Found At The Lion Surplus

This past week, I had the pleasure of visiting Penn State’s finest consignment store: Lion Surplus. The store, located to left of the Blue Band building, is one of Penn State’s most under-appreciated on-campus resources. Much like your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, Lion Surplus sells secondhand goods, but with a Penn State sustainability flair.

Denise Flack, online sales representative of Lion Surplus, was kind enough to explain to me how the store operates. “We dispose of or sell all the used equipment from all of the Penn State campuses, including Hershey Medical,” she said. “The money we get from that will go back into the department that it came from. We’re keeping things out of the landfill and putting money back into Penn State.”

Buildings that are being renovated and professors who are retiring will ship their old belongings to the salvage warehouse to be sold. Consequently, the store front is filled with old computer equipment, desks, chairs, and furniture.

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In addition to office staples, Lion Surplus sells various goods for a fraction of their original price. Browsing the store is like watching an exciting episode of Pawn Stars, except without having to pay for Comcast’s cable plan.

Need a bike? State College police recover lost or stolen bikes and turn them over to Lion Surplus, and the unclaimed ones will be placed for sale.

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Are you an aspiring photographer? These gently used Nikon D90’s are being sold for $400, a fraction of the price you can get one for on Amazon.

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Though the storefront offers everyday items to the public, Flack has seen some strange stuff go through the store. Not strange in an obscure way, per se, but more in the way that the items would only be bought by someone looking to start a mental institution, or perhaps your local meth kingpin. “We had an autopsy table from Hershey Medical,” she says. “We ended up selling it to a guy who makes haunted houses.”

On a separate occasion, Flack found a torn and crumpled tapestry at the bottom of a box that came from a shipping truck. “It was a huge tapestry, like a banner with a Chinese design with different Daoist or Buddhist scenes on it that you would see in Asian art.”

“We thought, well this is kind of cool, maybe it will have some interest on eBay,” Flack said. “It ended up selling for $5,000.”

Here are just a few of the other gems from Lion Surplus:

Don’t let the side entrance of Lion Surplus scare you off. I assure you, the entire staff is more than friendly and not terrifying.

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Denise has no idea where Cookie Monster, or Barney came from, but the duo can be yours if you act now.

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Planning on serenading your significant other through song? This grand piano is waiting to be picked up.

Lion Surplus Grand Piano
Lion Surplus Grand Piano

Interested in some ironic furniture? Look no further! These podiatrist chairs are a great addition to any living room.

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These are only a few of the treasures that can be found at Lion Surplus. Whether you are starting your own dentistry practice, or looking for a new desk, Lion Surplus is sure to have something for you.

Photos: Claire Marchon

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Claire Marchon

Contributor for Onward State, from the San Fransisco, Bay Area. I am probably the biggest Simon & Garfunkel fan you've ever met; I might also be the only Simon & Garfunkel fan under 50 you've ever met. Either way I think it is very important you know I love Simon & Garfunkel.

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