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UW Facilities

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Surplusing Items FAQs

Q: Billing inquiries…

A: To get a copy of an invoice, submit an invoice request form

Q: I already placed my pickup request, but I have items to add. How do I do that?

A: If you need to add items after submitting a request, email us. Reference your surplus ID number and tell us what you need to add. However, if you requested a pickup and it has already been scheduled we may not be able to add items, or your pickup may need to be rescheduled.

Q: OK, I get that Surplus is the way to get rid of extra office furniture and things like that. But what about surplusing odd things, like a bus?

A: UW Surplus is definitely not a one-size-fits-all kind of operation. UW departments surplus all kinds of items, even cars and precious metals. Obviously, we’re not going to simply put items like that on the sales floor of the Surplus store! That’s where our consulting expertise comes into play. When you have something unusual that’s surplus, we’ll figure out the best way to sell it.

Q: Do I have to go through UW Surplus? Couldn’t I just sell this stuff on Craigslist myself?

A: Yes, you have to go through UW Surplus, and no, you can’t sell it yourself. Surplus plays a green role, helping to find a higher end use for things you no longer need. But this is a matter of compliance too. Both state and federal regulations require that UW property be sold as surplus, not kept as personal property or dumped in a dumpster. These regulations apply to both physical and intellectual property. Part of our job at UW Surplus is to protect this property, while at the same time helping you get it out of your way.

Q: I’ve heard we get money when we surplus something through you. Is that true?

A: Sometimes. If we are able to sell something you’ve surplused, your department sometimes gets money back if possible. That makes surplusing a real win-win! You give something another use, rather than toss it, which is environmentally friendly. And your department might recoup some expenses, which is financially friendly!

Q: This chair is broken. Can’t I just put it in the dumpster?

A: No. There is no such thing as trash as far as the UW is concerned. Every University item must be surplused when no longer needed. Items don’t need to be whole goods to be surplused. And if something isn’t usable any longer, we’ll find a better way to dispose of it than trash, such as recycling it. You can always check out UW Recycling’s disposal guide, but chances are you’ll end up back here.

Q: What, exactly, happens to the stuff we surplus?

A: Depends on what it is! At UW Surplus, it’s our job to find a higher use for items you no longer need, and possibly earn some money for your department at the same time. That might mean we sell it in the Surplus store. Or it could mean we sell it at a live auction, time auctions, or on the commodities market (such as precious metal). We find the best way to repurpose the things you need. Think of us as a combination of Goodwill, eBay and a really good business liquidator. That’s UW Surplus. Still have questions about surplusing? Contact us!