N.C. selling surplus through the Web

N.C. selling surplus through the Web

North Carolina’s Surplus Property Agency has turned to online auction Web sites run by eBay Inc. of San Jose, Calif., and Yahoo Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif., to sell state surplus as well as items seized in criminal cases. The state is piloting Web auctions to see which service works best.

The latest online sale was of a Cessna T303 twin-engine turboprop plane, sold last week to a private company for $165,100. The plane belonged to North Carolina’s Transportation Department, which no longer needed it.

“We use electronic auctions whenever we think we can get more money for an item than by the sealed-bid method,” said Jeff Nance, director of the Surplus Property Agency. “We have used eBay and Yahoo as well as Autotrader.com [LLC of Atlanta] and other specialty auction sites.”

North Carolina auctioned off more than $26 million worth of surplus property, about $100,000 of it electronically, in the last fiscal year that ended July 1. Nance said reliance on Web auctions will increase during the coming year because the state seems to get more money that way. He said using private-sector sites costs the state less than developing and maintaining a site itself.

North Carolina received 82 bids for the Cessna plane in the 10-day auction period and obtained more than $55,000 above its reserve price.

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