Portland >Used Clothing > Red Light Clothing Exchange
3590 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR | Directions 9721445.511921 -122.626757
Neighborhoods: Southeast Uplift Neighborhood Program, Richmond
Get lost in the orderly rows of used clothing and shoes at this popular secondhand shop; the perfect shopping ground for Halloween, the Red Dress Party, 80s Prom, or just everyday wear. They buy clothes too!
Red Light, a popular thrift store on the Hawthorne strip, caters to fearless fashionistas. Think neon leggings, borderline hideous dresses, and platform heels. If your wardrobe is more subtle than daring, Red Light is still beneficial for Halloween costume shopping or those ugly Christmas sweater parties that just won't die in popularity.
Absolutely horrendous customer service!!!!!!!! – I had an absolutely terrible experience at this store. The female clerk working there today was overtly rude and disrespectful. I arrived at their store an hour before they closed their exchange desk and the young lady told me her counter was closed. Before I could even explain to her that I had driven all they way from north Vancouver, she cut me off again to say that her counter was closed and there was nothing she could do for me. Several more rude remarks from her end ensued when I simply tried to question the stores clearly stated policies. These are the hours stated on their website
M-Th: 11 am - 8 pm
F-S: 11 am - 9 pm
Sun: 12 pm - 7pm
I got there at 6:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CLEARLY the sales clerk just decided she'd close up her counter early to sit back and do nothing!!!
I have never been treated so badly by a sales associate at this store and I usually have a pretty good experience. Her rudeness was shocking to say the least and I will make a Facebook page about how bad the customer service is here. I WILL NEVER EVER GO TO THIS STORE AGAIN!!!!!!!
Wish I had looked at these reviews first – I did not want to dislike this place. I really didn't- I liked the atmosphere in there, I love the clothes they sell, I even enjoy they music they play. The employees were so horrible I never, ever want to give them money or clothes again. At the selling counter: I've never sold here before, so I timidly walked up to the counter to ask what I should do. The staff treated me like I was a rude, impatient, insufferable person- quickly and loudly telling me that there were A FEW BAGS IN FRONT OF YOU, JUST SET IT DOWN IN THE BOX PLEASE (insert eyerolls and general exasperatedness). Even if I was a rude, impatient, insufferable person- I'm a waitress, I deal with them everyday- it's your friggin' job to act like I'm not. At least they said please, I guess. But they didn't even look at me or allow me to speak- to ask if I should put my name on it or something. I wandered away to shop.
At the dressing rooms: the two different people I encountered there were slow, and at times not even present. While shopping around I would see someone at the little counter and would rush over so they wouldn't disappear again- they then meandered around knocking on doors, peering under- trying to figure out which ones were open because they didn't seem to have a system to mark which ones were in use or not. You only get to try on six things at a time. It's not so bad, but it sucks when you come out to get the rest of the clothes you wanted to try on and the help is nowhere to be found. I wrestled with hangers and just got them myself. I wouldn't mind doing that if I also didn't have to get yelled at by staff about it.
And lastly, at the checkout: They only bought two things- I can deal with that- but I was planning on having my trade pay for most of the clothes I was going to purchase. I asked if they could please put my stuff on hold until the next day because it was Sunday and I couldn't necessarily get to the bank and pull out the cash I needed until then. They only hold things for ONE HOUR. This is where I decided never to return. Not only was this place entirely unkind, disorganized, and huffy about everything I said or did- they won't even let you put something on hold for one day! This place is not designed to be pleasant for a vintage shopper, it's definitely the most Urban Outfitters thrift store I've ever been to. I would definitely take my business to even Buffalo Exchange before this terrible place.
awful prices – they are finicky and rude here. the prices are wayyyy to high for being used clothing.
Employees are thieves! – I went in here once with a suitcase full of clothes. Some rockabilly looking hipster said go look around while he looks through my stuff. They gave me a whopping $5.60 for what was one or two items. Nope, they took everything out. I had a lot of stuff in there that I'd much rather keep than to have these hipster doofuses have my stuff. The men's selection is small, both selection wise and size wise. There are much better vintage and resale shops to go to.
I'll never go back! – I brought in a box of very nice designer clothing (Theory, BCBG, Rene Lezard, Big Star, DKNY etc...) and the buyer would not take one piece == nothing! I guess my clothing was too nice. While waiting for him to go through my box, I looked around - wow, what a bunch of garbage! I knew I was in trouble when it seemed like most the clothing was of very poor quality (give me a break - $8 for a crappy t-shirt). I was hoping to maybe get $5 - $10 a piece, but nope, not a dime. I guess I wasn't "hipster" enough (I showed up in a North Face jacket and jeans, not some ragged looking clothing like they desire). Don't they want to add some quality items to their store?
Excellent in rarity, Poor in quality of items in general – both stores smell like trash, and their clothes may well have come out of these said trashcans. sometimes a real, real jewel in the place, like a vintage shirt or that sick 70s dress shirt, but mostly overprices trash. Sorry. A+ for concept, D for presentation.
Worst expierence ever! – Staffs at Red Light are RUDE! I asked if I could try on some boots and they said no! Tried to ask them some questions about the items and they just shrugged and blew me off! I guess I'm not punk or vintage enough to shop there. RUDE staffs and poor service!
I like the one on SW Stark better – The staff writes you off pretty fast if you aren't dressed like a hipster. The clothes are decent and they're pretty fairly priced, especially compared to any other vintage or department store. Go if you're in the area, but don't go out of your way--instead try the one on SW Stark, where the staff is a little friendlier.
Unhappy staff equals poor experience – Happy staff equal nice shopping environment. Unhappy staff equals uneasy shopping environment. I hope that this store makes a comeback, as recently seems a bit stressed. Used to be a must stop in and browse, now not as compelling.
West Burnside location is WAY better! – Sure, this one is bigger, but that doesn't make up for the bad business sense and customer service. From a Buyer/Seller perspective, the owner is a pompous fool who doesn't know fashion(he wears the same outfit whenever I pop in). Selling there is now a sad state of affairs. The owner is the ONLY one who buys now. He would "rather cater to the teenage crowd who brings their Mothers" (ie. he basically buys new clothing styles...not vintage...I guess he would rather his store be exactly like Buffalo Exchange just under a disguise). Personally I always thought of Red Light as the vintage/wacky/crazy/fun alternative to Buffalo Exchange. The owner hardly looks at your clothes when selling them. He also prices really low...which is great for when you are buying clothes...not if you are selling them. The staff has changed...the only nice ones either left because of the owner or they got fired. The ones who are left don't act happy to be there at all and in such don't provide good customer service. That's a key to any business: Happy employees, happy customers. Personally I take my wares to the downtown location now. They are much better at picking the good quality clothes and the vintage/wacky/crazy/fun clothes! Plus the employees at the downtown location are much more fun and happy(probably because they don't have the owner there breathing down their necks).
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