Going, going, gone

state surplus phones.

You could, you know, start a phone collection.

By Akum Norder

State government is a vast and various enterprise. If you ever need reminded of that, go browse New York state's eBay auctions.

The state, which sells surplus on eBay through its account nyssurplus-albany, often has some unexpected items among the usual filing cabinets and office equipment.

Here are some things the state has offered recently on eBay:

Fishing poles
An espresso maker
A facial unit
114 bags of black shredded rubber
A snowmobile (for parts only)
500 psychiatric journals
739 cell phones (condition unknown -- must take all)
Three dental chairs
Two self-contained personal breathing apparatuses
And a partridge in a pear tree (Just kidding.)

The state's been selling on eBay for nine years. It has more than 4,000 feedback ratings and a 99.4 percent approval rate. If you find yourself needing, say, 50 folding tables, they'd be a great place to check. (Of course, you have to pick the items up yourself -- and they can be located anywhere across the state. Make sure you read the fine print.)

New York's isn't the only state government to sell surplus on eBay. Texas has recently unloaded a lot of Cold War-era equipment, such as these Geiger counters. Georgia has balance beams. And some of Oregon's offerings are just plain weird -- like this "collectable Grim Reaper statue."

As for us, we did let ourselves imagine how a dental chair would look in the living room. Okay, not really.

Earlier on AOA:

Tightening its belt

New York State surplus on eBay

Image: eBay listing "CELL PHONES."


Wow. What a great shopping story. I didn't know about this. Thank you.

I check their listings every now and then, and saw those phones this morning. I wondered why they were donated to the various women's shelters, who always take cell phone donations.

Our church collected phones for this program (Samaritan here in Troy has a drop-off):


James: There are issues with giving away or donating state property. As I understand it, OGS selling it for next to nothing is just what has to happen.

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