Torontoist's Guide to the Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar
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Torontoist’s Guide to the Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar

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This Wednesday is the most important day in any proper bargain shoppers’ calendar: the Hadassah-WIZO Bazaar. There are people in this world who book the day off work as soon as the bazaar date is announced, and those people are strategizing (right now!) to steal bargains from curious and inexperienced shoppers like you. They will fight you over anything: wedding dresses, designer jeans, non-designer jeans, jars of salad dressing, packages of bobby pins, salami (see above), purses, latkes – you name it, it’ll be there, and there will be competition for it.
Luckily, this Torontoist is a third generation Hadassah shopper, and I (and my mother and grandmother) have the tips you need to succeed:


1. Get there early. Doors are at 9am, but there will be a line-up waaaay before that. People in aprons will be selling admission tickets in the crowd ($4). It’s in your best interest to get one before the doors open, otherwise you’ll be stuck at the entrance with no ticket. If that happens, you’ll probably be trampled.
2. Don’t be too polite once the rush to get inside begins. Those grannies may look delicate, but let me tell you — they’re not. They’ll break out the elbows, hit you in the stomach and before you know it you’ll be on the ground. And probably trampled.
3. Rent a bin. There will be a station where you can rent a large tub for a couple bucks. Throw your coat in the bin, then return to the bin when your arms become too laden with purchases. The nice ladies will let you dump them in the bin, and then you can start again!
4. Keep your hands free. Don’t bring a purse or big bag. Your non-primary hand might seem unimportant now, but you’re going to need it (either to carry the giant salami, or to hold on to one sleeve of a brand new cashmere sweater until the other holder gives up and you win!). Swallow your pride and wear a fanny pack (seriously. And if you don’t have one now because you got rid of it in 1988, just buy one at the Hadassah).
5. Carry change and small bills. It will reduce the risk of all your money being stolen from your fanny pack, and comes in handy for tip #6.
6. BARGAIN!!! Bargain, bargain and then bargain some more. Never pay the first price. Make a face like the person quoting the price is crazy, and say something like, “Nooooo…are you crazy?” Proceed to bargain like crazy. If you can’t get down to your acceptable price, walk away. That’s usually the kicker that gets you your beloved item. If you can manage it, try bargaining with someone else (it usually works – it’s how I paid 25 cents for a still-in-the-package lemon-zester-melon-baller-combo).
There you have it folks. Go forth and prosper, and buy all sorts of cool stuff. We’ll see you there.
P.S. It goes until 7pm; if you haven’t booked the day off work, you can just go after.

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