Ohio Revised Code mandates that public school districts auction off “surplus” goods once they are no longer needed. In years past, this was a monumental undertaking for the Westerville City School District. Items would have to be collected and physically moved to one location; a date would have to be found that would not disrupt the teaching and learning process; an auction company would have to be hired at great expense; and inclement weather sometimes became problematic. Overhead costs for running the auction put the district at risk of actually losing money as a result of the state-mandated sale. In November 2012, Westerville Schools decided it was time to try something different. Instead of organizing a physical auction, they started placing surplus items on www.govdeals.com, and the result has been phenomenal.
“Since GovDeals is a live online auction, Westerville’s surplus items are now being sold on an as-needed basis to a global audience,” said Shawn Dawson, assistant manager of fleet and distribution. “This allows us to maximize the number of potential bidders, which drives up the price and increases the revenue we receive. There are approximately 40,000 registered buyers in Central Ohio alone.” The process also eliminates the need for schools and warehouse facilities to manage and store items for long periods of time. In addition, surplus items are typically viewed as being more valuable if they are removed from operation in working order and immediately tagged for auction. Westerville Schools has held 241 individual auctions online since last November and has made, to date, $84,364.72. GovDeals secures all payments and electronically deposits Westerville’s profit into an account. That money goes back into the fund from which each item was originally bought. Cost to auction items is two percent of the selling price. Buyers purchase items through GovDeals, and are responsible for picking them up or paying for their delivery. For further information, please visit http://www.govdeals.com/index.cfm and search Westerville.