County sells surplus property on website
Published 2:11 pm Saturday, January 10, 2015
If you are looking for a good deal on surplus government property, Carter County hopes you’ll look to the internet.
Since 2013, Carter County has taken advantage of the popularity of online auctions to help dispose of surplus property, County Finance Director Ingrid Deloach said. In that time, she added, 114 items have been sold through the website www.govdeals.com.
Using the online auction provider has been beneficial to the county, according to Deloach.
“We used to spend all day on a Saturday here at the courthouse to auction off everything from cars to typewriters and office furniture,” she said. “We might have – at most – two auctions a year so things were sitting around for six months.”
Organizing the auctions and having county employees working on the day of the event created a cost for the county, Deloach said. Now, using the website, the county doesn’t have to host the auctions and surplus property can be added as it is declared excess.
“We’ve sold everything from steel I-beams from an old bridge to a grader from the highway department to seized vehicles,” Deloach said.
The auctions also include vehicles seized by the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, Deloach said. However firearms seized by the sheriff’s department aren’t being sold through the online auction site, she said. While the website and law allows firearms to be auctioned through the website, Deloach said there are additional restrictions and at this time the county has chosen not to sell the guns in that way.
Items are placed up for sale in small batches to help the Finance Department monitor and manage the auctions, which last for seven days on the website. As with many other online auction sites, last minute bidding wars are popular as savvy shoppers try to get the best deal. In the event of a last minute bidding war, Deloach said the website will automatically extend the auction until the bidding ceases.
To find items for sale from Carter County on www.govdeals.com, shoppers can do a search based on location by entering a city and state or a zip code. A search feature also allows users to enter a special four-digit QAL code to see the items listed by a specific government agency. The QAL code to see auctions from Carter County is 5499.
Those without access to a computer can contact the website by telephone at 1-800-613-0156 and place a bid by telephone. The finance department can tell interested persons what is currently up for auction but cannot place bids on the items for anyone, Deloach said.