Want to buy a bridge? How about an ambulance?You say you might be interested in aspectrophotometer?

The B.C. government might have one for sale. And shopping is as easy as clicking a mouse.

Since 2004, the provincial government has operated B.C. Auction, its own version of online auction giant eBay. The website is used to sell off surplus goods from the province, lower levels of government, Canada Customs, police departments and health authorities.

As of Monday, 189 items were listed for sale.

The top bid for an 11-metre speedboat was $57,000, while 1,296 urinal pucks had fetched a high bid of $61.A set of five slightly used pickup truck tires had a top bid of $160.99.

Thirty separate pieces of jewellery were also available, likely offered up by customs or police.

"It's a way for governments to recover money, because they have no way of getting value out of things like surplus office furniture. And some of it was going to landfills," said Gordon Williams, communications director for the Ministry of Labour, which operates the site.

Williams said B.C. Auction had nearly 13,000 registered users as of last week. Most bidders are individuals, though some likely operate a small business, purchasing items for cheap and re-selling them, perhaps on eBay, he said.

Since 2004, the site has sold $6.4 million worth of goods. Before the advent of the online marketplace, government surplus was sold at live auctions and cash-and-carry sales.

On the other side of the ledger, the province also operates B.C. Bid, which lists government tenders. That site went up in 2003 and is used by the same group of government branches that uses the auction service.

As of May 2007, there were 2,657 subscribers to B.C. Bids value-added services, the bulk of them registered for electronic bid matching. A supplier can register whatever good or service it offers and receive notification when a matching tender is posted.