Damage-Free Digging at One of a Kind Thrift Shop

I trekked to Queens the other day in search of new and noteworthy neighborhood thrifts (whoa alliteration overload – my bad).

My first stop was Second Best Thrift Shop in Astoria. On the organizational front, it was basically like Green Village Junk Shop, except smaller and with way less clothes. I mean, I guess it could be decent for furniture and/or glassware or whatevs, but if cheap thriftastic clothes are your thang, skip this sucker. Also: demerits for erroneous adjective choice in name. Pfft.

Sunnyside Thrift Shop was my next stop. Used, cheesy dresses at $15 or more? Beotch please. A tip for the idiots running this joint: You want to tag secondhand items that high and get away with it, you better have some semblance of taste. Underwhelming; overpriced; a big fat fail overall. Boo.

One of a Kind Thrift Shop was my last stop, and the only Queens’ indie thrift store that actually delivered what it promised. Tops from $3.00 – $7.00; dresses from $5.00 – $12.00; racks ripe with gently worn gems for the taking. See brandtastic finds below.

As I browsed the racks, I had a sneaking suspicion that something was missing from the thrifting equation. It wasn’t until the conclusion of my hunt that I realized what it was. DAMAGES! No missing buttons; no stains; no visible wear and tear; NADA!

I was impressed enough to compliment the owner, Aladeen, who’s basically the nicest dude ever.

One of a Kind has about five huge bins of $1.00 items outside its storefront on a given day. The dollar bins obvs would have been my first order of biznass, if they hadn’t been covered in plastic on account of the rain. Aladeen was kind enough to lug the bins inside for me so I could dig through them at my leisure. What a DOLL.

I asked Aladeen how he got into the thrifting business, and learned that he used to manage a Goodwill. I subsequently relayed the dismaying tale of the $39.99 make-up stained Calypso dress.

What was Goodwill’s rationale for putting damaged crap on the racks? “‘Let the shopper decide,’ that’s what the corporate retail experts at Goodwill used to tell us. I never thought it was fair.”

Thanks to Aladeen and One of a Kind Thrift, for proving that reasonably priced secondhand goodies aren’t yet extinct in NYC. Loves it!


  1. says

    Thanks for sharing :D! I love your blog, long time reader, first time commenting. I’ll be going to New York in a few weeks and wanted to know if you had a list of MUST go to thrift stores? Also, do you know which thrift stores sell things by pound? I think I heard of a Goodwill outlet out in Long Island…

  2. says

    I used to work at a Goodwill. It was in Pennsylvania, so the rules may be different. Unless you are working your way through high school / college (like me) it’s a pretty shitty work environment. There are different types of employees – cashiers, clothing sorters, house ware sorters etc. They all make minimum wage. The clothing sorters have it the worst. They are expected to sort, tag/price, hang and place 125 pieces of clothing on the sales floor PER HOUR. That may not sound like a lot, but you have to remember that a decent percent of the donations are stained, ripped, smelly etc. Some entire bags of clothing were too disgusting to sell. These workers (mostly women) feel a tremendous amount of pressure to ‘make their numbers’ and are under the impression that if they do not, they will be fired. I have never worked somewhere with so many stressed out people, all for $7.25 an hour. So this possibly explains why so many stained items make it to the sales floor. Perhaps if the Goodwill bigwigs would stress quality over quantity, it wouldn’t be an issue.

    I’d like to add that I loved the job. I was also a teenager and not trying to support a family. I miss the stuff (over 50% of my wardrobe and 65% of my home décor was collected during my 7 years there) but I certainly don’t miss the bullshit. Sorry for the super long comment!

  3. says

    What a great find! I’m moving to Astoria in two weeks and will definitely check out “One of a Kind.”

    Also, thank you for pointing out the downside to damaged goods and thrift stores. It’s not good for the employees who have to sort, nor the buyers, who have to be more vigilant or risk getting ripped off. It’s very easy to donate damaged clothing here in NYC at GrowNYC’s textile pickups. You can find dates/drop-off times here: http://www.grownyc.org/clothing

  4. says

    Man, we need girls like you in Minneapolis! I’ve been trying desperately to make a comprehensive list of great/poor thrifting spots in the midwest and you inspire me to keep going! Love your blog.

  5. says

    Absolutely loove this post. Haven’t been to NYC yet.. but this is definitely a fantastic guide to thrift stores (mainly referring to your blog, in general though).

    Keep the ausome posts coming!

  6. says

    hooray….. i thought you weren’t blogging anymore….
    wonderful to have found you again! always get a kick out of your insights and fab fashion sense.

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