Switch to Online Auctions Helps Galveston Draw More Money

July 12, 2010

GALVESTON, TEXAS - The City of Galveston has nearly doubled its earning from auction items since making the switch to an online auction site in 2008, according to The Daily News.

In 2007, the city earned $63,350 by auctioning off items seized by police as well as city vehicles and equipment that had outlived their usefulness, according to auction data provided by the city's finance department. In 2008, the city earned $119,000 and $118,000 in 2009, the Daily News reported.

This year to date, the city has earned almost $61,000, largely by auctioning off some big ticket items, including a 7.48 carat diamond wedding ring set and bracelet seized by police in a drug bust. A Houston custom jeweler bought the set for $20,025, said David Smith, the city's fleet manager who oversees the auction items.

According to city spokeswoman Alicia Cahill, the online auction has expanded the pool of potential bidders and helped streamline the process, reported the Daily News.

Cahill said the old way of auctioning items required Galveston to pay to tow all the equipment to the garage, hire personnel to conduct the auction, and hire security to manage the event.

Now, the city gives GovDeals.com a 7-percent cut on auctioned items and draws a wider bidding pool on items, which boosts the amount of the bids, Smith told the Daily News.


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