In these divisive times, it can be difficult to see what we have in common. But one American pleasure remains ubiquitous among our citizens: the singular, potent joy of a good bargain. Little Rock is full of resources for those who want to get more for their buck, so we present a non-comprehensive thrifting guide to aid in your pursuit of a good deal. 

Gone antiquin’ 

Though the concept of an antique mall is relatively similar to a thrift store — both offer goods that are secondhand, old or both — the antique shop is where the bargain hunt and the vintage hunt can diverge, because “vintage” is not synonymous with “cheap.” Antique store offerings can range from low-priced, delightfully random items to a $500 mid-century modern credenza. So, while they might not be the best spots for those looking to spend a little and get a lot, Little Rock’s antique malls are each ripe with opportunities to fall newly in love with something old. 

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Brian Chilson

Midtown Vintage Market
105 N. Rodney Parham Road
501-223-3600
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1 p.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 

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This 22,000-square-foot warehouse at the intersection of Rodney Parham and West Markham manages to feel quite cozy despite its massive size, and its aisles are marked with street names from Little Rock’s historic Hillcrest neighborhood, which helps customers navigate the 140 vendor booths. The business also hosts prize raffles and serves snacks on busy weekends. 

Fabulous Finds Antique and Decorative Mall
2905 Cantrell Road
501-614-8181
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Sat., noon-5 p.m. Sun. 

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Marked by a large, brightly painted sign shaped like a Grecian column, Fabulous Finds is the kind of antique mall whose perimeters seem nonexistent. The back of the store seems to move ever further into the earth as you walk the aisles, the vendor booths a maze, the jewelry counters frequent and glittering with rings and brooches long unmoored from their original owners. Set aside an afternoon if you plan on browsing every booth.  

Brian Chilson
SOUTH MAIN CREATIVE

South Main Creative
1600 Main St.
501-414-8713
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. 

You know those dusty antique warehouses you find in strip malls on the outskirts of town? The ones that want to sell you the lampshade of your dreams for $1.50, but hide it beneath tangles of dubiously frayed extension cords and spare drip trays from 1996 George Foreman grills? South Main Creative is less like that, and more like a meticulously governed museum of curious artifacts. Expect to find mid-century board games in mint condition, old-school Arkansas Razorback patches, antique Tarot cards, vintage woodworking tools and loads of other pristinely preserved miscellany. 

Timeless Treasures Vintage Shop
7509 Cantrell Road, Suite 103-F
501-256-6082
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 

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While not an antique mall, this vintage shop tucked away behind Edwards Food Giant in the Tanglewood Shopping Center is filled to the brim with furniture, home decor, artwork, books, clothing and knick knacks. Peruse carefully and watch your elbows, lest you knock over one of the several displays of glass orbs, or fine crystal, or antique ceramics. The vintage clothing section at Timeless Treasures is also full of gems, especially its collection of dreamy vintage handbags.  

Wheelin’ and dealin’ on the web

There are plenty of bargains to be found in Little Rock without ever setting foot in a physical store. With the advent of the Marketplace function of Facebook, users can buy and sell all sorts of things, like furniture, cars and electronics, all through the social platform. People also often list yard, garage and estate sales through Marketplace, which is easier to navigate than the online classified advertisement hub Craigslist. With both these platforms and any other online marketplace tool, exercise caution in sharing personal information or arranging pick-ups of purchases. Bring a buddy and meet in public. 

Miscellaneous thrifting 

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: Store and Donation Center
6700 S. University Ave.
501-771-9494
9 a.m.-5 p.m., Mon.-Sat. 

If you’re looking to furnish a new apartment, start a new project or fix something around the house, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore location on South University has a huge selection of donated appliances, furniture, building supplies, tools and home decor. You’ll find dozens of couches, pallets of never-opened floor tile, lighting, bathtubs, cabinetry, office supplies and all manner of household goods and fixings, all for significantly slashed prices. ReStore is a great resource if you’re perennially fixing your home, or if you’re someone who just enjoys a good stroll through the random items people give away. 

The Book Worm
6801 W. 12th St.
501-366-4044
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. 

The Book Worm allows customers to buy, sell and trade books at its neatly organized home on 12th Street. The books are shelved by genre, including a robust selection of books written in, about and for Arkansas, and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. An especially interesting section of The Book Worm’s inventory is the store’s collection of rare and vintage books, which are labeled with the book’s printing date and are fairly priced, even for first edition printings. Some especially rare finds are labeled with “make an offer,” so you can haggle your own price. The Book Worm also has a large, wallet-friendly selection of children’s books, making it a great resource for stocking a child’s library or contributing to a school’s book drive. 

The Bookstore at Library Square
120 River Market Ave.
501-918-3093
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat.

Thanks to the generosity — or simply a desire to make room for more stuff — the Central Arkansas Library System is overflowing in used books. Its Bookstore at Library Square has three floors of used books in every genre, including rare books and first editions. A bonus is the Jimmy’s Serious Sandwiches eatery on the ground floor for the book-lover hungry for more than a bargain book. For those hungry for love stories, the bookstore also sells romance novels by the sack.

The Goodwill guide

In the absence of West Little Rock’s beloved Savers, which closed in 2017, Little Rock thrifters looking for a similar shopping experience must make do with the city’s four Goodwill stores. Though all four stores offer low prices, the experience — and the selection — is different at each location. 

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Little Rock Goodwill
16924 Cantrell Road
501-673-1550
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 

The Goodwill store on Cantrell Road is sometimes heralded as the best Goodwill in the city, mostly because of its large size — it’s housed in the building of a short-lived CVS Pharmacy — and its placement in deep West Little Rock, which can result in a pool of high-end, name-brand items donated by residents of Chenal, The Ranch and other wealthy enclaves of the surrounding McMansion country. This Goodwill’s location may play a part in the quality of its inventory, but for the most part, it earns its reputation as the best branch in the city because it’s clean and well-organized with a sizable selection of clothing and shoes. The wares section — Goodwill’s catch-all term for home goods, kitchen items and toys — is also worth browsing, but the books, artwork and linens are usually slim pickings.

Little Rock Goodwill
2904 S. University Ave.
501-568-5313
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 

South Little Rock’s Goodwill store is located at the end of a long line of strip malls in the Broadmoor Shopping Center. Because this location is significantly smaller than its West Little Rock branch, the inventory is appropriately slimmer, though it consistently offers a great selection of shoes and purses in addition to several racks of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. This Goodwill location also offers a unique perk: After shopping, visitors need only travel across a few yards of asphalt to the store’s neighbor, the Shipley’s Donuts at 2900 S. University Ave. The rarely found and endearing outdoor seating in front of this Shipley’s makes it a perfect place to consume freshly fried baked goods, especially if you’re celebrating a particularly satisfying purchase.

Brian Chilson
Little Rock Good Will

Little Rock Goodwill
109 Markham Park Drive
501-221-1018
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 

Career Center phone: 501-221-1748
Career Center Hours: 9 a.m.-5 pm. Mon.-Fri. 

What was once a bustling Circuit City electronics store in the ’90s is now home to what some affectionately call “the Goodwill by the Outback Steakhouse,” but don’t let this description undersell the Goodwill store on Markham. The behemoth, 33,000-square-foot neighbor to the home of the Bloomin’ Onion also houses a donation processing warehouse and a Career Center that hosts job fairs, computer classes and job training programs for the community. Because this Goodwill location is huge, it has a correspondingly vast inventory of clothing, shoes and accessories, and it also has what might be the largest selection of wares, linens, art, books, electronics and furniture of Little Rock’s three Goodwill retail stores (the fourth store is an outlet that sells by the pound).

Little Rock Goodwill Outlet Center
7400 Scott Hamilton Drive
501-372-5100
9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 

Career Center phone: 501-372-5100
Career Center Hours: 9 a.m.-5 pm. Mon.-Fri. 

The Goodwill outlet is an entity unto itself because it’s more than just a store: Instead of seeing neatly organized racks of clothes, shoes, linens and wares, shoppers at the Outlet Center enter a cavernous room that’s filled with row after row of 6-foot-long blue bins, each piled deep, wide and high with layers of donated goods. To shop at the Goodwill Outlet is to literally hunt for a bargain: Clothes are not hung, linens are not folded, wares are not shelved. All the goods are thrown into the bins in the back warehouse, the bins are set on wheeled carts, and employees push the bins onto the sales floor, where the offerings are descended upon by frenzied hands. It’s the Wild West of thrift shopping, and one’s haul from the Outlet Center depends entirely upon one’s dedication to sifting through the bins. Most goods at the Outlet Center are sold by the pound: Clothing and wares at $1.39 per pound, linens for $0.75 per pound, luggage for $1 per pound. Books are sold for $0.50 each, or you can get five for $2.     

Go forth and shop

The final and most important tool for thrift-shopping is the attitude of your approach. Walking into a thrift store in search of a very specific item often proves unsatisfying, as that exact piece may elude you; let the find come to you. Take your time browsing. Go alone if your friends are anxious shoppers. Go with people who understand that you need to take a few minutes at each rack, or go through multiple rounds of trying on clothes. And don’t let pressure to buy something eclipse the fun of looking — just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it needs to come home.