‘MBTAGifts’ holds huge warehouse sale in Somerville

Merchandise offered at Saturday's warehouse sale in Somerville. Photo via MBTA gifts.
Merchandise offered at Saturday’s warehouse sale in Somerville. Photo via MBTA gifts.

Authentic transit memorabilia was marked down by as much as 75 percent Saturday during the first and possibly last MBTAGifts warehouse sale. 

The clearance event was meant to make room for more of the large MBTA collectables, which are stored in a Somerville warehouse.

Hundreds of customers made off with low-priced signs, doors and other authentic T equipment during the 6-hour sale. Items ranged from $5 to over $100 after the discount.

Social media brought a huge wave of interested people in,” said Steven Beaucher, co-owner of MBTAGifts, a retail gift shop which opened in 2011 to the T generate additional revenue.

“We had our usual hardcore collectors, but some people were just new to Boston or like the T and wanted something for their apartment,” said Beaucher.

The Cambridge shop sells retail items, like toys and clothing, however collectors can also order the authentic items online.

The gift shop gives half of the profits from the sales of the authentic items to the MBTA, Beaucher said. The items would otherwise be sold for scrap.

The most popular of the authentic memorabilia – MBTA station signs.

“The smaller signs, like the sheet medal signs , those are the rarest,” said Beaucher. “Everyone wants a sign from their neighborhood station. We all have a sense of collective ownership in the urban environment. If you take a bus everyday, you start to think of that as ‘your’ bus. People identify with their T stations because they interact with it everyday. Also, to have a physical piece of infrastructure, it’s rare. There is a novelty to that.”

The warehouse is not typically open to the public, and at this point, Beacher does not plan to hold another warehouse sale.

“I don’t know. We need to crunch all of our numbers,” he said. “I assume in the future there might be one, but we are not going to do it regularly.”

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Thousands protest in New York over Eric Garner…

The Reverend Al Sharpton led thousands of chanting but peaceful activists in a march across Staten Island on Saturday to protest the death of Eric Garner.

International

Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.

National

SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

Music

Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…