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Surplus Sales: The Perfect Place to Find Huge Savings on Computers, Furniture and More!

University Surplus Sales

When a university needs to dispose of property such as used or surplus furniture, computers, and even vehicles, they will often sell it at heavily discounted prices known as a “property disposition sale” or “surplus sale.” While some universities limit such sales to employees or students, many will open up their surplus sales to the general public. Such sales are a little known avenue to procure dramatically discounted prices on a wide variety of items.

Whether you’re a bargain shopper who lives near a university or a student who needs to inexpensively furnish her first college apartment, you must check out your local university’s surplus sale. Forget buying used items at second-hand stores or on Craigslist, university surplus sales are the best kept discount shopping secret around!

Can you believe that at the University of Michigan’s Surplus Sale in Ann Arbor, MI, there is enough property included in the sale to fill up a 15,000 square foot warehouse! Also, usually at least a portion of the money made at these surplus sales is reimbursed to either the university department that disposed of the property or the university’s general fund. As such, not only are you getting a great deal but you’re also helping out an educational institution. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Here are examples of some great deals I’ve seen at university surplus sales:

To find out whether a university near you has a surplus sale, you can try calling your local university’s IT department, inquire with a university operator on the phone, or go to the university’s main website and search for “property disposition” or “surplus sale” on the site. Also, you can find some surplus sales located at public universities throughout the country in this online list of government surplus sales.

For your quick reference, here is a non-inclusive list of various cities across the country that are home to a university with a surplus sale open to the general public:

Government Surplus Sales

Not only do numerous universities across the country have surplus sales but also state and local governments have surplus property sales and public auctions. Property at such government sales is typically surplus, seized, and forfeited property and often consists of larger ticket items such as vehicles, real estate, and farm equipment. While property at university surplus sales is predominantly sold through direct sale, property at government surplus sales is usually sold at online auctions or through either sealed bids or live bidding at public auctions. Occasionally you will find a government surplus sale that sells property through direct sales online or in a surplus store or warehouse sale reminiscent of many university surplus sales.  For a list of government surplus sales and auctions across the country, check out the online list provided at USA.gov.

Happy bargain hunting! Let us know in the comments section if you score any great deals at your local university or government surplus sale.

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8 thoughts on “Surplus Sales: The Perfect Place to Find Huge Savings on Computers, Furniture and More!”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Check out this link for the list of government surplus sales at usa.gov: http://www.usa.gov/shopping/auctions/surplus.shtml

  2. sully says:

    they usually have nice furniture.

  3. FYI, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia only sells to faculty, staff and students of Emory.  It says so right on the surplus website.

  4. Has Coupons says:

    I wanted to check out the ones available in Georgia. The link to Emory’s surplus doesn’t work! I checked their website and choose ‘View Surplus items’. But the page wouldn’t load. The same happened with usa.gov too :(

  5. Anonymous says:

    I just want to point out that in regards to the computers…a lot of places remove the hard drive.  So you’re going to need to know how to put in a new one plus buy a new operating system (or a license).  If you have a computer that blew and you have the software and license from it…then maybe.  But you’re looking at another $200 at least otherwise.  I’d rather buy a refurbished or scratch & dent from Dell that comes with the full warranty.