One man tries out a chair during Community Thrift's first monday of the month sale. Photo by Daniel Hirsch.

Community Thrift seemed particularly busy for a hot Monday afternoon, in which the Valencia corridor was mostly quiet. Around 50 people were milling through its rows of second-hand clothes, old records, used furniture and busted electronics. However, according to assistant manager Anna Schoenberg, this was nothing compared to the store’s opening hours.

“There was a line for the register that stretched through the whole shop,” Schoenberg said.

For the thrifty Mission set, the first Monday of the month (which is today) at Community Thrift means opportunity for: all items are 50 percent off. Schoenberg says that every month a line of people forms at around 9:30 a.m., a half-hour before the store opens. Many are die-hard collectors and eagle-eyed resellers, looking to turn a profit.

“A lot of people run in here and pull the tags off to claim things,” Schoenberg says, and explains that furniture is the most hotly sought-after merchandise, as well as the big-ticket items behind the register, like vintage electronics and big decorative items. But shopping on sale days means taking it with you: Community Thrift doesn’t hold anything on sale days.

The middle of the day is a bit of a lull according to Schoenberg, who has worked at Community Thrift for five years, but the store seemed full. Here was a group of women piling vintage clothing into their arms, here was a man appraising an old record, a woman with pink hair and a doll in a stroller flipped through coats.

But it wasn’t all dogged pursuit of a deal. In the furniture section, one woman could be spotted taking an afternoon catnap on one of the store’s second-hand leather sofas.

Asked if there were any items she was sad to see go, Schoenberg offered an emphatic no, saying “We see so much stuff, I’m just like: ‘take it, so I don’t have to.’”

If you want to get in on the goods before they’re gone, Community Thrift is open today until 6:30 p.m..

This has been your Afternoon Report—a new series we’re trying out in which we offer a quickie post-meridian rundown of some minor developments in the always-happening streets of the Mission District. Got ideas or suggestions? Let us know what you think by sending an email to

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Daniel Hirsch is a freelance writer who has been living in the Mission since 2009. When he's not contributing to Mission Local, he's writing plays, working as an extra for HBO, and/or walking to the top of Bernal Hill.

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