Auctions are filled with pretty unconventional objects but this could the most unconventional of them all. Buzz60's Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more. Buzz60
Think of it as the largest garage sale in New York.
Need a prison? A set of mismatched chairs? How about a string instrument?
At the State Surplus Property Program, you can bid on a range of items not normally found in your average department store. Run by the New YorkÃÂ Offices of General Service, it essentially operates its own eBay shop.
From vending machinesÃÂ to a complete set of weight room equipment, the Offices of General Service-run program has got it all.
The surplus store sells excess items New York has acquired but no longer deems useful, according to the OGS website.ÃÂ
Once the OGS deems the items unwanted by other state agencies, its offers to sell themÃÂ to local agencies;ÃÂ if none of them want the item, they get put up for auction on the surplus store eBay page, or are sold at auctions around the state.ÃÂ
Going once, going twice....
Bids start at $10, but what bidders get for that $10 can vary wildly.ÃÂ For instance, bidding for two framed pictures starts at $10, but anÃÂ entire set of weight room equipment including eight elliptical machines, four treadmills and various other exercise machines also starts its bidding at $10. ÃÂ ÃÂ
The most expensive listing is one for approximately 25 tons of scrap metal. The current bid sits at $510.
The item with the most bids is a Meilink Safe. A bidding war led to a series of 24 bids topping out at $51.
Generally, the stock of surplus items includes office furniture and electronics, but there are some strange items in the mix as well.
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a 1,000 gallon Lancaster Tank for auction at the Clinton Correctional Facility inÃÂ Dannemora.
In Binghamton, the State Department of Transportation has a listing for approximately seven tons of wood logs.
The surplus store has a mandolin up for auction as well.
Heather Groll, communications director for the OGS, explained howÃÂ the mandolin wound up on the surplus site.
Ã¢ÂÂIt came to us from the parks department lost and found,Ã¢ÂÂ Groll said. Ã¢ÂÂSince no other agency or local government needed a mandolin, we put it up for auction.Ã¢ÂÂ
Need a morgue freezer?
The mandolin is far from the strangest thing the OGS has put up for auction.
It sold a morgue freezer to a haunted house company, Groll said. And on Tuesday it sold an old prison for $600,000 in Franklin County. ÃÂ
The money from the sales goes back into the general fund and most of the buyers are from New York, according to Groll.
Ã¢ÂÂItÃ¢ÂÂs a win-win for everyone,Ã¢ÂÂ Groll said.
The New York surplus store may be one the highest-rated government run programs too.
Buyers on eBay gave the program a 99.5 percent positive rating.
One buyer paid $11.86 for an assortment of six chairs. The buyer left this comment after picking up the chairs:
Ã¢ÂÂAwesome guys at OGS and great deals,Ã¢ÂÂ wrote the anonymous buyer.ÃÂ
Good deals aside, there is one drawback. The OGS doesnÃ¢ÂÂt do shipping. Auction winners have to drive to Albany to pick up their winnings.
For larger items, like the tank and the scrap metal, winners must go to wherever the item is located.
Groll encourages New Yorkers to visit the NYSStore website to see when local auctions happen. Every eBay posting ends with a similarly encouraging statement.
"Best of luck in your bidding," writes the OGS. ÃÂ
Follow Frank Esposito on Twitter:ÃÂ @FqEsposito