The doors to the northwest entrance of Converse Hall are usually locked. But if you head there on Wednesdays, they lead to a small thrift store with marked-down prices on everything from small appliances to apparel.
This store is called Buckeye Bargains, a volunteer-run thrift shop selling all kinds of items at discounted prices; however, many students are unaware of its existence, said Julie Buckley, the treasurer of Buckeye Bargains.
“Buckeye Bargains was established 52 years ago by the wife of [University] President [Novice Gail] Fawcett,” said Bonnie Stevens, a Buckeye Bargains volunteer. “Back then, the closest thing they had to go shopping was the Lazarus downtown.”
The original location of Buckeye Bargains was on the corner of Neil and 17th avenues, but Stevens said the building moved to its current location in Converse Hall 20 years ago. However, the store’s location is still difficult for students to come by.
“The sad thing is most people don’t discover us until the spring semester of their senior year,” Buckley said. “We have two signs outside. People just don’t read anymore.”
Pam Dobies, co-chair of Buckeye Bargains, said she doesn’t know why people don’t know about the store. She said she really wants people to know that the store exists and has so much to offer.
“We sell clothes, decorations, linens, lamps, [Ohio State] merchandise, and even things from other Big Ten schools,” Dobies said. “We have anything you need to set up a household.”
The thrift shop welcomes donations every Tuesday and Wednesday morning between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. during the academic year. The store is largely dependent on donations, Dobies said.
In terms of profit, Buckley said all of the store’s earnings go directly toward a student scholarship for the Ohio State Women’s Club, which runs the shop. In the 2016-2017 year, Buckeye Bargains was able to contribute more than $31,000 to the fund, according to the Women’s Club website.
The University Women’s Club is the only club in the Big Ten with a physical thrift shop, though it’s not the only one that raises money for the scholarship. According to the club’s website, the University of Nebraska takes donated items and sells them on eBay.
Buckley said she really enjoys knowing that she is doing something for someone with people who willingly give their time to a good cause.
Buckeye Bargains is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Wednesday during the academic year, and the store will be having a special weekend sale from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.