I had high hopes for Treasure Island, which appears to have taken the former spot of Rummage Rat on Sherman Way in Canoga Park, based on its name. Unfortunately, Treasure Island failed to deliver on its implied promise of parrots, adventure, and, most critically, treasure. While ‘treasure’ might be a high standard, perhaps that term might be more suited to a store that did not think it appropriate to charge up to five dollars for a used DVD or sell a used fax machine at all. I found it particularly annoying that almost no prices were marked, forcing you to ask whenever you wanted to know how much something was. Their combination of messy thrift store vibe and antique store prices was a serious mismatch.
Overall rating: C-
The coolest thing I saw in there was this Santa’s Marching Band, which, when plugged in, played songs by ringing the bells in turn on each individual marcher. However, they wanted $120.00 for it, and a quick search of ebay shows that it is not that rare and many sets are available for half that or less. I got the distinct impression that Treasure Island was run as if in some pre-Internet reality when shoppers could not always easily find a comparable vintage item, so pricing was often skewed.
Normally I recommend categories of items to buy at stores I review, but I can’t wholeheartedly recommend anything here. Here are two possible categories to consider under very specific circumstances.
1. Phones. Hey, maybe you’re actually looking for a landline phone. The thing is, you can get a pretty generic new one from AT&T for $15, and a full-size one with caller ID and everything for $20. Theirs ran from $5 – $20. The green one shown here was $20! (It is pretty cute, but whatever.) Because the technology has not changed, it’s conceivable that you want a super cheap phone for infrequent use for $5, and, if so, you might want to stop by.
2. Videogames and consoles. Based on the rest of their pricing, I doubt anything was an especially great deal, but if you happen to be looking for something specific and find it easier to shop in person, it might be worth stopping in.
What to avoid:
Lamps. The guy at the store quoted me a range of prices for lamps between $65 and $100, and there wasn’t a single lamp in there worth that. Most didn’t even have shades. I was told these two gold-toned ones with shades in the back row were $100 each, which is a pretty absurd price for a used lamp that has no particular vintage appeal. You could get a ton of modern lamps that are comparable or even better new from Lamps Plus. This is especially galling when Council Thrift next door had many nicer lamps which were all a lot cheaper. You can generally count on getting a usable lamp with a shade at Council Thrift for $25.
Dishes. They didn’t have a lot of dishes, but this butter dish which is not of particularly good quality was $5.00, which is way too much. Again, this is bad pricing is especially conspicuous since you can simply go next door and have a much wider variety of dishes available to you at a much better price point.
And almost everything else.
DVDs were between $2 and $5, especially galling since the next day I saw new DVDs at Target for $4.75 apiece (obviously they might not be the movies you want, but the point stands.) Vinyl records were between $2 and $5 each. Since none were marked, it was too much trouble to figure out what they thought was worth $5, but I truly hope it didn’t include the Flashdance album I saw. Given that the collection was clearly a random selection and not curated at all, that is well above the standard thrift store price of $1 each.
In short, Treasure Island would have to really step up their game to justify their prices, should do a better job of curating their items, and should stop trying to charge Etsy-high prices on the few unusual vintage items they have. Until then, do your thrifting elsewhere.