Hi. I’m Walking Bob and I decided to head over to the UC Davis Arboretum to stroll along Putah Creek. I had headed south on Anderson Road and was looping around to the east on La Rue when I saw the sign for The Bargain Barn. I remember reading that this is where castoffs from the various departments around campus end up, so I thought I’d check it out.
To begin with, I could see that I could pretty much start my own department with the chairs, tables, file cabinets, and computers that take up a large portion of the warehouse. Yes, it is last year’s technology and last decade’s furniture styles, but the prices are amazing and so is the selection.
There were also things you would expect to find at a university like test tubes and lab glassware that you don’t often come across at the SPCA Thrift Store and an amazing collection of microscopes that you’ll never see even in the main store at All Things Right and Relevant.
I asked Michelle Borba, the coordinator of the Bargain Barn, to tell me more about the place and the first thing she showed off was Sacramento Magazine’s 2009 “Best Place for a Cheapskate” award. She then recounted some of the things she has sold in her three years at the Bargain Barn. Among the most interesting items were a BMW motorcycle, several buses, 400 bales of hay, and some mauve couches that took her highest level of salespersonship to move. Her biggest sale was a full body CT Scanner that she sold for $15,699.99.
Did you lose that cell phone again? For a mere $25 you can pick up a collection of over two hundred (200!) hotel style push button phones.
Expecting and want to deliver at home? They have a hospital labor/delivery bed for only $300 and that’s something you won’t find at The Sleep Train.
Moving beyond the warehouse, you can search through their online inventory where you’ll find items that are harder to display, like a complete sigmoidoscope with the necessary vacuum module and halogen light sources you’ll need for the best views of the inner you for a bargain price of only $450.
You’ll also want to get yourself on Michelle’s email list to stay up on the latest offers, which she presents with as much detail and humor as she can. My favorite item in the latest list was a safe that is locked with no combination. As Michelle put it “One of you out there must be a safe cracker.”
The Bargain Barn is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday and they have something rare at UCD, limited time free parking in front and behind their building. Stop by or go to http://bargainbarn.ucdavis.edu and start searching for your bargain.