University and Government Surplus = Savings


November 26, 2006   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Daily readers know that most of us at Dumb Little Man are very cheap. They also know that we like to share things or ideas that save money – especially around the holidays.

Recently we’ve been hitting up college surplus stores. When I first came across the idea, I didn’t act on it because when you think of a ‘college store’ you think of calculators, backpacks, and school supplies right? Well, that’s actually not entirely true.

At college surplus stores you can pick up cars, trucks, office furniture, computers, printers, random supplies, clothing, cameras, video cameras, etc. It is seriously a goldmine if you just take some time and look.

Sample – As I was typing this, the University of Utah had close to 30 Mac G4s selling for an average price of $100.00. If you have a kid at home, isn’t this a decent gift to get them started?

After a lot of searching, I came up with a list of good stores. I am sure there are other University stores but this will at least show you what’s typically available.


    • Michigan State University – This has to be the largest inventory from a college that I have seen. Everything from kitchenware to cars to shoulder pads.


    • Indiana University – Their site is pretty outdated but they offer: Computers, Printers, Couches, Lamps




    • Syracuse University – Lots of Mac G4s, G3s, Linksys 10/100 Hubs, Tower Mounts, Chairs, Bookshelves, Dishes, Nike Practice Jerseys


    • NC State – Store exists but nothing listed online. Click for hours and phone number.


    • Oregon State – These guys actually sell their stuff on eBay. Here is their store.


    • Rutgers – More G4s, Keyboards and Printers for $2.00.




    • University of Tennessee: Auction style site that currently has a small number of items listed that include scientific equipment and appliances.



If you want to get away from the college store approach – your government (US) most likely has the same type of surplus / property system. Their’s however is centrally managed (hmm, smart) at FirstGov. At FirstGov, choose your state and they’ll walk you through it.



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