After reviewing hundreds of stores, I made an edited list of on-line vintage shops. By vintage, I mean both vintage and secondhand/thrift pieces, with a focus on women's clothing (I may do a housewares version one day--we'll see!).
I chose stores with interesting stock, acceptable mark-ups, (usually) pleasant websites, and good reputations. I try to update the list every few months, so it stays relevant. However, it's not an end-all, be-all list: great new sellers pop up every day, and there's no way I can list them all. Conversely, placement on the list doesn't guarantee anything, so shop carefully.
The directory is ordered alphabetically and by price range (below). Happy shopping!
PRICE KEY (avg price per item)
Stunning prices, varied collections. Extremely fun to hunt through.
Spurred by rising fees, more and more vintage sellers have migrated from self-hosted sites and eBay to Etsy. What's good for sellers is also good for buyers: Etsy stores combine easy to use, reliable interfaces with low prices (plus, no insanity-inducing auctions). Check out the Etsy Vintage Directory for an edited list of sellers.
CHEAP & TRENDY
Slightly pricier than the thrift-store items (often due to auctions), but still easy on your pocketbook.
These collections were down for maintenance. We've heard good things about them, though, so we'll review them ASAP.
Higher prices than Cheap & Trendy stores, but still with affordable finds across the board.
Great vintage stores with audiences to match. Auctioned items go high, and fixed priced items are snapped up as soon as they go on sale.
Dresses and coats tend to go for $150+, while accessories and separates remain affordable.
POSH & LOVELY
Too expensive for most of us, but some truly stunning selections. Prices typically start at $500 (although some only start around $250).
FOR COLLECTORS, COSTUMERS, & HISTORIANS
These stores focus on collector's items rather than wearables. Prices frequently range between $650-$2000+. Extremely fun to look through.