There's a store in Texas where TSA-confiscated items end up

Pocket knives, box cutters, and nail clippers—these are just a few of the sharp and potentially dangerous items available at the State Surplus Store in Austin, Texas. Many of the items that end up here have been surrendered, or lost, at the airport to TSA.

Operated by the Texas Facilities Commission, the store gets new items daily. Its inventory, sourced in bulk from the TSA, comes from major airports in Houston, Dallas, and Fort Worth. The revenue generated from selling these items is reinvested into state and federal surplus programs, making it a cost recovery effort.

This store is open to the public, so someone's security-checkpoint loss could be your gain. It's kind of like a thrift store for prohibited stuff that didn't make the flight. And deals are definitely a-plenty.

State Surplus Store. Photo Rusty Blazenhoff.

I was in Austin for SXSW recently and my brother took me to the store. Here are just a few of the things we saw:

Nail clippers and corkscrews for ten cents, and scissors for a buck. Photos Rusty Blazenhoff.
Bullet keychains, CO2 cartridges, vanity pocket knives, and toy guns also end up here. Photos Rusty Blazenhoff.
I picked up a brand new compact Totes umbrella for $5. Photo by Rusty Blazenhoff.
Also for sale: Compact blenders, Greek hazing paddles, snow globes, and DSLR cameras (but, why?). Photos Rusty Blazenhoff.

But that's not all. The TSA part of the surplus store is just the beginning. Go through a glass door in the back of the store and you'll find yourself in an enormous warehouse of "retired state assets" for sale, like office furniture, monitors, and even art.

Electric typewriter, anyone? Photo Rusty Blazenhoff.
Computer monitors, keyboards, and printers–oh my! Photo Rusty Blazenhoff.
You can also bid on a used police vehicle like these Chevy Defenders through their online auction. Photo Rusty Blazenhoff.
Treasures await at the Texas State Surplus Store at 6506 Bolm Road, Austin, TX 78721. It's open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Photo Rusty Blazenhoff.