FLINT TWP. — Move over eBay — the township board has unanimously approved www.propertyroom.com as the new auction site for disposal of township surplus, seized and abandoned property.
Police Chief George Sippert proposed using the propertyroom site as a more cost-efficient way to do business.
In the 27 years he’s worked for the township, Sippert said he has seen property disposal evolve from a township ran auction to using Internet-based auction sites.
But both entailed personnel costs that sometimes exceeded the amount of money made from the sale, Sippert said.
With the police department’s move to a new building nearly 10 years ago came a larger storage area for evidence and seized property. But that storage space is now filling up so the department began researching more cost effective ways to move out inventory, Sippert said.
Propertyroom.com was selected because it is used by numerous municipalities and police departments in Michigan and nationwide.
It complies with bidding process requirements for governmental units and best of all takes complete charge of the procedure. They pick-up items, evaluate, clean, make reasonable repairs, sort, sell, collect payment and send a check to the seller at the end of every month.
This is a change from other auction sites which required a township employee to prepare the item for sale, photograph it, post it “ebay” and be available to display the item to potential buyers, Sippert said. After the item is sold, that employee also had to work with the buyer to arrange shipping or transfer.
“That process is time consuming and inefficient,” Sippert said. Many other departments have recognized the value of outsourcing the process, he said. He provided a l propertyroom.com client list showing 42 law enforcement units in Michigan including those in Flushing and Grand Blanc.
Propertyroom.com has more than 650,000 registered bidders and open to bidding from anyone who signs up.
The township will receive 87.5 percent of sales proceeds from vehicles and 50 percent of the first $1,000 sales receipts for the first item and 75 percent of all sales receipts exceeding $1,000 per item, according to documentation from Sippert.
Trustee Frank Kasle asked if this is a trial or permanent arrangement with propertyroom.com.
Sippert said the plan is to try it for at least a year or until something better comes along.
Supervisor Karyn Miller asked Sippert to provide the board with a list of items being sold.