Just a hop and a skip away from Madison is the city of Janesville which you might be surprised to know has a thriving thrifting scene. While there are locations scattered all over town, these are the ones I visit most often
Where at?: 2003 Holiday Drive, Janesville, WI
Note: For the curious, this Goodwill is part of the “Amazing Goodwill” district for the Milwaukee/Chicago area and not one that I partner with.
Pros: The staff is very friendly and accomodating. There’s no shortage of stuff. It feels like a high volume donation store! I’ve shopped here for over a decade and I can tell they’ve recently been putting a lot of effort into organization. This is a huge plus because it used to be such a mess!
Cons: While very organized, this store can be overwhelming to a novice thrifter because there is so much to look at. I guess a good problem to have?
What I bought recently: A pair of gaucho pants for $2.
My best score ever: I used to thrift lots of quirky neck ties here when I produced a show on YouTube that required them.
Ideal for thrifters looking for..: If you’re down for a hunt, they have lot of household stuff to sift through!
Where at?: 2717 Milton Ave, Janesville, WI
Pros: This is the better Salvation Army, if you’re going to choose just one in Janesville. The location is well kept and organized, they frequently run sales, and I always have positive interactions with the staff. If you even ask nicely, they’ll tell you some more thrift stores in the area you should check out!
Cons: If there are any, I’m probably just ignoring them because I just like this store a lot. (Ok ok, there is no online presence to track sales so that’s a bummer!)
What I bought recently: A Britney Spears CD.
My best score ever: Clothing for $2 or less.
Ideal for thrifters looking for..: Definitely great for clothing thrifters, like myself, because of their frequent sales!
Find ’em online: Website
J&B Outlet and Resale/Thrift (formerly Repeat Retreat)
Where at?: 2342 Center Ave, Janesville, WI
Pros: J&B is a thrift store on steroids. It has a huge space – two large rooms full to the brim with goodies. Everything is set up by individual vendors so it’s like shopping a giant flea market without having to deal with the sellers. This is really a one-stop-shop for families, sports fan, movie buffs, and other collectors. Prices are overall fair per booth.
Cons: Building is fairly unmarked so keep an eye out for it when you’re driving. Skip this place if you have allergies, mobility issues, or are short on time. The amount of items stacked where they shouldn’t be is alarming and seems unsafe. Be careful when moving around! I also had trouble tracking down prices, but this is a problem with the individuals sellers and not the store itself. Could make haggling difficult if you enjoy that!
What I bought recently: Some fair-priced CDs from the ’80s and ’90s.
My best score ever: My very first Baby-sitters Club doll for $10. The outfit was incomplete but I was happy to get my collection started!
Ideal for thrifters that..: Have a collection to complete, an entire day to waste, and a desire to dig under mounds of stuff.
Find ’em online: Facebook
If you’re enjoying this series, be sure to support it by leaving a comment telling me what you love about your favorite store, sharing this post with a thrifty friend, and check back often as you never know when I’ll add some new locations!
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