The Mouse that Roared

It’s just an ordinary mouse. They’re everywhere — the pantry, the garage, or the warehouse — and yes, even at ObtainSurplus. You see droppings first, or maybe a blur of fur skittering into a crack so small that physics seems to deny passage to anything but a dust mite. Most of us would pull out … Read more

“Used is great for me -“

An AVO Surge Tester with all the bells and whistles In a “throw-away” society where we often think the newest is the best, Matthew Goettemoeller stands tall. He likes used — and not just because it’s cheaper. Case in point: a surge tester. Specifically an AVO Multi-Amp DS-13SA Surger Premiere. That’s the long name for … Read more

5,214 Miles & Seven Days

Somewhere in the cargo hold of a UPS jet in mid-April is a small but very important package of surplus industrial equipment with a five-figure price tag. It has a long journey from its starting place in Boise, Idaho to a small village — Saint-Paul-Lès Dax — in the south of France. That’s a distance … Read more

The Gauge and Snoopy

NASA Surplus Property

It’s not often one shares their thoughts about an industrial gauge and a cartoon dog in the same sentence, but this one is too much to pass up. This is about Zachary “Zac” Fisher, a fascination with anything NASA, a cartoon dog, and an industrial gauge. It starts with this instrument: Idaho Surplus Auctions … Read more

Vidal Sassoon Goes Industrial?

It’s a sure bet that Mr. Sassoon didn’t have anything but styling in mind when he began selling hair dryers decades ago. He passed away several years back, but he would probably appreciate Obtainium’s innovation and sense of creativity. Credit goes to this guy—Dan Matthews. Dan came up with a quick, efficient way to test … Read more

The Ultimate Shiner

And why such a little fish is so important I already know what you’re going to ask: what the heck does a shiner have to do with Obtainium or better yet: is Obtainium branching out as a bait store? Really? Nope. But one of our customers has—Shiner Sam (, AKA: Sam Dispraseuth. Fifteen years ago, … Read more

When Failure is a Good Thing

“It’s all about getting kids to engineer and re-engineer after they fail,” says Darren Coon. Coon, a youngish looking teacher and engineer likes the word failure, paradoxically it seems, but he thinks it’s the best way to learn. He’s so committed to that idea that fifteen years ago he established an on-line company that … Read more