Sunday, March 8, 2015

White Elephant Sale in Oakland - Rummage in the Fast Lane

I have always loved rummage.  It all started when I was 9 or 10 and my mom Fran was put in charge of the church rummage sales.  In those far away days, there were no thrift shops or vintage and consignment clothing stores to buy recycled clothes and other items - there was only the rummage sale.  The best part was going down to the sale the night before and picking through it.  It was all very exciting.

I had no idea what to expect going to the White Elephant sale yesterday.  It had been advertised for at least a month on TV and I had to see it for myself.  The sale is only held once a year and all proceeds go to the Oakland Museum, which is a great cause.  I took Bart from Berkeley to the Fruitvale district of Oakland.  Shuttle buses took me and the other shoppers to the warehouse.  While in line, I learned from Sharon, a White Elephant sale veteran, that the first day is only for looking around.  The bargains are on Sunday when a lot of stuff goes from 50% to 75% off.  I couldn't do Sunday too so decided if I saw something I collected or could not live without, I should buy it.

The sale was organized into departments and the warehouse was like a rummage department store.  Each department, had its own sales people who answered questions and showed items under the glass and also had its own cashiers.  I visited all the departments, which were mobbed.  The clothing department had a mix of vintage and designer clothes, including a few Prada and Chanel pieces and also rummage clothes by the 1,000's.  Many people were trying on clothes in the aisles.  It was really fun.

I found my one purchase in the toy department, which had some nice vintage dolls.  I am a collector and even though I have slowed my collecting down, I couldn't pass up the vintage Madam Alexander doll dressed in her original satin skating skirt, wearing roller skates for only $35.  The volunteer who waited on me, wrapped my doll carefully in bubble wrap and gave me the most beautiful shopping bag to carry her in.  I came home rather exhausted, but very happy.  I will definitely be there next year.

Best, Toni

 Walking to the White Elephant warehouse from the shuttle

 Entering the warehouse - the trip begins
 Shoe Department

 Women's Clothing including designer & vintage

 Textile Department
 Jewelry Department - Completely mobbed

 Toy Department

 Museum volunteer wrapping up my vintage Alexander
 Boutique Department

 Hats & scarves

 Vintage sewing machines
 Furniture Department

 Christmas trees
 Art Department

 Sports Department
 Gorgeous necklace
My vintage Alexander (in the roller skates) making new friends