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Archive for the ‘Rummage Sales’ Category

It is that glorious time of year when many of the local churches and community centres have their annual spring rummage and thrift sales. Here are the dates for the ones that I know about so far.

West Vancouver Seniors’ Activity Centre Annual Flea Market
Sunday, April 23 from 9am to 3pm
West Vancouver Ice Arena
786 – 22nd Street
West Vancouver, BC

Knox United Annual Thrift Sale
Friday April 28th, 5pm to 8pm and Saturday April 29th, 9am to 12noon
5600 Balaclava Street (just off 41st)
Vancouver, BC

St Mary’s Kerrisdale Rummage Sale
Friday, April 28, 5pm to 8pm and Saturday April 29th, 9:30am to 12noon
2490 West 37th Avenue
Vancouver, BC

St. Philips Rummage Sale
Saturday April 29, 9:00am to noon
3737 W. 27th Avenue
Vancouver, BC (just west of Dunbar)

Gracie’s Thrift Store
Saturday April 29th, 10am to 2pm (and every other Saturday)
803 East 16th Avenue
Vancouver, BC (off of Kingsway and 16th)

West Vancouver United Church’s Elegant Flea Market
Saturday May 6, 8:30am to 2pm
2062 Esquimalt Avenue (at 21st)
West Vancouver, BC

21st Century Flea Market
Sunday May 7, 10am to 3pm  $5
Croatian Cultural Centre
3250 Commercial Drive (at 16th Avenue)
Vancouver, BC

The East Side Flea
May 19-21 (and every other weekend)
Friday 6pm – 10pm, Sat/Sun 11am – 5pm
1024 Main Street (Ellis Building)
Vancouver, BC

South Granville Senior’s Centre Spring Bazaar
Sat. June 3, 10:00am – 2:30pm
1420 West 12th Ave.,
Vancouver, BC
A $7 soup & sandwich lunch will be served from 11:30-1:00

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If home is where the heart is, then the heart of any great community lies within the people who call it home. And this holds especially true for the dedicated crew of volunteers working diligently behind the scenes to put together Knox United Church’s annual spring thrift sale. On site at the Fellowship Centre are dozens of longstanding members of the congregation along with several industrious young people, including the local Cub Scout troop who have been using the church space for their meetings. Even the Minister, Reverend Liz Bowyer along with Sharon Copeman, are pitching in and wearing different hats (literally speaking…while I was there I saw Reverend Bowyer have fun trying on at least two different red hats).

DSC_3798In a matter of a few hours everyone was able to transform a rather dull looking auditorium into vibrant market place filled with an eclectic selection of furniture, collectibles, china, toys, books, clothing, accessories, and everyday household items donated by the congregation and surrounding community. By Friday evening, they will be ready to open their doors to the public from 5pm to 8pm and then again Saturday from 9am to 12noon.

DSC_3772Nestled on a pretty side street in Kerrisdale in Vancouver, Knox United has a long history of being an important part of the community and the thrift sales have been an integral part of that process as far back as people can remember. “I have been a member of Knox United for over 30 years and as far as I know, the sales were going on long before I arrived,” says Tacye MacLagan. For the past 20 years she had been the thrift sale coordinator and recently passed the torch over to Susan McAlpine. Together they thought that the thrift sales may have been going on since the early 1950s.

Although there is a lot of work that goes into organizing the thrift sales each spring and fall, proceeds from these events are crucial to supporting various church programs. According to McAlpine “money raised from the thrift sales goes directly into the operations budget and helps to support much needed community-based programs such as the Syrian Project, Community Lunch Program for those in need, and the Healing Touch program.”

McAlpine seems to have the set up process well in hand, but is grateful that MacLagan (who recently moved away to the Island) has come back to help with this rather daunting task. “We have been collecting donations since the third week of February” says McAlpine. “In the past we have rented storage bins but this year we were able to build a storage unit on site in the Fellowship Centre’s auditorium and this has made the process of unpacking and setting up so much easier.” She opens the storage unit and lets me take a peak in. It is filled to the rafters, people have been generous. Despite how much stuff is there, I did spot a lovely wicker love seat and chair.

DSC_3761They have quite the task ahead of them, but cheerfully the volunteers start streaming in and grab what they can to take back to the appropriate section. Not only are they setting up in the auditorium, there are at least three other rooms being commandeered for the sale.

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A particular favourite for local dealers is the “boutique” which is set up in the preschool space. Here is where you can find some of the more collectible and higher end items such as china, vintage jewellery, serving platters, dolls, and art. Already set aside for this sale is a 32 piece set of Royal Albert Old Country Roses dinnerware, sterling silver souvenir spoons, and a nice pair of silver plated serving utensils. Having been to the sale on many occasions, I would never have guessed what this room looks like before the sale.

DSC_3778Another popular space for many coming to the sale is the room set up for all the toys and games. The Cub Scout troop seems to be having fun stocking this space. Several sparkly party hats have been found and now worn. One of the Cub Scouts, wearing one of the more interesting hats, takes time to point out that there is a PlayStation 2 on one of the tables. McAlpine’s daughter Sarah is also busy helping to organize this room, which so far has quite the selection of board games, dolls, and various toys for all ages.

DSC_3826In a smaller room around the corner is where all the books will be for sale. At the moment they are all stored in boxes waiting for their turn to come out and be set up. One by one each book will be meticulously placed in its specific section, making whatever you are looking for easy to find.

DSC_3783The auditorium is by far the biggest room and will feature housewares (vintage and contemporary), furniture, tools, clothing and accessories, luggage, linen, and even a beautiful 1950s grandfather clock. There will also be a small section set up with plants for sale and master gardeners on site to answer questions. Here is just some of what you can expect to find.

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DSC_3833All of this is somewhat bittersweet as this may be the last year of the thrift sale. The church has had to make the difficult decision to sell the land where the Fellowship Centre building sits. The decision was not made lightly and has stirred some controversy in the area. However, the sale will allow them to continue their work in the community. They will be building another smaller meeting space for the preschool in behind the actual Church, but are unsure if and where they will be able to continue to host the sales in the future.

Personally I hope that they will find a way to continue as I look forward to their sales every spring and fall. Everything is always well organized and quite reasonably priced…and the volunteers are gracious and fun…each time evoking a true sense of community.

Knox United Church
5600 Balaclava St @ 41st Avenue
Vancouver, BC
Friday April 22, 2016 5pm to 8pm
Saturday April 23, 2016 9am to 12noon
**Lots of free street parking in the area and they will have the BBQ set up selling hotdogs and hamburgers both days.

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Ryerson SaleSpring has sprung and while for most people this evokes images of flowers blooming and children playing in parks, I start to get a bit giddy by all the upcoming church rummage sales in my neighbourhood. I know that there are many sales across the city, but I boldly believe that the ones here on the West Side are some of the best. They rock it old school with lots of wonderful donated items at affordable prices. And for those folks looking more for antiques, collectibles or fine jewellery, most will also have their “treasure room” and as expected the prices for those items will be a bit higher.

While the shopper in me would rather keep quiet about these sales so that the line ups aren’t too crazy, the blogger in me really wants to encourage everyone out there to come and check them out. In the end, it is all for a good cause and there is enough for everyone–young and old. I believe that the more we can do to keep stuff out of the landfills the better. And if I can find something that I love, and maybe even need, for a great price in the process then it is all win win. You just never know what you might find!

Here are some of my favourites. If you would like to share yours, you can include it on the poll below or in the comment section.

Ryerson Spring Rummage Sale
Friday April 17 6pm-9m and Saturday April 18 10am to 1pm
2195 West 45th Avenue (just west of Arbutus)
Vancouver, BC

Dunbar Heights Thrift Sale
Saturday April 25th Time 9:30am to 1pm
3525 West 24th Avenue (at Collingwood)
Vancouver, BC

St. Philips Rummage Sale
Saturday April 25, 2015 9:00am to noon
3737 W. 27th Ave. Vancouver, BC (just west of Dunbar)

Knox United Annual Thrift Sale
Friday April 24th 5pm to 8pm and Saturday April 25th 10am to 1pm
5600 Balaclava Street (just off 41st)
Vancouver, BC
St Mary’s Kerrisdale Rummage Sale
Friday, May 1, 2015 – Saturday, May 2, 2015
2490 West 37th Ave
Vancouver, BC

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Just thought I would let folks know that at the West Point Grey Rummage Sale tomorrow – Sunday 2pm to 4pm – they will be selling everything at terrific prices. I also heard that they will sell bags for $5 and then you get to stuff as much of what you can into that bag. Great deal, especially if you are looking for clothing.

I was there today and I must say, they have a huge amount of stock to go through. Well worth your while if you can get out there on Sunday. I am sure you won’t be disappointed. I was particularly impressed with the vast selection of clothing for men, women, and children. I came away with some great finds.

Address is listed below in my previous post.

Also, for anyone wanting to check out the Ladner Market (one of my favourites over the summer), tomorrow is their last day for this year. And I heard that a Zydeco band will be playing…should be rather festive. This market starts at 10am and is held in the downtown core of Ladner…you can’t miss it as there is tons of signage leading you there.

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West Point Grey Rummage Sale Treasures3Rummage sale season has arrived….and I couldn’t be happier. There is something to be said for the old fashioned church rummage sales with bits of everything on sale for prices as low as 25 cents. Mind you, there is not much that you can get for a quarter these days, but that the possibility exists is very exciting for bargain shoppers like myself.

For many local churches, these rummage sales are one of their biggest fundraising events and an opportunity for their congregation to come together and have some fun. For the rest of us, it is a way to also be part of our community while finding some great deals on just about anything.

The first sale of the season is being held up at West Point Grey United Church (4595 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver). West Point Grey Rummage Sale Line UpLocated on the corner or 8th Avenue and Tolmie, they offer one of the largest sales that spans over four days. Starting today (September 10th) and tomorrow (September 11th) from 3pm to 7pm they will be selling books, collectibles, knick knacks, music CDs and tapes, and movies DVDs and tapes. Then on Saturday (September 13th) they have the “big sale” where not only can you still buy the above mentioned items, but where you can also find an incredible selection of clothing, sports gear, housewares, tools, linens, picture frames, garden supplies, and so much more. You will even be able to stock up on home made baked goods. Then on Sunday they have a blow out clearance sale from 2pm to 4pm, often selling everything at half price or less.

West Point Grey Rummage Sale TreasuresWith all this selection usually comes a lot of people…be prepared to line up for a little while for some of the sections (e.g., books) as they have had to spread out in various rooms throughout the church. I had to wait 10 minutes to get into view the books and about 15 for the collectible section today. However, the wait was well worth it as I found a copy of John Bishop’s cookbook “Cooking At My House” for $5. West Point Grey Rummage SaleThis is an amazing buy as I already own it and cook from it frequently. I have been looking to find another copy for a friend who also loves his style of cooking. The recipes are user friendly and incredibly flavourful. I also bought a copy of Le Cordon Bleu’s “Home Cooking Collection on Casseroles.” One of my favourite dishes to make is Cassoulet and they have an interesting version in it that uses duck confit…this I want to try.

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It used to be that thrift shopping was seen almost as a bad thing. Fortunately times have changed and not only is it now considered to be both economical and fun, for some it has even become a sport!

April - May 2009 St. Phillips Rummage

Here below is my overview of all the different places to score some terrific and thrifty finds. Each is a bit different and you should tailor your thrift shopping to suit your own style and needs. But, if you have an opportunity to check them all out it could be well worth your while.

  1. Free Stuff
    Classifieds: This is by far the most economical option. Check your local papers and Web sites such as Craigslist and UsedVancouver for people looking to give stuff away. You could be pleasantly surprised by what you can find. Always a good idea to check those sections often as they do change regularly.
    Community Clean Ups: Many communities have a few days a year that they set aside for people to pile all their unwanted items in their driveways/yards. It stays out for a few days before being picked up, allowing the true thrift enthusiast time to check it out. What is left over is picked up by the sanitation workers and sent to the dump. Good to get there early as the good stuff gets picked over quickly.
    Neighbourhood Giveaways: For those areas that do not have the community pick ups, people will often leave stuff in their laneway/lobby/yards with a little sign that is usually labeled “free”. This is a common practice in many areas and apartment buildings. Don’t feel embarrassed about picking stuff–you are saving it from hitting the landfills and extending its shelf life a little longer. If it is not happening in your area, start the trend and see what happens.
    Exchange Parties: These are becoming more popular with women wanting to find some creative ways to swap clothing and accessories but could be adapted for all sorts of stuff.  Check out my post on how to host your own Clothing Exchange Party.
    Dumpster Diving: Now this is not for everyone, but you never know what you can find in the dumpsters behind large apartment buildings.
  2. Garage Sales
    The next level up from the free stuff is the garage sale. In general, you can often find what you are looking for at a great price. However, types of items and prices may vary depending on which part of town you are in. Check your local classifieds, garage sale listings, and local signage out on weekends for where to go.
  3. Classifieds
    Both the daily and smaller community newspapers have classified sections where people will post a variety of items for sale, usually reasonably priced. Many other publications also have a classified section in print and online. Again, sites like Craigslist and UsedVancouver offer a huge selection of items in many different categories and people will often post photos of the items.
  4. Flea Markets/Swap Meets
    Although some are held year round, most of these sales occur in the spring and summer months. This is another terrific place to find a great deal on what you are looking for. Here people rent out tables or space to sell their wares. Again, depending on where you go you can pretty much find almost anything this way at a great price. Check out Market Market on this site for links to a variety of local markets.
  5. Rummage, Church, and School Sales
    These are usually held as fundraisers and items are always donated–keeping the prices quite reasonable. Because proceeds will benefit the organization, people usually donate quality items. Best to get there early or near the end of the day when prices are reduced to sell. Fall and spring are when you see most of these sales showing up in the classified sections of your local papers.
  6. Thrift Stores
    Here items are also donated, but because this is a storefront the prices will be a bit more. In general though, you can still find some terrific deals that will be less than the secondhand or consignment stores. Some or all of the proceeds are usually donated to a charity.
  7. Auctions
    Although not typically associated with thrift shopping, some auctions have one day a week that they set aside for items that are of lesser value and can’t be sold at the Estate Auctions. Here you can find some incredible deals, often for under $25. But sometimes you need to buy things in bulk to get access to the true treasures.
  8. Friends and Families
    We often forget to check in with friends and families to see if they might have what we are looking for. It never hurts to ask around as often friends and family will just give stuff away.

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As part of my love of all things secondhand, I have become known as a person who can find just about anything. And, along those lines I am also known for finding a good home for most things. It’s not something I do for money, but rather for sport. I truly believe that there is always someone looking for something that you might want to get rid of…the trick is finding them.

In the Vancouver area there are now many wonderful ways to sell or donate your stuff but where some people get stuck is finding a home for things that matter. For those who are not sentimental, this is not an issue. But for the rest of us who get easily attached to things and the stories that go along with them…letting go is not easy.

If we can find a friend, family member, or even a stranger who might cherish or need that object then letting it go is much easier. My dear friend Mollie’s husband recently passed away, he was 84. They had been married for over 60 years and up until a few months ago, they were both still living in their own apartment. After he died, she went through all his clothing and asked if I could help her find a place to donate everything. Down the street from her there was a donation bin, but she didn’t want to send it to Value Village. She wanted his clothing to make a more personal impact for someone. There was quite a bit of clothing, ranging from casual everyday wear to more formal suits.

I contacted a few charities that I know and was eventually able to drop off all five bags to a drop-in program that is run by the Developmental Disabilities Association here in Vancouver. Many of the people who use their services are often on income assistance and don’t always have the funds to buy good quality clothing…especially suits and ties.

Mollie came with me as it was important to know where it was going. It was somehow comforting for her to know that her husband’s clothing would directly benefit a group of men who could really use it. Sharon, the manager of the facility, came out and personally greeted us and thanked Mollie for the donation. She also later followed up with a Thank You card. This meant the world to Mollie and gave meaning to having to let go of her husband’s clothing.

This was a good match, one that had a huge impact on many levels. But sometimes I am also asked to find homes for things that are kind of fun and even a tad quirky. My latest challenge is to find a home for an older model Hohner Accordion. It comes equipped with the case, stand and how-to books. The owner used to play it but is downsizing. He doesn’t want to sell it but rather find a good home for it. In speaking with a musician friend, looks like we might be able to match it up with a student from the Waldorf school on the North Shore who is keen to learn to play.

And, last but not least my friend Jamie contacted me today to see if I could help him track down a pair of wooden oars 6’6″ or longer…if anyone has any leads let me know!

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