Bed, Bath and the U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Auction

“This is a regular sale of used residential furniture, appliances, old office computers and the like.” the US Embassy spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.

By
October 14, 2018 19:33
2 minute read.
Printers and office machinery auctioned by the US Embassy

Printers and office machinery auctioned by the US Embassy. (photo credit: YVETTE J. DEANE)

Looking for a one-stop shop? The US Jerusalem Embassy put up over 1,000 items for auction in their Herzliya Pituah warehouse on Sunday morning, auctioning off thousands of home-good items, including computers, carpets, microwaves, a bunk bed, couches, fridges and chairs.

The starting prices were hard to beat, with a lot of 25 vacuums beginning at 800 NIS and another of seven refrigerators at 700 NIS.

The auction attracted shoppers looking for bargains and bulk buying.

“This is a regular sale of used residential furniture, appliances, old office computers and the like.” the US Embassy spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.

This has been a frequent occurrence for the embassy in the past few months, with an auction in April and an online auction in July and August.

When asked if this sale occurred due to the recent embassy move, she told the Post that there was nothing unusual about this auction.

“These kinds of auctions are common at US embassies around the world, and are open to the public,” she said.

In fact, this past summer the US Embassy in London had an auction as well, and showcased some unusual items such as 1,200 rolls of toilet paper.

When asked if there would be any strange items at this auction, the embassy representative replied, “There are no unusual items for sale.”

She was right. All the items were routine household items. Even Lot 22, where someone bid on 33 transformers to change electric voltages of home appliances, was pretty run of the mill.

The most expensive lot purchased included 109 items, mostly consisting of chairs, for 8,700 NIS. The cheapest lot had a few computer monitors for 400 NIS.

“Can I complain?” asked David, one of the potential buyers. “Why do they not sell in Jerusalem?!”

There was a fair share of disgruntled responses from potential buyers.

“The quality is much less than 10, 20, 30 years ago,” said Dorit, a local furniture store owner.

She has bought furniture from the Jerusalem Embassy for many years, but this time the items were in bulk, and not worth the hassle.

“I came out of curiosity,” said Chaya Gross, another potential buyer. “If it’s cheap enough, I’ll take a chance.”

Gross was unsure if she could realistically find a place for all the items in one lot.

“What can I do with all of this?” said Avi Yasseour, another attendee.

He was looking for a specific American oven – “It’s good for the food my mom makes” – but was upset he would have to buy multiple ovens if he really wanted it.

But not everyone walked away upset.

Most of the items were sold to a couple of Israeli businessmen, who attend these events regularly. When questioned by the Post about their work and who they were, one responded that it was “a private matter.”

“The proceeds of the auction generally go back to the US government, but specific regulations state which proceeds return to which government funding sources,” the spokeswoman said, explaining the process.

The embassy’s auction was open to the public, and all sale items could only be bid on in the form of large lots or bulk – no single items were sold.


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