Just 19 minutes from campus, a not-so-hidden gem appears: Oregon’s only Value Village, located in Tigard. Located in a strip mall next to a Rite Aid and down the street from Symposium coffee shop, this Value Village, or VV as I like to call it, has become a staple in my college thrifting experience.
As you walk in, you are greeted with that signature, stale thrift store smell and the sight of dozens of racks. The store is massive, with hundreds of clothing pieces, household items, jewelry, shoes and more. Aisles of holiday-centric decor indicate which celebration or season is just around the corner.
This is not the thrift store for someone looking for a curated collection; VV requires a meticulous search through the hangers. But honestly, that is what makes it fun.
You must put in work to find something you like. After looking at sweater after sweater, finally finding one you love is an unspeakably rewarding experience.
Do not neglect the non-clothing items. I have found adorable mugs, plates, shoes, earrings and even an awesome pin that says “soccer mom.” Even vintage Pyrex fans, who frequent the location, can find their beloved collectible ceramics hidden among the kitchenware items. Their bundles of plastic-wrapped assorted goods are always a surprise to open.
Another thing that makes Value Village great is the prices. Most items fall between $3 and $12, with certain items, brands and materials stretching that price range–coats, for example, tend to be priced higher. It is also pretty easy to get coupons to save even further. When you donate a bag of clothes or other items you get a 20% off coupon, and there are often sales on certain colored tags, usually 50% off the tag of the week.
Value Village is also a part of Savers, which operates over 300 stores in the United States and Canada under the names Savers, Value Village and Unique, depending on where the store is located.
You have the option to join the Super Savers Club when you check out, with every $100 spent resulting in 20% off your next purchase, as well as special days where members can get even more discounts.
I discovered some of my most prized possessions at Value Village. These include a pair of vintage Lee jeans, a t-shirt that says “Men fish, Women actually catch,” my favorite pair of black corduroys and the pink cropped sweater I am wearing while writing this article.
Although the store is huge and contains a generous amount of merchandise, I do think it has been discovered by the Portland youth thrifters, adding a competitive edge to the whole experience.
Going to Value Village on a weekend day might mean that the clothes are a little more picked over, and if you can swing it, a weekday might bring you more good finds. However, I have found great things any day of the week, so if you are in the mood for a weekend thrift you will still have a ball looking through the abundance of finds hidden within the Value Village racks.
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