Volunteer drivers take the items, if they can, to charities or community centres of their choice. Due to the insufficient number of volunteer drivers, and the fact that most of the places we would like to donate to are closed Saturday evening, as well us not having overnight storage space, we end up sending many items to Salvation Army.
Sometimes people come and take some of the leftovers to an event they are holding. This has included a separate night time Really Really Free Market, swap events, a Nuit Blanche exhibition.
Anyone who has an organization or event they would like to take second-hand stuff to can come by between after 4:00. We will provide them with boxes and bags to pack things in. We could even help them pack. If they are going to come later, and they send a list of stuff they want and a contact number, we can put stuff aside for them, but we cannot store them. They must pick them up on the evening of the market.
I know that I don't have to bring anything to the market, but there are things that I no longer need that might be exactly someone else visiting the market is looking for. When can I bring them to the market?
Since the market at Campbell Park only has access to the place on the market day and has no storage space, it can receive gifts only when the market is open, but up to one hour before the market is closed. That means any time between 10 am and 3 pm. However, you may bring stuff just before the market begins, between 9:30 at 10 am. We would not encourage that in the cold winter months unless you have a warm car wait in or live nearby, since we cannot open the doors for browsing before 10 am.
When is the best time to come to the market?
All times are the best, since people bring new stuff to the market beginning a little before opening up to 3 pm.
I brought five boxes of very nice stuff to the market. Why am I allowed to take away only one large shopping bag full of stuff (about only one box)?
(1) The market is *not a Swap Market*. There are wonderful swap markets in Toronto, some of them general purpose, some of them specific (such as books only, large size clothing only, etc.), some of them seasonal, some of them more regular, and we encourage you to check them out if you wish to get something of equal value for your stuff. The Really Really Free Market is what you could call a "gift" market--those who give don't expect anything in return. (But they often find some treasure or other.) The market is not a charity, though. It is for people who want to be both smart and environmentally conscious in acquiring stuff they need, regardless of their income level.
(2) Having said that, during the first years of the market, there was no limit to what one could take, or how long they could visit--again, regardless of their income level and regardless of whether they contributed goods or not, or how much. Unfortunately a handful of opportunists tried to take over the market, waiting all day, and taking things before others had a change to see them. Hence the time and bag limits.
(3) If you personally want to treat the market like a swap market, bring only a bagful (or less) of items. The one-hour limit still applies, however. Visitors are expected to leave after one hour, whether they have filled their bag or not.
(4) If you are not satisfied with the amount you were able to take, please come back to the market at 3 pm. There are no limits after 3 pm.
Why does the market not accept broken but repairable items? Isn't the main purpose of the market waste reduction?
In our first couple of markets we accepted broken or torn items and some of the volunteers tried to fix them. We quickly learned that we do not have the hardware, human resources, know-how and space to do repairs. On top of that visitors would not take broken or torn items. Since our transport power is very limited, against everything we believe in, we have to throw broken stuff in the trash. In the future, we hope that more people will be capable of taking a broken thing home and fix it, but most of our visitors are not at that stage of know-how yet. Please do not use the market as your trash bin. The place to go, if you don't want to trash an item, is the Toronto Repair Cafe. There are also excellent videos online for making almost any kind of repair, or repurposing and item beyond repair.