We’ve all seen posters for Lynn Valley’s Kids’ Toy & Clothing Sale, but did you know that the event is of benefit to everyone in the community, not just families with young children? Read on as organizer Tim Green gives us a behind-the-scenes explanation of this semi-annual event! UPDATE: The 2013 fall sale is on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 2:30-4:30, and Sunday, Nov. 3 from 2 to 4 p.m.

The Kids’ Toy & Clothing Sale has been going on since sometime in the 1990s. It was originally started by the North Vancouver Recreation Commission, and the Lynn Valley Community Association (LVCA) took it over about eight years ago.

Currently we run the sales out of the Lynn Valley Recreation Centre (Cardinal Hall) twice a year in May and November. Well, I guess you could say that it is four times a year – there is a Saturday event and a Sunday event in May, and a Saturday event and a Sunday event in November.

It is all possible due to the generosity of the North Vancouver Recreation Commission. We have use of the Cardinal Hall facility at no charge to the LVCA, and the Recreation Commission takes care of the table bookings through their phone registration system. They collect the table fees for us, too.

We are able to fit 20 tables onto the gymnasium floor at Cardinal Hall. (If we had a larger building, we would have no problem selling more tables!)
We never have any problems selling the 40 tables for a weekend – the 20 tables for the Saturday and the 20 tables for the Sunday are always sold out well in advance, and there is always a long waiting list. (A table costs $27 plus tax.) So we have 20 people selling their goods (gently used kids’ toys and clothing) on a Saturday in May or November, and then another 20 sellers on the following day (the Sunday). There are different sellers each day.

The sale runs for two hours each day. The sellers are given an hour or two before the start of the sales to get set up.

When we open the doors to the buying public there is always a long line-up of people waiting to get in right away to find the best items for sale! People are charged a very small fee at the door; we charge $2 per person (or $2 per family). This is how the LVCA raises money so that it can operate its other functions and activities throughout the year.

On any given weekend there are between 300 and 500 people (or families) coming through to buy the used toys and clothing.

Here are some tips for sellers:

  •        Book a table 2 or 3 months in advance through the Recreation Commission
  •        Bring lots of change (quarters, loonies and toonies)
  •        Bring lots of plastic bags to put the sold items into
  •        Don’t mark your items up too high!
  •        Be prepared to bargain

And some for buyers:

  •         Come early to get the best items
  •        But don’t be afraid to come later in the day too – there is always plenty still for sale, and the vendors may be willing to drop the prices more as the end of the sale nears
  •        Bring lots of change (quarters, loonies and toonies)
  •        Be prepared to bargain

Typically we see plenty of children’s clothing for sale, and a fair selection of younger kids’ toys, too. Usually there is a lack of toys and games for older kids for sale, so vendors should perhaps consider that market when deciding to buy a table.

At the end of the day, we accept donations of any unsold clothing which we then arrange to have picked up by Big Brothers.

Hope to see you there this year!