Huffpost Business

New York State Launches Site With eBay To Auction Off Surplus Items

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Chicks hatched from an incubator. Flickr User floodllama
Chicks hatched from an incubator. Flickr User floodllama

Need an egg incubator? Scrap metal? A used massage table? Eighteen bookcases?

New York State's eBay store is the place for you. Since January 2002, the New York Office of General Services has been selling surplus property on eBay, about 50,000 items a year. Prices are cheap -- the lot of 18 bookcases has a bid for $34, the massage table for $11.01.

Now, the state is launching its own e-commerce site for surplus items, www.nysstore.com, in collaboration with eBay. When it launches in April, the site will list 500 used cars that the state no longer needs, the New York Daily News reports.

"Some of the more unique items received for disposal are: airplanes, helicopters, a lobster boat, 1950's fire trucks, and granite cobblestones recently removed from roads and pathways," the website reads.

As HuffPost New York notes, the New York Police Department is one of 2,700 municipal agencies across the country that have contracts with Property Room, a police auction website that sells everything from computers to trucks to paintings.

New York State is not the only cash-strapped government office trying to make extra money via auctions. Govsales.com lists vehicles and furniture once owned by the federal government; Homesales.gov auctions off real estate and houses; the Department of Defense sells vague army supplies (as of Friday, the only three domestic listings were for "Hazardous Material/Chemical Products"). Many states and cities also have their own auction sites.

And all those Swiss Army knives and fuzzy handcuffs confiscated by airport security? Those get auctioned off too, though state officials claim it is hardly a lucrative business.

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