Paper Source: Warehouse Sale

Liz had heard about a big, semi-annual Paper Source sale – and this morning was the big day. We had talked a bit about the event the night before, and I had mentioned maybe getting there a little early – as I felt there would be a good number of people.

The event itself was slated for 9 AM. I made the initial suggestion of arriving early, at like 8AM and waiting… and got promptly shot down. We arrived instead at about 10 ’til 9.

Walking to the building’s entrance, we noticed a lot of folks walking beside us. The sale itself was taking place on the 7th floor, and already there was a huge line at the elevator. We decided to walk up the stairwell instead… and got stopped at about the 4th floor. People were already forming a line, and we were waiting… about 3 and a half stories below the actual floor.

“All these people!” Liz said to me. “Who would’ve thought it?”

I stared at her for a while, right after she said this. :)

This morning was a fun event. I didn’t take all that many photos, but I hope I convey just how INSANE things were. Honestly – I’m surprised nobody got injured or trampelled while we were there. The phrase “sweaty throng of humanity” doesn’t really do the scene justice.

By the time we got to the top floor, the room was already getting pretty full. People started to dig into nearby trash bins, grabbing cardboard boxes so that they could load up. As we walked from the entrance into the actual sale area (read: arena), I started to feel the sense of panic and excitement rise, all around me.

I was told to “look for bookbinding tools.” I had vague sense of what to be on the lookout for… but saw nothing. I sort of wandered around, pretty much getting in other people’s way. Lots of “Excuse me,” and “Oh, I’m sorry” for about 20 minutes.

Staff, getting stuff ready to be placed on the tables. You can’t see it, but behind me… and all around me… a sea of artsy women, scrounging around for deals and discounted paper stuffs, trying to get their craft on.

This was the second room – a little less crowded, but it was still fairly early in the morning. In the first room, there was most paper-based items: envelopes, colored prints, etc. In this room there were things like albums, boxes, stickers, etc.

In between the two rooms was a small corridor. Here, people dropped off their boxes and coats, with this middle area becoming a sort of mock shantytown. As I walked by, I chuckled at how many guys there were, just standing around waiting for their significant others to finish browsing. In my head, I called this “The Wall of Dudes.”

About 5 minutes later, I took Liz’s carboard box from her and joined “The Wall of Dudes.”

I’m poking fun at the gender differences, and honestly – there were a good number of guys shopping around as well. But the vast majority of those in attendence were female.

By the time we decided we were ready to leave… the place had REALLY fille up. I know this because it took me about 10 minutes to work my way to the END of the line. Which, incidentally, was located almost all the way back at the entrance to the floor. The checkout line had essentially snaked from the end of the second room, back through the corridor, and looped around the main room.

All told, I think we were in line for about 40 minutes. I swear to god.

All in all, this was a pretty fun thing to do. I didn’t have to battle many people, so maybe Liz has a diffrent impression. But man, talk about a big mass of people, all in one place. This was quite the experience – and something I’d recommend, if you’re so inclined to wake up early on a Saturday and track down some good deals on paper.

It’s a semi-annual thing, so keep an eye out.

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