Where to buy items confiscated by the TSA

Last updated by Jack on 20 July, 2014 in Travel Tips.

The TSA doesn't just throw out the items confiscated at security checkpoints. Some are donated to non-profit organizations, most metal is recycled as scrap, and alcohol used to be binned. Well, until the cleaners started turning up drunk at the job, when they had to start disposing of the liquid gold more properly...

However, much of the loot confiscated items are actually sold online by the individual states via TSA auctions.

Buying the confiscated goods either from the TSA or individual states is done in auctions 90% of the time. Some confiscated items are put up directly for sale though, and you can find it on the websites for direct purchase. The state surplus auctions are held regularly, and if you're planning to show up for it, it's definitely best to check if you have to register beforehand. Several states require this.

Most states combine auctions for TSA confiscated goods, state surplus, and goods confiscated by law enforcement, which means not only can you get cheap Leathermans, but you may also be able to pick up a car.

Where to buy TSA confiscated items for sale:

US state Website address
Alabama www.adeca.alabama.gov
Alaska www.publicsurplus.com/
Arizona www.azdoa.gov/agencies/msd/surplus_property/public_auctions.asp
Arkansas www.arstatesurplus.com
California http://www.dgs.ca.gov/ofam/home.aspx
Colorado www.cijvp.com
Connecticut www.das.state.ct.us/Surplus/No_Auctions.htm
Delaware www.state.de.us/dss/surplus/index.shtml
District of Columbia app.ocp.dc.gov/RUI/information/ppd/ppd_main.asp
Florida dms.myflorida.com/dms2/business_operations/
Georgia surplusproperty.doas.georgia.gov - Online auction sales
Hawaii auction.ehawaii.gov
Idaho fsp.idaho.gov/
Illinois ibid.illinois.gov
Indiana www.state.in.us/idoa/surplus/index.html
Iowa www.iaprisonind.com/html/surplus/state_geninfo.asp
Kansas da.state.ks.us/surplus/default.htm
Kentucky finance.ky.gov/internal/surplus
Louisiana doa.louisiana.gov/lpaa/auction.htm
Maine www.maine.gov/bgs/centralserv/surplus/
Maryland www.dgs.maryland.gov/GovDeals/index.html
Massachusetts www.mass.gov/portal/
Michigan www.michigan.gov/dmb/
Minnesota www.fss.state.mn.us/auction.htm
Mississippi www.dfa.state.ms.us/Offices/SurProp/SurProp.htm
Missouri www.oa.mo.gov/purch/surplus.html
Montana gsd.mt.gov/local/publicauctions.asp
Nebraska www.corrections.state.ne.us/federal_surplus/index.html
www.das.state.ne.us/materiel/surplus/surplus.htm
Nevada purchasing.state.nv.us/property/auction.htm
www.das.state.ne.us/materiel/surplus/surplus.htm
purchasing.state.nv.us/property/vehicle.htm
New Jersey www.state.nj.us/treasury/dss
New Mexico www.generalservices.state.nm.us/transportationservices/publicstorefront
New York www.ogs.state.ny.us/supportServices/fedSurplus
www.ogs.state.ny.us/supportServices/stateSurplus
North Carolina www.surpluspropertydivision.com/
www.ncstatesurplus.com/ssp/public/ssphomepage/ssp.htm
North Dakota www.nd.gov/surplus/
Ohio www.das.ohio.gov
Oklahoma www.ok.gov/DCS/State_Surplus/index.html
Oregon oregonsurplus.com

surplus.oregonstate.edu
Pennsylvania www.dgs.state.pa.us/surp_prop/site/default.asp
Puerto Rico No website
South Carolina www.ogs.state.sc.us/OGS-disposable-index.phtm
South Dakota www.state.sd.us/boa/Prop. Mgmt/propmgt.htm
Tennessee www.state.tn.us/generalserv/ba04s/
Texas tfc.state.tx.us
www.sugarlandtx.gov/online_auction
Utah fleet.state.ut.us/
Vermont bgs.vermont.gov/business_services/surplus
Virginia dgs.virginia.gov
Washington www.washington.edu/admin/surplus
www.ga.wa.gov/surplus/index.html
West Virginia www.state.wv.us/admin/purchase/surplus
Wisconsin www.doa.state.wi.us/
Wyoming ai.state.wy.us/GeneralServices/index.asp


You can also look at the National Association of State Agencies for Surplus Property website or this list of sites. For Federal Surplus sales, see GovSales.

You never know, they might have the perfect item for your holiday travel shopping!

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Comments

More states?

What about the other states? Louisiana for example

virginia on 06 January, 2009

Hi Virginia

Thanks for asking, I've added the Louisiana surplus property website address to the article.

Jack on 06 January, 2009

More states too please

Great post. Do you happen to have the link for Michigan?

Bob on 06 April, 2009

Michigan added

Bob, I just found the Michigan state surplus site, which is where the TSA puts up the confiscated goods for sale.

Jack on 08 April, 2009

What about...?

Nothing for Montana?

Tammy on 26 April, 2009

When I followed the colorado link, I was rerouted to http://www.coloradoci.com/ which did not relate to items confiscated by the state of Colorodo. Is there another website that would get to sales of the confiscated items?

Jim NIquette on 03 November, 2009

@Jim

The Colorado Correctional Industries is the surplus outlet company for Colorado. Had a good look around for alternatives, but as far as I can see, that's the right one now.

Jack on 06 November, 2009

hi.does any of these ship outside USA ?

Sandro on 04 December, 2009

I don't believe any do, simply because they tend to be auctions and state run.

Jack on 04 December, 2009

Great article, do you have any addresses for Australia

Jim Jones on 05 January, 2010

Not yet, worth writing up though if I can find anything about Oz.

Jack on 05 January, 2010

Ohio link is broken

Ohio link is broken

Shadus on 20 January, 2010

I just fixed the Ohio state surplus auctions link.

Jack on 21 January, 2010

Alaska link is broken

Anonymous on 12 May, 2010

I just updated the link to the Alaska state surplus outcry auctions.

Jack on 12 May, 2010

Arizona is for land only, do you have one for TSA etc.

Greg on 12 June, 2010

Arizona doesn't auction online unfortunately, the TSA goods are auctioned off with the land / state goods. I've updated the link to be the main auction page.

Jack on 14 June, 2010

how do these scum bags get away with this? stealing peoples things, selling them at auctions. they will burn in hell, low wage goons

travis on 21 April, 2011

Woo, some pretty strong opinions on the TSA there. Probably better not to express that during security.

Jack on 22 April, 2011

Nothing for Hawaii?

Wes on 03 May, 2011

Idaho link doesn't work....

Melissa on 18 June, 2011

The Minnesota link is broken.

Chalupa on 30 June, 2011

Actually, looks like they've shut their entire website together with pretty much abandoning gov't in Minnesota. From the page:

"This State of Minnesota website has been suspended for the duration of the state government shutdown. For the latest general information on the state government shutdown, please visit http://BeReadyMN.com."

Hopefully things will go back to normal shortly.

Jack on 01 July, 2011

Can't get onto to the Oklahoma website you have listed without a login and password. This stinks!!!

Okie on 15 August, 2011

Oklahoma requires a password when you click on it. What is that all about?

Marciel on 15 August, 2011

Looks like Florida you can't purchase their items. Instead, they are donated to organizations. :(

Jessica on 15 August, 2011

So for Utah I have looked all over the fleet web site that is posted to use but can not see where to go. Am I missing something or not seeing the link? I would love to take part in the TSA shopping!

Jerry on 15 August, 2011

I can not find a site in Florida that disposes of the TSA Surplus stuff left behind by travelers at airports. Pleas help,

Pete Pharr on 15 August, 2011

North Carolina address comes up "Error"?????

Elaine Smith on 15 August, 2011

is there an update for the minnesota site. the one on the list is broken

S L Hubbard on 15 August, 2011

It would be great to find an actual store address in SC or NC for TSA Surplus, the website is not any help.

Can you help by listing the location? or address?

Agnes Schultz on 16 August, 2011

Minnesota and North Carolina state surplus links are both updated. Yes, Florida seems to donate their TSA swag and I can't locate a Utah website either.

Jack on 16 August, 2011

Georgia closed their stores in 2008

Thomas Walden, Sr. on 16 August, 2011

Georgia may have closed its stores, but moved to selling surplus via eBay, Public Surplus, and GovDeals instead. Probably much more useful than a storefront in the end.

Jack on 16 August, 2011

I wasn't aware that the TSA sold all of the stuff it confiscated! That's cheap goods right there! My mom works for a cruise line, and they don't confiscate stuff, but people do tend to forget all kinds of things they bring on the ship, so every once in a while the company has a big flea market available to employees. I find it funny when my mom comes home with watches and bracelets she wouldn't have otherwise bought.

Mack Reynolds on 30 August, 2011

The Massachusetts site does not contain any links to confiscated TSA goods from Boston Logan or any other site. Please update or advise on how to get back my valuable confiscated item.

JR on 08 September, 2011

Hi Jack,

I attend the Louisiana state auctions almost monthly and I have never found any of the items that would have been confiscated by the TSA, so there must be another place they auction them off? Maybe the state doesn't waste their time on selling these items, maybe the employee's enjoy the "LOOT". :-)

LS on 09 November, 2011

Hi LS. They may have moved to selling the items on Ebay exclusively. That's becoming increasingly common and probably results in higher sales prices for the gov't.

Jack on 11 November, 2011

@SB

I don't think any of the 'surrendered' items are really all that dangerous, including things like knives. Why? You won't get into the cockpit without either a crowbar or a gun...

Jack on 23 November, 2011

TSA is a federal agency not a state agency.. Most of the stuff is donated to non-profits. What they do with it is up to them. TSA does not sell stuff at state auctions.

Anonymous on 01 February, 2012

You're both right and wrong.

Much is donated, but a lot is also given over to individual states' surplus departments and auctioned. Also a whole lot of confiscated goods end up on eBay for the same reason. Further, not all airports actually have TSA as security, and other arrangements are in place.

Jack on 01 February, 2012

What is the link for the Puerto Rico site?

Josean Terron on 11 March, 2012

Hi Josean,

Puerto Rico does not seem to have a website for TSA or state surplus. It's probably likely they'll sell or give away confiscated items from here via charitable organizations.

Jack on 12 March, 2012

Any stats available of items confiscated?

Dale on 08 May, 2012

Second link for California, http://www.sandiego.gov/police/auctions.shtml, is broken.

Thanks.

john on 09 May, 2012

Thanks for the notice on the California links, this is fixed now.

Jack on 10 May, 2012

Minnesota link is kaput again :(

don Roberto on 25 May, 2012

Hi Don Roberto, I just updated the Minnesota link to point to the Minnesota State Surplus page. Seems they have re-organized things yet again.

Jack on 26 May, 2012

Where to buy items stolen by the TSA

Hue on 06 July, 2012

All airport baggage personel and TSA staff at every airport are nothing but a theft ring. All of them profit from what they steal and no inquiries or investigations are ever actually conducted. The paperwork is just filed, with much laughter. Everything with real value, such as cameras, jewelry and electronics is smuggled out in the pockets of airport personnel on a daily basis. I doubt that these auctions have much to offer since it is the stuff that was deemed to worthless to steal by airport staff. They just busted a stewardess in Seattle who snagged a passenger's iPad. They tracked it to her home. Maybe we need a vigilante group putting tracking devices in our cameras, x-boxes, etc., so we can do the same? Makes you wonder why the cops don't use trackable "bait" items to shut down these vast theft rings. Over one million pieces of luggage were classified as "missing" and never located (ever)by the airlines last year. Think about that.

Jeff on 03 October, 2012

Hi Jeff

Thanks for joining the discussion. I see why you raise the points you do.

Yes, there are the occasional instances of theft at security, but compared with those from checked luggage, they're unusual. Even then, it's mostly done by other passengers.

Most of the items that you're mentioning aren't actually confiscated at the security gate. So they would never arrive in an auction under any circumstance.

You're unfortunately correct in that most times there's no real investigative effort made when things are stolen at the airport. But that mirrors petty theft in most situations. It gets worse, an item stolen at an airport is likely to be quite far away in a few hours, if not even outside of the country, so tracking it is very challenging.

Airport theft is an issue, but does not have much bearing on items confiscated by the TSA during security screening.

Jack on 04 October, 2012

Why do they confiscate wine after the flight coming into the U.S.? What is done to the wine after it is confiscated?

Natalie on 14 October, 2012

Nothing is confiscated by the TSA coming into the country. Customs may if duty isn't going to be paid, but TSA only checks goods as it comes through security.

If wine, or any alcohol, would be taken at security by the TSA, it would be poured out.

Jack on 15 October, 2012

What is the link to Oakland ca or San Francisco airports thank you

Carlos p on 18 October, 2012

The surplus auctions aren't operated by airport, but by state. You want to look into the California auctions

Jack on 18 October, 2012

I can't find anything for MA. I can find surplus stuff but it is all cars/trucks/etc. I have sent a couple of emails to MA employees but I don't much faith in that.

Anybody know what happens to this stuff in MA?

JKR on 11 December, 2012

again, anythjing for hawaii.

Franz on 12 December, 2012

The surplus and confiscated goods auction site listing for Hawaii is added. Think this has been put online after the last time I expanded this list.

Jack on 13 December, 2012

What is the reasoning behind confiscating a 12oz Hershey's Dark Chocolate Bar at the airport?

Golden on 21 December, 2012

Hi Golden. Not sure why that would be, as far as I know chocolate isn't exactly an item forbidden from the cabin? What's the story here?

Jack on 21 December, 2012

I've never had anything confiscated by TSA; I attribute that to constantly checking the website when I'm preparing for a trip.

Kate on 14 March, 2013

CT. does not work.

on 21 March, 2013

Maybe I can buy back my scissors that got confiscated!

Meredith@GreenGlobalTravel on 06 June, 2013

Can anyone tell me where Car parts might go? E,g Holley carburettor from either Ohare or Lax airports

Allan on 19 August, 2014

If I was making a guess on that, I'd say likely to end up on eBay actually. Those parts wouldn't exactly be common, and are probably fine to take through security (with a few extra inspections of course).

Jack on 19 August, 2014

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