The 5 best thrift stores in Des Moines

The best thrift stores in Des Moines are packed with potential. You may discover designer products at a fraction of the price, according to Juliana Weiss-Roessler of lifehack.org. “If you dig through the racks, you might be surprised by the quality brands you can purchase at a steep discount.”

“Greater Des Moines is a vibrant, growing community experiencing tremendous momentum,” said Meg Schneider, Senior Vice President of Business Resources and Community Development at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “The region has a strong retail market, including its thrift store base.”

Plus, these stores benefit our community with occupational, financial and educational assistance programs. The Salvation Army’s profits fund food pantries and meals to the homeless. Goodwill provides job training. St. Vincent de Paul helps with financial assistance to those in need. Hope Ministries is a homeless shelter.

Finding great thrift stores in Des Moines isn’t a problem, narrowing the list to map your day is the hardest part. I’ve listed the best ones based on my experience, but you can find a full list for Des Moines or any other area on thethriftshopper.com.

Let’s get started.

Salvation Army, 133 E 2nd St., Des Moines. Two words: basement paradise. Apparently, downtowners are givers and have great fashion sense, too. Take the stairs to the lower level and find a treasure trove of Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang and more. Best for women’s clothes.

Encore Thrift Store (Hope Ministries), 4640 Merle Hay Rd, Urbandale. This thrift store makes the list for cleanliness and ease of use. The store layout, good lighting and larger dressing rooms make it easy and hassle-free to find what you like. Best for toys.

Vincent de Paul Thrift and Vintage Store, 520 Army Post Road, Des Moines. I like sales. I like Facebook. This store uses both to get me in the door. Posting photos of merchandise saves me time and sale announcements save me (even more) money. They totally get me. Best for furniture.

Goodwill Industries Store, 3251 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines. Although this is a smaller thrift store, I give it good marks for its merchandise variety. It has a little of everything for men, women, kids and pets. Bonus feature: it’s just down the street from another store that is all about saving money – the Dollar Tree – where even toddlers can figure the final bill. Best for women’s dresses and jewelry.

Goodwill of Central Iowa Outlet, 6345 SE 14th St, Des Moines. If you like digging for treasure, this store will give your life new meaning. Sort through blue bins of merchandise, weigh your haul and pay by the pound. Best for light items, like baskets and feathers.

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How does this compare to your thrift shopping experience? Where are your favorite places to find deals in Des Moines?