Photo of surplus computers for sale.
Surplus computer monitors for sale at Aggie Surplus. (Photo: Michelle Belden, UC Davis)

By Jennifer Eting

Photo of an assortment of desks for sale.
A sampling of the selection of office furniture available at Aggie Surplus (Photo: Michelle Belden, UC Davis)

Where else can you find a firetruck, microscopes and pallets of hay all in one place? (No, we are not talking about the internet.) Aggie Surplus, affectionately known by long-time campus employees as Bargain Barn, has carried that, plus arcade games, a football scoreboard, and more. It’s no easy task finding the right buyer for such an eclectic mix of often specialized equipment. That’s where GovDeals comes in.

Aggie Surplus has partnered with GovDeals, an online auction site for government agencies to sell surplus items to the public. For a small fee, which is passed on to the buyer, Aggie Surplus can post big-ticket items, like the firetruck, and reach a nationwide marketplace. GovDeals also works with other online auction websites for specialized items, like lab equipment, to ensure that the listings are reaching the right audience.

“By working with GovDeals, we are reaching a larger market for specialty items, which should result in higher returns for our departments,” said Katie Jaramillo, Business Services Manager with Distribution Services.

Last year, Aggie Surplus returned $214,000 in revenue from the sales of used equipment to departments at both UC Davis and UC Davis Health. In December 2016, Aggie Surplus introduced a tiered rate structure that takes the guesswork out of the sales process. Under the new rate structure, departments receive a larger portion of revenue on high value items. One department gained $1,575 in revenue for a band saw that sold for $2,100 and another gained $11,400 for an electron microscope that sold for $12,000.

Departmental purchases account for roughly 20 percent of Aggie Surplus’ sales, which they estimate saved departments approximately $254,000 over the cost of buying new equipment. Other customers include members of the local community, small businesses, students and re-sellers. This year, through its partnership with GovDeals, Aggie Surplus hopes to give more back to the university while supporting UC Davis’ commitment to sustainability.

Aggies Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Photo of Aggie Surplus staff.
Aggie Surplus staff, led by Michelle Belden (second row, right)

Each year, Aggie Surplus puts gently used equipment back into use where it is needed most. When a server rack or a VHS recorder can’t be reused, Aggie Surplus works with CEAR (California Electronic Asset Recovery) to recycle them, diverting approximately 250,000 pounds of waste from landfills each year. Aggie Surplus also hosts biannual e-waste recycling events where employees can bring used university owned computers and electronics to be recycled free of charge. The next e-waste recycling event  is coming up on Thursday, October 19.

When items can’t be sold, recycled, or reused at UC Davis, Aggie Surplus finds another home for them. Each year, Aggie Surplus works with Student Housing to donate approximately 1,000 mattresses to local non-profit organizations, like Love INC Sacramento and Make it Happen Foundation. This partnership creates an opportunity, not only to dispose of the mattresses in a responsible way, but to help improve the lives of community members in need.

Aggie Surplus Can Help

Do you have a need for disposing of department equipment or supplies? Contact Aggie Surplus to discuss your options today. Their knowledgeable staff can handle the process of reselling, reusing, recycling or repurposing items, while ensuring compliance with campus policies.

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About Aggie Surplus

Aggie Surplus supports sustainability by returning into circulation excess equipment, furniture and supplies, and sells surplus property to the general public and university departments. It enables departments to buy needed items at a cost savings, dispose of their surplus property, and generate additional funds. It ensures compliance with campus policy concerning surplus sales, clears system information from all computer hard drives and administers a recycling program for certain electronic devices.

Jennifer Eting is Communication Manager for Change Initiatives with the Office of Finance, Operations and Administration