by PAUL BICKLEY
“If IU owns it, we sell it,” says Todd Reid, manager of the Indiana University Surplus Store, 2931 E. 10th St. From ballpoint pens to game-worn IU jerseys to the contents of entire hospitals, IU Surplus is the university’s retail outlet, selling unwanted items from departments across the IU campuses.
“We sell everything you need to set up an apartment or outfit a small business,” Reid says. Filing cabinets and computer parts are bestsellers. University Information Technology Services (UITS) and departmental IT units supply computer components. “For less than $200, you can buy a computer system here, plug-and-play,” he notes.
IU team apparel is another big seller. “That draws them in,” Reid says. “Then they find other things, see the prices, and buy more.”
Furniture, lab equipment, musical instruments, janitorial and household supplies, books, DVDs, and CDs are some of the items to be found here. Reid reports annual sales of around $1 million. Those sales generate revenue for IU departments.
One of the reasons the 50-year-old facility exists, Reid believes, is a state law dictating that everything bought with state dollars be made available to taxpayers in a fair and competitive manner. Landfill diversion is another motivation.
“Even if a CPU is unsellable, virtually nothing is wasted here,” Reid says. “We tear items down to the last screw, then we sell to e-waste vendors. Less than 5% goes to landfills.”
Local sales are big business, but Surplus also sells worldwide, Reid says, posting “big-ticket, unique, and bulk items” on GovDeals, an internet auction site for government entities. After IU acquired Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis, Surplus auctioned its contents by floor. A Virginia businessman bought 700 bedroom suites for Nigerian schoolchildren.
Interesting things pass through the Surplus store. The coolest things Reid has seen? A geological butcher block table for crushing stone and a WWII field medical operating table.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday noon to 5:30 p.m. and Wednesday noon to 7:30 p.m. Surplus accepts credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, and TouchPay for in-store purchases.
For more information, visit Indiana University Surplus Store on Facebook or surplus.indiana.edu.