The Hunt is over: Where to Thrift in ‘Kato

Mankato is a hub of activity, full up with shops, restaurants, and a plethora of something that college students love: thrift stores. The city is home to over fifteen different thrift stores, ranging from a used bookstore to a good ole’ fashioned Goodwill. 

While all seem to be frequented and loved, there are definitely a few favorites. 

Despite the word ‘chain’ not feeling synonymous with thrift stores, Mankato has a couple that are often frequented by Minnesota State University, Mankato students: Goodwill and Plato’s Closet. 

Many people enjoy Goodwill for its low prices and willingness to take almost anything someone may wish to donate. The store is usually abundant with unique finds, and students often enjoy scouring the clothing racks for affordable vintage items. 

“I always have the most luck at Mankato’s Goodwill,” said MNSU freshman Gloria Tupence. 

The Mankato Goodwill is located at 2024 Adams Street alongside HyVee, Office Depot, and Applebees. 

Plato’s Closet, on the other hand, often has trendier and more recent gently used items for shoppers to choose from. While it may be more selective in the intake process, those who donate clothes to Plato’s Closet get paid for anything that the shop takes. 

Therefore, one is often guaranteed to find quality and trendy clothes, shoes, and accessories that are in great condition at this store at more than half off the retail price. 

“We get lots of MNSU student traffic,” stated an employee. “We are a higher end thrift store, and we have bigger brands most of the time, which is what draws people in.” 

Plato’s Closet, located at 1880 Tailwind Dr. STE 600, offers a 10% off discount on Thursdays for students who show their school ID. 

Alongside Mankato’s Goodwill and Plato’s closet is Again Thrift Store, located at 706 North Victory Dr. Again Thrift is owned by the Minnesota Valley Action Council, a community action agency that provides resources and opportunities for people in low-wage work to secure housing, transportation, employment, training for employment and childhood education. 

The store also offers a variety of different volunteer opportunities, whether individually or in groups. One could do almost anything the store would need, from sorting to appraisal to decorating to cashiering. 

The shop is always looking for dependable and consistent volunteers to add to their team, according to their website. Again Thrift Shop accepts a variety of donations and provides a 10% off coupon when you donate. 

Moving away from more clothing-central stores, Once Read Used Bookstore is another Mankato favorite. This shop is touted as a go-to place for many of your used-book needs; it is said to have a high-quality and large selection of gently used books. 

Students enjoy Once Read not only for the atmosphere, but also for the occasional find of a book they need for a literature class. 

Freshman Sam TaBelle noted, “It’s always cozy here. I love to stop in and browse the fiction section, you never know what you’re going to find.” 

The store opened in 1975 with a mere 200 books in its inventory and has now grown to an inventory of thousands in the last 45 years. Once Read Used Bookstore is located at 629 South Front St., conveniently across the street from Fillin’ Station, another popular Mankato local shop.

With a large variety of thrift shops in Mankato, students are sure to find one that fits all of their shopping needs while also saving some money.

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