Now that I can drive my car again (finally got my California driver's license and registration!) I am starting to check out more thrifting options. Oddly, garage sales aren't common in this area--I'm not sure why because the weather is perfect every day! There are many large flea markets especially on the week-ends or some are monthly, but I have found their prices are mostly retail, so I go there to get ideas but seldom purchase.
I've found a couple of great church-related thrift stores, but it's tricky to get there during their few open hours, and when they are open they are BUSY. Also, here in the Richmond-El Cerrito-Berkeley area, finding a parking place is like digging for gold. You can take the BART, but don't buy anything heavy or bulky! Also, bring cash, because some places don't take credit or debit cards. My two favorites so far are "Turnabout" on San Pablo in El Cerrito, and "The Cellar" in the basement of the First Congregational Church in Berkeley. I like their stuff because it's the kind of thing mostly saved by housewives in their cupboards and closets for years, just in case they might still need it or because they got it for a wedding gift 40 or 50 years ago!
I'm finding lots of retro kitchen and home decor in the wonderful oranges, greens, and golds of the late 60's and early 70's. I also often find coats, sweaters and boots that have barely been worn--it just doesn't get cold enough here! I'm putting the retro stuff on my Etsy site (see "Shop" tab to for Etsy listings) and also some of the coats and sweaters.
If you know of any other good places for a seller like me to find great vintage merchandise in this area, please let me know!