Coffee makers, scary dolls, more for sale at UW store

Surplus store has all the usual items, plus things you might not expect




SEATTLE — When someone wants to get rid of anything at the University of Washington -- and seriously, anything -- it typically gets turned over to the UW Surplus Store.

Sixty-five thousand items end up there every year, and most of them get resold to other departments at the university or to the public on Tuesday afternoons.

Most of the items are what you would expect — office chairs, fans, get-well-soon vases and coffee makers — but there are also cowboy hats, plastic fruit, size 18 football shoes and a potholder from Namibia.

And scary dolls. Creepily, lots of dolls.

"There was one we referred to as Rosemary's Baby because it had eyes that kind of moved, but not reliably," office program coordinator Eric Wahl said. "And inevitably, they moved when you weren't touching it. We just sat it on the shelf and pleaded with someone to just please buy it. We were concerned about turning off the lights in the warehouse with it there."

Someone did eventually buy it, Wahl said.

Twice there have been spittoons, Wahl said, although "that may have been the same one that came in twice."

And there have been CPR dummies. Who buys CPR dummies?

"We don't ask questions," Wahl said. "We're just glad they buy them."

Currently for sale are items that resemble large pitchforks, or perhaps tridents. For someone looking for that perfect Christmas gift for a Husky fan, there are massage chairs with purple vinyl bench cushions.