The White Elephant Sale is Northern California's oldest and largest rummage sale benefiting the Oakland Museum of California that takes place annually at the White Elephant Sale Warehouse in the Jingletown neighborhood of East Oakland.
The White Elephant Sale is produced by the Oakland Museum Women's Board, which was organized in 1955 as a support group of The Oakland Museum Association (est. 1953). By 1965, the White Elephant Sale had become a major fundraiser to underwrite the Oakland Museum of California’s educational programs, exhibitions and marketing. With nearly 1000 volunteers contributing countless hours, the Women's Board has raised more than $30 million over 60 years in support of the Oakland Museum of California.
Though the Sale is only open to the public for about a month and a half, the volunteers collect, sort, and repair millions of donated items over the course of an entire year. With nearly 20 different departments and over 90,000 sq ft. of shopping, customers travel from all over the state to attend.
The sale is primarily run by volunteers. The sale itself is overseen by a volunteer board of directors. There are only a few paid staff members, including van drivers, warehouse janitors and managers, and a handful of other full-time and part-time staff. All of the staff receives living wages plus benefits.
Sale dates are usually announced in the fall. Ticket sales usually open mid-December.
The first public event is the Preview Sale, for ticketed shoppers to get first access to the merchandise. This event often sells out as soon as tickets are announced and is the biggest day of the Sale.
In the following weeks, ticketed shoppers have their chance to work their way through the warehouse for a limited number of days. Many come multiple times since volunteers continuously add new-to-you merchandise throughout the warehouse.
The final event is the Blow-Out Sale, when the remaining items become even more deeply discounted. Anything that is left after the public days are closed is donated to local charities.
Donations open again in early summer to start the process for the following year's Sale. All donations must be picked up by the White Elephant Sale van. For specific questions about what the Sale does not accept, please click here.
Saturday-Sunday, March 7-8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The 2014 White Elephant Sale is Saturday, March 1st and Sunday, March 2nd, 10-4. This is the 55th Annual Event!
The 2014 White Elephant Sale raised $1.88 million dollars!
On March 2nd and 3rd, 2013, the 54th Annual White Elephant Sale was held!
333 Lancaster Street, Oakland, California
- White Elephant Sale official website 1