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Placer County to Sell Used Surplus Equipment Online

May 15, 2012

Placer County has recently begun a program that will sell used surplus equipment through two online vendors. Contracting with these services will help the county reduce its overflow of used equipment currently filling the county’s lone warehouse.

Used, surplus equipment fills Placer County's lone warehouse.
The county’s Procurement Services recently embarked on a program to streamline the handling of excess equipment. This is equipment that is no longer needed by one department and can consist of used desks, file cabinets, chairs, shelving, computers, computer peripherals, telephone equipment and miscellaneous office supplies. That equipment is first offered to other departments within the county. When items are not claimed after 30 days by other departments, it is moved into the county’s warehouse. While it continues to remain available to other county departments, it is also made available to local non-profit groups and organizations.

What has resulted is that the Procurement Services Division has an extensive list of surplus items with limited storage facilities to house them. The Auctioneer under contract with Placer County has reviewed this equipment and declared that it is neither effective nor profitable for their agency to continue to sell this material on behalf of the county. The county’s research has identified that while this material is not difficult to sell in a live auction setting, it is more effective and beneficial to utilize an online auction system for sale of surplus equipment. These online systems are similar to eBay in that they allow for members of the public to bid on items without having to attend a live auction.

“We are excited at this opportunity to streamline our surplus operation and enable a much broader audience the chance to utilize our surplus material,” said Brett Wood, Placer County Purchasing Manager.

Public Surplus and Gov Deals are the two service providers that will be helping Placer County reduce its surplus of excess equipment. Both companies have similar contracts with other governmental agencies for the sale of equipment through online auctions. Each firm will provide comprehensive sales reports to allow the Division to track and manage sales, ensuring compliance with County policy.

Gov Deals can be accessed at this website: http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm. Public Surplus can be accessed at this website: http://www.publicsurplus.com/. Placer County’s Procurement Division will have online access on its website at a later date.

The auctions are planned to be on-going with Procurement posting items each week with two-week windows for each item or group of items being sold. Placer County anticipates a much better return for surplus office and computer equipment. The county is still investigating requirements for posting surplus vehicles to sell online and anticipates doing so in the future. Sales prices for vehicles are expected to be much closer to retail value when compared to traditional auction methods. Online sales of the county’s surplus equipment is estimated to bring in between $10,000 and $25,000 annually. Vehicle sales will increase that amount.

This approach to online sale of surplus equipment is widely used in California and throughout other public agencies with strong success. This type of sale is familiar to the public and provides members of the public the opportunity to bid for surplus equipment that otherwise can be very difficult to sell.

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