Oakland’s beloved White Elephant Sale, billed as Northern California’s largest rummage sale, is going online this year.
Due to the pandemic, the sale’s bustling Lancaster Street warehouse won’t be open for dedicated shoppers and bargain hunters. However, the Oakland Museum Women’s Board, which sponsors the fundraiser benefiting the Oakland Museum of California, is curating a three-week online sale for the 62nd annual event. It will run from 8 a.m. May 1 through 6 p.m. May 23.
Used furniture, artwork, household items, ceramics, sporting goods, fine jewelry, collectibles, music, books and vintage and contemporary apparel — all donations from the public — will be up for sale.
In the past six years, the sale has raised more $1 million annually to support the museum, which has been closed since March 13, 2020 due to COVID-19. (A reopening date this spring has yet to be announced.) The $3 million loss of revenue from the closure has made the need for funds from the White Elephant Sale even more crucial, officials say.
With assistance from more than 100 volunteers, the 2021 sale will be on a smaller scale than usual, featuring select high-quality items in the new online store.
In accordance with safety protocols, shoppers will be able to purchase items online, then schedule a pickup time at the warehouse on 333 Lancaster St.; shipping is not an option due to volunteer capacity and safety rules.
“This year, we challenged ourselves to carry forth the tradition and our commitment to supporting OMCA, while also creating a new online shopping experience for our returning and first-time White Elephant Sale customers,” said Sherry Westernoff, Oakland Museum Women’s Board president. “I’m so proud of our board and our volunteers for their commitment under these extraordinary circumstances. It was a true team effort.”
“In a time of uncertainty, we are so grateful to the Oakland Museum Women’s Board for their continued dedication to raising funds for the Oakland Museum of California, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Lori Fogarty, OMCA director and CEO. “They demonstrate the best of philanthropy and community support: that a group of dedicated people can make a lasting impact year over year.”
To shop, visit whiteelephantsale.org/online.