O.K., so everyone knows about Craigslist. And Victoria's written about her adventures at Alameda and Alemany -- and Lisa's just found a great chair at Goodwill. . .but what about other sources for inexpensive, but well-made, furniture and household items?
When we saw a Craigslist posting for Surplus Property Sales at Stanford, we knew we had to check it out. And on a recent Wednesday, we did. (You knew there had to be a catch, right? They're only open on Wednesdays, between 8 and 3 pm -- but not between 11 and 11:30 am -- and they only take cash, cashier's checks, and money orders.)
Desks are priced from $15-$30. Manager Laura Granville told us that the morning of our visit, a man had scooped up two desks and a credenza, and told her he'd recently paid much, much more for a single desk at a trendy vintage furniture store, than for all three items.
Chairs, chairs, chairs. While most of them were strictly utilitarian, and, let's be honest, pretty ugly, we also saw some old school vintage office chairs, and some wood library or jury chairs. All under $10.
Stanford Surplus also has lots of file cabinets. Standard, lateral, pick your color, pick your size. $30-$100.
Tables, credenzas, fans, air conditioners, the stock's always changing. We saw a card catalog that had been sold and set aside, and we undoubtedly missed some good stuff because we were rushed. (While there's 20 minute parking, by the time you actually find the sale (directions are here, but they don't mention that you should actually walk through the gate and parking lot and look for the unobtrusive sign on a building to your left), and rummage through everything, you'll wish you'd sprung for the metered parking instead.)