of them (only slight hyperbole) — range in terms of quality and organization. But if you’re a true thrifter, you cannot overlook this place. It’s a bit outside of town, but there’s really nothing quite like it. Apartment Therapy vouches for them too. Go well fed and hydrated and think of it like a treasure hunt.
Mint Green Tag Sale — This is one of my absolute favorite ways to shop in Savannah. MGTS is a really professional operation. You need to keep an eye on their excellent website to learn about sales, but typically there are 1-2 a week. Almost all of them are well-worth hitting up. One week you’re in a mansion on Victory Dr., the next at a bungalow in Sandfly. Be aware that I’m not alone in my devotion — if you arrive at the start of a sale, you will definitely wait in line to get in the house. If you live in town or come here often, join their weekly mailing list.
Bull St Auction — Another of my absolute, can’t-miss, must-see shopping recs. The BSA is typically held every other Sunday at 1pm. Go even if you don’t need anything just to see the cast of characters. People bring their kids and their dogs and the array of items can be dizzying. But this is, as far as I’m concerned, the best way to get heirloom-quality furniture and handmade rugs in or around Savannah on a dime. In fact, many of the local antiques dealers buy from the auction. And have lunch while you’re there — most of the time you can get a hot, home-cooked Southern meal.
Pinch of the Past Architectural Antiques — POTP is the kind of place you expect to see on television. It’s a picker’s paradise, with salvaged materials from old homes in and around Savannah from floor to ceiling. If you need or want an old door, window, sink, or light fixture, you owe it to yourself to do recon here. Start a conversation if you’re put off by the pricing. And don’t skip the outside courtyard for their claw-foot tub selection, or the upstairs for their antiques and curiosities. Heck, even if you don’t need a thing just stop by to look.
Two Woman and a Warehouse — A vintage-lover’s dream, this is a place you can get lost in. Located right next to the BSA, it’s one of my favorite places in town for retro home goods.
Seventh Heaven Antique Mall — A little pricey, but they’re typically willing to negotiate. This is a great place for rugs, in particular, and for quality glassware. They also have great art and lamps. It’s an unassuming place, but a top-notch stop if you’re making the rounds.
Clutter — Located near the Savannah Mall, this place is well-curated. They do a brisk business too, so expect to see new stuff every time you go.
Picker Joe’s — This is, bar-none, the most charming picker-palace in town. They have especially good mid-century pieces, so if that’s your style, don’t miss it. They have a ton of small items as well, so it’s great for a souvenir or two if you’re passing through.
37th @ Abercorn Antiques – Located in an old victorian mansion, this is a go-to when I’m doing recon. Great art, antique mirrors, and large furniture pieces, and everything is high end — except the prices. If you’re shopping for quality, this is my number one rec in town. And the Humane Society has a booth here, where they sell any fancy things that get dropped off at their thrift shop (mentioned above).
Habersham Antique Market & Collectibles — Another rambling antiques mall, this place can be a little pricey, but it’s got such a great range of items you can’t pass it up. PLUS, it’s located right next to Green Truck, Savannah’s best burger joint.
Victory Antiques — A local institution, this is another antiques mall well-worth the visit. And in my humble opinion, the prices here are better than at any other antiques mall in town. Plus, they have great seasonal sales. I’ve found superb stuff, furniture and art alike, for a steal. I always take guests who are enthusiastic secondhand-shoppers here when they’re in town for it’s great mix of high/low goods.
Universe Trading Co. — Located at MLK and Jones, this is the strangest antiques store in town. Expect to see life-size polar bear statues and dinosaur lawn ornaments. But they also have gorgeous hutches and other large-scale furniture pieces. The prices are beyond fair. This is a diamond in the rough.
*** I want to add a special shout-out to Beaufort, SC, which is about an hour from Savannah. It’s a small but lovely place with great thrifting and antiques. If you’re going to be in Savannah for more than a few days and are a committed thrifter — or you just love old Low Country charm — Beaufort is a must-visit. And while you’re out that way, swing by Bluffton, SC — another superb day trip with decent thrift stores and antiques.
Anyone have any Savannah thrifting spots they want to add to this list???