January 12, 2020

Taking inventory: What happens to extra furnishings?

By Anthony Riley —

Furniture is expensive. A new faux leather sofa from Big Lots can cost up to $700, and for those looking for a bargain, Goodwill’s selection of furniture is often limited and dated.

However the need for affordable furniture hasn’t gone away. Many students on and off campus are moving into their first apartments either alone or with roommates, meaning they need furniture.

There’s a new source of cheap furnishings in town, or rather, whatever the local public institutions are getting rid of.

The University of Louisville sells some of their excess furniture, but not before it goes to the Department of Inventory, where they are stored on campus in a warehouse. Faculty and staff can then claim whatever they need for their respective departments.

Students cannot claim assets from inventory; however, once the departments have claimed all they need, after a set period of time, the university ships excess equipment to another warehouse where it is then auctioned off for cheap on GovDeals.com

According to their website, “GovDeals provides services to government agencies allowing them to sell surplus assets via the Internet.

Customers can sort by seller, zip code, category, state, etc. to view all the odds and ends government institutions are getting rid of. Depending on the seller and location, different auctions will close at different times.

For example, one listing has a natural gas fireplace priced at $62 in Bowling Green, Ky., while another post lists a Ford Crown Victoria police interceptor for $425 in Shelbyville, Ky.

GovDeals is a catch all for any variety of government surplus; one can even bid on confiscated personal property sold by the Jefferson County Metro Government like watches, industrial grade Hummer vehicles, office desks and more.

Though just as inconsistent as any Goodwill, GovDeals.com offers some interesting finds for possibly low prices, provided you have the means to go and travel to pick it up yourself.

Photo by Anthony Riley // The Louisville Cardinal

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