GSA launches first online property auction

The General Services Administration launched its first-ever online property auction Wednesday, allowing the general public to bid on surplus, excess and seized goods in real time. Eager deal-seekers who once crowded into cold warehouses to bid on merchandise can now log on to and compete with buyers nationwide for used cars and boats, old office equipment or a 1.5 carat diamond-encrusted gold money clip, among other items. Federal agencies looking to get rid of anything from unneeded industrial equipment or jewelry confiscated in drug busts have turned to the new GSA site as a quick and cost-effective way of reaching a wide audience of interested buyers, said Bob Hamilton, director of GSA's Fleet and Personal Property Division. Anecdotal evidence suggests that online auctions produce a greater rate of return, he said, because large numbers of people can be reached at one time. Buyers register online and then are free to view the items for sale and to see and post bids. As the digital middleman, GSA takes a cut of every transaction. A coin press that sells for $6,000, for example, nets the agency a $750 service fee plus 12 percent of the proceeds. The balance of the revenue is returned to the U.S. Treasury or to the agency that offered up the property for sale. Not all federal agencies are currently on board with GSA's version of eBay, but the agency wants that to change. Private organizations such as also auction government property over the Internet, but Hamilton says GSA will go after their federal business. "We want to show [agencies] how quickly it can be done," he said, referring to the site's ability to rapidly connect buyers and sellers anywhere in the country. Under current fee structures, GSA can auction an asset with lower commission costs to sellers than some private companies. The agency plans to use a marketing campaign to promote the service to the public and to other agencies in the coming months. GSA tapped Ariba Inc. and American Management Systems last year to design and build the site. At the time of the site's launch, more than 400 assets were up for bid with more than 1,000 registered users waiting to buy.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.