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Buying Used in Corvallis: Local Shops Have You Covered for Bikes, Clothes, Books, and More

One great quality of Corvallis is the abundance of used merchandise available.  From books to bikes to beds, we’ve carefully arranged a list of must-visits for your next used treasure hunt!
Furniture – As residents of a college town, Corvallis residents often enjoy informal sidewalk sales every summer when OSU students leave town or shift housing locations.  Sidewalks are full of couches, desks, recliners, lamps, and mattresses.  However, when school is in, there are still places to go to find used furniture:

OSUsed Store, 644 SW 13th St. (on the corner of 13th St. and A Ave.)- Surplus EVERYTHING from the University.  Featuring everything from computer processors and office furniture to shelving units and bicycles.  Recently they even sold a railroad car! Open on Wednesdays only.

Beekman Place, 601 SW Western Blvd. – Features some fantastic antiques.

Habitat for Humanity Resale Store – Successfully relocated to the corner of Philomath Blvd. and Technology Loop! Find furniture and house improvement materials including paint, windows, appliances, lumber, and more.

Corvallisfurniture.com, 720 NE Granger Ave in Corvallis – this student and volunteer-run furniture website is dedicated to supplying inexpensive furniture to Corvallis residents.

 

Bikes/Sporting Equipment – In our active and bike-friendly city, it is not surprising there are many places to find used sporting equipment.  Consider the following excellent choices if you need some gear to get you moving:

Play It Again Sports, 1422 NW 9th St. – Used sporting equipment from Bicycles and Baseball gear to Weights and Wetsuits.  Best place in town for any and all used sporting equipment.

Cyclotopia, 435 Southwest 2nd St. – These guys almost always have five to ten used bikes for sale.  In addition, they often have a selection of gently used biking equipment- think helmets, shoes, and lights- available for purchase.

Peak Sports, 207 NW 2nd St. – Hosts a Bike Swap in September & June- 3 days each.  They also host a boat swap that generally occurs in late June.

Corvallis Bicycle Collective, SE Roche Lane  off of Hwy. 34.

Cycle Solutions, 968 NW Circle Blvd.

OSU Student Sustainability Initiative, 738 SW 15th Street.

If you are a member of OSU’s Rec Sports, don’t forget to utilize the Outdoor Recreation Center on Campus (Located at the east entry to Dixon Recreation Center) for equipment rentals!

 

Clothing – Corvallis offers nearly as many amazing used clothing stores as it does new.  The following shops offer gently used items in personal, individual, and welcoming atmospheres:

Mother Goose Resale Store, 260 NW 1st St. – Children’s & Maternity Clothing, baby toys, furniture, etc.

Second Glance, 214 SW Jefferson – Fashion Recycling- Upscale Women’s clothing & Consignment.

The Alley, 312 SW Jefferson – Fashion Recycling- Upscale Men’s Clothing & Consignment.

Cosmic Chameleon, 138 SW 2nd St. – Resale shop & Artist’s Consignment.

Revolve, at the “Hotel Julian” on 2nd St. and Monroe – Resale Boutique – Men’s & Women’s clothing & Consignment.  They also stock new items from vendors who operate according to fair-trade and sweatshop-free principles and sustainable methods.

 

Books & Music –  Corvallis, ranked fifth on Forbes magazine’s 2008 list of “America’s Smartest Cities,” has a number of independent bookstores, including the Book Bin, Browser’s Books, Grass Roots, and the OSU Bookstore.   Also, many coffee shops feature book exchange shelves, so next time you visit the 2nd street Beanery or Imagine Coffee, bring a book and exchange it for one you’ve never read!   Here are some great local picks for books as well as music:

Browser’s Bookstore, 121 Northwest 4th St.

The Book Bin, 215 SW 4th St.

Happy Trails, 100 Southwest 3rd St.

 

A Bit-O-Everything – Like any good college town, in addition to Goodwill, Corvallis offers countless quirky thrift stores.  Here are some great options to get you started:

The Cat’s Meow, 411 Southwest 3rd St. – Proceeds benefit Heartland Humane Society.

Buckingham Palace, 600 Southwest 3rd St. – A fun and incredibly eclectic thrift shop.

The ARC, 928 NW Beca Ave. – Advocates and provides services, as needed, to enhance the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Consider them especially for quality furniture.

By Lisa Tedder and Joel Southall

Corvallis Gift Guide: 2015

Home to many fine local businesses, Corvallis is a holiday treasure trove. We’ve selected just a few of the great options around town for buying local this year when thinking about gifts for loved ones, friends and even someone you might be trying to kiss up to. Either way, when you go out, shop smart and buy local!

by Patrick Fancher

Donna Bella
donnabellacrystalbra117 NW 2nd St.
Lingerie is the gift that keeps on giving year round. Am I right? Instead of shopping for overpriced, one-size-fits-all Victoria’s Secret drab this Xmas, you can help spark the romance locally and buy extravagant bras, undies, sleepwear, or jewelry for your partner at Donna Bella’s downtown. An OSU thong by Hanky Panky or a gift certificate are ideal stocking stuffers. Or you can splurge for a Swarovski Crystal sequin bra. Just take comfort knowing their sales staff will not lead you astray.

The Golden Crane
114 SW 3rd St.
There’s a reason the Golden Crane has called Corvallis home since 1980. The eclectic boutique is truly a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, offering everything from handmade jewelry and scarves to vintage women’s clothing and cultural decor you won’t find anywhere else in the valley. Owner Ruby Moon tries to source all the merchandise locally or from the U.S. with new inventory arriving daily. Expect to see many special sales now through Christmas, including everything in their backroom.

Happy Trails
happytrails100 SW 3rd St.
While mp3s and iPods have rendered most music shops obsolete, Happy Trails still has a foothold as Corvallis’ best record store for over 35 years. Shoppers can stop in and look through an impressive selection of new and used CDs and DVDs priced anywhere from $1 to $10. And as any DJ will tell you, Happy Trails is the only local source for quality vinyl records. Sometimes, the guys behind the counter will even cut you a deal on a large purchase, or at least engage in good conversation about all things music.

by Ygal Kaufman

Trump’s Hobbies
2401 NW Kings Blvd.
Are you shopping for a boy or a girl? Aged 8 to 88? Well then perhaps you may want to consider going to a place with literally every cool thing a person with any coolness in them could want. Trump’s got your back. Puzzles, games, models, airplanes, trains, rockets, boats, flight simulators, vintage toys, science toys, collectible card games, magic tricks, tools, arts and crafts, books… if you can’t find it for them here, they don’t deserve a gift.

Corvallis Cutlery
354 SW Madison Ave.
Knives are cool. This is undeniable. The question is what kind of cool are you going for?
Sons of Anarchy? Grizzly Adams? Or Julia Child? Because no matter which, Corvallis Cutlery has got a sharp edged tool, and the accessories, to keep you stabbing rival gang members/taming bears/dicing vegetables like a pro. I recommend their very reasonable prices on Shun cutlery. I have a set of these at home, and they basically will vaporize a tomato if you just swing it nearby.

OSU Folk Club Thrift Store
144 NW 2nd St.
Corvallis is not exactly short on vintage/used/thrift stores, but this one is a bit special in that, well, they seem to have no idea what they’re doing. And I mean that in the best of ways. While some items may be preposterously over priced, you can also find absolute gems for a mere fraction of what they’re worth. This place is always an adventure worth checking out.

By Johnny Beaver

Bullfrog Music
423 SW 3rd St.
Bullfrog is a small shop but boasts a huge collection of fantastic acoustic guitars, including a fair number of Oregon-based Breedlove’s. Couple that with a rotating selection of modern and vintage consignment options, amps, strings etc. and you have the makings of a great guitar shop. The man behind the curtain, Kurt, is one of the most talented and honest guitar techs around; he’ll go out of his way to make sure you get what you need.

The Fingerboard Extension
120 NW 2nd St.
If you or your loved one is into banjos, violins, dobros, ukes or any number of in stock and consigned pieces of gear, this is the place to go. Every time I go in I want to rummage through all their shelves, display cases and counter-tops. Lots of random goodies from pickups to pedals to used straps and a really helpful, friendly staff that’ll help you find what you’re looking for.

By Jennifer Smith

Inkwell Home Store
234 SW 3rd St.
Having a hard time thinking of a Christmas present? The Inkwell Home Store has been open since 1964 and has such a wide variety of gifts you’ll be able to find a present for anyone in the family. Each section of this store has something different from kitchenware, bathroom accessories, office décor, and furniture to gag gifts, toys, jewelry, and Christmas decorations. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, they’ll gladly order it for you. Prices are a little high, but not enough to deter a customer since the quality of merchandise is also high. There is a kitchen sale right now that will run until Thanksgiving where kitchenware will be 40 to 60 percent off. You can also get coupons from their website if you sign up for their newsletter. After Christmas, all of their Christmas merchandise will be 50 percent off.

Gracewinds Music
137 SW 3rd St.
Have a musician in the family? This store has everything for a music lover who can test play various percussion, wind, stringed, and electronic instruments and includes various accessories, audio equipment, and thousands of song books and sheet music. They also offer various music and voice classes. This store also has a “Band and Orchestra Instrumental Rental/ Purchase Program” which allows musicians to make a payment or rental plan that is interest free. New music students can get a 25 percent discount if they purchase the instrument outright.

Stash
stash110 SW 3rd St.
Need yarn? Then Stash is the best place for you. Stash has a variety of yarns for all kinds of knitting: wool, silk, alpaca, merino, acrylic, nylon, cashmere, bamboo, camel, linen, leicester, mohair, donegal tweed, and polyamide. All yarns are made with natural ingredients and dyes in a variety of colors. Stash also sells handmade ceramic buttons, hand bags, Christmas ornaments, and body moisturizer as well as photography and knitting books.

Myrtlewood Mystique Gallery
1737 Main St., Philomath
The Myrtlewood Mystique Gallery is a perfect store to shop for anyone who appreciates the beauty of wood and the durability of handmade craftsmanship. There are 35 local wood crafters who make various types of items for Myrtlewood; some of these pieces are: benches, tables, chests, walking sticks, hangers, boxes, checkers and chess game boards, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, nature carvings, and numerous types of kitchenware like bowls, utensils, coasters, cups, and plates. They also sell myrtlewood leaves for cooking and perfumes. If you want something specific, they can also make custom made-to-order creations.

By Candy Smith

Mod Pod
Mod Pod115 NW 2nd St.
When you walk into the doors of Mod Pod, brightness and glitter fill your line of sight. The small store features a wealth of items, ranging from home décor and office supplies to lotions and accessories. This is the place to go to find something sweet for your mom, sister, girlfriend, or really anyone who likes cheery and kitschy items. Some of the best sellers so far this holiday season have been gummy bear nightlights, water infusers, and selections from the wide variety of owl items. The store also features beautiful holiday décor and ornaments and other unique novelty offerings. Mod Pod will have sales and specials for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and also usually has some great items on special. Don’t miss Mod Pod in your holiday shopping!

The Toy Factory
442 SW 2nd St.
This family-owned business features a wide variety of items for children of all ages and interests. Not only do they have a wide variety of children’s books and educational toys and games, they also feature many of the most popular brands of children’s toys. You will find LEGO, PLAYMOBIL, Knecht, Brio, and many other great manufacturers on the aisles of the store. With an incredibly knowledgeable sales staff and a large store full of unique items, you are sure to find a special something for every child. They also carry items for infants and babies.

Matt’s Cavalcade of Comics
2075 NW Buchanan Ave.
Matt’s is a hidden gem in Corvallis, a haven for all fandom and superhero tendencies. The store features a wide variety Matt's Cavalcadeof items, including an extensive comic book collection, board games, supplies and books for role playing games, action figures and toys, and many more fun items. Some of their most popular items this season are a variety of Walking Dead and Game of Thrones paraphernalia, Doctor Who items (including an AMAZING Dalek that talks), the Magic the Gathering holiday gift box, My Little Pony, and popular board games like Settlers of Catan. One unique gift idea is the gift of a comic book subscription for the comic book fan in your life. The staff is knowledgeable and friendly to the lost parent or friend trying to find the perfect gift, and offer game demos and playing areas in their store.

By Anis Plummer

Troubador Music
521 SW 2nd St.
Troubador is yet another Corvallis music store that boasts a really diverse collection of instruments. From affordable to high end, to “what’s that? I’ve never seen one before,” Similar to Fingerboard Extension in selection, although a bit more eclectic, this would be a good place to look for something you can’t find anywhere else.

The Kids’ Shop
116 SW 3rd St.
As if the title didn’t say it all, the Kids’ Shop boasts the largest collection of kids’ stuff you can imagine. From unique toys to adorable child-sized suits, dress-up costumes to items for mom and dad, such as diaper bag and the ever-lovable Bamboobies (washable nursing pads), they really do have it all. A perfect stop for the fairly-new parents on your list.

The Book Bin
215 SW 4th St.
If you or your loved one is a book nerd, this place is just as it sounds – a fantastic assortment of books both new and used. Want to sell or trade? They do that too. Looking for that random science fiction or fantasy favorite? They definitely do that. The quintessential corner book store. Just watch out for the attack cat!

Burst’s Chocolates
353 SW Madison Ave.
What is there even to say about this place? Handcrafted confections that will blow minds. Think you have a chocolate lover in the family? If they haven’t been to Burst’s, they’re just an amateur. This is hands-down the best place around for gourmet chocolate. And if you’re one of those weirdos that doesn’t like chocolate, one taste and your life will be changed forever.

Footwise
301 SW Madison Ave.
A family-operated business with a terribly fantastic selection of high quality shoes, socks slippers, clogs and other comfortable footwear. Did I mention they also do top notch repairs?

Grass Roots
227 SW 2nd St.
Really putting the local in local book stores, they hold writer events and have a number of local CDs and books from local authors. Additionally, their magazine selection might be the best in the city. If you’re looking for local literary flavor, this should be your first and perhaps only stop.

Animal Crackers Pet Supply
949 NW Kings Blvd.
For the pet lover, there are few places that can stand up to Animal Crackers’ dedication to good nutrition for your pet. A community resource, partnered with Heartland Humane Society, this is your one stop shop for all dog, cat and small animal needs be they hungry, playful (rumor has it they have an awesome toy selection) or perhaps in need of a bit of grooming! Hey now, it happens to the best of us.

Browser’s Bookstore
browsers-bookstore121 NW 4th St.
Already hugely popular in Corvallis, this bookstore specializes in used books and has a massive, constantly rotating selection. Buy, sell, trade… they do it all, and do it well. Almost like being inside of a cozy library, don’t linger too long or you might get lost in a great novel and your giftee might be ^*&% out of luck.

Conscientious Gift-Giving: Local, Meaningful Gift Ideas… That Won’t Get Re-gifted Next Year

Conscientious gifts at the South First Alternative Natural Foods Co-op

Many Corvallisites strive to use their money for good (yay!) and not evil (hiss, boo), but the stress of the holiday frenzy can make it difficult to “vote with your wallet” for every single gift you buy. Thankfully, here in Corvallis staying on track doesn’t have to be a trial. There are all kinds of great ways to make sure that your gifting dollars are put to good use this winter.

Support your local economy! Most people know by now the great benefits of shopping locally. It keeps more money in town and makes the independent business owners and part-time crafters all smiley and happy. There are countless brilliant craftspeople in town, and you can find their wares everywhere from the OSU Holiday Marketplace (Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Memorial Union Ballroom, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) to your corner coffee shop. Downtown Corvallis is a vital source for any holiday shopping venture, offering multiple athletics shops, book stores, boutique clothing stores, jewelers, book and art restorers, musical instrument shops, and many shops with delightful home décor selections. Not to mention all the wonderful cafés, perfect for securing a toasty beverage to keep you warm during your stroll.

Those strapped for time can still shop locally from the comfort of their homes. Etsy.com is an online marketplace for craftspeople, and has a search engine that finds products by location. Go to the Etsy homepage, and on the left sidebar at the very bottom, under the heading “More Ways to Shop,” select “Shop Local.” Then enter your zip-code and prepare for the barrage of selections.

If you really need to buy that special person in your life a Forever Lazy, do so at our local Kmart rather than ordering it online. The employee at the checkout station will thank you (even if they don’t say it).

Make your gift extra-positive by not only buying it locally, but by making sure it’s labeled Fair Trade or Made in America. America has priceless workers’ rights laws that many nations do not, meaning overseas workers are too often exploited. The Fair Trade certification ensures that the workers who produced the item were treated humanely. Made in America means just that. Stop by Many Hands Trading (home décor, clothing, jewelry, art, books), Irene’s (clothing and accessories), and First Alternative Co-op (miscellaneous lovelies) to browse their selections.

Another trend is the movement away from material gifts. Too often a present is not quite right and ends up languishing in the back of the closet, only to be brought out years later for a white elephant party. Avoid that waste of time and energy by resorting to the formerly tacky—now utterly brilliant—gift card.

Hand-made local goodies from New Morning Bakery

While a gift card used to scream “I forgot about you” or “I’m lazy!”, it now screams, “Go splurge! It’s on me!” So many unique stores offer gift cards now, it is totally practical to give a recipient a gift card while still acknowledging his or her particular taste. Just make sure to dress it up with a well-chosen card, and write a few words about why you think they’ll enjoy it; to the knitter to whom you’ve given a Stash gift card: “I can’t wait to see what cute things you make in the coming year.” You get the picture.

Take this a step further and we enter the realm of the “experience gift.” Why give the harried stay-at-home mom a pair of fuzzy slippers, when you could hook her up with a gift card for Wacky Indoor Bounce’s Drop ‘n Shop (drop off the kids for two hours of pure bouncy insanity while she relaxes downtown)? Archery lessons, horse-riding lessons, movie theater passes, time at the Pottery Place—these are all great kids’ gifts that can make lasting memories.

Get even deeper (and cheaper) into it, and offer the gift of your time and skills. Use some computer whiz-bang to print out nifty vouchers for all kinds of things: help cleaning out the gutters, guitar lessons, sharpening all the kitchen knives. After all, aren’t the holidays about sharing time with loved ones and making one another’s lives more pleasant? Keep your eye on the prize, and remember that the prize is not a shiny piece of plastic.

by Mica Habarad