Holiday Shopping Guide: The Consignment Edition


In the midst of holiday craziness, it is easy to get into a shopping frenzy. With all the sales, deals, and flashy mailers, new things seem to be the go-to for gifts and treats. And yet, there is another way to shop this season (or any season, really) away from the box stores, online retailers, or even the traditional mom and pop stores where you pay full retail price. For our family, consignment shopping is the way to go.

Consignment shopping

When our small household of four needs anything; a birthday gift, a new pair of jeans, a kitchen utensil, we start off in our neighborhood. Living in Sellwood means we have our pick of many resale shops, some of which are tucked in, hidden from the average eye. Here are FIVE of our local favorite stores that have become a staple in our consignment shopping. 

1. Sam’s Attic (8123 SE 17th Ave.)consignment shopping

We walked by Sam’s Attic store for years without ever giving it a second glance. Then, one day I decided to walk in and look around. Since then, my kids ask to go there on a regular basis to see what new acquisitions have come in. Why do we love and support it so? Because the store is run by volunteers, for a good cause. Every item is donated, carefully selected, reasonably prices, and displayed. We scored a like-new game of Monopoly for $1 there one day. Best of all, the monies made from all sales go to charity, specifically children in Uganda. 

consignment shopping

2. Sweetpeas (8235 SE 13th Ave.)

The name says it all: the people, and items at Sweetpeas are totally sweet. We love everyone who works there, and the great selection of children’s clothes, shoes, and toys they offer. Look close enough and you can find brand new items, still with original tags on, for a fraction of what you would pay elsewhere. They also have a kids books section, and brand new hair and fashion accessories, made locally. The best part: purchasing items that are in such good condition that we are able to consign them back to Sweetpeas after my kids grew out of them! 

3. Silver Lining (7044 SE Milwaukie Ave.)consignment shopping

This store is a treat for moms; with a large selection of carefully selected clothes, shoes, handbags, and jewelry at very reasonable prices. And by reasonable I mean a fraction of what it would be sold for even on sale in a retail store. The last time I was there I scored a Kipling purse and three pairs of jeans, all brand names including Lucky Brand and Citizens of Humanity, all for under $50. The best part of doing your consignment shopping here is if you look closely at the price tag you will notice two prices and a date. If you are lucky you can return on or after the listed date and purchase the item for even less than the listed “full” price! This is Silver Lining’s way to ensure that all their consignors sell their items. They also accept Chinook book coupons, too, so you save even more!

consignment shopping4. Thrifty Cottage (1418 SE Nehalem Street)

Tucked away from mainstream Sellwood, Thrifty Cottage supports St. Agatha’s church and parish. Set in a three-room house in a residential neighborhood, it’s full to the brim with paperbacks, housewares, clothes, toys, purses, and more. Even the bathroom is stocked with photo frames, greeting cards, and puzzles. Closed on Wednesdays and Sundays, the Cottage has been a mainstay for over thirty years. Need a slow cooker, a tea set, or a soap holder? Check there and you’ll be surprised with how much you walk out with for the price you paid! 


5. The Goodwill Bins (1740 SE Ochoco Street)

Also known as the Goodwill Outlet. Yes, you have to get used to the smell of old shoes. Yes, you may have to put rubber gloves on. Yes, you have to battle some crowds for noteworthy items. BUT let me tell you, the treasures you find there are worth the effort. Shopping carts and baskets make it easy to shop, and ample parking lets helps you haul your findings home. My kids and I take a Sunday afternoon visit there once a month, and are always pleasantly surprised. Some days we find things like Ravensburger puzzle for under a dollar, holiday decorations in unopened packages, or a fully-functional, electric Lightning McQueen race car! I was even surprised to find brand new paperback books for thirty nine cents. And if you are looking for furniture that is kid-friendly check there first; by doing our consignment shopping here I never have to think twice about the pen marks and cat scratches on our coffee table, dining table, or shoe racks. 

What are your favorite consignment shopping spots?

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Lebanese in origin, Ranya became a US citizen in 2007. Shortly after meeting Jeff through a job ad in Beirut in 2003, she moved to Portland to pursue a doctorate at PSU. From there, the two of them moved to the East Coast to begin their adventures. The last fourteen years have seen them in Portland, OR twice; in Arlington, VA twice, in Columbia, MD as well as Lebanon and Morocco. In her current life, Ranya is a teacher’s aide who loves to embark on special projects with her daughter. Their signature Mama-and-Me activity is hosting their friends for formal tea parties. She is trilingual, and is passing on the torch of language to her children who are fluent in English and Arabic. Ranya is passionate about hot yoga, and enjoys long walks. She absolutely hates driving, and reserves it for cases of dire need. She believes in the wonders of snuggles, and advocates their daily use. She lives a walking distance from her all-time favorite restaurant, Saburo, with Jeff, Jannah-Rae and Yousef. They share their one-bathroom house with her parents and Leo, the Arabic-speaking cat. Ranya writes thoughts, tots and essential oils on her blog Ranya, the Memory Keeper.