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Bargain Shoppers Hit It Big At Tulsa's Surplus Auction

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The City of Tulsa held its annual Surplus Auction and many hoped to strike gold. The City of Tulsa held its annual Surplus Auction and many hoped to strike gold.
The city typically brings in about half a million dollars from the auctions. The city typically brings in about half a million dollars from the auctions.
This year, there were more than 1,700 items -- some unusual ones -- for sale. This year, there were more than 1,700 items -- some unusual ones -- for sale.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Hundreds on Saturday learned the true meaning behind one man's trash is another man's treasure.

The City of Tulsa held its annual Surplus Auction and many hoped to strike gold. As auctioneers start their bid-calling, hundreds hoped to swipe the perfect item.

"It sure has been fun," Don Happy said. "I got a lot of good deals."

Happy is a regular at Tulsa's Surplus Auction.

"There's everything you can imagine -- from Beanie Babies all the way up to diamond rings."

Happy says it's cheap entertainment, and he typically leaves with his one big ticket item.

"Last year, I needed a work truck, came out here, picked one up. Low mileage. Recommend everybody to come out here," he said.

Stolen property that never has been claimed and things the city no longer needs was all up for grabs.

"Employees get new computers, I get the old ones," Tulsa Surplus Coordinator Sandra Banks said. "The zoo didn't need their aquarium. I get the old one."

This year, there were more than 1,700 items for sale.

Everything from police lights to old high school basketball scoreboards.

"There's unusual items at every sale," Banks said. "We never know what we're getting. This time we had cast iron skillets, and I've never sold cast iron skillets before."

That may be why Tulsa's auction attracts such a variety of people.

"We have people from all over the country," she said. "There's a company from Alabama here today checking out our fire trucks."

There are three different auctions going on at one time.

"The experience to me is like a big three-ring circus," she said. "…You can get some really good buys, but you need to pay attention that you don't overpay, so kind of do your research before you start bidding."

And Happy was still looking for a good deal on some wheels.

"In a little while, I'm going to look at a pickup truck and see if I can get a good deal on that, upgrade my old one," he said.

The auction coordinator says every year they sell out. The city typically brings in about half a million dollars from the auctions.

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