Make the Shift to Thrift in the East Bay

Make+the+Shift+to+Thrift+in+the+East+Bay

Kate Wolffe, Staff Writer

1. Crossroads Trading Co.:
2338 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704
Cost: $$
Quality of Merchandise: ***
Friendliness of Staff: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Overall Feel: If you’re looking for a nice dress, shirt or a good pair of jeans with a brand name you recognize, and aren’t afraid of someone else having worn and washed them before, Crossroads is the place to go. It’s even guy-friendly. You’re more than likely to stumble upon quite a few pairs of Joe’s jeans and J. Crew sweaters nestled in amongst the ever-present abundance of used Forever 21 merchandise. Be prepared to spend a while searching for that one gem, but don’t give up, because you will find it. The search is part of the fun anyway, so embrace it and laugh at all the tacky sequined crop tops you find along the way.

2. Mars Mercantile:
2398 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
Cost: $$$$$
Quality of Merchandise: ****
Friendliness of Staff: 🙂
Overall Feel: Mars is for all you vintage thrifters out there. It’s what the cool kids are doing. The clothing selection is characterized into time periods, and the staff is so coolly blasé that you want them to talk to you.  For the six hours you’re within the confines of it’s indie-techno blasting walls you can find no fault in spending your whole day sorting though racks of  over-priced clothing that you could never pull off in real life. Go for the experience, but don’t have high hopes of finding something you’ll ever be able to wear.

3. Buffalo Exchange:
2585 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704
Cost: $$
Quality of Merchandise: ****
Friendliness of Staff: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Overall Feel: A champion store located conviniently on Telegraph,  Buffalo Exchange has a healthy mix of vintage and modern pieces that would put baby pandas to shame.

4. Jeremy’s Department Store:
(2967 College Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705)
Cost: $$$$
Quality of Merchandise: ****
Friendliness of Staff: 🙂 🙂
Overall Feel: Jeremy’s isn’t a used clothing store, so if you don’t like the thought of someone else’s butt having already been pressed against your new jeans, this trendy store is the place for you. All of its merchandise consists of either overstock and itemsthat have been used in advertisements and window displays from stores like Anthropolo gie and Free People and various designers, or department store returns and damages. Not worth the price tag unless you’re prepared to look all day, fix up a dress yourself, or spend a hefty sum on an already overpriced designer rag.

Thrift Town:
[not pictured] 3645 San Pablo Dam Rd., El Sobrante, CA 94803
Cost: $
Quality of Merchandise: ***
Friendliness of Staff: 🙂 🙂
Overall Feel: Thrift Town’s sprawling warehouse of stuff is perfect for the ambitious treasure-hunter. The staff are not lining up to help you out, but it doesn’t matter, as everything is well labeled, and the only thing you need to trouble yourself with is the sweater section. Comfy, cozy, and oh-so nice, you’re bound to find a huge pile of sweaters perfect for this lovely winter weather. And the best part is that you don’t have to choose just one: buy them all! With most items priced at a mere $2- 3, a $20 bill will go a long way.