Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Going to the big surplus store in the sky

The one Al Gore invented:
They're counting down the days until Dec. 21, the last day of business for their bit of heaven that encompasses 50,000 square feet of warehouse space, and thousands upon thousands of items.

Boeing has announced that the surplus store, a local landmark for 35 years, is closing and going to the Internet.

Oh, how the guys — and it's mostly men who come here — will miss it.

....It's a special club to which they belong, where joy is finding that mercury vapor analyzer that's practically a steal at $70.

The deals they could find:

• Heavy metal desks that scream out "1970s office" at $20 each. They're so sturdy that some guys buy them as platforms on which to rebuild car engines.

• Desktop computers with respectable 1 GHz microprocessors at $25 each. They're so popular that a sign at the entrance warns, "3 CPU's per person. NO EXCEPTIONS!"

....Scott Bacher, 50, of Everett, was among those standing at the front of the line early on a recent weekday....

Bacher works as a self-employed airplane mechanic. He comes here because he can buy an air-powered tool for $25 that'd sell new for $900.

"Boeing is so big that what they throw away is a delight for somebody like me," Bacher said.

Many of the others waiting in line were resellers.

There was Ed Williams, 55, of Federal Way. On this morning, he was peering through the window at the equipment on Table 4, which had something called densitometers for sale. Maybe he could pick them up for $35 each and resell them on his Web site for $75 to $200 apiece.

"This is the only place left where you can go running in the door, and grab something for $35 and get a deal," he said.

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