Good deals from the government: How to buy surplus items online

From cars to office equipment, or just things you need around the house.

Whatever you need, there is a good chance you may find that the state is auctioning it off.

Most people don’t know about the website

It’s like eBay but it saves local governments thousands of dollars.

In the late 1990’s the State of Oregon sold most of its surplus items on eBay.

“We used eBay but eBay just wasn’t a very good fit for us,” said Darren Kennedy the State of Oregon Surplus Property Program Analyst.

The state didn’t want to pay the added fees eBay charged. So it looked for a new solution. That’s where stepped in.

“Everything is sold as is where it is, so that means they don’t necessarily have to transport the item,” said T.J. Lyman an Account Manager for

Which was welcoming news to the state because it eliminated cost and turnaround time with selling and receiving an asset.

“We do have a very large nationwide following as well. But the locals are really what drive us,” said Kennedy.

In fact, the State of Oregon said two-thirds of its business is local.

Folks are very happy they can look for and test out products like a dishwasher or chairs for restaurants, generators for shops and more. You can even get a boat for fishing.

One of the biggest sellers are the vehicles. Each car, SUV and truck will get checked out by certified mechanics, and if everything works, the state will put it on

It's a win-win for government agencies in another way: If a city, county, state or school district wants an item listed on, administrators stop the online bidding.

“When you are purchasing these items, the money is going right back to the state,” said Lyman. “In return, those dollars get used right back in the community. So, I would say that is one of the biggest benefits.”

For those in the State of Washington, don't worry, it's not just an Oregon thing. You can find plenty of government deals on from your state also.


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