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County To Try Selling Excess Equipment On Internet
SNOW HILL - The County Commissioners voted this week to take a new approach to the disposal of excess equipment, switching from a traditional auction to the Internet.
Forty-seven vehicles and 13 pieces of equipment will be offered for sale on GovDeals.com, an Internet auction service dealing specifically in government surplus.
The auction site, like popular general merchandise auction websites such as eBay, takes commission on sales, in this case 7.5 percent. Items to be offered by Worcester County range from an old ambulance to a forklift.
The surplus property will be sold in batches of 10, according to county staff. Buyers will be responsible for picking up their purchases.
Commissioner Bob Cowger disagreed with the move, saying area residents like the traditional auction. Many do not have computers and cannot be involved in an Internet sale, he said.
Also, he said, the county gets paid right away with the traditional auction, while payment would be delayed with the online method.
Commissioner Judy Boggs said the vehicles, or other excess equipment have to be stored until the traditional auction takes place. With the new method, items can be sold quickly.
Commission President Jim Purnell agreed the local auction was good for residents. He said he feared people with deep pockets could outbid locals in an online auction.
Purnell reiterated that not everyone has a computer, while Cowger contended that online bidders have to keep following the auction.
'Maybe we really need to publicize it so they can take advantage of pieces they're really interested in,' Boggs said.
The online auction will be advertised in local papers for three weeks before the sale.
Gerry Mason, chief administrator of Worcester County, said the sale method could be changed back to a traditional auction if the online sale is not successful. Another option is to do both, he said.The county will look at the results once it's done, said county spokesperson Kim Moses, and determine whether to continue.