University of Wisconsin–Madison

Store FAQ

Answers to our most frequently asked questions:

  • What does the acronym S.W.A.P. stand for?

    S.W.A.P. stands for Surplus With A Purpose.  SWAP is an environmental steward for the University with the goal of minimizing our environmental footprint.  Through store sales, online auctions, inter-agency transfers and donations, we’re able to re-purpose or properly recycle over 92% of the 20 tons of material we receive each week.

  • Does SWAP allow refunds or exchanges?

    All surplus property made available for purchase is sold AS-IS with no warranty, no guarantee, no returns and no exchanges permitted. All sales are final. SWAP strongly encourages close inspection of the item(s) prior to bidding or purchase.

  • What methods of payment are accepted?
    1. Public: Cash (public sale days only), Check, Business Check, Money Order, Cashier’s Check, Visa, Mastercard
    2. Schools and Municipalities: Business Check, Money Order, Procurement Card (Visa or Mastercard)
    3. Non-Profit: Check or Credit Card in the organization’s name.
    4. UW Departments and State Agencies: MD Account Number, Procurement Card (Visa or Mastercard)
  • Can I request SWAP to hold an item for me over the phone or email?

    No. All HOLD requests and subsequent purchases from our sales floor must be done in person on the day of the sale.

  • How long do I have to pick up my purchase?

    Store purchases must be picked up within two business days of purchase unless prior arrangements have been made with SWAP staff.  Purchases not picked up on time may be considered abandoned and disposed of at SWAP discretion.  There are no refunds, exchanges or credits for items considered abandoned and resold or disposed of.

    Online auction items must be purchased and picked up within 5 business days of winning-bidder notification unless prior arrangements have been made with SWAP staff.

  • Will SWAP assist with loading equipment or furniture into a vehicle?

    SWAP staff are willing to assist with loading of purchases as a courtesy. However, SWAP employees will NOT assist with tying down items to trailers or truck-beds, if the loading is deemed unsafe, or if the item(s) clearly will not fit.

    SWAP is not liable for any damage done to the purchased item or the customer’s vehicle during the loading process.

  • Do you accept donations from the public?

    No, SWAP can only accept surplus property from state-funded entities.  This includes UW System campuses, Wisconsin state agencies, public schools and municipalities.

  • Can I be on an "alert" list to let me know when a specific type of item becomes available?

    No, all SWAP sales must be conducted through a publicly-advertised, transparent and competitive process.  Alerting individuals could be construed as providing preferential treatment.

  • Does SWAP work with schools and municipalities?

    Yes! We encourage schools and municipalities to save money by purchasing furniture, equipment and supplies from SWAP. Anyone with permission from a school or municipality can come and shop with us Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm. If arriving on a day the SWAP doors are not open please go to the reception area at the far right of the building and tell them you are looking to shop with SWAP. The person at the desk will bring you back to the store.

Have a question that is not frequently asked? Contact us!

General E-mail: swap@bussvc.wisc.edu

Online Auction E-mail: sauction@bussvc.wisc.edu

Phone: (608) 497-4440 (Please leave a message and your call will be returned)