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Surplus Equipment Auction Recoups $82,000 for Utah County

Utah, USA

At a Glance

A Utah county needed to dispose of heavy equipment but needed to improve its process to determine equipment value. The county used an online auction platform to reach a bigger audience, maximize its financial return and accurately determine the equipment’s value. It recouped $82,000 from the sale.

Problem Addressed

Surplus equipment can be a financial drain on local governments due to storage, maintenance, and administrative costs. To avoid these difficulties, towns, cities, and counties often look to sell surplus property to recoup revenue and reduce costs.

A county government in central Utah had two surplus crawler dozers and needed to dispose of the equipment to recoup some capital. The county traditionally used a public surplus auction site to sell equipment, where the task of taking pictures and writing a compelling ad online fell to the county’s employees. After the ad was posted, the equipment became available to be bid upon by the public, typically citizens within the region. The equipment was then sold to the highest bidder and the funds were used to recoup storage and sale costs. The remaining proceeds were deposited into the county’s funds.

Because the work of local governments isn’t judged on how much money they make, local governments that partner with local or regional auction sites often don’t maximize the return on their equipment sales. The auctions have a limited reach and audience base and determining the value of equipment can be a time-consuming process involving guesswork. Local governments are unable to accurately determine how much their equipment is worth and what a fair price is.

For these reasons, the county was looking for alternative methods to offload surplus equipment that would enable them to recoup increased funds and give them greater visibility into the equipment market to determine values.

Solution(s) Used

After hearing about Sandhills Global and its FleetEvaluator tool that uses market and auction data to enable sellers to make informed decisions about sales and liquidations, the county decided to use Sandhills and its AuctionTime.com platform to sell the equipment.

By having instant access to the current, worldwide equipment valuation data, the county realized that the value of the two crawler dozers was much higher than previously thought. By changing their process, the county also benefited from the help of a professional auctioneer in taking suitable photos and writing a compelling ad for the equipment to help draw in more bids.

When it came time for the auction, the equipment received 220 bids from all over the world, thanks to the flexible online setting and ability to place bids anytime from any device.

Outcomes

  1. The county found that its equipment value estimates were low and with the help of worldwide auction data determined that the equipment was worth more than previously thought
  2. The sale of the county’s equipment was aided by the help of a professional auctioneer in writing the ad and taking pictures
  3. The sale of the equipment resulted in 220 bids and $82,000 raised
  4. With the surplus equipment no longer a financial drain, the county now has funds to put toward new projects
  5. Using new tools to accurately value equipment and access a larger bidder population, the county can recoup more funds from future surplus auctions

Who Should Consider?

Towns, cities, counties, states, or any public sector entities that seek to improve the surplus auction process to recoup higher revenues and make more informed decisions.

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