Make Money From Confiscated Stuff at Airport?

Perusing Digg I found this article on Yahoo that lists the agencies that sell all the confiscated stuff at airport security lines. The majority of the confiscated items are knives or other sharp objects like box cutters and scissors.

I noticed my local government agency that sells all these items back to the public called the Texas Surplus Store was not even 5 miles away from where I live, so I paid them a quick visit. I wasn’t sure what I’d find there.

I went there and it was a large warehouse with some airport confiscated stuff in the front, and a giant warehouse full of furniture, industrial machinery, cop car parts and other random stuff. Everything there was either retired government equipment, foreclosed items, defaulted loan items or seized property….all at super discounted prices. This government agency gets all the stuff, and it’s their purpose is to get rid of it quickly. It reminded me of a big pawn shop, except much cheaper.

Ever lost your sunglasses in a city or state building or airport? If no one steals them first, they end up here…for $1 a piece!

FYI, if you lost your $200 titanium Maui Jim sunglasses in the Austin airport a little while ago….I just bought them, for $1.00!

Had a pocketknife, box cutter, nail clippers or scissors confiscated at the airport? You can buy them back here for about $0.25 to $1/piece. There’s big tubs full of THOUSANDS of them.


So the reason I went here was to see if any money can be made from these items by reselling them on eBay. Something that caught my eye were these big bags of assorted pocket knives for $10. I couldn’t count how many each bag had inside, but it was a lot. So as a little money experiment I bought a $10 bag of knives plus one Leatherman Micra pocketknife for $5 (just to get more keyword searches on eBay).

I counted all the knives, and it turns out I got 74 knives for $10. The extra Leatherman knife made it 75 knives total.

I took some pictures of the knives for the eBay auction, and I found out it’s actually a pretty boring process trying to open up 75 pocket knives, so I just opened up some of the larger ones for a more dramatic picture effect. There were actually some very high quality knives in there, I was impressed.

Then I went ahead and stuck the whole lot of 75 knives on eBay with a $10 minimum bid and flat $10.95 shipping charge. :
eBay Auction 170168750293

I also went ahead and made a quick video of the knives, slapped it on YouTube and posted it in the auction:

In a few days I’ll see how much this $15 experiment returns!

—–UPDATE 11-20-2007—–
The eBay auction bid up to $26.55 + $10.95 shipping for a total of $37.50.

It cost me:
$10 purchase price
$12 shipping
$1 fees
Total costs: $23.00
Bought for: $37.50
Total Profit for Experiment: $14.50