Let’s face it, it can be really hard to get kids to part with their old, neglected toys. The minute you suggest the toys might be ready for Goodwill, your kid whips out the toys, blows off the dust that’s accumulated on them and start playing with them like it’s Christmas Day. You’re not fooling anyone, kiddo.

That’s why I was so thrilled when we found a solution for convincing my son to let go of his old toys. A consignment store called Give and Take opened up in our neighborhood a couple of years ago, and Nathan and I enjoyed browsing for low-cost treasures inside. One day, when Nathan found some toys he liked for sale, I seized my moment and pointed out to him that these were other kids’ toys that he was going to buy, and these kids would receive a few dollars for every toy of theirs that sold here.

“Could I sell my toys here?” he asked.

“You sure could,” I said, trying not to sound overly excited.

Boy, was Nathan hooked after that. You could almost see the dollar signs flash in his eyes as a slow grin worked its way across his face.

He went home and gathered up some of his unwanted toys and books. Give and Take only accepts two bags or small boxes of toys for consignment at a time, which makes this project manageable for both the store and us. The next day we brought the two bags in. The staff at Give and Take were very accommodating and let Nathan open up a consignment account even though he was only 9 years old at the time.

After the store accepted his toys for consignment, Nathan knew he had to wait a few weeks before coming back to see if anything sold. But sure enough, when we checked in a couple of weeks later, he had a few dollars on his account! Give and Take gave him the option of cashing it out or giving him in-store credit. He chose to spend the money in in-store credit on a Tonka toy helicopter he could use in one of his home movies.


So 8-10 toys/books left the house. One mid-size new toy came into the house. Nathan feels both smart and empowered to buy himself goodies. He’s learning entrepreneurial skills like assessing what he has to sell and determining the best time of year to sell it. Furthermore, he’s taking better care of the toys he has because he knows in a few years, he can resell them if he keeps them in good-enough shape. I call that a win!

That was a couple of years ago when we started. We now go to Give and Take about once a quarter to let Nathan sell his old things like toys, books, clothing, shoes, etc. If something doesn’t sell at Give and Take, Nathan doesn’t care. He has his new toy or book to keep him happy. I can’t recommend opening a consignment store account for your kids enough.

Give and Take is located at 8128 N. Kenton Ave in Portland, OR. Visit their website for the most up-to-date information on their consignment processes and policies.

Not in the neighborhood? Check out one of the winners of our readers’ poll for top picks for consignment shops or events.

MaryJo Monroe
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