Mesa sells items recovered from thefts, evidence - East Valley Tribune: News

Mesa sells items recovered from thefts, evidence

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Posted: Friday, February 8, 2008 12:49 pm | Updated: 11:09 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A simple building without much embellishment sits near Adobe and Power roads with a sign out front that reads: Mesa's Materials and Surplus.

To the people in the know, the building is a place to find sports memorabilia, jewelry, tools and even the occasional sword for up to two-thirds off the original price.

Mountain bikes start at $5 each, desks at $10 and 15-inch flat-screen computer monitors go for $50.

The city's surplus warehouse caters to bargain hunters looking for slightly used or new items. It is open to the public every Tuesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Materials and Supply administrator John Albin said the "twice-weekly yard sale" started in August as a means to cut costs of previous city auctions, unloading various unclaimed items that can accumulate in a city of 450,000.

Many of the items on sale were confiscated by police as evidence. The city also sells recovered stolen belongings and found items that have gone unclaimed.

All prices are based on those found at Internet sites and retail stores, surplus and disposal coordinator Sherri Power said.

"We look at other stores and Web sites to set our prices much lower than the cheapest advertisement we can find," Power said. "We want people to come out and see what our bargains are and buy from us."

Steve Madrigal, a visitor from Casper, Wyo., came to the surplus warehouse for the second time Thursday.

"The prices are good and the merchandise seems to be well-conditioned," Madrigal said. "I'm a construction worker, so everything seems well-priced and the people are nice. Plus I like a good bargain."

Buyers can find car radios ranging from $10 to $20, VCRs for $5 and stereos from $75 to $100.

Mountain bikes, refrigerators, desks, file cabinets and chairs cover the backyard of the warehouse.

For those too busy to stop by, Mesa's bargains can also be found online at eBay.com using the keyword "citymesastuff."

Mesa has been a regular online seller for the past five years and generated nearly $27,000 in revenue last year from eBay sales alone.

Any revenue collected from the online and warehouse sales goes into Mesa's General Fund, where different city departments can deposit or withdraw money.

"Our intent is to make as much money for the city as we can," Albin said.

So far, revenue from last year's online and warehouse sales tallied up to an estimated $130,465, Albin said. Sales have already generated $72,210 for the city in the first few weeks of 2008.

"Our hope is to never have to go back and do auctions and sales again and just continue to sell from our east warehouse," Albin said.

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