Just Between Friends Portland – My Experience & a Giveaway!

2 weeks … just 2 weeks!

That’s when my mom and I will be the most giddy ladies this side of the Mississippi. It’s not my birthday and we’re not going on vacation. WE’RE GOING TO THE JUST BETWEEN FRIENDS SALE IN PORTLAND!!!

Just Between Friends (JBF) is the premiere consignment event here in the Northwest. I have found more treasures through this sale than any where else. I mean, how could I not when there are 45,000 square feet of space filled with everything you need for pregnancy and beyond!

There are 3 ways to participate in JBF …

A peek at my tagged clothing items
  1. SHOP Just Between Friends is Oregon’s best place to find top quality clothing, cribs, strollers, swings, toys & more at prices that are 50%-90% off retail.  One gigantic place to buy and sell –twice a year. The upcoming sale is April 27-29 at the Portland Expo Center!
  2. CONSIGNConsign items with JBF and you earn up to 70% on everything that sells! (less a $10 Consignor Fee). What a great way to clean out your closets and earn money!  Consignors also get to shop at the Presale before the public! It isn’t too late to join as a consignor – register here!
  3. VOLUNTEERDedicated volunteers make this sale happen! Volunteers get to shop before the public (and even earlier than consignors) to get the best deals first! The more you volunteer, the earlier you shop.  Also, consignors who volunteer earn an extra 5% on their items.

This will be the fourth event I’ve shopped and the second one I’ve consigned at. I volunteered last Fall, but with the baby bump and sweet toddler around I decided to just stick with shopping and consigning this time :)

In the past, I’ve scored some amazing deals as a shopper! Just to name a few … Sophie the Giraffe for $4, Tea Collection dresses for $5-$10 (a steal if you’ve ever hunted for these on eBay), a Tiny Tush wool diaper cover for $8 (regularly $28), and most of Jemma’s adorable clothes! During my first consigning experience (last Fall) I made $170; I’m not recalling exactly what I sold … a variety of clothes, some toys, and baby supplies I ended up not using while she was an infant. A portion of my income from the last sale will now fund my shopping this Spring!

Now, I’m going to divulge some of my top secret JBF tips, I hope they will help you find great treasures at the coming sale!

  • Write out a shopping list. There are over 100,000 items being sold at the sale. If you walk in and begin wandering there is no doubt you will become overwhelmed. Before the sale, make a list of what you are looking for. Does your little one need summer shoes? Are you on the hunt for potty training books and videos? Are last year’s swimsuits too small? Make a list and hit those sections first. Once you have what you need, let the browsing begin … because I promise you’ll find other items you can’t pass up! Making a list also helps stay within your budget :)
  • Take an assistant. My mom is my consignment buddy. She gets her Christmas shopping done for the grandkids (at pennies on the dollar!) and I have someone to run ideas by. 
  • Make a plan for the kids. If you baby, toddler, or children will be in tow you’ll want to coordinate their mode of transportation (babywearing or stroller), snacks, and some helping hands. I do not recommend going alone with the kids – an assistant (grandma, aunt, friend) is 100% necessary! It takes a few hours to see everything at JBF, plus the wait in line. If you can, leave the little ones at home.
  • Know your price point. How do you know if you’re getting a good deal? This goes back to your list. When I’m looking for very specific items, I’ll research them beforehand. For example, I’m in the market for Salt Water sandals for Jemma and my niece. My sister-in-law and I are planning to collect Salt Waters in every size for the girls so they always have a pair on hand. I know that they run between $30-$35 retail which means I’ll pay anywhere from $5-$15 depending on the condition. This is also very true when shopping for used cloth diapers. I know my favorite brands, what version is currently being produced, and what I’m willing to pay based on the condition of the velcro/snaps, PUL, gussets, etc. 
  • Understand full-price versus discount day. When you assess a price tag look to see if there is a star beneath the price. If there is, that item will not go 50% off on Sunday. If you love it, buy it now! If it’s one you are debating on, go ahead and leave it behind and return on Sunday when everything (without a star) goes 1/2 off! As a consignor, I let almost all of my items go 1/2 off. Way better to move inventory/clear my spare room than cart unsold items home.

For more tips I highly recommend reading JBF’s super helpful FAQ, there is a section specific to shoppers, consignors, and volunteers. I’d also review the sale schedule and bring enough cash to cover parking ($8, or $7 for carpooling with 3+ people); or take the MAX to avoid parking.

And, last, but not least … are you questioning if consignment sales are for you? Before deciding, read this awesome article from Angela at Frugal Living Northwest, 7 Reasons Why I’ve Ditched Garage Sales for Consignment Events for My Kid’s Clothes. I’m totally on board with her!

Are you getting excited for the sale? Counting down the days like I am? If so, I’ve got great news! JBF Portland is giving away 2 Prime Time Shopping Passes! This means you and a family member/friend will get to shop before the public, starting on Friday, April 27th at 9am!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can enter another JBF Portland giveaway at Frugal Living Northwest and for those who aren’t in Portland, be sure to find the nearest JBF sale to you.
This post was sponsored by Just Between Friends Portland, but that did not at all taint my perspective on JBF. It is truly my favorite sale and I was honored to share about my experience with you!
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  1. Jennifer Hall says

    Thanks for the tips, Gretchen! I haven't been to this sale yet. ~Jennifer Hall

  2. says

    I have not attended Portland's JBF sale, but definitely counted down to our sale here in Lubbock. I have scored some great deals and am excited about consigning at our next sale in August.

  3. Bexx85 says

    I cannot wait!!! I'll be shopping for everything I can find including gifts and necessities for my 4 kids!!! love JBF

  4. Summer Schmidgall says

    I'm so excited for the sale! I'm hoping to find toys, organic clothes & PJ's, cloth diapers, & things I haven't thought of yet ;)

  5. Urbanmamma says

    Hats and swimsuits for my boys. We're really looking forward to it.

  6. Hannah says

    I have decided to rope my grandma into driving down for the day with me :) she doesn't know this…but I'm sure she will be game!

  7. ThatMamaGretchen says

    That's so awesome :) You'll love it!!!

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