Bargains: Calif. Holds Giant 2-Day Garage Sale

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California is holding one of its periodic garage sales to sell off surplus state equipment and supplies. The one that starts Friday promises to be one of the biggest, as the state scrambles to replenish its coffers. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed the visors of 15 state cars for sale.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Another way California's raising cash is by cleaning house. People in Sacramento will be hunting for bargains at what's being called the Great California Garage Sale. More than six thousand items are being offered from cars and computers to bikes and old clothing.

From Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento, Marianne Russ reports.

Ms. MARIANNE RUSS: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called for departments and agencies to get rid of surplus stuff, and boy, did they ever. It's all being stored here in the state's 180,000 square foot warehouse.

(Soundbite of forklift)

Ms. RUSS: Forklifts unload truckloads of stuff. There are endless rows of computers, more than 600 cars, and odds and ends like kayaks, bikes, and even a surfboard - most going for a set price. Laptops will run you 200 bucks, or how about a BMW motorcycle for around two grand?

Fred Aguiar heads up the State and Consumer Services Agency. He says the state held another garage sale in the past, but interest is higher this time.

Mr. FRED AGUIAR (Secretary of State and Consumer Services Agency): What I experienced in 2004 is that people lined up at 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning for doors opening at 8:00. So when you open the door, the advice is to move out of the way.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. RUSS: Some of the stuff is odd, like dentist chairs left over from prison, or old, like Polaroid cameras. A few items are also being auctioned off on eBay and Craigslist. Aquiar says that includes about a dozen cars with sun visors autographed by Schwarzenegger.

Mr. AGUIAR: I have been told that the price of those vehicles are a little going above the Blue Book.

Ms. RUSS: Aguiar says the state expects to make maybe a million dollars from the garage sale.

For NPR News, I'm Marianne Russ in Sacramento.

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