Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is going high-tech to sell surplus property. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education approved at its Dec. 9 meeting a proposal to sell refrigerators, stoves, bookcases and desks through GovDeals, an online auction service.
CMS houses surplus property at its warehouse. If items aren’t recycled within the district, property is sold to the public. The district currently holds surplus property auctions twice a year to make space for new items in the warehouse. Selling items online could reduce warehousing costs, because goods may be sold as soon as they are available, instead of storing them for months until live auctions.
“In the past, buyers had to come to the warehouse on one specific day to participate in a live auction,” said Kenneth Wilson, director of storage and distribution for CMS. “Moving to an online, multi-day system will open the auctions to a much wider audience and will hopefully increase revenue.”
GovDeals provides online auction service to 2,100 government clients across the United States, including 29 school districts in North Carolina. According to GovDeals, clients report online auctions bring 20 percent to 40 percent more revenue compared to live auctions. CMS hopes the additional exposure and convenience will bring in more buyers who may spend more money on items. GovDeals also charges less to run online auctions; seven and a half percent commission compared to the 25 percent commission live auction companies charge.
The first online auction will be open from Dec. 22 – 24. Those interested may go to the CMS Web site (www.cms.k12.nc.us) to be linked to the GovDeals site. Bidders can register free on the site.