"I am looking to find a good number of wine crates to use for creative displays, organization, shipping, etc. and I was wondering if you knew of any great places in Los Angeles that would donate them, or let me take them off their hands. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Signed, "Kevin Looking for Crates""
Hi Kevin-- Okay, time to stop wining (we just had to say that). Any crates (wine or whatever) you snag will probably be unfinished or even raw-- made of pine. I wonder of the quality? Make sure they're clean, too.
In terms of searching them out locally, in Los Angeles, I would try an upscale wine store, like Greenblatt's Deli, Du Vin on San Vicente/Melrose, Wally's on Westwood, or even Silverlake Wine, owned by Campanile's wine team. Some of these locations are upscale, approach accordingly. If they don't have any, I would politely inquire if they have any suggestions--- seeing that this is their line of work.
There is a fantastic wine expert at the Ralph's on Wilshire in West LA/Santa Monica, just west of Bundy (north side of street). I purchased 50 bottles of champagne from him last Christmas. He runs the department and according to him, their Ralph's location is the # 1 location for wine and champagne sales in West LA. Reason I bring this up is that he is very helpful, and while I don't think Ralph's uses wooden crates, he may have some ideas because of his training and resourcefulness.
I would also do a posting for "wanted" on Craigslist or Freecycle. I have seen some wooden crates used as display pieces at Cost Plus at the Grove. And finally, I personally discovered some neat crates at a local swap meet, too. I cut them in 1/2, white-washed both sides, and they're now used as beach-inspired wall-mounted shelving in a bathroom.
If timing is tight, perhaps you should just go buy them?