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1,200 rolls of toilet paper and six other odd lots in the US embassy’s London auction

A stack of toilet paper against a neutral background.
Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Perforated purchases.
By Edmund Heaphy
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Starting July 30, you’ll have the chance to become the owner of surplus property from the US embassy in London.

Among the items up for grabs: 1,200 toilet rolls (starting at £100, or $131), a 2007 Volvo S80 sedan (starting at £1,800, or $2,366), vacuum cleaners, laptops, and 22 plastic stacking chairs.

Bidding opens at 8am July 30 and runs until 4pm Aug. 8. The items, the embassy notes, are being sold according to the regulations of the US Department of State.”

Here’s a look at some of what you could potentially get your hands on, with the opening bid prices:

  • A white ceramic lamp, £10 (you’ll have to shell out for a lampshade on your own)
  • A Bosch circular saw, £10
  • A barcode scanner set, £30
  • Exactly 756 rolls of paper towel, £100 for the lot
  • A Sony Mavica camera, £1 (listed as scrap)
  • Five Dyson DC 24 upright vacuum cleaners, £5 each (described as repairable)

Though the embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment, it’s possible the sale is related to its recent move from Grosvenor Square, in London’s upmarket Mayfair neighborhood, to Nine Elms, in a former industrial area. (Donald Trump blamed the cancellation of a February 2018 visit (paywall) to the UK on the new embassy’s “off location.”)

US embassies across the world routinely sell surplus property, and there are upcoming auctions in at least seven US outposts around the world.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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