Like buying stuff from the back of some van, but way more legit with surplus store deals

Psst. Wanna buy a bowling ball with a big spider on it? A wedding ring? A high-end watch? Calgary’s surplus store has your back.

Calgary sells lost-and-found and surplus items every Tuesday and online

Who doesn't need a big bowling ball with a spider on it? (Jenny Howe/CBC)

Psst. Wanna buy a bowling ball with a big spider on it? A wedding ring? A high-end watch?

Calgary's surplus store has your back.

Selection varies but right now, among some of the more interesting offerings are two boxes of men's compression socks.

"I can tell you, those are a court recovery," Rob Eccleston told The Homestretch.

"We don't get any back story, but if it's in new condition, still in the bag, we will put it out for sale. And you would be amazed how much interest we have in the most obscure items."

There are all kinds and prices of bikes on offer. (Jenny Howe/CBC)

Eccleston is the warehouse and inventory manager for the city.

Every Tuesday, you can see what's on offer at the Manchester Surplus Store.There are online auctions too.

This week, you can become the proud owner of an ostrich egg, if that's your thing.

"It has been here a solid six months, however it is now a steal at $10. If you are in the market, this is the place."

This beauty comes with a certificate of authenticity, to put that uppity neighbour of yours in their place. (Jenny Howe/CBC)

There is a totally legit plate with a deer painted on it, framed by what appear to be antlers.

"We even have the certificate of authenticity with it, so it comes with provenance — and again, a deal at $20."

There are bikes of all styles and prices and computers as far as the eye can see.

"We have lots of laptop computers. This is the city surplus in the sense of, just like any large organization, we life-cycle our IT equipment. We also have a lot of desktop towers. We do have a fixed price list on the website."

Lots of IT stuff like laptops and desktop computers to chose from. (Jenny Howe/CBC)

Golf your deal?

"The city has a number of golf courses, so lost-and-founds and surplus rentals end up here. If you need a cheap putter or something for your rage room, it's here," Eccleston said.

And there are snowboards as low as $50.

Lots of snowboards as low as $50. (Jenny Howe/CBC)

But what are some of the weirder items that tickle a buyer's fancy?

"The strangest things for me personally are some of the minor items. If you need to get married in a hurry, you can just come down here and pick up a wedding ring. Periodically we get some very high-end watches that are recovered. We have a bowling ball. It's got a big spider and spider web on it. It's a 14-pound bowling ball," Eccleston said.

You can shop in person every Tuesday in addition to online auctions. (Jenny Howe/CBC)

"I sometimes wonder where it came from and who will buy it. That's the other fascinating part of it. Who is actually going to see it and think, 'I need one of those.'"

The store is open Tuesdays 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and they take cash and debit card.

With files from Jenny Howe and The Homestretch


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?