Have you ever wondered what to do with all the surplus you accumulate in your municipality? How about that wood chipper you can’t seem to budge? There may be times when you glance in despair at that ancient printer in the corner of the office or the filing cabinet in storage that hasn’t been used since Jimmy Carter was President.
Have you ever wondered what to do with all the surplus you accumulate in your municipality? How about that wood chipper you can’t seem to budge? There may be times when you glance in despair at that ancient printer in the corner of the office or the filing cabinet in storage that hasn’t been used since Jimmy Carter was President.Government agencies are in luck. An online auction platform designed specifically for government agencies has been helping them shift the most random surplus imaginable. It also does a good job of selling “normal” items like heavy equipment, vehicles and office supplies. Municibid is like the eBay of government supplies in the way that it facilitates a competitive, open process for bidding. Best of all, it’s completely free for participating municipal agencies as an 8% buyer’s fee is charged to the winning bidder.
The story behind Municibid is an interesting one. The company was founded in 2006 by Greg Berry who had worked as a councilman in Pennsylvania and noticed that the sealed-bid process for which agencies would accept bids was outdated and inefficient. Items were being sold for ridiculously low prices because the public often didn’t know the items were for sale. Municibid rapidly expanded from its modest beginnings, gathering excellent results and testimonials along the way. These days it’s a nationwide operation incorporating the biggest cities and the smallest towns, and it has extended its reach into Canada. Municibid has certainly made bidding fun after those bleak sealed-bid days when often the first bid was the only bid. The guys in charge of the site have worked in and understand government, so they want to see agencies, schools, authorities and utilities have success selling their surplus. Fortunately, they have made the process as transparent and straightforward as possible.
The advantages of using a platform like Municibid are clear. The website is well-designed and mobile-friendly and not only are your items properly advertised and marketed in targeted campaigns, but they are advertised for free. It also uses the fastest, most advanced and secure technology via industry standard SSL Certification, PCI compliance and 24-hour monitoring. On top of all that, the selling agency has the ability to reject bids for any reason at no extra cost.What are the alternatives? The sealed-bid process is antiquated and unfair. Posting an advertisement in a newspaper is slow, costs money and doesn’t have the same reach. Municibid is a fast and secure option; it appeals to larger targeted audience who are attracted to the site by it’s user-friendly interface and automated responses.Municibid makes the experience interesting for both buyer and seller because people can see the number of bids and the deadline for bidding, thus instilling a sense of urgency. The process remains transparent and it’s free for the seller, so it’s a great way to maximize revenue on a national level.
The standard items you tend to find on Municibid are heavy equipment, IT gear, police and fire department items, furniture and general equipment such as tools and construction materials. Automotive sales are also hugely popular. Now the public can go online to grab retired municipal vehicles for themselves – typically at very competitive prices. Although, occasionally people have paid big bucks, as in the case of a large John Deere Wheel loader that sold for $165,000 in Madison County, Idaho.Police departments sell their forfeitures (confiscated items) such as electronics, jewelry, sports memorabilia and more. For example, a hair cutting kit was recently listed with a starting bid of $1 and finally sold for a modest $7. The local asset forfeiture item was seized by law enforcement and forfeited to the District Attorney’s Office, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. The same department recently listed a similarly forfeiture item: a diamond pendant (with the chain), which raked in 47 bids and sold for $189.Items sold on Municibid are enormously diverse: from DVDs and library books to tractors and leaf blowers – anything goes!
Sometimes certain items show up on Municibid and you can’t imagine that they’ll get any bids. Again, you’d be surprised. Occasionally, the items have some interesting origins and stories behind them. Take a look at the examples below to see some surprising hits on Municibid.
8 stone elephant planters – “trunk has broken off a couple of the planters” – sold for $780 after a total of 49 bids.
A plane seized in a drug bust received the highest bid of $20,300, though it was unsuccessful.
A boat involved in a mysterious death was sold for $15,200.
If you’re interested in selling your municipal surplus on Municibid, take a look at the seller’s page on the website. At Town Web Design, we think Municibid is a great idea and admire the transparency, user-friendly design and objectives of the website.Unlike other bidding sites, Municibid staff use their insider knowledge and experience to target a specialist market: local government. Their values match many of our own and, like us, they have earned the loyalty of many repeat customers. If you are interested in making your town’s website equally as attractive, accessible and on point as Municibid’s, just get in touch with us and we’ll see how we can help!