Meriden blogger scopes out local second-hand shops

It’s no secret that thrift stores and second-hand shopping are becoming the new norm across the nation. Pricey, mass-manufactured clothes and goods are becoming a thing of the past for many members of the millennial and Gen-Z communities due to a re-evaluation of what these groups value when making a purchase.

Shoppers are looking for unique pieces that stand out and tell a story—who doesn’t love a stylish, eco-savvy, affordable find? To explore some options in the area, check out the breakdown below. 

Consignment Originals 151 Highland Ave., Cheshire 

Consignment Originals would be a great first stop if you’re going on a second-hand hunting journey. The store features many different sections, including shoes, homegoods, childrenswear and more. The highlight of Consignment Originals is the home goods and decor section. The china and dishware is neatly arranged so any matching sets are easily identified and found together.

Nearby, decorative pieces are tastefully displayed as potential compliments so you can have an idea of the potential aesthetic before you buy — an effortless display can go a long way when envisioning how the pieces could fit into your home! Second-hand goods deserve a second life.

Whatnot Resale Shop 776 E. Main St, Meriden

This little shop of novelties is hidden in plain sight on Meriden’s busy East Main Street. From rare vintage jackets to functioning typewriters, this quirky little shop is sure to entertain and might even feature the conversation piece your home is missing.

The highlight of this shop is their astounding collection of mystery novels that line the walls for a brilliant sale price of two dollars per book. This hole-in-the-wall is unique and curious in the best way! 

Uptown Consignment 151 Queen St. Southington

This upscale second-hand shop is known as “The Gold Standard in the Consignment Industry” and for good reason. Featuring brands that range from Adidas and Nike to Gucci and Prada, here you’ll have the best chance of coming across a high fashion find for an incredible price. Warning— this store wins the award for “ most difficult to avoid making unnecessary purchases”.

While checking out the Southington store, I went in for pictures and came out with a pair of Sperry snow boots and Tommy Hilfiger sunglasses. The highlight here is definitely the brands; while for some the goal of thrift shopping is to break away from the expected, others may be hoping to stay trendy while not breaking the bank. 

Goodwill Wallingford, 1145 N Colony Road, Wallingford

Perhaps a household name, Goodwill Wallingford is an expansive, incredible store to support and visit. With an emphasis on hiring those of all abilities and empowering staff to lead productive, positive lifestyles, the brand is one you automatically want to root for. Besides feeling positive about their incredible mission, the store itself has such a vast selection of goods, you could spend hours happily pouring through it. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for someone special, you’re bound to find something wonderful!

The highlight of Goodwill Wallingford is the back area, which features large furniture pieces, electronics, and a variety of household items that you can purchase for amazing prices. I bought a telescope from the back area years ago, and to this day it’s the best conversation piece in my entire home.

If you’ve never considered thrifting before, the time to consider it is now. Second-hand shopping is great for the economy, your wallet, and your self-esteem when you see how a new item adds some pep to your step! Happy thrifting! 

Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. A graduate of both the University of New Haven and the University of Bridgeport, she is happy to be back in Meriden writing about the city she loves and surrounding areas. When she's not teaching ELA at Washington Middle School she's either exploring the Eastern seaboard for her lifestyle blog (@ eastsidevibes on Instagram) or working on music for her band, Cessa and The Zach. Email Francesca at with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!


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