15th Year for the Thrift Store Annual Collectibles Sale
Back in 1996, the Thrift Store began having its yearly Collectibles Sale. St. Vincent de Paul wanted to have a signature event at the store that would introduce our organization and work to a wider community. In addition, because many collectibles were being donated and sold in the store during the year at very low prices, the decision was made to save some of the more ‘collectible’ items for the event. Most volunteers were not well informed about what items were collectibles and their true worth. Enter Dorothy Wallerick as a new volunteer at the store. Dorothy, with her love for and extensive knowledge about collectibles, has headed this initiative ever since, preparing as many as 80% of the items as they arrive during the year.
The Collectibles Sale provides major funding for our School Supply program and generated about $20,000 this year. This is about 5% less than last year but is consistent with expectations given the state of the current economy. A second factor affecting our total sales, and our day-to-day sales for that matter, is that more and more people are selling high dollar items on the internet versus donating them. Some families are doing this because they need the extra funds. In previous years we frequently had several high dollar items for the sale. These have included commemorative Pendleton blankets, rare English tea wear (one set dated from 1840), original Navaho jewelry, hand carved oak furniture - some from the 1800s - and unique movie posters featuring big stars like John Wayne. We didn’t see as many unique items this year.
Because the sale is such a major event significant preparation is required. This year we had a 50% sale on all store items for the week prior to the sale, culminating with a two dollar bag sale on the Friday before. We do this to reduce the amount of inventory that has to be relocated given the sale occupied nearly 70% of the store’s retail space. The Store also does major advertising for the event and is looking at expanding that even more in the future...possibly creating a mural for our display windows like we do for Christmas.
Karen McNielly was extremely enthusiastic in describing the volunteer support that enabled this year’s show. “ We saw the greatest participation ever by our conference volunteers. A lot of individuals put in special effort to make the show a success, people like Dorothy (who personally shined all the silver for the event), Dee Dee Metz, Corey Tremble, Bob and Jeanne Hammer, Jackie Cavanaugh, Julie Riley, Lelia Nyberg, Mary Jo Rees, Gaile Schmidt, Dianne Johnson, Dianne Erickson, Patrick Wilson, and too many more to list. Besides the store volunteers, the Knights of Columbus helped with parking again this year and the Pantry provided additional snacks and drinks during the set up and sale. Extra praise to all who made this year another success in spite
of the challenging economy.” •