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Best of the City: Oak Bay consignment store breathes new life into old items

Good Things Consignments has helped people find value in their items for 27 years
Good Things Consignments owner Junice Da Costa Reis with her brother Rocky Da Costa Reis outside the store on Saturday, July 10. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)

Good Things Consignments on Oak Bay Avenue has been putting antique goods in the spotlight for 27 years.

Born from its predecessor, the Old Vogue Shop, Good Things strives to offer beautiful, high-quality items at reasonable prices while setting itself apart from second-hand stores and auction houses. Over time, the business expanded threefold at 1841 Oak Bay Ave., taking space both right and left with the departure of Edward Jones and Barking Lot Grooming.

Owner Junice Da Costa Reis and her team of family and friends work quickly and efficiently to accommodate the dozens of visitors constantly flowing through the shop, some of whom come from as far as Sooke, Courtenay, Campbell River, Vancouver and the U.S.

Everything from kitchenware to books, toys, fine china, furniture and art can be found at Good Things and, according to Da Costa Reis, new customers are often drawn to the business.

She estimated they stock between 300 and 500 new items per day, aiming to be about 60 per cent contemporary in their product selection. If an item doesn’t sell, it’s marked down and grouped in a small section called the last dance corner and if that doesn’t get it out the door, the consignor then has the choice to donate the item to charity at the end of its allotted shelf time.

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According to Da Costa Reis’ son, Gita Da Costa Reis, their philosophy is to “find new homes for things to give them a new life and create new connections in the community,” as well as connections with different eras.

“It’s like a museum,” he remarked.

Good Things operates on a 50/50 basis, where half an item’s price goes to the consignor and half goes to the store. Prices are determined based on the research and past experience of staff but the business maintains a high level of respect and appreciation for its consignors.

All jewelry accepted by Good Things goes through high-end appraisals, as do many other items. The business only accepts items that meet its standards, as each product must be antique, rigorously cleaned and inoffensive.

“Even if it’s just a tea cosy or a little jar, we like to maintain high quality,” said staff member Terry Battersby.

Initially a customer before coming to work at Good Things 11 years ago, Battersby deemed it the most interesting place she has ever worked and loves seeing customers discovering the true value of their items.

“We get to be part of that joy and excitement,” said Gita, calling this recycling at its finest.

Battersby recalled one customer bringing in a handful of what they thought was cheap jewelry, breaking down in tears after learning that one particular piece was worth more than $1,000. Another customer had once mistaken an item they brought in made of fine art glass for plastic.

“We have so many people who keep coming back here because they love it,” Battersby said, adding shamelessly that she does all her Christmas and birthday shopping at Good Things.

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