US embassy has clear out and places office items up for auction

3 min


A circular saw, 1,200 toilet rolls and a black, 2007 registered Volvo S80.

These are just a few of the items for which diplomats at the US embassy in London apparently no longer have a use.

But if you fancy giving them a good home, you can bid for them in an online auction.

The diplomatic outpost says the 41 different lots are being sold “according to the regulations of the US Department of State” – and it seems likely the clear out has something to do with its recent move from Grosvenor Square in central London to a new, $1.2bn (£0.91bn) building in Nine Elms, Battersea (infamously referred to in a presidential tweet as an “off location”).

It’s not clear why 22 stacking chairs with wheels (current bid price £23), a barcode scanner set (yours for £40 at the moment), or 756 paper towels (going for £100) couldn’t make the journey to the new embassy.

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Other items, though, are clearly more “pre-loved” – a white ceramic lamp with no shade, five upright Dyson vacuum cleaners (all described as needing repair), a laptop with no power leads, and a coffee table with light scuffing on the top are all also up for grabs.

There is even a Sony digital camera going for around £8 – providing you don’t mind that its working condition is “unknown” and it has no charger.

The items are being auctioned online. Pic: US State Department
The items are being auctioned online. Pic: US State Department

You have until 4pm on 8 August to bag yourself a piece of former State Department property.

The revenue may come in handy; funding for the State Department and foreign operations dropped by $3.4bn (£2.6bn) from 2017 to 2018 in the most recent US spending bill.

London is not the only embassy currently having a diplomatic jumble sale.

US outposts in Albania (11 generators, three cars and a forklift truck) and Turkey (lots of freezers, microwaves, armchairs and mattresses) are also selling off surplus items.

There are more online auctions planned for Lisbon, Stockholm and Kiev over the summer.

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