GSA Auctions rings up $17.6M

The General Services Administration raked in $17.6 million during 2001 selling cars, coats, planes and even a Coast Guard cutter online.

In its first year of operation, GSA Auctions had more than 3 million visits from nearly 40,000 registered users to its site (www.gsaauctions.gov), where it sold surplus vehicles, property seized in forfeitures or criminal cases and other excess property the government no longer needed.

"GSA Auctions has been successful because we have combined the personal computer, the power of the Internet and the adventure of the Saturday morning garage sale and placed it within the convenience of the home," said Victor Arnold-Bik, chief of GSA's sales branch.

A special report by Federal Computer Week published in May 2001 found that the government sold at least $3.6 billion worth of goods and services online to a public increasingly drawn to buying products via the Internet.

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