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Butler Borough to Auction Items Online

Council discusses using website to sell unwanted items.

Just about anything can be bought or sold on the Internet these days and the is trying to use one website to its advantage by auctioning unwanted items through GovDeals.com.

“GovDeals provides services to various government agencies that allow them to sell surplus and confiscated items via the Internet,” according to the website. “Each participating agency has its own auction rules and regulations and may be subject to government ordinances.”

An ordinance would be needed to specify exactly which items the borough will be auctioning on the site, Borough Administrator Jim Lampmann said at the Sept. 4 Butler Council meeting. One of the items he mentioned could be auctioned is an old telephone system the borough does not need any more that may not be of interest in a live auction. Online, it could be found by an out-of-state municipality that may have use for it or could match it to their existing phone system.

“[The website sees], on average, 20 to 30 percent higher numbers being paid on items rather than when you see a local sale,” Lampann said.

Through the online auctions, Lampmann said a person can seek out things they need and are willing to spend more money on.

“Somebody else will see value in that whereas locally, somebody’s just going to lowball it and take it,” he said.

Councilman Ed Vath said Morris County has used the website for several years and seen success. Lampmann also said using the site would be beneficial for the borough in terms of accepting payment in person for items.

“This eliminates all of the processing, as far as payments, for us and the waiting period for [checks] to clear,” he said.

The borough would be responsible for a 5 percent premium if payment is made by credit card. The website charges a 7.5 percent service charge on anything the seller, in this case the borough, sells.

The council will discuss what items to list for auction on the site at its next meeting.

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