I rarely deviate when I go on my bargain hunts. I tend to bee-line straight for the electronics. For some reason, on this trip to Goodwill, I was distracted and I decided to go check out the men’s accessories.

I don’t identify as a posh gay. I don’t lust after designer handbags or own more shoes than I’ll ever be able to wear. Although, who doesn’t love a good pair of kicks, am I right?

I do have an affinity for the practical utility of a good messenger bag.

As I walk over to see a sea of miscellaneous black bags of every style, a bright orange and white messenger bag sticks out like that one girl who didn’t wear pink on Friday. *cough* Lindsay *cough* I’m thinking, ouch, orange, not my first choice. But, as always, I’m inquisitive, so I check it out.

As I pull it off the rack, I immediately recognize a logo on the front: Aperture Laboratories from the game Portal 2. I am not a big gamer. My last console was a GameCube, and I’ve recently failed at PC gaming with Fallout 4, overestimating my machine’s performance. I do know what’s out on the market, however, and what makes my inner geek giddy. This made me giddy.

One thing I advise any bargain hunter to wield is a smart phone. They’re good for more than selfies and snapchat. Having the internet at your fingertips proves to be extremely useful in finding good deals.

The Portal Messenger Bag was priced at $29.99. Knowing that the game it’s based on isn’t from that long ago and had quite a nerd herd following prompted me to do a little research.

I discovered that the product had been discontinued, so trying to find one for was actually quite hard. The first on Amazon.com for $299.99 + $25.00 s&h. Another, from shopshiphappy.com, was listed for $344.90 + $26.60 s&h.


They must be a hot commodity to be priced so high, and I found one for more than 11 times less than what I would pay outright brand new. Granted, the one I found was not brand new (it did have a small scuff) it was otherwise immaculate.

My inner geek was screaming. I had to have this bag. If I wasn’t such a fan of this bag, it would have ended up on eBay making me a great profit, but I was a little greedy and I wanted it for myself.

I grabbed it and headed straight for the checkout. Though that day was a bust for my electronic desires, I found something much more useful, as this is became my new every day laptop bag.

Once I got it home, I discovered the reason someone might have unloaded the bag at Goodwill. The zipper head for the accessory pouch had come of track and was missing, but to my surprise it was actually in the bag. I am not afraid of a little repair challenge, so I took to repairing it by getting the zipper back on track, and with a quick stitch, secured it so it doesn’t fall off again. It was now like new.

While I was repairing the zipper, I opened the pouch and found a little treasure inside: a standard micro USB charging cable, an interchangeable USB charging cord, and a line-in 3.5mm cord. Nothing of real significance, but since I wasn’t expecting it, a bonus.

I’m still in shock for the current asking prices for this bag, and for how great of a deal I got it for. I had to share this great find. I whipped out my camera and set it up for pictures. I hate using a flash, but had used it for one of my last pictures and left it on.

Portal Messenger Bag

Righteous Reflection, Batman!

Righteous reflection Batman! I hadn’t anticipated that the white fabric on the front of the bag was reflective, and saw nothing of that description when I was doing previous research. Bonus. So now when I’m walking around Capitol Hill and the Uber irritating Prius isn’t paying attention enough to see an out-of-place orange bag on a pedestrian, they’ll have no excuse to not see the large reflective target on my back.

I have an affinity for things that light up or that are reflective. Who knows? Maybe this outstanding bargain will save me from becoming cross walk con carne!