‘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

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…