It wasn’t Black Friday, but the recent announcement of a sale at the City of Mesa Warehouse Surplus Store sparked a crowd this week.
Before the doors opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday, 25 people were in line, ready to find out what treasures they could find.
The warehouse store at 7041 E. Adobe sells discarded goods from the city – such as computers and furniture when new ones are purchased – as well as items the Mesa Police Department gathers during investigations or recovered property that’s never claimed.
Tools, televisions, even artwork can be found at the warehouse, with proceeds from sales on site benefiting the city’s general fund. During last fiscal year, those sales and ones on eBay and at Public Surplus generated more than $200,000, according to the city.
The shop is only open 8 a.m. to noon Tuesdays and Thursdays. Shoppers Tuesday included many who had never been to the warehouse, as well as a few regulars.
First-time visitor Margie Brown strolled outside looking for a bicycle. But by 11 when she arrived, all the good ones were gone, she said.
“I came a little too late. There’s a lot of stuff to look at,” she said.
Dave Seekins of Queen Creek came in after hearing television reports of the warehouse’s after-Thanksgiving sale.
The former Mesa resident said he was going to be in the area anyway.
“It’s pretty neat just looking,” he said, as he glanced at pocketknives.
For the holiday sale, all prices not already marked down will be reduced by 10 percent. Computers are an extra $20 off (running about $120 apiece). Bicycles are marked 75 percent off. They were some of the first items purchased Tuesday, said Sherri Power, the city’s surplus and disposal coordinator.
When items come into the shop, Power uses a team – including many volunteers – to determine if they work, if they need repairs and their value.
“Because a lot of it is unclaimed evidence, we don’t know what’s coming until it gets here. People will see the musical instruments and ask us, ‘What about music stands?’” she said. “There will be new items added every day until Christmas.”
Those musical instruments went quickly. The Mesa Unified School District learned there were many this time around. Mark Stephens, the district’s musical instrument repair technician, purchased three trumpets, six flutes and four violins that will then be loaned to students in the district who join the band or orchestra.
“Oftentimes they can’t afford to rent or buy them, so we supply the instruments,” he said.
He was most excited about the “professional quality” of the flutes he purchased.
“We’re happy to put these into a high school student’s hands. It helps the schools upgrade,” he said. “The kids will get a chance they would not have had before.”
Mesa surplus sales
Where: City of Mesa Warehouse, 7041 E. Adobe
When: 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Thursdays
Details: All sales are final. There are no warranties or guarantees with items. Purchases can be made by cash, credit card or debit card or check with identification.
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