The Junk Parlor

My Favorite Thrift Stores in Des Moines

Why THESE Shops Made My List

As an antique dealer, looking to buy vintage, antiques, and primitives to resell, I want to shop places that are likely to have “my kind” of inventory AND at a “low” price point. To make my list shops have to meet these criteria. I buy hard goods, not clothing. I buy smalls and mediums that I can ship, not furniture. So the places I’m sharing with you have met my requirements! If you like my style, then you will love these shops too!

AND, if you visit any of these shops I would love for you to tell them I sent you!!

01 Thrifty Flea Market

1212 Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313

Thrifty Flea Market is located in a building painted brick red with a nice sized parking lot! The shop does not have a website, but find them on Facebook! Current hours are Thursday through Saturday 9 am to 3 pm. I describe this shop as an indoor flea market. There are a few different vendors, but for the most part, the items are the owner, Gary’s. Pieces are displayed lined up on shelves. It is clean, orderly and organized by like items.

Because it is an occasional shop, each weekend brings new inventory! Some weeks you can catch a sneak peek video on the Facebook page! Gary carries everything from new and vintage tools, art, pottery, Longaberger baskets, furniture, lighting, weapons, art, there is definitely something for everyone! You just never know what he will bring in that week! Prices range from super cheap garage sale prices to full retail price.

02 Collectamania

3200 Delaware Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313

Collectamania is another shop that I would describe as an indoor flea market. This shop is located in an old bowling alley. On one end of the building they hold weekly auctions (I have never been). The shop has a large parking lot and restrooms. Open 10am to 7pm every day but Monday. Bring help to load furniture!!

There are A LOT of dealers in this shop. Inventory ranges from what I call junk junk to awesome antiques. On a rare occasion I walk out empty handed, while other times I have filled my truck bed with boxes of items. You just never know what the vendors will bring in! The pricing of items is the same. Some booths have very inexpensive items while others are a little more pricey, but comparable to pricing at the “regular” thrift stores.

Collectamania will take your plastic bags if you are looking for a place to donate them!

03 St. Vincent de Paul

1426 Sixth Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50314

520 Army Post Road, Des Moines, Iowa 50315

801 73rd St, Windsor Heights, IA 50324

There are 3 locations of St. Vincent de Paul in the Des Moines area. My favorite is the one on 6th, followed by Army Post Road, and then 73rd St. My favorite location is located in a poorer area of town near the hospital. This location is constantly handing out free food and having garage sales in their parking lot. The garage sales I think are items that maybe haven’t sold elsewhere and are now a quarter an item at these sales. The garage sales are mainly clothing items, but you just never know what they will put out!

Why do I like this location the most? Well, the other two locations have “vintage” sections where they pull out pieces they consider more valuable and mark them at full retail prices. If I’m buying to resell pieces, then that doesn’t leave any profit margin. I just really dislike when thrift stores price items like, OR EVEN HIGHER than a local antique shop.

These shops do have a special Christmas event sale and you must buy tickets…be sure to follow them on social media!

Open 9am to 6pm every day but Sunday.

04 DAV

2627 E University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317

DAV Thrift Store, supporting Disabled American Veterans, used to be a favorite of mine when I first started selling. Then, it shifted to a place I never visited. But now!? It’s become another weekly stop. Over the years they have completely changed the look of the store, but kept their thrift store prices. One employee accredited their popularity to the fact that they run a flat fee for pricing. On the wall it tells you what types of items are priced at and that’s the price whether it’s a certain brand or age.

Not only do they randomly make announcements of sales over the loud speaker while you are shopping, but they often share on social, so be sure to follow them!

DAV has a parking lot, restroom you can use with a key, and is ALWAYS busy!! Open 10am to 7pm every day, except Sunday when they close at 5pm.

05 Many Hands

4353 Merle Hay Rd, Des Moines, IA 50310

2900 SE Grimes Blvd, Grimes, IA 50111

8801 University Ave, Clive, IA 50325

There are multiple Many Hands locations in the Des Moines area. My favorite is on Merle Hay Road which used to be home to another favorite when it was Salvation Army. All Many Hand locations are large stores with a lot of used furniture. The Merle Hay Road location is a favorite because Do Overz (see below), takes the items that don’t sell fast enough and donates them here!

The last time I shopped here they had completely rearranged their walls, making the shopping floor smaller and the back room larger. We will see how that translates to their retail inventory and pricing. Actually all locations have been doing massive rearrangement. The Grimes location is a close second. However the Clive location has been bare every visit.

All locations have a parking lot and restrooms. Open Monday through Friday 10am to 7pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm.

06 Animal Lifeline

3304 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315

Animal Lifeline Thrift Store is another shop that pulls out what they believe to be vintage items and prices them a little higher, yet I still manage to find some good deals! This place did have a fire in the beginning of 2024, but it is open. There is a parking lot with a gas station, so I like to take a restroom break and grab a snack here. The interior is like a split level home. You walk in to a shopping area and then can go up for vintage or down for everything else. They do have a chair lift to go down, but I’ve never seen it in use.

Animal Lifeline is constantly having seasonal sales, or running specials, so be sure to follow them on social!!

Open 10am to 5pm Wednesday through Saturday.

07 Salvation Army

4620 SE 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50320

105 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50313

211 E Court Ave, Des Moines, IA 50309

801 S Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023

9997 University Ave, Clive, IA 50325

There are 5 locations of Salvation Army in the Des Moines area. I’ve have listed them in order of preference. My favorite has been a favorite for over 10 years! I love the SE 14th location! They always have Target leftovers and lots of furniture. They color sort their items for the most part. It’s big and well organized and they get lots of older items donated.

Things to note about other locations…Euclid always has a lot of furniture. Court has stairs inside and has fewer hard goods than they used to as the main level is hard goods and the lower level is clothing. Ankeny is pretty dirty but constantly has new inventory. Clive seems extra expensive.

Open 9am to 9pm every day but Sunday. Each location has a parking lot and restrooms. (*Court Ave is meter parking & I’ve never seen the restrooms)

08 Goodwill

509 N Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50023

5355 NW 86th St, Johnston, IA 50131

1600 Valley W Dr Suite 100, West Des Moines, IA 50266

3251 E Euclid Ave, Des Moines, IA 50317

4520 NW Urbandale Dr, Urbandale, IA 50322

170 SE Laurel St, Waukee, IA 50263

6630 Mills Civic Pkwy, West Des Moines, IA 50266

6345 SE 14th St, Des Moines, IA 50320 “THE BINS”

Goodwill has 8 locations in the Des Moines area. The first 4 I have listed are all pretty comparable. Pricing is reasonable and the quality of inventory just depends on what got donated that week. The next 3 locations listed I have only visited once or twice each over the years, so I don’t feel I can give you any insight.

The last location listed is the outlet or “The Bins.” My oldest would have this at the top of his list as he goes almost weekly to buy clothes. But as someone looking for antiques, I am not in love with the bins. Goodwill outlets are different in all states and here, everything is in a bin except maybe lamps. So things are frequently broken or sets, lids, parts/pieces have been separated from the rest of the item. If you are a digger you will love it. If you don’t like touching a bunch of stuff that came from “who knows where” then you won’t!

Open 9m to 7pm Monday through Thursday and 9am to 8pm Friday and Saturday. Sunday open 12pm to 5pm.

09 Do Overz

7611 Douglas Ave #22A, Urbandale, IA 50322

Do Overz is a consignment shop for hard goods. There are NO CLOTHES here! That is probably one of the reasons that I love it so much! It’s a consignment shop, so there’s a little bit of everything. Large and small furniture, old and new hard goods, seasonal decor, etc. and they carry Dixie Belle paint.

Prices really vary, but they do show a scale on each ticket and the longer an item is in the store, the cheaper it gets. I’ve mainly purchased things for myself there versus to resell, but it’s a really cute store with a nice layout and displays.

I think they are very active online, so be sure to follow them on social!

There is a parking lot and restrooms. Open 10am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Saturday 10pm to 5pm and Sunday 12pm to 4pm.

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