Words of Mouse

Frugal Freelancer Fridays: Thrift Stores

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Wasn’t it just Friday yesterday? October is one-third of the way over already, and here we are again with another edition of Frugal Freelancer Fridays. This week’s money-saver? Thrift store shopping for office supplies and equipment.

I visit my local Salvation Army approximately once per week. It’s very hit or miss, but I have found some great deals on office furniture, stationery, desk sets, organizing containers, and related merchandise. Items that sell for $10 or $20 in stores can be as little as $1 or $2 at a thrift store.

Here’s what to look for when shopping for office items at the thrift stores.

  • Are all of the parts intact?  For tech items, this means checking to see if the cables and other parts are included with the main piece of equipment.
  • Does the item have a funny smell?  Don’t laugh; some thrift store items smell terrible.  I saw a shirt at a local store today that smelled like someone had doused it in pancake syrup.  If it does smell, is it a smell that will fade with a good washing, or is it going to be there forever?
  • Are the items stained or damaged in any way?
  • Is it a good buy?  If something is $2, but can be found brand new for $5 elsewhere, it’s not that good of a deal.  If the item is $20 elsewhere, $2 is a darn good price.

Share your favorite frugal freelancer tips in the comments.

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Written by lzaykoski

October 10, 2008 at 10:36 am

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