PennMOVES sale turns trash into treasure


Hundreds of shoppers came to buy students’ discarded dormitory items


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Shoppers at the PennMOVES sale came from all over Philadelphia to search for bargains last Saturday. PennMOVES volunteers collected the piles of clothes and leftover dorm room supplies from Penn students who moved out of college houses in May.

Photo by Christina Prudencio


With items as cheap as a few dollars, PennMOVES is every Philadelphia thrifter’s paradise.

Last Saturday at the South Bank on 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia residents and members of the Penn community came out to find deals on products that once resided in Penn students’ dorm rooms.

According to Sale Coordinator Tracy Hawkins, $41,000 was raised at the event.

Since it is tempting during finals week for students to trash their items, PennMOVES was started in 2008 so that graduated seniors could sell unwanted items to underclassmen at reasonable prices. All of the proceeds go to Goodwill Industries, an organization that provides employment services to those without access to them.

The large warehouse at South Bank housed a range of property, including clothing, furniture, books, kitchenware and electronics. Items were sold as is, without guarantees or warranties.

The sale was open to the public at 10 a.m. and ran until 3 p.m., but most of the inventory was sold by noon. Some shoppers paid a $5 fee in order to enter the event at 8 a.m. to get a headstart on finding the best bargains. Penn Transit provided free shuttle services from campus to the sale.

Rising College sophomore Corey Smith, who spent two hours shopping at PennMOVES, found out about the event through an email from his fraternity brothers. “We heard that there would be great deals, and knowing that our money was going to a good cause made it that much better,” he said. Among his purchases at the sale, was a synthesizer valued at $450 that Smith was able to purchase for $8.

However, to get the chance to discover these hidden treasures, shoppers had to endure a long wait.

“I’d say that 85 percent of my time there was spent [in] line. It was madness,” Smith said. “A lot of people were very excited about the deals and frantically grabbing items and checking their prices. I would absolutely go again next year.”

Sean Orzolek, a rising Drexel junior and PennMOVES volunteer, said at least a thousand people arrived and the lines wrapped around the building.

“There were fantastic buys and the money is going to a great cause, and I’m sure it will be even better in the future,” Smith said. “I’m glad to be helping the community.”

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