If you enjoy spending weekends hunting bargains at garage sales, this Friday and Saturday could be heaven on earth. The Great California Garage Sale is being held in Sacramento at the Department of General Services (DGS) Surplus Property Warehouse. The event was conceived last month as part of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's renewed push to fill the gaping hole in the state budget.

Though the state has held garage sales in the past, officials are touting this event as the largest yet. Agencies across the state have added thousands of surplus items to the sale. And this year, for the first time, the state will be auctioning vehicles; part of an effort to respond to the governor's call to reduce the state's vehicle fleet by 15 percent.

The Great California Garage Sale also marks the first time the state is reaching out to potential customers who live beyond the Sacramento metropolitan area. Earlier this week officials announced the first of many items for sale on craigslist.org, including desktops, laptops, BlackBerrys, chairs and desks. The DGS also began auctioning a selection of vehicles on eBay. The vehicles, which include a range of sedans, SUVs and vans, have all been autographed by Schwarzenegger. As of this writing, every vehicle on eBay had multiple bids, with a high-mileage Ford Taurus at around $1,500 on the low end and a 2003 Honda Civic drawing the highest bid at $6,000.

For hundreds of other vehicles not autographed by the governor, including several California Highway Patrol motorcycles, a traditional auction will take place Aug. 28.

Interested shoppers can visit the DGS garage sale Web site, http://www.dgs.ca.gov/GarageSale.htm, to find the list of items to be sold. The list is long and diverse, featuring electronics, sports equipment, furniture, tools, appliances, fishing poles -- and even Sacramento Kings bobblehead figurines. Each item, whether a ceramic candy dish or a leather jacket, will be individually priced. And the prices, while low, are final.


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Chad Vander Veen  |  Associate Editor