Attention shoppers, the state of Kansas is looking to make a deal. The Kansas State Surplus in Topeka is the agency responsible for taking unwanted state property, and getting it into your hands.
You could say Juan Jalil’s job is making every day Christmas.
“I try to make the donees happy. I try to act like Santa Clause if I can,” says Juan Jalil.
And he’s just one of the employees of the Kansas state surplus, trying to give new life to equipment that might only be a year or two old. One way jalil does that is by making sure what they have in stock they have pictures of online.
“A mass email with a link to our online catalog, so that the donees can go in and see what kind of property we have here,” says Jalil.
Jalil says they call the customers at the federal surplus “donees” because they don’t actually purchase these items.
“There will be a small administrative fee attached to that donation, but it is pennies on the dollar,” says Cheryl Buxton, Director of Printing, Mail and Surplus Property.
And Buxton says you’ll find just about anything, from clothes to tools to cars. But it’s only open to certain agencies, like schools, cities and emergency services. But down stairs, in the state surplus part of the building, it’s a different story.
“That property that comes in from state agencies is available to state agencies and governmental entities for the first 30 days that the property arrives here, after 30 days it’s open to the public to purchase,” says Cheryl Buxton.
The inventory varies, based on what comes in each day. But Buxton says furniture, electronics, cars and clothes are almost always available.
“Some of the stuff is new, or very gently used, even on the state surplus side,” says Buxton.
Buxton says part of the mission of the state surplus is being a good steward of taxpayer money, partly by getting as much use out of these items as they can, and by helping local agencies stretch you tax dollar.
“Their budgets are very slim, or non-existent, and so if they come to surplus property, whether it’s on the federal side or the state side, they’re bound to find something, and they’re not going to be spending a whole lot of money,” says Buxton.
With so much to choose from, it’s something a little less obvious that jalil says is their most popular item.
“Musical instruments are a big want. A lot of school districts are always looking for musical instruments,” says Jalil.
Whether it’s a car, or a computer, or a desk, or a musical instrument, Jalil says the next time you’re in Topeka, stop by, because whatever it is you’re looking for…..
“You could probably find it up here,” says Jalil.
The State Surplus is open to the public, Monday through Friday. To see their inventory, or to learn more about qualifying to shop in the Federal Surplus, you can visit their website. We’ve provided a link to that here.