Portland Metropolitan Area Thrift Store Guide

I found this guide cached on Google. The original page no longer exists. Thanks to whoever compiled the list. Any changes and updates I've made are in italics.

American Cancer Soc. 13975 S.W. Pacific Highway Tigard 684-9060
....Clothing, Dishes, Books, Furniture, Antiques

American Cancer Society 2017 E. Burnside Gresham 669-0431
....Clothing, Dishes, Books, Furniture, Antiques

Assistance League of 735 N.W. 23rd Portland 227-7093
....Mon-Fri 10:30-4, Sat 10:30-3:30

Bargain Tree Jr. League 838 S.W. 4th Portland 227-7413
Update: closed
Possibly now at W 18th & Burnside

Better Bargains 10209 N.E. Sandy Blvd Portland 254-1060
They have store wide sales every week, if you bring in a bag of donations, you get a 40% off coupon.

Council 1127 S.W. Morrison Portland 227-6322

Deseret 10330 S.E. 82nd 777-3897
....Mon,Sat 10-6, Tue-Fri 10-8, 1 mi. N of Clackamas Town Center

Division 3629 S.E. Division Portland 233-2255
x Ugh, this place is a real hole in the wall, nothing worthwhile.

Evergreen 2029 S.E. Jefferson Milwaukee 653-7510

Good Shepherd Economy 10th Ave. & Adair Cornelius 357-0412

Finders Keepers Thriftshop 12415 SE Powell Blvd.
This store is similar in name to the one on Sesame Street and like that imaginary store, it gets some unusual stuff. The store belonged to Veteran's Charity until a couple years ago, and fortunately it didn't lose its character upon changing hands (sales in the store do still benefit Veteran's Charities, Inc.).

Link to Goodwill of the Willamette Store List

Goodwill Main Portland 1943 S.E. 6th Portland 238-6165
x Clothing, Computers: high prices, records overpriced, too big.

Goodwill Broadway, 1231 N.E. Broadway

Goodwill Burnside 2200 W. Burnside Portland
x moderate, books can often be very nice with reasonable prices, LPs only run 1 dollar each, clothes can often be very nice

Goodwill Beaverton 4700 S.W. Griffith Dr. Beaverton 643-6099
x $1 LPs, cheap software, lesser clothing, neat books, good furniture

Goodwill Clackamas 11424 S.E. 82nd Ave. Clackamas 786-1807

Goodwill Gresham 1776 N.W. Fairview Gresham 661-1614

Goodwill Hazel Dell, 1600 NE 78th St., Hazel Dell, WA 98665

Goodwill Hillsboro 980 S.E. Oak St. Hillsboro 648-5113
In 1999 this store expanded into the former Thrift World space from its location next door at 970 S.E. Oak. While there was more room left for clothing, other items such as records were given less space (a very small space next the toys right next to the cash registers). $1 LPs.
UPDATE: May no longer be in operation due to opening of Hillsboro Outlet Store: Goodwill Outlet Hillsboro, 2920 SW 234th Ave., Hillsboro, OR 97007 (Across from Fred Meyer on TV Hwy). Similar in description to McGloughlin outlet store described below.

Goodwill Outlet
1740 SE Ochoco
Milwaukee, OR

This store relocated from the east side of McGloughlin Blvd. From McGloughlin, Turn west on Ochoco, just south of the Springwater Corridor bike bridge (large orange arched bridge).

Also known as the As-Is Goodwill, it is located on Highway 99 and Tacoma. If you take exits from Interstate Five to Milwaukee, you will probably find your way to Highway 99 and drive right past the Goodwill. To get to the store off Highway 99 while driving TO Milwaukee you must take the Tacoma Street exit and then drive on an overpass to a stop light. Turn right to enter the store parking lot. If driving FROM Milwaukee, it is an easy right off Highway 99 into the lot.

I go into great detail here because this is a great place for bargains on books and other items which generally have been non-sellers at the other Goodwill stores in Hillsboro, Tigard, Gresham, Portland, West Burnside, Beaverton and Clackamas.

Most items are half price or more from what you can expect at the other Goodwill stores...but the biggest bargain is books. They charge 50 cents a hardcover book and 25 cents for paperbound, regardless of the price sticker. I have purchased huge hardbacks which would normally run ten to twenty dollars used and at least 50 dollars when new. They cost the same as a small, slim hardback. Similarly very nice, large paperbound books cost 25 cents, but so do magazines and pocket sized books. Most books are found in the back area of the store along the wall, but they can also be mixed in with about any bin in the store!

Clothes are weighed by the pound. I find, in general, you will pay at least half what the original tags may say (there are some clothes mixed in which may never have been into a Goodwill store). Because most of the clothes was already rejected, they are not likely to be in style or will probably have flaws like missing buttons, bad zippers or ugly stains. Nevertheless, I have seen people find some very nice things that, once drycleaned, would be excellent wardrobe additions.

Rugs are priced way too high: I don't know how the store sells them. However, blankets and curtains are priced a flat 2 dollars each which is very reasonable if in good condition.

Records are 50 cents each... no matter size or quality. This is not a very good bargain as you can do much better at the Saint Vincent De Paul As-Is where LPs are ten cents each or at Everybody's Records bargain bins where LPs are 50 cents each (but often in much better condition). Still, once in a while the As-Is gets a large hunk of near mint LPs from one person's collection and 50 cents each ends up being very reasonable. Records used to be grouped together, but now just get mixed in with everything else.

Tape audio cassettes used to be purchased by weight. So, without the tape boxes, a person could get some relatively cheap tape for at 25 percent the cost of brand new tapes. However, the As-Is policy now is priced per tape and the cost is probably too much to justify for blank tape, even with a box!

Video tapes are still weighed, although those were never an extreme bargain. I still will buy them for blanks once I am sure the quality is acceptable (inspect the actual tape surface...if crinkled or creased, don't buy it). If you are unsure, stick with buying new blank tape.

Furniture first brought in may be priced high. Pieces are often flawed...missing handles, painted over, or with cracked or torn veneer. Luckilly they reprice every so often. I have seen furniture which started at 50 dollars go down to 5 dollars, so you never know. This furniture usually has problems, but I have often identified what I needed to do to fix them (remove paint, buy a new leg, replace veneer) and bought it once it reached the 1 to 5 dollar range.

The furniture section includes large framed art and images which can include some good items which also go through the markdown process. It is often wise to wait for the price to go down if you think no one else might get it first. On the other hand, a very cool painting with absolutely no problems came in at 60 dollars...definitely NOT a bargain price, but I really wanted it and I knew someone would grab it before it got down to my usual range (20 dollars max.)...so I got it anyway.

Glassed picture frames often arrive in good condition which I will buy merely for the frame and glass, but only if I know I can take it apart and place a new poster inside. Beware frames which are not made to easily separate from the image...if you don't want the image, you don't want the frame! You can usually save half what a new virgin frame would cost by wise shopping.

All electric stuff has to be inspected manually to determine the likelihood it will work. You can't test anything that needs an outlet because there are no 115VAC receptacles anywhere in the public part of the building! They almost always quote 2 dollars for most items, five dollars for most stereo equipment and ten dollars for computers. Peripherals and cables often cost 2 dollars each, which is a little steep. A basic classic Macintosh computer will cost ten dollars, but the power cord, keyboard and mouse pushes you to over 16 dollars. Sometimes the main store will have the whole thing for about the same amount but it would have been tested (or you can test it). Be wary of anything electric and consider the costs of obtaining a "boat anchor" before plunking down your cash.

There are bins and bins of just stuff. This is where the true fun lies, because it is not just bargain hunting but a voyage of discovery. You may discover the strangest most fascinating little thing that, when weighed, costs you only 2 cents...or find something very useful which you have been looking for a long time...or run across something you never knew existed. It is all mixed up in large plastic boxes placed on wooden platforms...boxes collected from all the Portland area Goodwill stores and collection centers.

It is also a fun place to watch. When picked-through boxes are pulled off the platforms, the remaining contents (the rejects of the rejects) are summarilly dumped in large wheeled bins on the way to the dump. It is often a very sad sound as you hear the breaking pottery and glass on its final journey to oblivion. Who knows what cool items escaped detection and will end up being buried forever?

When new items are brought in to go on the platforms, entire rows are cordoned off with tape as the workers place the full boxes down. Shoppers gather round the taped off areas like vultures prior to a feeding frenzy. Goodwill employees constantly have to remind shoppers that the area is closed and please remain outside until all the boxes are placed and the lids are open. Once that is done, the shoppers immediately start digging through.

Most people like to physically touch and open every item. If they don't want it, they just throw the opened parts into an adjacent bin like so much trash. They want to open everything. If the box is plainly a game (with board and pieces), they will open the box, rummage through the complete contents and then dump the contents all over the adjacent bin, making it a search mission for the next person who actually wants to buy the complete game. The person didn't really want to buy the full complete game, yet they needed to rummage through the contents and disperse it anyway.

On the other hand, there are very nice people who observe others who are carrying too much and offer to hold something or the folks who see you have 5 of six in a series and they give you the sixth item (I see you were missing this, do you want it?).

Altogether, the Goodwill Outlet store is number one on my list of must-see Thrift Stores in the Portland area! You can always find bargains at this store, but when you add to it the overall discovery and people experience, a visit there is always rewarded.

Goodwill San Rafael 1640 N.E. 122nd San Rafael 254-4795

Goodwill SE 90th & Powell

Goodwill Tigard 14365 S.W. Pacific Hwy. Tigard 624-8570

Goodwill Vancouver, 6425 NE Fourth Plain, Vancouver, WA 98661

Helping Hands 2230 Pacific Ave. Forest Gro 357-8031

Kerr's Economy Jar 2307 N.E. Flanders Portland 233-0939

LIFE Center 2746 N.E. Martin LK,Jr. Portland 284-6878

Lakewood Center 368 S. State St. Lake Osweg 636-8377

Nearly New Shop 1844 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. Portland 235-8053

Newberg Community 414 E. 3rd Newberg 538-5051

Old Church Society 1422 S.W. 11th Portland 222-2031

Philo House 2424 E. Burnside Portland 232-3992

Red, White & Blue 19239 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Gladstone 655-3444

Saint Vincent de Pauls 1660 Elm St. Forest Grove 357-9647

Saint Vincent de Pauls 2740 S.E. Powell Blvd. Portland 234-0598
x Sales, some nice clothing, many LPs, high priced furn. The bottom story of this store, accessed from the rear of the store, is the As-Is for Saint Vincent de Pauls. It is much smaller than the Goodwill's As-Is, but the prices are much better as well. Because there is less to choose from, the number of interesting items is fewer. LPs cost ten cents each, but they can be very picked over unless you show up on a good day. For years the Vinnies stores were not open on Sundays, but I think they may now allow for Sunday afternoon hours.

Saint Vincent de Pauls SE 32nd & SE Harrison Milwaukee 654-5220

Saint Vincent de Pauls 21939 S.E. Stark Gresham 665-3310

Saint Vincent de Pauls 700 Mollala Oregon City 655-6927

Saint Vincent de Pauls 136 S.E. 3rd Ave. Hillsboro 693-9523
This store often has clothing sales as it attempts to clear its racks. Selection is relatively poor, although it is often easier to find vintage clothing mixed in at this store than any other thrift store in the area (other stores often get vintage stuff picked through way before anyone has a chance to look!). LPs are a dollar each but, again, a poor selection. Free (day old) bread is available. This store is now open from noon to five on Sundays!

Saint Vincent de Pauls 231 S. 1st St. St. Helens 397-4440

Salvation Army 200 S.E. MLK Blvd. Portland 235-7806
x This store is just South of Burnside, right by the bridge. The quality of the items there is generally not good and I have yet to see a sale there.

Salvation Army 9038 S.E. Foster Portland 775-3206

Salvation Army 11827 N.E. Halsey Portland 255-6254

Salvation Army 8422 N. Lombard Portland 286-9571
x This is the Saint Johns store. While many of the storefronts nearby have closed, this store continues to do good business. This is due partly to the policy of running sometimes two different sales at any one time. When it gets too many LPs, for instance, the price per record drops to ten cents from the usual dollar! Hardcover books are often priced for a quarter and paperbound at ten cents...although these are sale prices. The manager knows a good collectible and will price fairly high...yet will mark down eventually. Generally even collectibles are priced less than you would expect if they were sold in an antique store. While a small store, it often has a good variety of furniture and other items packed in.

School and Community Reuse Action Project (SCRAP)
3901A N Williams (Williams & Failing) 97217
Thrift World way down S.E. Oak Hillsboro 640-9003
....M-F9-9,Sat9-6,Sun10-6 (Arizona based) Clothes, furniture,Household items. Originally at 980 S.E. Oak, the store moved farther from the center of town to the old K-Mart building. This store is very much like a Value Village. Operations are very similar in how items are priced and discounted (older items are half-priced before they are removed from the store). LPs run a dollar each and so far I have not seen specially priced (higher priced)LPs here.

Union Gospel 18141 N.E. Glisan Gresham 661-1643

Union Gospel 11611 S.W. Pacific Hwy Tigard 639-6488

Value Village 18625 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd Milwaukee 653-7333

Value Village 12060 S.W. Main Tigard 684-1982

Value Village off Sandy Blvd. Portland
x This is the Hollywood store. I like it, but it has the usual VV pricing schemes.

Veterans Thrift 7720 S.E. 82nd Portland 775-4343

Veterans Thrift 12415 S.E. Powell Portland 760-1676

Village Paws 5123 S.E. Meldrum Ave. Milwaukee 655-1236

Village Paws 7832 S.W. 35th Portland 244-4833

Volunteers of America 4330 S.E. 82nd Portland 774-0948

Volunteers of America SE 182nd and Division (Gresham)

William Temple House 2230 N.W. Glisan Portland 222-3328
x Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun12-6 moderate prices but some quality items often find their way into this store. They frequently will discount their LPs to open up shelf space. The store now has a new branch out toward the Hollywood neighborhood on Sandy Blvd.