Think of them as permanent garage sales. You have to visit two or three locations to find your treasure, but when you do, it costs a quarter. Thrift stores are gaining ground as fashionable shopping options, branching out to new bargain seekers who previously shunned resale stores. But with nearly 25 thrift stores on the Peninsula alone, digging through the goods is a daunting task. To help, we have rated each of the thrift stores in Hampton, Newport News, Poquoson, Williamsburg and Yorktown. You'll find our Top 5 thrift store picks right here, and you can go to dailypress.com/thrift to see how the store closest to your home fared in our ratings.

BARGAIN BOX

Yorktown

222 Dare Road, 898-8688

Hours: 1-4:30 p.m. Monday, 10 a.m. -- 2 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday

Organization: **** (out of five)

Selection: ****

Cl eanliness: ****

This five-room store gives you the feeling that you're meandering through an antiques mall, with piles of glassware, dishes and knickknacks shelved in every nook and cranny. The clothing selection is particularly good, with a full room for both men's and women's clothing. Women will want to check out the shoe rack, which is organized by color, and men can find sports coats in every size, style and color for as little as $10. Kids' clothing is a bit sparse compared to other local thrift shops, but there is a large selection of toys (most of which need a thorough cleaning) and children's books.

It's a bustling thrift shop, and one of the only ones in its area - the key to finding a shop with a good selection. Even on a weekday, you're sure to find a full parking lot and a dozen shoppers wandering through racks of clothing.

PARISH THRIFT STORE

Poquoson

487 Wythe Creek Road, 868-0357

Hours: 10 a.m. -- 5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday; 10 a.m. -- 8 p.m. Thursday

Organization: ***** (out of five)

Selection: *****

Cleanliness: *****

An airy, clean store, this shop's atmosphere is the closest to an actual retail store. Although there are only a few racks of clothing, nearly a third of the pieces still have their original tags, and most of the goods look close to new. The appliance section is notable for its up-to-date selection and good pricing (stock includes several espresso machines, toaster ovens, microwaves and bread makers, among other items, for $6-$10). The store also has provided a test outlet, where you can plug in and test equipment before you purchase it. With 11 computer monitors, several VCR players and a range of audio equipment, check here before you go to Best Buy.

DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS THRIFT STORES