Sussex County to sell surplus items on eBay

by Dave on August 3, 2010

Need an office chair, or perhaps some computer hardware? If Sussex County has it and no longer needs it, you can get it on eBay.

County Council, at its Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010, meeting, gave approval for staff to begin selling surplus County property on the Internet, specifically through the online auction service eBay. By early fall, most surplus items, including furniture, computers, tools and office supplies, will be posted online for the public the world over to bid on and buy.

County officials believe the shift to online auctions will mean a wider audience and ensure a better return on taxpayer dollars.

“Millions of people use eBay each day, and it has proven itself as an easy and effective way to clean out your attic or unload surplus government property,” said Frank Shade, the County’s purchasing agent. “It’s only natural that we look at this service for our own needs.”

The County, which joins other governments across the country now using eBay and the Internet for surplus sales, will sell all items ‘as is’, and buyers will have to pick up their items within seven business days, Mr. Shade said.

Buyers will be able to pay electronically, through the PayPal system, or with cash or certified check. The County has established a formal process for declaring surplus items to be posted and sold through eBay.

County officials are hopeful the service not only helps dispose of surplus property more quickly – items will be posted online once they are declared surplus, rather than kept in storage for the occasional in-house sale – but that it will yield some added revenue, too.

“In-house surplus sales, which Sussex County has traditionally used, don’t always mean you’re getting the best price for the items being sold because there is no competitive bidding,” said Gina A. Jennings, Sussex County’s Accounting director. “By taking surplus sales online, this is a great opportunity to expand our customer base and create extra revenue in a time when revenue is hard to come by.

“Competitive bidding will ensure that the County is getting top dollar for its surplus items,” Ms. Jennings said.

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