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Public Surplus

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General Information

Does your School District have extra inventory you need to dispose of? Maybe you need to get rid of that old school bus or a few pieces of lawn equipment. Learn more about how we can help you dispose of your surplus inventory.

The Public Surplus system is easy to use, with features to enhance your selling experience. There are no exaggerated claims, no contracts, and no up front fees. See why more than 60 school districts in Michigan are already members ... and the list keeps growing!

Disposing of Surplus Inventory

The Public Group is an ideal partner to all educational institutions and agencies that need to dispose of surplus inventory quickly. Our online auction system was created with unique capabilities exclusively for public and educational agencies.

PublicSurplus.com is much more than an auction website. It is a tool that your school district can use to organize, automate and manage your entire surplus inventory process.

Benefits of Public Surplus

  • Comply with state and local regulations and policies by automatically maintaining audit records, automating reallocation of surplus.
  • Large numbers of buyers from your community, as well as specialty buyers from across the nation.
  • 30–60% higher net revenue than conventional methods, including live auctions.
  • FREE to agencies for registering, listing or re-listing items for sale.
  • 7.5% fee payable ONLY when items sell. You can pass that cost on to your buyer, or split the cost between yourself and your buyer.
  • NO commitment required. Use our services as you need them.

Registering Your District

Becoming a member of Public Surplus and Public Purchase is easy, and best of all it is FREE!

You can become a member of Public Surplus by visiting our Seller Registration Page and completing the required information. It is simple and only takes a few minutes. Once you’re registered, the system will send you a confirmation e-mail with an account activation link. Then, you are ready to begin selling your surplus inventory through our specialized online auction system.

You will also be able to have access to our other free software: Public Purchase and Public Vendor. Two powerful e-Procurement pieces offered to you and your vendors absolutely FREE.

Public Surplus Agency FAQs

Q. Why should your agency use Public Surplus?
A. There are many reasons why Public Surplus is beneficial to any agency. Here's a list of the four reasons we feel are most important:

1. Public Surplus was designed specifically for public agencies! Our system enables agencies to manage their entire surplus inventory, while at the same time maintaining compliance with State regulations and policies. The system's specific features allow for the reallocation or auctioning of surplus items without actual, or the appearance of: waste, favoritism or collusion.

2. Public Surplus assures compliance with state and local regulations and policies! Many States require that public agencies maintain audit-records detailing the disposition of every surplus item. Public Surplus satisfies this requirement by maintaining complete records of all transaction on our system. The history of each item listed for auction will be saved for up to seven years. Agencies have the ability to easily obtain a printed record of this information.

3. Public Surplus simplifies internal reallocation! Most States require that public agencies, whenever possible, reallocate surplus items internally. Public Surplus specifically designed its, 'Reallocation Component,' to satisfy this requirement. We provide a way for agencies to instantly and automatically notify all appropriate departments within the organization of surplus items available for redistribution. Interested departments are then allowed to easily and electronically request these surplus items on a, "first come first served," basis.

4. Public Surplus helps agencies attract larger numbers of community members to their surplus auctions. Our system increases the contact between an agency and the community it serves. By being accessible, 24 hours, 7 days a week, an agency's auctions via Public Surplus allow a larger percentage of the community to take advantage of the bargains surplus items provide.

Q. What kind of surplus items can be sold on Public Surplus?
A.
Almost anything can be sold on Public Surplus; Mousetraps, portable classrooms, automobiles, buses, heavy equipment, shop equipment, kitchen equipment, athletic equipment, musical instruments, computers, printers, furniture, etc, etc. It's amazing! Almost everything listed sells, no matter how old or how odd.

Q. How often can an agency list auctions on Public Surplus?
A.
There is no limit! For most agencies continuous auctions are best. Meaning, there is no need to accumulate an inventory of surplus items to have enough for a live auction or sale. Instead of waiting, agencies are able to list items for internal reallocation or public auction as soon as they are declared surplus. This keeps warehouses and inventories streamlined and organized.

Q. How much more revenue do public agencies generate using Public Surplus compared to traditional methods?
A.
Based on experience, agencies using Public Surplus have increased total net revenue of surplus sales by at least 30%, and in some cases, exceeding 200%.

Q. What is the cost of using Public Surplus?
A.
Due to the fact that each and every Agency is different and has unique needs, Public Surplus has changed their "one size fits all" pricing model. Pricing is now calculated for each Agency based on many variables, including volume of business, value of items being listed, unique needs, etc. We strongly believe that no other company is able to offer a comparable product, at our level of service, and beat our price. Based on the variables described, it is possible the fee we charge the Agency can be as low as FREE.

Q. Are Internet Auctions legal?
A.
Absolutely! There are no regulations or statutes in any State prohibiting the use of Internet Auctions as a tool in the bidding process. Point of fact, the Federal Government and most States encourage public agencies to adopt modern technology to reduce costs and increase efficiency. The primary legal and operational concerns are related to the prevention of collusion between bidders, and public employees and bidders. A third-party enabled Internet Auction inherently has more protection against collusion than the traditional methods used by agencies for procurement and sales.

Q. Does Public Surplus require a long-term contractual commitment?
A.
No! Public Surplus is available on an, 'At Will,' basis. We understand that agencies would use Public Surplus only so long as it is better than any alternative available to them. This provides us motivation to continuously provide the best service and technology available.

Q. How does Public Surplus' system compare with systems offered by other companies?
A.
To our knowledge, no other company offers an automated system that manages an agency's entire surplus inventory operation from the moment an item is declared surplus to its final disposition. Nor are we aware of any competitor who can direct specialty buyers to your auctions from across the globe.

Q. How does Public Surplus attract buyers to an agency's auctions?
A.
With our, 'Buyer Contact Department.' The Buyer Contact Department sets us apart from other online auction companies by actively generating interest and activity to all auctions. This is achieved by:

  • Helping agencies generate awareness and attract buyers located within an agency's own community.
  • Notifying our database of buyers about new items listed for auction. Since we have been working exclusively with public agencies on the sale of their surplus via internet auction longer than anyone else, we have developed the worlds' largest database of specialty buyers.
  • Actively researching to bring additional specialty buyers to your specific items.

Q. Is training and customer support provided?
A
. Yes! Training and customer support is provided at no cost to all users of the system. However, the great thing about Public Surplus is that it is, so easy to learn and use that it only requires a short amount of training.

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Michigan School Business Officials
1001 Centennial Way - Suite 200, Lansing MI 48917
msbo@msbo.org (517) 327-5920