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Posts Tagged ‘Used’

Avid thrift shoppers will be thrilled to learn that Talize plans to open their second BC location in Langley later this summer.

This is terrific news on many levels. It means additional industry related jobs, a boost for the local economy, more opportunities to keep recyclable items out of the landfills, increased support for the Children’s Wish Foundation, and of course another wonderful shopping destination for savvy secondhand shoppers.

Founded in 2005, Talize is a Canadian owned and operated thrift store chain with seven stores currently in operation (six stores in Ontario and one in Delta, BC). As well as the new store currently under construction in Langley, there are two more being planned for Ontario in Kingston and Barrie.

The store in Delta, which opened its doors in 2006, recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Laurel Stan, who has been the Assistant Store Manager in Delta, is proud to be part of a supportive work culture that takes care of its staff and customers. According to Stan, “the Delta store has around 50 team members, with many having been here since we first opened as we like to promote from within.”

Even Stan herself has what she calls a “secondhand love story”, both she and her husband Eric Nykamp met while working at a rival thrift store before moving over to work for Talize in Hamilton, Ontario. Nykamp started at Talize in 2007 and Stan in 2008. And, in 2010 they leapt at the chance to relocate to BC to manage the Delta store. Nykamp is currently the Store Manager and Stan the Assistant Store Manager. Come this summer, Nykamp will become the District Manager and Stan the Store Manager for Langley.

And, true to promoting from within, Stan’s Assistant Store Manager in Langley will be Corrie-Lynn Parries who began working as a part-time cashier at the Delta location shortly after it first opened. Her mother, who also works with Talize, had encouraged her to take a part-time job while still in school.

There are other perks to working with Talize, such as staff discounts. However, Stan cautions that “there is a misconception that staff get first pick of all the good stuff. The truth is that they don’t get to buy anything until it has been on the floor for 24 hours.”

With over 25,000 square feet, Talize is able to showcase a large culturally diverse selection of clothing and accessories for both men and women (beautifully organized by size and colour). They also have an impressive section for children’s clothing and toys, bookcases filled with every type of book that you can imagine, rows and rows of vintage, retro and modern housewares, as well as a small back section with electronics and some small appliances.

The store relies on donations to keep itself well stocked with quality merchandise while also encouraging people to keep items out of landfills. They accept donations of gently used clothing and household goods which can be dropped off in a bin at the front of the store or if it is a larger donation it is best to take it to the back loading area. As a thank you for these donations, they offer donors a $5 off coupon towards their next purchase at the store.

There are also several purple donation bins around the city (look for the ones with the Children’s Wish Foundation logo). They cannot accept furniture or any kind of TV screen or baby items due to safety restrictions.

According to Stan, this is a high turnover industry with regular customers coming in weekly and many local dealers daily. “In the back rooms, we process 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of stock every day. It is important for us to keep fresh items coming out.” As a result, they have a large production team (25 to 30 staff) who are responsible for processing, sorting and pricing all of the incredible donations received on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, due to damage or other restrictions/issues, some items cannot be sold. For these items, Evgeni Shteinberg, Talize’s Marketing Director, says that Talize is equally committed to being environmentally conscious. “We recycle as much as possible. Metal, electronics, books, housewares, cloth, shoes, purses and clothing accessories are all recycled. In fact, we recycle more than 1.5 million pounds of items per store that would otherwise be destined for the landfill each year. That works out to approximately 100M pounds of recycled goods that Talize has helped keep out of local landfills since its inception.”

Donations not only support Talize’s commitment to a “greener environment”, they also help Talize raise much needed funds for a Canadian charity. According to Shteinberg, “Talize is a proud platinum partner of the Children’s Wish Foundation and through this partnership, we have contributed over $1.5 Million to date.” The Children’s Wish Foundation helps children, families and communities by granting a wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Talize also likes to participate in local community events such as the Vancouver Halloween Parade.

There are many wonderful reasons to consider shopping at Talize, and I would like to add one more…their store wide sale which has everything in the store at half price. The next sale is coming up on Monday, March 27th at all of their store locations. Doors open at 7am until 9pm.

For more news on the Grand Opening of their store in Langley, I would suggest subscribing to their Enewsletter and liking their local page on Facebook.

Talize Delta (BC)
11930 – 88th Avenue, Delta V4C 3C8
Ph. (604) 599-6116
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Saturday 9:00 am to 9:00 pm
Sunday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
www.talize.com

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The madness. The frenzy. And, the fun! These are the words that best describe the scene at the Talize thrift store in Delta early Monday morning. Although this Canadian thrift store has been at this location for just over five years, it is just now starting to gain momentum as one of Metro Vancouver’s favourite thrift shopping destinations – especially when they have their 50% sale.

“Attention shoppers, Wendy your shopping cart is ready.” This surprising type of announcement was a common occurrence on Monday morning. Doors had opened at 7am and with several hundred people in line to get in, all the shopping carts were already in use by 7:15. But, where one would expect chaos and flaring tempers, Talize staff had everything well in hand. A nice touch was that people could sign up to be on the list for the next available shopping cart, which most people would need as this was a day to shop in volume.

This thrift retail chain store originates from Ontario and currently only has one location in British Columbia. Still not as well recognized as Value Village or Salvation Army, this unique thrift store is gaining in popularity. Open seven days a week (often until 9pm) and located at the corner of Nordel Way and Scott Road in Delta, it is easily accessible from all parts of Metro Vancouver and has ample parking.


With several thousand feet of retail floor space, they carry an impressive selection of clothing and accessories for children, men and women, and to a lesser extent housewares, books, DVDs, CDs, furniture and electronics. Most of their stock is what they call “gently used” but they do carry some newer items as well.

The layout of the store is easy to navigate, with wide aisles that can easily fit two shopping carts side by side. Their stock is well organized with a huge selection in all sizes; ranging from petite all the way to plus sizes. Regardless of your shape or age, there is something for everyone and it is easy to find the colour, size and style that best suits your taste.

Regular prices are quite reasonable, running anywhere from a few dollars to $20 or $30 depending on what you are looking for. But during the 50% sale, everything is half price. Shoppers can often get designer labels such as DKNY, Calvin Klein and more for under $5. Brand name clothing and accessories from Old Navy and the Gap are also available for as low as $2 or $3 per item. They also carry a decent selection of vintage items for both men and women.

I would recommend signing up for their E-Flyer so that you will be the first to know when they have their next 50% sale.

Talize
11930 – 88th Avenue
Delta, B.C.
(604) 599-6116
www.talize.com

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**Quick update on Cheapskates: The storefront at 19th and Dunbar will be closing in October 2009. The building has been sold. As a result they will operate only one store, the one at 3644 West 16th Ave, and this will affect what they are able to consign. Call them directly for more information: 604-222-1125


I noticed the most wonderful sign this morning – Free Ski and Snowboard Boots! It wasn’t in a laneway but rather at a local sports consignment store called Cheapskates. They seemed to have a terrific selection of all types of sizes and makes. Definitely a great find for anyone wanting to learn to ski or snowboard this season. This way you can save some money on the boots while being able to rent the rest of the gear. Also, I have learned that by putting money into a pair of inserts, that can make any boot work.

Cheapskates has been a regular fixture in the Dunbar neighbourhood for over 20 years. What started out with one little store has grown into a formidable presence at the corner of 16th and Dunbar. There used to be four locations but now there are two, both located within walking distance: Cheapskates One (3644 W16th Ave, Vancouver) and Cheapskates 19 (3496 Dunbar St., Vancouver). Here you can pretty much find every kind of used sports equipment. Barry Gilpin, the owner, likes to think of this as his own sporting goods department store -“but one with sidewalks instead of escalators taking you to the different departments.”

Barry has been a sports enthusiast most of his life and after having accumulated excessive amounts of sports equipment, he decided that there had to be a way to recycle and resell all of it. He had previously been in the real estate business but decided to start his own sporting goods business after he had swapped a house in Gibsons for a storefront business in Vancouver.

Times were different back then, people bought secondhand because of necessity and it was not as socially acceptable to purchase used goods as it is today. Barry remembers one woman who came from across town to buy used equipment for her kids and liked that it was out of the way, none of her friends or family knew that she was buying things secondhand. But he also started the business at a time when recycling was becoming more prominent. And this changed everything.

After a few years in business he outgrew the first storefront location, but instead of going after a larger building he decided to open up a second store and split up the different kinds of sporting equipment. This led to Cheapskates Too at the corner of Dunbar and 17th, and two years later Cheapskates Fore a few doors down, and finally Cheapskates 19 at Dunbar and 19th.

The stores evolved into departments, each with its own specific type of inventory: Cheapskates 1 -skating, hockey, soccer, baseball and exercise equipment; Cheapskates Too -bicycles and parts; Cheapskates Fore -golf, racquets, and inline skates; and Cheapskates 19 -skis, snowboards, snowshoes, camping equipment, and ski clothes. This allowed Barry and his staff to keep better track on the inventory and to become very knowledgeable in each area.

Everything is sold on consignment, and the prices are discounted over time. Barry also made a decision in the beginning to only mail out the cheques so as to discourage people from trying to sell stolen merchandise. He currently has thousands of consignees who cover a large geographic area including the Kootenay’s, Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, and even the U.S. And he has a very diverse client base.

According to Barry, “no two days are ever the same. The stock is always changing and this keeps it interesting.” He is very proud of the business that he and his wife have built together and he loves what he does and he does it well. “We try to focus on what we do and then do the best job we can with what we have.”

He has also made a strong commitment to the community and has created a unique way of donating to charity. He has a wonderful system in place where people can drop off used sports equipment and then have the proceeds of the sale go to a charity of their choice. He currently has accounts set up for the Boys and Girls Clubs, Amnesty International, KidSport, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Junior League Sunshine Wheels, and the Hearing Impaired Foundation. But he can also arrange to send the money to different charities if you provide him with all the necessary contact information.

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clothing exchangeA few years back I had the opportunity to participate in a unique gathering that brought together all the elements for a terrific night out: good friends, fine wine, great food, and a massive pile of clothes. The evening was part of a seasonal gathering called the “clothing exchange,” where women swap their unwanted clothes and have a bit of a social at the same time.

In order to find out how to organize one, I consulted with my friend Suzanne who is one of the more seasoned veterans of this process. She has been involved with clothing exchanges, sometimes called “the games,” for over 15 years and continues to love this process. “It is the best thing,” she says. “You take a bag of stuff you no longer want and/or have outgrown and come home with a bag of amazing new finds – all without spending a dime.”

The social aspect is above all central, but the added benefits are many. Not only do you get to clean out your closets, you also get to see some of your stuff go to a good home and the rest to charity. There is no waste and the process is fun with just the right amount of sport to keep it interesting. And, you get to go home with some great new clothes.

Hosting a “clothing exchange” party is easy and fun. Suzanne jokingly says that there are no rules – but there are a few to keep in mind. Below are Suzanne’s tips for having the best “Great Canadian Clothing Exchange Party.”

The Basics:

  1. Need between 9 – 15 women for it to really work.
  2. Good to invite a variety of women (different sizes) with a mixture of tastes and styles. It also helps to mix social circles.
  3. Everyone should come with at least one large bag of clothes and accessories (shoes, hats, belts, etc.).
  4. Provide refreshments and snacks or make it a potluck. (Trying on all those clothes can make a person hungry)
  5. If you plan on doing this more than once, create a core group of four to five women who will always be invited…keeping “the games alive.”
  6. Need to alternate the other people you invite so as not to keep getting the same stuff each time.
  7. Good to offer these parties seasonally.
  8. Whatever is left over at the end of the evening gets donated to charity by the party host.

Planning Process:

  1. Make sure your home can accommodate 9-15 women trying on clothes. If not, consider using a friend’s home that may have more space.
  2. Set the date a few weeks in advance. It is generally better to offer it during the week, but if you want more of a social…the weekend is best.
  3. Invite people over at around 7:30. This allows some time for socializing before “the games” begin, which should promptly start at 8:00 and go to about 10.00.
  4. Invite your core group and the rest. You need at least 9 women to make it work, but up to 15 is ideal. Always a good idea to invite a few more as some people may cancel.
  5. Good to call a few days in advance to confirm, making sure you have enough time to invite others if you need to.
  6. When choosing the group, make sure you are inviting people who enjoy secondhand clothes and this type of event.

The Night Of:

  1. Clear a space in your home that will comfortably fit up to 15 women and one massive pile of clothes.
  2. Make sure that you have enough mirrors handy so that people can check to see that things fit properly. You might even ask a few people to bring over some stand up mirrors. Spread the mirrors in different rooms, allowing privacy for those who need it.
  3. Because of how everyone will be trying on clothes, possibly stripping to their knickers in the open, best to not have husbands/boyfriends and children around. This could make some people feel a bit uncomfortable.
  4. As people arrive have them dump their clothes in the pile and quickly cover it so no one gets the “advantage.” You need to make sure that you have a few large blankets handy to cover the pile adequately.

Let “the games” Begin:

Once everyone has arrived, go over the “rules” before you start.

  • There are really no rules, BUT…
  • Have fun, first and foremost
  • Everyone is to create a circle around the pile
  • The host counts to three and then everyone helps to remove the blankets together
  • Each person grabs the clothes and accessories that she is interested in and creates a personal pile. No one can take from that pile, but they can call “dibs” just in case you decide you that don’t want it. If no one has called dibs, it goes back into the pile as “incoming” or “seconds” so that people know to go and check it out.
  • There should be several stations set up where people can try things on.

Some Tips:

  • Good to go in with both a playful and assertive attitude
  • Know what you like, especially in terms of colours and textures
  • Make quick assessments
  • Move quickly, don’t dawdle
  • Grab everything that is of interest to you and place it in your pile–you can always throw it back in if you don’t want it
  • Don’t take it personally when people aren’t going after the clothes you brought

At The End:

Once everyone is done creating her own pile, all the clothes that are left over are sent to charity. The host usually deals with this aspect, but can ask if people have some favourite charities that they like to donate clothes to. Always a good idea to call the charities ahead of time to make sure they are in need of the clothes. Many have outlined what they need and how they accept clothes. Some will even pick them up like the Canadian Diabetes Association, Big Brothers, and Developmental Disabilities Association. Many of these charities also have deposit bins conveniently located throughout the city.

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This is a blog for those of us who love all things secondhand (aka used, previously loved, recycled, and so on)! I believe that we quietly live and breathe all aspects of this lifestyle – that of mindful consumption. We consciously choose to reuse and creatively recycle while also finding ways to connect with our past and with our communities. And, if you are like me it was once because of circumstance, but now it is of choice. A very proud choice – I wear and use my secondhand items like a badge of honour.

There are many aspects to this lifestyle but the common denominator is that we don’t like waste! And, there are many ways to delay and potentially deter stuff from entering our landfills. Whether you consign, sell outright or donate your used goods – there always seems to a place for it or someone who really needs it.

Together, I hope that we will find our collective voice and share fun and creative ways to help others to join our movement…or at least to embrace that there is nothing shameful about buying used goods or in hand-me-downs. In our own way we are being green while supporting local businesses and saving money. And, being a quirky bunch we generally know how to have fun with the process.

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