frequently asked questions

How do I arrange a free donation pickup by truck?
Please call our call center at (800) 974-3571 or (323) 224-6280.   

How should I prepare my donation?
We would prefer that smaller items are bagged and boxed.  Please have items outside on the street level and clearly labelled for St. Vincent de Paul.

Does SVdP go upstairs or downstairs to gather the items? What if there is an elevator?
- No. Due to liability issues, we do not go upstairs or downstairs. Three to four steps are okay if items are not too heavy. Items such as pianos, armoires, hockey tables, etc. must be on the ground level for us to pick up.
- If there is an elevator, we can perform the pick up as long as we have sufficient legal parking at a reasonable distance from the elevator. Important: The maximum number of bulky items we can bring up or down an elevator is five. Any additional items should be on the ground level before we arrive. We do this as a courtesy to the other donors waiting for their donation pick up. *Special circumstances will be handled on a case-by-case basis and must be discussed prior to the pickup date.*

Do the items have to be on the curb or can they come inside the house?
The only items that have to be outside of your house are pianos, hockey tables, very heavy pool tables or items that are very large. All other furniture can be picked up from inside your home as long as they are readily accessible and disassembled (if disassembly is necessary). We do not rearrange furniture to get to the items you are donating. This helps us avoid damaging your furniture and home.

Why don't you accept baby items?
Baby items such as cribs, playpens, bounces and car seats among others are subject to recall. Since we do not keep up with what specific items are being recalled, we ensure babies' safety by not accepting, donating or selling those items. However, we do accept baby clothing, shoes and blankets.

Can the truck pick up food?
Yes, if you have cans of food or groceries to donate. Please call us at 1-800-974-3571 and ask to speak to someone in Vincentian Services so they may advise you if they can accept your food donation. The donation center will not be able to schedule an appointment for a food pick up but Vincentian Services might.

Do you provide a tax deductible receipt?
Yes, we provide a receipt at the time of donation.  

How do I value my donations?
According to the IRS, we are not appraisers of your donations; please refer to IRS link http://www.irs.gov/publications/p561/ar02.html#d0e556.  This is a discussion between you and your accountant to determine the value of your donated goods.

I have an entire estate, can you pick that up?
We certainly can. Please call our call center (800) 974-3571 or (323) 224-6280.

Why donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul?
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a locally-based organization that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families in need. The goal of the Society is to end poverty. We believe in helping people get back on their feet by supporting them through tough times. In addition to our 2,500 volunteers who meet with people in their homes to help them, we sponsor the following programs:

  • Food pantries and soup kitchens
  • The Cardinal Manning Center for homeless men on Skid Row in Los Angeles.
  • St. Vincent’s Family Housing for homeless families in Los Angeles.
  • Low-income housing in Los Angeles and Ventura counties for the working poor.
  • A seasonal Winter Shelter in Ventura County for the homeless.
  • A free Learning Center at our Los Angeles office for ESL and GED students. 
  • A camp for underserved children in the mountains north of Santa Barbara. 

How does shopping at our thrift stores help the community?
By shopping at our stores, you fund our charitable programs and services in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties caring for the disadvantaged, poor and low income.  Our volunteers throughout the community rely on our stores to assist with the provision of free clothing, furniture and appliances for needy families they serve.  A byproduct of shopping at thrift stores is becoming part of the green and sustainable “reuse, reduce and recycle” movement.  We divert millions of pounds of product from the landfill each year.  Thrift shopping is good for our environment. 

Does the Society of St. Vincent de Paul give away clothes, furniture or anything else?
Yes. Through our charitable works we give away clothing, household items, appliances, beds and furniture.  Please call our assistance hotline at (888) 552-7872 

How do you determine your prices?
Our prices are set by trained pricers with years of experience.  The price is determined by many variables, condition, brand, trend, wear, original price, style, color, size, quantity and floor space.  Even with years of experience we can still make mistakes. You are welcome to speak to a supervisor to discuss why the price is marked as it is. We welcome your feedback on our pricing. 

Why do you sell items that don’t work?
We have customers who make their business out of buying items, repairing them and selling them for a profit.  We also have a large number of studio Art Directors and Set Decorators who shop at our store who care more about how a piece ‘looks’ versus ‘function’. As a nonprofit we have a huge responsibility to our donors and the people we serve to at least attempt to get top dollar for each item we sell.  

We do assure you we test everything before it is put on the floor. You are welcome to test the product before you leave in our tester area. 

How is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul part of the green and sustainable movement?
We are zero landfill by diverting over 400,000 pounds of textiles from the landfill.  We recycle 800 tons of TVs, beds, metal, paper, cardboard, copper wiring, electronics and we are always looking for other avenues to continue our green efforts.  

What should I do with my computer and smart devices before I donate?
We advise you to back up your files and wipe the device by restoring to factory settings.  Terminate your service.   Remove your SIM card.  Call your service provider or device manufacturer for technical support. 

If I mis-donate an item how do I get it back?
Please call our call center immediately (800) 974-3571 or (323) 224-6280 and provide the following details:
- Date of donation
- Was it a pick-up or drop-off?
- A complete list, provide comprehensive details of the bags/boxes/containers and all the items that were donated.

Would you pick up our lost and found?
Yes, we sure would. Please call us at (800) 974-3571 or (323) 224-6280 and we would be more than happy to set up an ongoing partnership with you in picking up your unwanted items. 

Do you sell items on consignment?
No, we do not offer consignment. 

Do you rent items out?
No, we do not rent items.   

List of items we DO accept:

Furniture

  • Antiques
  • Arm Chairs
  • Armories
  • Beds - day bed, bunk bed, futon bed, etc.
  • Conventional type mattresses (no pillow tip, tempur pedic or memory foam)
  • Bed frames
  • Book cases
  • Bookshelves
  • Boxsprings
  • Buffets/sideboards
  • Cabinets
  • Chairs
  • Chest of drawers
  • China cabinets
  • Credenzas
  • Tables - Dining, breakfast, coffee tables, end tables, etc.
  • Dinette sets
  • Display cases
  • Dressers
  • Entertainment centers
  • Filing Cabinets
  • Hammocks
  • Headboards and footboards
  • Hutches
  • Nightstands
  • Ottomans
  • Sewing Machines
  • Patio furniture including umbrellas
  • Recliner chairs
  • Small desks under 4 ft. in length
  • Sofas
  • Stools
  • TV stands
  • Vanity sets

Clothing and Accessories

  • Babies, kids, women and men's clothing
  • Backpacks
  • Belts
  • Glasses
  • Handbags
  • Hats
  • Jewelry
  • Luggage
  • Shoes
  • Silverware, baking ware, etc.
  • Sunglasses
  • Swimwear
  • Umbrellas
  • Wallets
  • Watches
  • Luggage

Office and School Items

  • Cabinets
  • Credenzas
  • Filing cabinets
  • Small desks under 4 ft. in length
  • Small tables (no conference room tables)
  • Water dispensers
  • Office supplies
  • School supplies

Musical Instruments

  • Baby Grand pianos in mint condition
  • Upright pianos and organs
  • Violins
  • Guitars
  • Drums, xylophones and more

Sporting and Camping Equipment

  • Basketball hoops, skateboards, etc.
  • Bicycles and tricycles
  • Bowling balls, soccer balls, etc.
  • Fishing poles
  • Helmets
  • Portable BBQ's
  • Sleeping bags and camping gear, etc.
  • Sporting gear
  • Tents
  • and more

Large and Small Appliances

  • Freezers
  • Gas and electric dryers
  • Refrigerators
  • Vacuum cleaners, heaters, A/C units, Iron, etc.
  • Vending machines
  • Washers
  • Microwaves, toaster ovens, blenders, coffee makers, etc.

Electrical

  • Alarm clocks
  • Blue Ray players
  • Cables/wires
  • Cameras
  • Cell Phones
  • Chandeliers
  • Computers
  • DVD/VCR players
  • Headphones, headsets
  • Lamps
  • Projectors
  • Radios
  • Stereos (Console models accepted in L.A. County ONLY)
  • Tabletop printers
  • TVs (Console models accepted in L.A. County ONLY)
  • Typewriters
  • Video Cameras

*Non-working electrical items and appliances are accepted only if items are complete

Book and Multimedia

  • CDs, DVDs and Blue-ray Movies
  • Books (no magazines)

Fixtures

  • Ceiling fans, chandeliers, etc.
  • New toilets
  • Semi/new: Doors, windows, sinks, jacuzzi tubs

Miscellaneous Items

  • Clocks, decorative items
  • Decorative pillows
  • Dishes, cups, mugs
  • Pots and pans
  • Framed mirrors
  • Hampers
  • Linen and bedding, blankets
  • Lamps
  • New or semi-new trash cans
  • New pillows
  • Picture frames
  • Rugs
  • Semi new/new tires
  • Rims
  • Microscopes
  • Telescopes
  • Tools

Excercise Equipment

  • Treadmills
  • Weight sets
  • In home gym
  • Benches
  • Stationary bikes, etc.

 

List of items we DO NOT accept:

  • Furniture that needs repair or extensive cleaning
  • Heavily used items
  • Incomplete electronics or appliances
  • Broken items
  • Stained, marked or ripped items
  • Items with pet hair on them
  • Large executive desks, large desks with a return (L shaped)
  • Cubicles
  • Desks over 4 ft. in length
  • Large copiers/printers
  • Baby grand pianos that are not in mint condition
  • Baby items subject to recall: car seats, cribs, high chairs, strollers, swings and bouncers
  • Built in items - dishwasher, oven, stove, microwave
  • Hospital beds
  • Medical equipment
  • Console model TVs and stereos
  • Electric dryers
  • Electric stoves
  • Food or medication
  • Pillow top, tempur pedic or foam mattresses
  • Used pillows, toilets and cosmetics
  • VHS videos
  • Small items that are not properly bagged or boxed
  • Items that need more that 2 people to handle
  • No flamable items such as paints, propane tanks, etc.
  • Any items that pose a danger in being handled if not properly packaged (unframed mirrors, breakable cups,dishes not properly packaged)
  • No used bath tubs
  • No magazines

Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Los Angeles

210 North Avenue 21, Los Angeles CA 90031
Phone: 323-224-6287 | Fax: 323-225-4997

2012 Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles