For office items, what goes around comes around
Pre-owned campus furniture up for grabs at Sept. 12 Sproul Plaza back-to-school sale

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs

04 September 2002 | Budget-crunched, busy, and furniture deprived? No need to pay through the nose, navigate the IKEA labyrinth, or wait for the campus’s annual auction and garage sale. On Thursday, Sept. 12, departments and students need go no further than Sproul Plaza to buy — for a song — some of Berkeley’s choicest pre-owned furniture.

“The need is there,” says Acting Property Manager Eric Anglim, “so if they can’t come to us, we’ll come to them.”

The staff of Excess, Surplus and Salvage resell mothballed campus equipment — from desks and computers to exotic lab equipment, floor polishers, even vehicles — from a giant warehouse at the Marchant Building in west Berkeley. To help get some of that merchandise into deserving hands, Anglim and his staff plan to bring a truckload of furniture to the plaza between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sept. 12.

“There are many people who could benefit, especially students,” Anglim says. “They don’t need to resort to putting two milk crates and a board together to serve as a bookshelf. Believe me, we’ve got bookshelves.”

Prices will be rock-bottom: about $30 for a five-shelf bookshelf, $35 for a Steelcase desk with a simulated-wood top. “I don’t recall seeing any of our office furniture priced more than $50,” Anglim says. For next to nothing, his office will even arrange for delivery.

The back-to-school sale is one of a number of new marketing strategies that Materiel Management and its Excess, Surplus and Salvage unit are exploring to better meet the needs of campus customers. As of last week, some of their more unusual items are now available on eBay. Plans are also in the works to make unsung treasures better known to the departments, through digitized pictures on the web.

The Marchant Building is located at 6701 San Pablo Ave., with the warehouse entrance on the Folger Street side. As in the past, departments and employees can shop at the warehouse Monday through Friday, or bid on items in the closed auction held each Wednesday morning. For information, call 643-5490.


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