Think UW Surplus Store, for All Your Dorm & Occupy Seattle Needs
It’s a Tuesday, which means that the University of Washington’s Surplus Store is open from noon until 6 p.m. If you don’t know about the Surplus Store and yet you like to find incredible bargains on equally random merchandise, you owe it to yourself to stop in. Students, if you’re still furnishing your dorm, take a gander: You can’t do better on price and it’s so conveniently located.
I promised the Occupy Seattle people something, too, and here it is: three Arctic Tents, described thusly: “If you can get past what I’ll diplomatically call ‘the mothball scent,’ these crated, heavy-duty arctic tents will stand up to just about anything except a Yeti, which, now that I think about it, could be the scent in question.” $150 each.
Back in the day, the Surplus Store’s existence was strictly Need to Know, guarded zealously by people who did know, and who would prefer hordes of competitive bargain hunters didn’t. Now things are a bit more out in the open. Much of the UW Surplus Store inventory is now online, and they have a quirky cataloger on the job, running down the list of improbable options. (Yes, there’s UW Surplus Twitter.)
Besides pianos grand and upright, you can pick up $3 crutches, an 8mm projector, a genome analyzer, football jerseys and other apparel, a shrub ($1), a pig recovery cart, wetsuits, a Royal Electric typewriter, and a baby changing table.
What you can’t buy is the item titled “Loveseat Like Whoa” because it is “SOLD-a-roony.” It went for just $15, but the description is priceless:
I tried staring at this until I went cross-eyed thinking it might turn out to be one of those Magic Eye puzzles, like maybe I’d see a 3-D Walton’s Mountain or something. Turns out the answer is no. And now I’m not so sure you should stare directly at this piece of furniture either, but you have to admit—it’s tough to look away.