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  • University of Colorado sophomores David Ippolito, left, and his roommate...


    University of Colorado sophomores David Ippolito, left, and his roommate Tim Dickson load furniture into a truck on Monday, Aug. 13, at the Goodwill store on Baseline road in Boulder. For a video about students shopping at Goodwill go to Jeremy Papasso/ Camera


University of Colorado sophomores Nick Shaffer and Jordan Laser are nearly finished moving into their four-bedroom house on Boulder’s University Hill, but there are a few decorative details they still have their eyes on.
Shaffer said most of the house was furnished by a roommate’s parents, but there were some retro touches the guys were on the hunt for at Boulder’s Goodwill thrift store on Monday. 

“We definitely need a regular Nintendo and some old games,” Shaffer said. “Things … that used to be cool when we were kids, are cool again in college.”

They are also hoping to find some vintage wall decorations, old beer steins, a fire pit and a hammock for the backyard, but they said affordability is going to be the biggest factor in furnishing their space.

“We aren’t looking for anything too specific,” Shaffer said. “That’s why we’re shopping at Goodwill. We know anything we find here will be in our budget.”

They didn’t find the Nintendo they were looking for, but Laser said he found an old ice bucket with a picture of a champagne bottle adorning the side for $2.

“I thought it would make a cool trashcan for my room,” Laser said. “Since we are on a budget I try to look for things I can repurpose like that.”

Vanessa Clark, media relations manager for Goodwill Denver and northern Colorado, said the Boulder store has one of the largest furniture sections in the state, due mainly to the student population.

The covered patio included a velvet and orange couch for $49.99, a red vintage desk for $24.99 and a Monster Energy drink cooler for $19.99.

Roommates Niko Youngren, a CU sophomore, and Seth Williams, a CU junior, spent five minutes eyeing the cooler — a perfect addition to their kitchen.

“We just thought it would look cool and something that no one else would have,” Youngren said.

Clark said one-of-a-kind items, like the cooler, are very popular items for college students. Although the unique items don’t last long in Boulder, Clark said the store’s quick turnover offers new inventory to sift through daily.

Clark said furniture is the most common item students search for. Also popular are musical instruments — especially guitars — and nostalgic items like lava lamps, old albums or anything Zen-like are sure to go quickly.

“It’s kind of funny but anything that’s Zen or yoga-related like mats, books or rock waterfalls go fast,” Clark said.

A few students said they were hoping to find a lava lamp but the store didn’t have any in stock Monday.

“You can’t go to Target and find that,” Clark said. “At least not the real thing from 1972.”

Savers thrift store in Boulder did not have a lava lamp in stock either, but a silver chandelier lamp for $5 and a pink desk chair for $10 were items that seemed to fit the retro style.

CU juniors and roommates Kris Krows and Sophia Igoe were ogling a vintage radio and record player listed for $124.99, a steep price for two students on a budget.

The women have been searching for decorations for their two-bedroom apartment near Broadway and Baseline since they moved in more than a year ago, they said. It’s been a long, slow process but with little cash to spend, the roommates said being patient is the key to finding great items at an affordable price.

“We probably come to Goodwill about every three months or so to see what’s new,” Igoe said. “We want quality stuff that looks good but we aren’t going to pay full price for it so we know we have to be patient.”

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