The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Instead of Another Trip to the Package Annex, Students Shop Secondhand

Rio Lacey

Although classes have begun, it is safe to assume that many Colgate University students have not made the final touches on their new dorms. For low prices and a sustainable impact, thrift and antique stores have become a popular option for dorm furnishing in Central New York. 

One well-liked local destination for secondhand items is the Cobblestone Trading Company. Originally a harness, wagon and blacksmith shop in 1844, the renovated shop can be found just ten minutes past Colgate, directly off Highway 12B, at the address 3300 NY-46. Junior Campbell Mecke frequents the antique store for unique knick-knacks. 

“I look for anything unique that catches my eye, particularly anything that smells good,” Mecke said. “A terracotta bird oil diffuser I found there is my favorite thing in my room.”

Another close destination is the Creekside Community Outreach Center, a thrift store affiliated with the Oriskany Falls United Methodist Church. The center is also known to hold giveaways, according to Creekside Community Outreach Center on Facebook. 

“Free clothing at Creekside on Friday, Aug. 18 and Saturday, Aug. 19, 10-2 both days. All clothing, shoes, coats, etc., will be free. Come fill a bag or two. Creekside reserves the right to limit quantities,” the Center posted. 

According to similar posts on Aug. 14, July 23 and Mar. 22, giveaways are relatively routine for this shop. After visiting in August, junior Maddie Handley commented that the Center had an abundant supply of home goods. Handley found the nearby store in order to buy secondhand decor to spruce up her Parker Apartment. 

“I was able to find cool glassware, a tablecloth and flower vases for my apartment at around two dollars each,” Handley said. “Although I didn’t need them, I also saw tons of other dorm items like blenders, pots, pans and candles, and a really robust clothing and jewelry selection.”

Another Colgate student, junior Leah Massa, had the same idea for her University Court apartment. As someone who enjoyed secondhand shopping even before Colgate, Massa has enjoyed exploring the local options, especially the smaller antique stores. 

“I love being a collector,” Massa said. “My mom calls it hoarding, but she’s a hater.”

To furnish the kitchen and living space, Massa visited Thrift Hunters, a shop located at 173 Utica Street. According to Massa, she first noticed Thrift Hunters this summer while working at the Colgate Office of Admission. The first item she found was a used bike to navigate the campus over the summer, and she returned for more before moving in this Fall. 

“Thrift Hunters in Hamilton is a great, middle-of-the-road shop that I found where I could invest my money in quality antique products,” Massa said. “Something great about these places is that they are usually run by a small staff — a group of people that you get to know better over time and they’ll keep an eye out for you in incoming donations.”

Just across the street from Thrift Hunters, Worn Again Clothing Shop is nested inside the back right corner of Parry’s Hardware. Although Worn Again only carries gently used, donated clothing, it is a favorite of many for finding back-to-school clothes. Junior Kate Harper noted that Worn Again carries a large selection of seasonal clothing, which might be beneficial to students not accustomed to the cold weather in Hamilton. 

“I personally am a really big fan of Worn Again — I thrifted a majority of my favorite winter clothing from there; they always have a great sweater selection,” Harper said. “The one quam I do have with Worn Again is that it is a smaller thrift store, so it can be hard to find things that may potentially be the right size.” 

Harper also commented that Worn Again does frequent sales and giveaways, which makes it an affordable option for Colgate students. According to Worn Again Clothing Store on Facebook, their summer giveaway took place on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., where each clothing item was considered a free-will donation. Starting on Aug. 29, they reopened the store with new seasonal inventory to prepare for fall and winter. 

Driving further to Morrisville, students can find a bright blue-painted antique store right off Highway US-20. Unnamed despite a large sign reading “Antiques,” the store at 5107 State Route 20 is best known for its used sheds, jewelry and vintage jackets, according to its owner Robert Herboldt. At one point, the shop was titled R. Herboldt Antiques and Sheds, and, as listed on their business card, the current owners can be reached at (315)-762-3260 for more information and custom antique items. 

“The stuff that I have here is more antique than secondhand,” Herboldt said. “I would prefer to do the secondhand but I don’t have the volume and the room for it; we find some dressers and other home stuff like that by appointment.” 

The antique shop is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 12 to 5 p.m. or by appointment for personalized antique finds. When asked if he meets Colgate students hoping to find items for their dorm rooms, Herboldt said that he typically does not get any business from younger generations. 

“This new generation is not as interested in antiques as they are in technology; they buy whatever’s new and shiny and then they upgrade,” Herboldt said. “I think people my age appreciate generational trades so we really only see older customers, but we would love to help college students find some cool antiques!” 

Opinions like Herboldt’s point to a trend of consumerism, especially on college campuses in rural areas like Hamilton. In times when students furnish their new living spaces, students are seen carrying towers of Amazon packages away from the package annex each day, according to Harper. 

“The population at Colgate, from my personal experience, tends to be a bit more skewed towards consumerism which is likely affected by the fact that we are in a rural area with less accessibility to secondhand options,” Harper said. “Colgate students are also often incredibly busy in regard to their work, academic and social life balance and may not have the time or access to drive to secondhand stores and antique shops amidst their day-to-day routine.”

While difficult without a car, searching these antique and secondhand stores for back-to-school items and clothing is not only a popular sustainable option among students but an artistic one. Massa commented that she loves to collect goods at secondary stores nearby because she always finds unique collections. 

“Thrifting or shopping secondhand allows me to express my creativity outside of the target back-to-school aisles; it is also much cheaper, depending on where you go,” Massa said. “I would definitely recommend anyone interested in shopping secondhand to visit local stores in Hamilton, Bouckville and New Hartford.”

According to shop owner Herboldt, many local secondhand stores participate in the occasional flea markets as well. Every Sunday, the Central New York Regional Market Authority hosts their Sunday Flea market from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. right off Interstate 81. 

“We’ve seen everything from vintage furniture, used and new clothes and accessories, musical instruments and dated records, toys and action figures for all generations, tools and equipment, and so much more,” the Market Authority published in their Aug. 2023 newsletter. “Whether refurnishing your home, updating your wardrobe or seeking a memorable weekend activity, perusing our Flea Market is a must.”

With or without a car, Central New York has options for students seeking a sustainable back-to-school shopping method. For those with an artistic eye for creative, unique collections, it has become not only a means of finding cups and plates, but a hobby.

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About the Contributor
Rio Lacey
Rio Lacey, Arts & Features Editor (Fall)
Rio Lacey is a junior from San Diego, CA concentrating in economics with a minor in political science. She has previously served as a staff writer for the News section. On campus, Rio is involved in Model United Nations, Scholars of Finance, and is a member of a Greek letter organization.

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