The 10 Best Vintage Stores in Auckland, New Zealand

Joe Coates

There are many fantastic aspects of Auckland, New Zealand. Culinary-wise, many would say this city is leading the way. That in itself is a big call when you think that it is competing with the likes of Christchurch and Wellington. However, when it comes to vintage shopping, Auckland is in a class of its own. Here is our guide to the top 10 spots in NZ’s biggest city.

1. The Bread and Butter Letter


Vintage Camera
© Susan Dussaman / Flickr

The Bread and Butter Letter might very well be our favourite vintage store in Auckland. This is saying a lot as the city is heaving with them and many are downright fantastic. This shop is a carefully curated boutique that sells the best of NZ design alongside charming vintage clothing. What is a real seller though is that it is also a purveyor of fine tea! Carefully curated New Zealand-made goodies and hand-selected vintage clothing sit side by side and vie for your attention, making this a really wonderful and interesting shopping experience.

2. Retro Addiction


© eren {sea+prairie} / Flickr
As its name suggests, Retro Addiction will give you your fix of all things art deco and vintage. The Mt Albert shop stocks all your retro essentials – from stylish clothing and fashion accessories to all kinds of wholesome homeware, furniture and décor. There is something for everyone in here whether you’re after men’s clothing, women’s clothing, pottery from Germany, art or glassware. Browse to your heart’s content and fill your house with interesting things.

3. The Open Book


Books and more books
© Abdulla Al Muhairi / Flickr
Now, you can’t go vintage shopping without at least popping into one musty secondhand book shop. Formerly known as Classics and Suchlike, The Open Book is a beautifully refurbished second-hand bookshop in the heart of Ponsonby. The property was recently bought by Hayden Glass and Julie Fry, who are passionate about sustaining those bookish traditions that we cherish most. A Victorian-style house is the venue of choice for this establishment, which is lined with paper lanterns on the outside, and adorned with literary wonders on the inside.

4. Tatty's


© Suzy Hazelwood / Flickr
Is there any finer way to while away a lazy weekend afternoon than by combing through second-hand clothing stores? Tatty’s brings vintage designer items to the fashion-forward Ponsonby crowds. An assortment of pre-loved clothing is just waiting to find the right home. And if you need to refurbish your wardrobe, you can actually sell your old favourites to this boutique — they’ll give you 50% of the selling price if someone falls in love with your stylish staples. This is vintage clothes shopping at its finest. Hey, you might find an absolute winner, and then again you might not. It’s like life in that respect – it’s not the destination, man, it’s the journey.

5. Flotsam and Jetsam


© Wicker Paradise / Flickr

Going into Flotsam and Jetsam is a real experience the first time you do it. Up until you walk through the door, you don’t realise just how cool your house would be if you were to purchase a laundry trolley – the kind that people are forever using to escape out of prisons in the movies with some bloke who is poorly disguised as the washerwoman. And how brilliant would it be to have a fruit bowl that is actually an old peach basket? Then there are all the miscellaneous light fittings that you could do something with. Then it hit us. What Flotsam and Jetsam are selling is possibilities, not just great vintage items. What’s not to love about that? What’s particularly good is the pricing. It’s not exorbitant – an American, wooden cocktail muddler is $45 NZD, for instance – but items cost enough for you to feel like you’ve purchased something special, like you’ve treated yourself. This is probably our favourite Ponsonby vintage shopping experience.

6. Paper Bag Princess


© Harrison / Peppery / Flickr
This dynamic shop sits very prominently on K’Road, which is Auckland’s quirkiest street. Paper Bag Princess’ stylish second-hand threads bring all things vintage and designer into one single location. They do a lot of charity work too – so you know your thrift shopping is going towards a very good cause.

7. Mr. Bigglesworthy


© Wicker Paradise / Flickr

If you’re looking to kit out your home in some of the best mid-century furniture that Auckland has to offer, then you should make your way straight to the good folk at Mr. Bigglesworthy. Now, you might be thinking that second-hand furniture can be a bit grotty? Well, maybe so, in some cases. Not here though. This is proper vintage furniture. The sort that men and women all over Ponsonby and Auckland want to get their hands on and kit out their newly renovated homes. We’re talking second-hand sofas for $2,500 NZD here. Perhaps, you’re after an industrial looking but nonetheless snazzy baked enamel, vintage scissor light? That’ll be $550 NZD, thank you very much. This is proper vintage, and it is lovely stuff. If you’re in the market for a new (new to you, anyway) $700 NZD coffee table then pop on down to Mr. Bigglesworthy.

8. Recycle Boutique


8. Recycle Boutique
© Kristina D.C. Hoeppner / Flickr
You don’t need to splash out on the latest couture items to look like a million bucks. Wellington’s Recycle Boutique made a name for itself precisely because it stocks some of the finest second-hand designer clothing. Not only are options plenty and budget-friendly, they also offer fashion-forward shoppers the opportunity to profit from their older garments. This is a great way to shop, as it keeps the money you make in the same sort of way that a bank does. Keep an eye on your account and when that perfect pair of retro shorts come in you can use that money to purchase them.

9. Encore Designer Fashion Recycle


© ashton / Flickr

Once you get past that mouthful of a title, you’ll realise Encore is actually a pretty simple place. It’s one of these fantastic recycled clothing stores that take a commission on the items they sell on your behalf – exactly like Recycled Boutique in Wellington. There are three payment options for those who want to bring their old clothes to be sold. The first is you can receive 45% of the net price (exclusive of GST). You may collect the money as cash if below $80. All payments over $80 will be paid via bank deposit at your request. Any unsold items will be returned to you. The second option is to receive 50% of the net price on the condition that any items unsold after further reduction will go straight to charity. And lastly, you can elect to receive 55% of the net price. The money will remain in your account to purchase items from the store. It’s a good, hassle-free way to create some wardrobe space and get a little money in return.

10. Rita Sue


© Simone Artibane / Flickr

If you’re after that pin-up girl look, but want clothing that is new and fresh, then look no further than Rita Sue. Here, they have all those classic retro styles, but made for the modern woman. They have everything you need to either start or complete a look. Earrings, purses, dresses, swimsuits, scarves and shorts and are all here for the picking. So whether you need something for a fifties costume or want to freshen up the wardrobe, head down to see Rita Sue’s wares.

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