Our garage sale was a great success! We sold dozens of computers and more than ten flat screen monitors, plus a whole bunch of computer components and accessories. We even managed to sell a few printers.
The weather was cold, icy, and quite uncooperative. Nevertheless, hundreds of people turned out. Many were just looking for computer bargains–someone even bought all the telephones we had for sale. But there were plenty of others who were also interested in learning about Free Geek and what we do for the neighborhood and the world. Indeed, meeting and talking with people from the community was the real hallmark of the garage sale’s success.
Gary talks to a couple about a computer, while Al makes sure everything has a price tag, as other potential customers check out our inventory.
A lot of people put in a lot of work in preparation for the garage sale. Computers were built, monitors were tested (and in some cases rejected), components and accessories were sorted, everything had to be priced, posters were made, the word was spread, tables were setup, and everything was put out for sale. We want to thank all of our volunteers for their contributions to making the garage sale happen. A special thanks goes out to Jeff for prepping all the Macintosh equipment, which was quite popular. And an extra special thanks goes to Gary who really took the lead on making sure everything was ready, and for really working with all the people who were interested in our computers. Without the herculean efforts of these two, the garage sale never would have happened.
With the sale done for the year, we’ll be turning our attention to making better use of our space in the garage and to our education programs. We can always use more hands, so come be a volunteer,donate a computer, learn about computers, and be a part of the community.
We will have complete computer systems starting at $40, which includes a monitor (CRT). These refurbished computers are built by our own volunteers. Flat screen monitors will also be available as an upgrade for a modest fee. There will also be Macintoshes for sale, along with printers, mice, scanners, and various other computer components and accessories. All PCs come with Ubuntu Linux already installed and ready to go. And if you are unfamiliar with Ubuntu, we will be offering an introductory class on it in just a few weeks, free with any computer purchase. All proceeds go to supporting Free Geek Twin Cities and our mission of bridging the digital divide and responsible recycling.
We spent this past weekend mostly testing the flat screen LCD monitors we plan to sell to make sure everything is in working order. We also finished selecting the Geek Boxes that we will sell in the garage sale.
So, come to the garage sale and see what we’ve got. Better still, bring a computer to donate and stay and become a volunteer. We always have room for more of both. See you there!
We are still working on the exact dates for the garage sale, but this week, in preparation for the event, we worked on giving a final test to our pool of completed build machines, known as Geek Boxes. It turns out to be a pretty good sized pool. We have been marvelously busy with moving into the new space and sorting all the computer equipment we have accumulated over the past several months, all while welcoming new volunteers who come to learn how to dismantle and rebuild computers. As a result, we kind of lost track of our inventory of completed machines. So, we fired them all up, and verfied that everything worked, that they had Ubuntu 10.4 installed, and that they were ready for new owners.
We also found we have many more flat screen LCD monitors than we thought. We will hang onto the small or slightly damaged ones for our own internal use, but plan to sell the larger, fancier models. Our Geek Boxes come standard with a 19″ or 21″ CRT monitor, but we’ll offer a flat screen LCD monitor as an optional upgrade for a modest price. We also will have several Macintoshes to sell.
All of this is good news for the garage sale, as it means we have more computer goodies to offer the public. We won’t be selling all of our computers; we will keep some that will be given to other non-profits as part of the hardware grant program, and to volunteers who complete their 24 hours of service, or who complete their six build boxes.
Meanwhile, in the garage, we continue to refine our teardown process. In the past we used to just lump all scrap metal together. But now we are separating ferrous (magnetic) from non-ferrous metal. The non-ferrous is primarily aluminum, and we think we can get at least a modest amount of money selling it to scrap yards. We have quite a few old, small hard drives, which are mostly aluminum. While we could sell the drives for scrap as is, we will get a better rate if we break them down to their individual components and sort them accordingly. The circuit board in each hard drive is valuable as scrap, too. Even the ferrous metal, if sorted, is worth a few cents per pound, and we have many pounds of it.
Stay tuned for more details on the garage sale. We will be posting more info shortly.