Calif. surplus items up for bid on eBay

Mixed in with discarded engagement rings and baseball cards, eBay shoppers

can now find surplus items from the state of California.

The state's Department of General Services is selling items including

golf clubs, cameras, watches and bicycles, many of which were seized by

the California Highway Patrol. Oregon also recently offered items on the

popular online auction site.

Ken Hunt, the department's spokesman, said items have been up for about

a month and so far people are paying more money than they would have had

they bought the items from one of the state's two surplus warehouses.

And there's been another benefit.

"It's generated a lot of interest, especially in the media, any time

you mention eBay," Hunt said.

The state is limiting the eBay merchandise to smaller, specialty items.

Traditional surplus fodder like desks and shelving would be too expensive

to ship, Hunt said. Although, if online auctions prove cost-effective in

the long run, other state agencies might try bigger items, he said. The

agency that runs the state fair, for example, has expressed interest in

trying the online method to sell arcade games.

If California decides to stick with online auctions, someone would need

to be assigned the job of photographing and documenting the items, Hunt

said.

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