Thrift shopping can be pretty hit or miss. You can never be sure what you’re walking into. And finding a store with great items can be a challenge, to say the least. So, to help soothe some thrifting anxieties, let me introduce you to four Chattanooga area thrift stores you can be sure won’t throw you for a loop. 

America's Thrift Store

248 Northgate Mall Dr.

Just like its name, America’s Thrift Store is pretty straightforward. If it had to be described as a coffee, it would be black. Simple, easy, and usually cheap, this place is for seasoned professionals and newbies alike. It’s clearly organized, with sections ranging from formal dresses to shoes and purses, Hawaiian shirts to leather jackets. You can never be sure what kind of gem you’ll find. Plus, it’s partnered with multiple charities, so your cash will be put to good use. This is the gateway drug to the Chattanooga thrifting world. 

East Brainerd Goodwill

7601 E. Brainerd Rd

Don’t let its name deceive you–East Brainerd Goodwill is anything but ordinary. The iced coffee of the group, it has universal appeal. While there are plenty of Goodwills around, this one is unique for its large size and selection. You may have to get your hands dirty, but deep digging here can lead to amazing discoveries. With long racks that tend to be chock-full, there is enough space to bring your friends without being cramped next to each other. This is where you discover your new favorite sweater, pair of pants, or top. It’s also cheap, so you won’t have to fork over too much extra dough for your hard-earned finds. 

Plato's Closet

2200 Hamilton Place Blvd.

Plato’s Closet is a gem. While the prices aren’t as low as your typical thrift store, it makes up for it with some significant upsides. It would definitely be a frappuccino with lots of whipped cream. Its dressing rooms and clothes are usually cleaner. Donations are picked over, so only the cream of the crop goes on the shelves. They also have a selection of unique jewelry, and it’s the perfect place to find a new pair of shoes. Also, donations that aren’t chosen are given to a women’s shelter. How does it get better than that? You’re sure to find at least one t-shirt, jacket, or pair of earrings… and maybe a few other additions to your wardrobe whenever you stop by. 

Samaritan's Center Ooltewah

9231 Lee Hwy.

If you’re looking for a bargain, this is your heaven. An iced chai latte of a store, this is a classic. The Samaritan’s Center in Ooltewah is separated into two sides. On one, everything is 75 cents; on the other, a shirt might be closer to two or four dollars. There are no dressing rooms on the cheaper side, but three are on the opposite side. You can find plates, mugs, paintings, formal dresses, and more. Thanks to the prices, you get the maximum bang for your buck possible. Another bonus is how it helps those less fortunate in the city. And c’mon, who can’t get behind that?