"Scrounging is the highest form of recycling..." (The Anonymous Technoid)
"It is the customer who ultimately decides when equipment is 'obsolete,' not the manufacturer..." (Walter Shawlee, Sphere Research)
I feel blessed to have grown up in the
San Francisco Bay Area (in
What follows are listings of electronic-specific swap meets and stores in the SF Bay Area, and a few outside of it. I've decided to, effective with the ending of the Scrounge 2K4 trip, completely redesign the site to include clearer descriptions, a letter grading system, and photos of actual storefronts (where available). Since photos tend to eat up bandwidth, I'm going to institute a separate page for each location, and a 'Back/Forward' link scheme at the bottom of each page. That should help considerably with navigation.
I will continue to award recognition for 'Best Surplus Deal(er) of the Year,' but I'm also going to break it up into two categories: Test equipment and components. I've chosen not to include computers in the category simply because computer parts are so ubiquitous.
I realize that not everyone can afford to spend a week or more in the Bay Area just to scrounge. With that in mind, I will recommend what I feel are the top six places to hit in alphabetical order:
Ali's Surplus Stuff, Sacramento.
Excess Solutions, San Jose.
Weird Stuff Warehouse,
If you need to do them in order of what you're looking for, here's some different breakdowns.
If you're after primarily test gear: Start with Ali's. Next, Correctest, run by Bill Pollard (formerly of Test Labs). They're still relatively new to their current location as of Sep. 2009, but I don't see them getting anything other than better as time goes on.
Following Correctest, I would suggest hitting Weird Stuff. Although much of their test gear now shows up on their Ebay store, you Just Never Know what you’ll find in the As-Is department.
If it's primarily component parts you're after: Hit ACE first, then Excess Solutions.
If you're a computer parts scrounger: Hit Ali's, Weird Stuff, Crown Computer and Excess Solutions, in that order.
With any electronics swap meet, the best policy is to get there EARLY (at the crack of dawn if you can), as the best deals tend to go very quickly. Here’s what we have in the Bay Area.
I cannot say I’m surprised. Saddened, yes, but not surprised. I don’t
think they ever truly recovered from the devastating loss of the Las Positas College parking lot for a venue. Easy access, lots
of space, nicely paved… everything a decent swap meet needs. There was a
time, in fact, when I considered the LARK event to be superior to ASVARO’s monthly event in
a 19-year tradition has now bitten the dust. One can only hope they’ll do
an imitation of the mythical
I know nothing about it outside of a few photos of past events from their web site. I will say, given what I saw in those photos, that it most definitely looks worthwhile. If any of the board's readers happen to stop by, please let me know what you think.
BUYERS will need $2.00 cash in coins or single bills. The parking machines do not accept anything else, and they do not make change.
SELLERS are exempt from this fee (wheee!)
I have it from reliable sources that the move from the Lockheed complex was not, in fact, due to security issues but for other reasons. Specifically, just like what happened at Foothill, some major construction projects got underway which would not permit the swap to continue. DeAnza should be fairly stable for a good long while.
The Bay Area is home to a rich concentration of electronic and computer surplus stores. Not all are a Great Deal All The Time, but there are some real gems among them. The list, in alphabetical order, is as follows:
Anchor Electronics, San Jose
Crown Computer Recycling, Inc., Burlingame
Weird Stuff Warehouse,
Last Update: 19-Oct-11