With 373,000 federal employees on unpaid leave, the Washington area is losing about $125 million in wages every day, according to the research firm IHS Global Insight. But their deprivation may translate into some bargains for the rest of us, as affected personnel scrounge up extra cash by selling their belongings on Craigslist.
Sneakers, video games, furniture, concert tickets are among the items listed in “shutdown specials” on the online classifieds site. Tammy Heilemann, an Interior Department photographer, is selling a printer, a power drill, and a marble table, among other things.
“It was stuff I had sitting around,” Heilemann, who lives in Herndon, tells Washingtonian. She says she’s already sold an old kayak, too. Heilemann is also using her extra days off to complete an overdue yard sale.
Heilemann, 47, has been working for the federal government long enough to remember the 1995-96 shutdowns, but this one will be a rougher go. “Seventeen years ago it was a vacation,” she recalls of the two shutdowns that totaled 28 days. “I didn’t have the responsibilities I do now.” She says her finances will suffer an impact if the shutdown continues much more than a few days.
Heilemann is far from the only person selling stuff on Craigslist because of the shutdown. Besides her wares, here are other Shutdown Specials we came across:
- A Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike, $250
- Brand-new Nike Air Jordan 4’s, size 9.5, $160
- Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, 2004 model year, $5,000
- Fisher-Price Rainforest Jumperoo, $50
- Yamaha drum set, $500
- “Cozy” down blankets, $25
- More than 30 Care Bear stuffed animals, $100
- Canon DSLR cameras and lenses, $120 and up
- LSAT and law books, best offer
- Brita water pitcher, $5
- Two tickets for the Marinski Orchestra, Oct. 14 at the Kennedy Center, $60
- Two lower-level tickets for the Redskins’ game against the Dallas Cowboys, Dec. 22, $480
- Four tickets for former LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy, tonight at the 9:30 Club, $35 each