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Pieces of Eight


 

Surplus Property Up for Sale

By Ercia Plouffe Lazure

If anyone ever wondered where all of East Carolina University’s old wrestling headgear, swim goggles, or overhead projectors go when their respective departments deem them no longer useful, one need only take a trip to Clark Street.

Since September, thousands of people have stopped by ECU’s Central Stores warehouse just off 10th Street to rummage through and purchase the university’s old desks, filing cabinets, office supplies and computers.

Some have even lined up as early as 2 a.m., to make sure they get what they want.

sale
Amy Freeman (Art) examines a chest of drawers on sale at the Central Stores’ surplus sale, held weekly at the Central Stores warehouse, just off 10th Street in Greenville. University surplus property goes on sale each Thursday morning, with a preview showing on Wednesday afternoons. (Photo by Erica Plouffe Lazure)

“It all depends on how bad you want it is when you get in line,” said Tim Daughtry, manager of ECU’s Central Stores.

Doors open weekly for viewing from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, and items are for sale Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. Different items are available each week.

“The main thing people seek out is electronics, computers. From time to time, there’s a nice desk,” said Jeffrey Gay, who, along with Wayne Leggett, handles surplus property in the warehouse for Materials Management.

“But everything here sells.”

In the past, all the merchandise from ECU would be placed for bid through Raleigh, a process that could take between 45 to 60 days and resulted in months worth of stockpiled merchandise. Several years ago, ECU purchased the property on Clark Street, the former home of Hatteras Hammocks, and created a venue for the direct sales program.

“We’ve been trying to get the cash sales initiative for a while,” Daughtry said. All items sell for less than $100. Items valued at more than that amount, roughly 20 percent of the merchandise, must be offered through auction bid. All items are final sales, cash only, and there are no returns or exchanges.

Department with items destined for surplus may call ECU moving services. Workers from that division pick it up and bring it to the warehouse, where it will sit for ten days. This enables other departments to view and take the merchandise. If no department claims the merchandise, the items are moved onto the main sales floor.

Gay said the program benefits both the university and the community.

“I’ve heard good feedback from the public. People tell me it’s a godsend, because it gives poorer people a chance to buy something they otherwise not be able to buy,” he said. “Like a computer.”

More information can be found online at http://www.ecu.edu/purchasing/surplus/Surplus.htm.

4/23/07
This page originally appeared in the Dec. 8, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.