If you are the Bay Area this weekend, you should make it a priority to attend the annual Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale (Saturday 3/6 and Sunday 3/7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the White Elephant Sale Warehouse located at 333 Lancaster Street, Oakland, CA). Yes, the deals are as good as the crowds are crazy, but where else can you find Ferragamos for $10? The shoe selection is amazing and surprisingly well-organized. Now, I realize that many people are opposed to used shoes; however, the White Elephant Sale is not a dingy thrift store. Volunteers are actually rather picky about what they’ll accept in terms of quality and condition. This means that shoes are either gently used or new. The gently used shoes can be easily cleaned up by a reliable cobbler (I like Paul’s Shoe Repair located at 2281 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA).
Earlier this month, I went to one of the sale’s preview days and bought a gently used pair of Ferragamo’s for $20, a pair of vintage pumps for $7, and a brand new pair of Tretorn flats for $15. On the same trip, my shopping companions found shoes by Ferragamo and Michael Kors for $10 to $15. During the sale in previous years, I’ve seen Chanel, Cole Haan, and Stuart Weitzman shoes.
Here’s the scene in the “designer” shoe section (a very small part of the total shoe department) during my visit on a preview day (I was trying to take photos without anyone noticing).
And here’s my haul! Three pairs of shoes for $42! Oh my!