Thrift store manager’s laptop sold for $5

By Calvin Palmer

The manager of an Idaho thrift store returned from conducting business away from the premises to find that her laptop computer had been sold for $5.

Sandra Bechthold, of Coeur d’Alene, said she was shocked when she learned her two-year-old Dell Inspiron and case were sold on July 12.

“It was just a slip up, an easy mistake at a busy store that could happen anywhere,” Bechtold said.

The day the laptop was sold, Bechtold left the Women’s Center Thrift Store in the hands of one paid staff member and several inexperienced volunteers.

Somehow her computer ended up in the donation receiving room.

Items are not usually offered for sale until they have been priced but one volunteer in the busy store made a decision to sell if for $5.

The volunteer said she decided on $5 because she had once seen a laptop with no software sold for that price, Bechthold said.

Anne Chatfield, executive director of the Women’s Center, said the nonprofit organization doesn’t hold any volunteers at fault for the situation.

“We are grateful for all volunteers, whether they are helping with the thrift store or crisis intervention or picking up donations,” she added.

Bechthold took out a classified ad and put up a sign about the incident in the store window last week, with the hopes the buyer would sell the laptop back to her.

But she has had no luck so far.

“I just consider it part of life,” Bechthold said philosophically. “Nobody ever promised that this wouldn’t happen, and in the grand scheme of things it could have been much worse

“It’s a terrible loss, but the conclusion I’ve come to is it can be replaced and the data on it can be recreated.”

[Based on reports by the Coeur d’Alene Press and Associated Press.]

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