Monday, January 28, 2013

White Elephant Sale

One of the things I always look forward to in the month of January is The Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale.

I went to the "Preview Sale" yesterday with a dear friend that I haven't seen for awhile.

We had lots to catch up on while waiting in line together.

A lot has happened in her life since I last saw her... first and foremost being the birth of her first child, an adorable baby boy named Isaac. 

Once inside, we got caught up in the frenzy and I forgot to take photos. (Although I did manage to snap a few, mostly in the Art Dept.)

I like to call the White Elephant Sale or WES, "The Harrods of Junk," because it is set up by department and each one is run by a group of volunteers who do things "their way."

It's a bit frustrating because you have to wait in line in each department to pay for the items you wish to purchase before being allowed to look in another department, which makes it a race to find and secure the best stuff!

Fortunately, I don't play that game anymore... and am content to let the treasures find me.

(The one that got away... fortunately the nice young man that found it lives on a boat! Love how treasures seem to find the right homes.)

So in the midst of all the scurrying and racing around, I took my time and perused the goods offered in the various departments, housed under the massive roof of the very large warehouse that is home to The Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale. 

The dedicated volunteers work there year round taking in and sorting donations, and then at the end of January they hold a " Preview Sale," which costs $20 to attend.

After that, for the entire month of February, you are allowed to shop there on specific days between specific hours if you have a guest pass or bring a donation.

One of the perks of attending the "Preview Sale" is that the admission fee eliminates the 10% premium that you have to pay when shopping during the month of February.

In years past, The Preview Sale, was greatly anticipated as you had the chance to see and buy "the best stuff" first, but unfortunately that is not the case anymore.

When I volunteered in the linen department back in 1999, we weren't allowed to buy anything or even put it on hold until "Volunteer Day" which took place a few days before The Preview Sale.

It was very special as all the volunteers were rewarded with a lovely lunch and day of shopping.

I wish it were still that way... but unfortunately things have changed and now the volunteers  are allowed to buy throughout the year, so even though it is still a highly anticipated event it is very picked over, which is disappointing.

(I took home this Mulholland Bros. bag)
One would be hard pressed to leave without finding something they need or can't live without and I am no exception.

I can still walk around my house and point out the wonderful things I've scored over the years at The Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale. 

It is always something I look forward to during the long winter months of January and February! 


Kathysue said...

I remember my day at the WES with you, oh what fun we had. I must say it was quite an experience!! The best part was watching you shop with your discerning eye for treasures.
Happy Monday,

Acquired Objects said...

I was hoping you said you took home that fabulous black bag...good for you. If anything at least you were able to get caught up with your girlfriend!


vignette design said...

That bag is wonderful. I would love to attend the WES, but I'm afraid it would make me anxious for all the things that I couldn't buy, watching them be sold! Still, it looks amazing! ~Delores

A Perfect Gray said...

oh, that looks like so much fun, terri! donna

Unknown said...

This sounds like so much fun...perhaps I need to schedule a trip to CA in Jan next year :)


Karena said...

Terri I love the bag! It is disappointing when an auction is run that way though; when so much is picked over!

2013 Artists Series

Theresa Cheek said...

I am tres jealous over the bag! Speaking of sales...I am coming to SF and will be at the Alameda flea markt for March. Third time is the charm?