Here’s a chance to snag a deal from Uncle Sam’s attic

The U.S. Embassy has again put items up for auction, and the pick of the litter appears to be a refrigerated wine storage rack with an initial bid of 5,000 colons. Someone already had offered 11,000 colons.

Periodically the embassy consigns items to Rematico, an online auction site. The 145 items will be available for inspection Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the auction company’s storage
facility in Pavas. The viewing is obligatory for those with a love of lamps,

The embassy had dozens of table and floor lamps up for bid. There also are generators, a washer and dryer, fire hoses, tires, computers CPUs, laptops and even assembled sets of computers with CPU, keyboard and flat-screen monitor. They are in the 25,000-colon range, about $50.

There also is the important embassy machine: paper shredders. The embassy items take up eight pages on the Web site. Internet viewers cannot miss them. Each page carries a giant seal of the U.S. State Department.

Some earlier embassy auctions are legendary. The embassy used to conduct them without an intermediary. Some expats made spectacular deals, including a like-new beer keg cooler and dispenser at a price that would make the Congressional Budget Office wince. There even was a forklift at one auction.

The big ticket item this time is a smoke extractor of the type used over stoves in restaurants and commercial kitchens. Opening bid is 2 million colons or about $4,000. But there are no takers yet.

Since 2005 Rematico has been handling the excess embassy goods with little advertising. Bidding on this lot closes Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.

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