California to hold surplus property auction Saturday


May 4, 2012 5:22:47 PM PDT
Bargain hunters could find some good deals Saturday when the state auctions off some surplus and confiscated items.

Preview day wrapped up Friday evening and the craziness will begin 10 a.m. Saturday. Competition will be fierce.

The state of California is doing some spring cleaning, getting rid of surplus property from office furniture to power tools and even walkers from state hospitals. The oddest item of the bunch is a trunk lid to a Honda and no one can explain why it's even there, but bargain hunters can explain why they came by on preview day. Glenna Schnabel is looking to remodel her business. "Desks, file cabinets, things that we can get rid of our cubicles and redo," she said.

"It's an opportunity for the state to clean out its closet. We need to do that once in a while. We need to get rid of items we're just not using anymore. They serve no purpose for us. Let's get rid of them," said Eric Lamoureux with California Dept. of General Services. There are even boxes and boxes of cell phones turned in by state workers when Gov. Jerry Brown ordered state agencies to reduce the number of employees who had one. Of course, that means the bargains aren't really bargains if you're looking to buy just one. "As you can see, you have to buy in bulk here. So, that's the catch," Ronn Cook said. "I can't use 100 phones."

But if you're a reseller like Brenda Potter, an auction is an opportunity to make money. She is eying jewelry, some of which was seized by CHP during drug raids. "I enjoy buying bags of jewelry because a lot of times I can pull out stuff I can make money off of. The rest of the stuff, my friends pick through it. So I get to give away stuff too," she said.

The Department of General Services also picked up goods confiscated at the Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento airports. That's why thousands of snow globes are up for auction. "The Transportation Security Administration requires that you can only take so much liquid onto an aircraft," Lamoureux said. "So, I feel real bad for the poor kids."

There are also hundreds of pocket knives from TSA. Dan Alameda was hoping he'd be able to find his. "I'm down here to find it. I might have to spend the evening, but I'm going to get it," he said.

The state made nearly $100,000 at the last auction, not nearly enough to solve the budget deficit, but every dollar counts during these tough times.

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