March 1, 2017

Thrifty treasure hunting

How to shop the legendary White Elephant Sale like a pro

By Claudia Leung, Digital Communications Specialist

The annual White Elephant Sale is back for two days—March 4 and 5, 10 am to 4 pm both days. Don’t miss out on amazing finds from bikes and sports equipment to vintage hats, purses, and gloves, to vinyl records, furniture, dishware, and more. All proceeds from the event go to support the Oakland Museum of California’s programs and exhibitions. Whether it’s your first time attending or you’re a seasoned shopper, here are tips about how to make the most of the famed Sale.

1.     Take BART. Don’t worry about finding parking in the neighborhood; a free shuttle takes you from Fruitvale Station to the Warehouse throughout both Sale days. Plan to buy a lot? Bring your purchases to the check stand and pull up to load your vehicle. Anything left longer than 6 days will be re-donated.

2.     Know what you’re looking for? Plan your attack. With 17 departments in 96,000 square feet worth of merchandise, it can be easy to get distracted. Take a look at the warehouse map beforehand so you know where you want to go first.

3.     Bring cards for the Sale, and cash for the food. The White Elephant Sale now takes credit cards in every department for purchases, making it even more convenient to shop. If you’re planning to stay for a while, bring some cash for the number of tasty food vendors that set up outside—everything from tamales to coffee to funnel cake.

4.     Get Warehouse-ready. Bring a bottle of water, comfortable shoes, and dress in layers—the Sale is held inside of a true Warehouse, and can get chilly! Make sure you’re comfortable for however long you plan to shop.

5.     Appreciate the amazing volunteers. The White Elephant Sale is run by a veritable army of people with both knowledge and experience. Each department has co-chairs from the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, which puts on the sale. Ask them your questions, and show them some love—all their hard work pays off in support for your favorite Museum. 

The Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale runs Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5, 2017, from 10 am to 4 pm both days. Admission is free, as is the shuttle to and from the Fruitvale BART Station. Learn more at