"Are you a collect-aholic?"
-- or --
"How to tell if you are a compulsive thrifter."

Here is a quiz to find out if you are a compulsive thrifter.
Read each question, and answer as honestly as you can.
Don't try to "get off on technicalities"; count any "maybe"
answer as a definite "yes". Most compulsive thrifters
answer yes to more than half these questions. Good luck.

1. Have you ever lost time from work or school due to thrifting?
2. Has thrifting ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Has thrifting affected your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after thrifting?
5. Have you ever thrifted to get money with which to pay debts
or otherwise solve financial difficulties? (See also question
number 11 before you answer, if you are uncertain.)
6. Has thrifting caused a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. Has a thrifting "dry spell" at your favorite spots caused you to
seek out other thrift stores as soon as possible?
8. After a great find, have you had a strong urge to return and
get more? Or to visit every other thrift store in the area?
9. Do you often thrift until your last dollar is gone?
10. Have you ever borrowed to finance your thrifting?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance thrifting?
12.   Have you ever been reluctant to use "thrifting money" for
"normal expenditures"? (Remember, a maybe is a yes.)
13. Has thrifting made you careless of the welfare of yourself
and your family?
14. Have you ever thrifted longer than you planned?
15. Have you ever thrifted to escape worry or trouble?
16. Have you ever committed or considered committing an
illegal act to finance thrifting? (Note that the urge to harm
thrift store employees, while socially unacceptable, does
not meet the criteria for a yes answer to this question. But
altering price tags, or similar acts, counts as a yes answer.)
17. Has thrifting caused you to have difficulty sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create
within you the urge to thrift?
19. Have you ever had an urge to celebrate any good fortune
by a few hours of thrifting? (Note that habitual reading of
thrifting "brag posts" on Usenet newsgroups is a mild form
of such behaviour. Yes or no, depending on regularity.)
20. Have you ever considered self-destruction as a result of
your thrifting? (See also question 16. The mere urge to do
bodily harm to thrift store employees or other customers
does not meet the criteria for a yes answer to this question.
However, taking action on any such urge definitely counts.)

This humorous test is a modified form of a real test made by the "Gamblers Anonymous" group. Anyone who has thrifted on a regular basis probably failed this test miserably ...or passed it
with flying colors, depending on your view of the situation. I wish to make it clear that I am not in any way implying that compulsive gambling is somehow funny. Not at all! I am merely noting
that there are a lot of similarities between compulsive gambling habits and the habits of most of the dedicated thrift store regulars I've met among classic videogame collectors. (Or any of us who thrift because we want to, not because we have to.) And by the way, some college student could probably write up an interesting paper on this subject; reading up on B. F. Skinner's behavioral psychology experiments with button-pushing animals is almost scary in a thrift store context!

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