Just what is Ax-Man Surplus, you may ask?
We simply defy a simple description. For over 50 years Ax-Man Surplus has been serving the creative and practical needs of the Twin Cities community. Simply put: there just aren't any stores quite like us!
Usually when people hear the word "surplus", the words "used" and "defective" also come to mind. THIS IS A MYTH! When we say surplus, we mean merchandise that is new and in fine working order, but someone just had more on hand than needed. Also, items whose intended application just didn't do it justice... Which is where you come in!
Imagine going to one store and finding yards upon yards of different materials, all kinds of unique hardware, porcelain and plastic body parts, bizarre military odds 'n' ends- like gas masks and dummy rounds,- capacitors, diodes, potentiometers, power supplies, art materials, office products, and household items- All under ONE roof!
Our business thrives on our customers' imagination. We have scores of merchandise waiting for creative people to re-purpose them. Using a fly trap as a minnow catcher, for instance, or weight resistance bands as boat mooring lines. Even building a computer or amplifier with our bins and bins of electro-mechanical stuff. The possibilities are endless!
We don't believe in UPC codes- the apocalyptic "mark of the beast" for the Nineties. We believe customers like to touch merchandise that's not wrapped in bubble packs and laminated cardstock. When you come into our stores, we encourage you to browse around, read our signs, dig through our scraps bins, hunt for a vacuum tube for that old radio, and just have a good ol’ time! So if you're in for a shopping experience, or just out and about in the Twin Cities, pay one of our 4 metro locations a visit!
Frequently Ax'd Questions:
Q:"Do you have one of these?"
A: Yes, probably. I think so... You should come in and look around to see for sure. Despite our vast collection of oddities and merchandise, the law of probability tells us that we probably don't have exactly what you're looking for, but we probably have something close, maybe even better than you'd imagined!
Q:"Where do you get your stuff?"
A: Where don't we get our stuff! Maybe the widget factory ordered to many cogs and needed to unload a couple pallets. Maybe the office downtown had too many desks on hand and wanted to make space for a new photocopier. Maybe your neighbor down the street was just cleaning out his garage and couldn't stand the idea of adding to the landfill. Surplus comes from all walks of life, and eventually it all ends up here.
Q:"How often do you get new products?"
A: Every week! Each Tuesday a truck from our warehouse arrives at each of our locations packed with pallet upon pallet of product for you to peruse. That's not to say "come in on Tuesday to see the new stuff," as it often takes us nearly all week to price everything and make those clever signs you love: Rather, stop by anytime! There's always something you haven't seen here before.
Q: "Who makes those clever signs I love so much?"
A: We all do! Just like you, we're each artists in one-way or another, that's past of what attracted us to Ax-Man in the first place. Making the signs is our favorite part of the job, and hearing how much you love them only makes us love our jobs all the more. As part of our rigorous application process, we carefully weed out those with a palatable sense of humor and congenial manner. Sure, we're ready to help you find that muffin fan, but we're also all too ready to infer a variety of other uses for that balloon mold.
Q:"Are you hiring?"
A: No. Unless we are, in which case: Yes, we are! Either way, we're always accepting applications. Stop in and fill one out but remember, we are not above taking bribes of candy or meat.
Q:"Do you have a bathroom?"
Q:"Can I use your bathroom?"
A: No. No you can't. And you wouldn't want to anyway. To get to the emplyee bathroom, you must first traverse a set of rickety stairs that may give way at any second then wonder through a dark and looming haunted basement made even spookier by the shelves and shelves piled high with ancient surplus. This is where we keep the mannequins and rats. Even if you did find your way to the toilet, if you can call it that, there's no toilet paper to be had as employees are encouraged to bring their own from home an keep it in their lockers.
Q:"What's your return policy?"
A: 30 days, keep the receipt. That's true of most items except cut-goods and Air-Soft Guns. If you can't return it, we'll let you know.
Q:"You have Air-Soft Guns!?"
A: Maybe. It depends on when you're reading this. If we do then you're in luck, provided you're 18 years of age and have the photo ID to back it up.
Q:"Do you accept Visa™?"
A: Yes! Also, MasterCard™, American Express™, and even Discover™. We also take checks with two forms of ID, but it might make us cranky...
Q: "How long has Ax-Man been around?"
A: Nobody knows. Ok, that's not true, but isn't that more fun than a straight answer?
Q: "Do you sell Ax-Man T-shirts?"
A: We have before, and might again... Why, you want one?
Q:"Do you sell books or calendars with your signs in them?"
A: Wouldn't that be a great collection for your coffee table? At this time, we're really considering it...