Are you Active Surplus?
No, we're an entirely separate company. Some of use worked there, we all loved it, and we're keeping the legacy alive. Active is gone, and we will never replace it, but try to uphold what it was to thousands of Maker and Creators.
What Happened to Active Surplus?
Active Surplus closed in the Fall of 2015, leaving a hole in the community and our hearts. There were lots problems, most stemming from being a 50 year old company. Efforts were made to modernize stock and practices, but they were slow and costly. The second branch on Steeles Ave. was turning a profit and using a computerized inventory control, the warehouse had been downsized and was close to being fully inventoried. Unfortunately, the rent at Queen St quadrupled overnight and we could not negotiate with the landlord. It forced us to face sudden bankruptcy and the company folded.
What happened to the Gorilla that was outside the store?
The Gorilla, Prof. Banana, was gifted to us by the Active Surplus owners when we opened. The Professor now stands safely in our store at the Ontario Science Centre.
I heard the Professor got stolen?
Apparently they went on a sleep over sometime in the 90s. They were returned, with pictures we're told! But no one saved the pictures.
Do you still have [PRODUCT FROM ACTIVE]?
Like the baby doll arms? or the old vacuum tubes? Or the glass eyes? No, they are lost to the ages. But we do still have good relationships with people who supplied to Active, so there's a chance you'll see something familiar here.
When are you opening in [MY TOWN OR NEIGHBOURHOOD]?
Our goal is sustainable business and moderate growth. Not really an answer, so at best, we'll see.
I can buy these things for cheaper on Amazon.
First, that's not a question. Second, we are better than Amazon. We provide equitable employment. We provide expertise for anything you're building. We support the local arts and education communities with personnel, materials, and products. We support local and national suppliers, providing employment for hundreds of people, not just a factory in China and a boat captain.
How do you find your stock?
Trade secrets. A decent portion of our stock is surplus. That means that somewhere, at some time, something was determined to be useless for it's intended purpose. That could mean that a product line was cancelled and the motors that went into it were no longer needed. Or a warehouse closed and all of it's plastic sheets were auctioned off. Or equipment was replaced, disassembled and sent for scrap.
In all cases, the items are still good, still useful. We rescue them from the landfill or the scrap yard and give them purpose again.
Can I order ten thousand of a thing I saw on your site?
Maybe. Drop us a line and we'll see what we can arrange.