If you’ve never heard of the BYU-Idaho surplus store, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard about it either until my sister (a former BYU-Idaho student) suggested I check it out.
It’s no wonder that many students on campus have never heard of the surplus store. It’s in a building you’ve probably never heard of, with backdoor-only access, and only open for a few hours a day. In short, it’s definitely not a place you’d just bump into. Sounds a little sketchy, doesn’t it?
Even calling the business a store is a little generous. It’s more like a few unfinished rooms with a bunch of cluttered shelves and a front desk. While neither the school or I claim it to be a glamorous place, you may find it has something useful. And at only a fraction of the cost that you’d find it for elsewhere.
Recently, I was in search of a second computer monitor that I could connect to my laptop to give myself some extra screen space. As a business student, I do a lot of work in excel. Too often I find myself having to constantly switch back and forth between windows and programs while completing simple assignments, and splitting two windows down the middle of a small laptop screen just doesn’t cut it.
I’d been keeping my eyes open, waiting to see if I could find a deal on one of the local “buy and sell” Facebook pages. However, everything I saw was either in too poor of condition or overpriced.
When my sister heard that I was looking for a monitor, she suggested I stop by the university surplus store to see if they had what I was looking for. It took a bit of searching to find it (I had only her vague directions to go off), but it was certainly worth the time.
A mere six bucks later I walked out of the store with a monitor and all the necessary chords to get it working on my laptop. That very morning I’d seen a similar monitor in less favorable condition for sale on one of the local Facebook pages for thirty dollars. Needless to say, I was extremely happy with my visit.
What do they sell?
Monitors aren’t the only thing there that a student may find useful. With a rotating stock of items that the school doesn’t need anymore, there are all sorts of gems to find.
While I was there they had a couple of gently used MacBooks, tons of iMacs, and an iPad, all in perfect operating condition up for auction. Point-and-shoot cameras, office chairs, printers, DVD players, pianos, and miscellaneous furniture are just the tip of the iceberg.
Some items (like my monitor) are a little older, while others are newer. New or used, most all the items are perfectly functional, and they’ll let you know if that’s not the case. See a full list of available items on their website. While most of their items are available to buy outright, some items are for auction through their website. You can enter bids all week long, and they announce winners every Thursday.
Where is it, and what are their hours?
Though you wouldn’t find it by accident, if you know where to look, the surplus store isn’t hard to find. If you’re standing at the roundabout by the I-Center and MC, head south on the road that leads past the Benson and the Austin, towards the Science and Technology Center. Just past the Benson, you’ll see the “Auxiliary Services” building to your left. This is the one you want.
At the back corner of the store (the corner closest to the temple), you’ll find the entrance. There are a few parking spaces available to customers on the far side of that same building. Don’t show up just any time to check them out – their hours of operation are pretty limited. According to their signs and website, the store is open Monday-Friday from 11 A.M.-2 P.M. A three-hour window isn’t much, but it should be enough for you to get in and check it out.
If you’re looking for a deal on something you may need around the apartment, or if you like finding hidden gems, then be sure to give the BYU-I surplus store a shot. You may be surprised by what you find!