Putting old stock into the hands of the people of Akron


Dakota Phillips

Hundreds of unique items were available at the property sale.

By Dakota Phillips, Copy Editor

Rather than abandoning stuff no longer of use or dumping it in a landfill, a group of university staff members are making a change while connecting the university to the community.

The program is made up of staff from parking, mailroom and other areas from auxiliary services including Supervisor of Surplus Property Aaron Seese and Director of Materials Handling Michael Szczukowski. They help each other to bypass staff reductions.

Once a month, surplus stock sent from different departments on campus that isn’t going to be used is put on sale at a discounted price. These prices are determined partially from eBay prices. These sales allow the university to “get the last nickels and dimes” out of items that would otherwise rot in storage or a landfill, according to Seese. Sales greater than $100 are given back to the budgets of the departments that sent out the stock. The sales, held on the lower levels of the Quaker Square annex building, is a benefit to Quaker Square as these sales can see foot traffic from 2 to 400 people, giving more customers to the shops.

The main goal of the property sales is to prevent items from being thrown away by selling them. It’s easier to mark them down and sell them locally. The volunteers “rehome” an item through selling it to a new home; it cuts back on the university’s waste output while generating a little revenue.

“We’re all connected in some way,” said Seese.

Since the sales are open to anyone, it is an opportunity for public exposure to the university by putting unused items back in the hands of the community. One example of this was selling chairs at a great deal to the Peter Murrin Center. Selling to the community is done because it was found to be easier to mark them down and sell locally than pay to throw stock away. The low cost helps families and engages the Akron community.

These sales sow good seeds and become a window for the university. These kinds of events are meant to connect the university with the Akron community.

Surplus property also benefits students, particularly international students. These students, who come here with nothing but the clothes on their back are offered a general sale which allows them to purchase basic essentials, such as furniture. Volunteers deliver their purchases during a certain sale.
Items sold at the sales range from old monitors and snow blowers to items from displays such as old radios and pictures from Quaker Square at its height. The sales are able to keep storage in check by selling stock a little bit at a time.

Additionally, the program obsolete electronics and save them from becoming e-waste. Computers in a certain year range are switched out for more current technology. Originally, the university would pay to have its old electronics recycled. Now, e-scrap is sold at a profit. Old computers are stripped down to bear minimal, parts sold and salvaged.