The Internet has become an invaluable resource for operators, but it may have capabilities that you’ve yet to tap into. In Utah, school districts are using the Internet to sell surplus equipment, including school buses.
Richard Field, the director of purchasing and warehousing at Jordan School District, uses a Website called esurplusauction.com to auction off his district’s surplus equipment. Previously, Field attended live auctions, which was time consuming and burdensome. Though he netted as much as $15,000, auctions ate into his profits with fees for transporting the equipment and a 25 percent sales commission. “With the Website, we can put items up for sale and reach more people in more places than a live auction ever could,” says Field. “It also lowers our labor costs substantially, and we only pay an 8 percent commission.”
In addition to school buses, the site sells other school equipment, such as lockers, cafeteria supplies and maintenance equipment. In a six-month period, the Jordan School District made more than $50,000 using the Web-based auction service. The Alpine School District expects to break $100,000 in profit from sales on the same site, which began hosting auctions last year.
“Surplus is a very political issue for school districts,” explains Derek McFarland, vice president of product management at esurplusauction.com. “Our service gives them a means to supply items to each other and the public, and still have a good audit trail to show that they’ve attempted to use and recycle what they’ve received.” The company is going national, with auctions in the works for school districts and state organizations in California, Maryland, Texas and Virginia.
Source: Education Week, October 10, 2001.