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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    E-bidding ensues for surplus UA goods

    JOSH FIELDS / Arizona Daily Wildcat
    JOSH FIELDS / Arizona Daily Wildcat

    There is only one place on campus where students can buy a desk, an RV trailer and a pair of long johns.

    Property no longer used by departments on campus is being sold at public auctions by the Surplus Property Office, said Laurie Rodriguez, materials manager of procurement and contracting services.

    The Surplus Property Office, a division of the UA Procurement and Contracting Services, has developed its own version of www.eBay.com by creating an online auction Web site that coincides with a live auction every other Tuesday.

    “”Some of the regulars weren’t too enthusiastic about (the

    online auction),”” Rodriguez said.

    Rodriguez said one of the regular bidders was against the switch at first, but he now uses the online version because it’s more convenient.

    “”Now he can use a lot watch that will notify him that his lot is coming up online. He works on computers, so now he can still work (at home) while bidding,”” Rodriguez said.

    A lot watch is an alarm that lets the online bidder know when it’s time to bid on a specified item, Rodriguez said.

    She said there are usually about 20 online bidders and 30 to 40 live bidders for each auction.

    Rodriguez said most of the bidders come to the auction to get a good deal so they can resell items for a profit.

    “”I like to find all the bargains I can,”” said Lowell Cook, a Green Valley resident who went to the UA auction for the first time yesterday.

    “”When I moved here I had 100 books. Now I have 2,500 books and I’m looking for book cases,”” Cook said.

    The online auction software is becoming more widely used, Rodriguez said, and now the Surplus Property Office is selling the software to other universities and government agencies. Colorado State University has already purchased the software.

    Rodriguez said the software also allows UA departments to create a “”wish list”” a list of items they want, and notifies them when another department is giving those items to the Surplus Property Office.

    Although most items that come to the Surplus Property Office are furniture, Rodriguez has seen everything from morgue refrigerators, mobile eye clinics and human skeleton replicas sold at the auctions. Lost and unclaimed jewelry found on the UA campus is also put up for auction.

    Yesterday an RV trailer that was used by the Steward Observatory was up for bid and sold for $6,600.

    Rodriguez said the Surplus Property Office keeps a portion of what the items sell for and the rest goes to the department the item came from.

    Roy Parsons said he has been attending the UA auctions since about 1968.

    He is bidder number 40. Now there are over 5,000 registered bidders. Parsons said he comes to the auction to buy electrical testing equipment that he fixes as a hobby and to re-sell.

    Live bidding occurs at the surplus property warehouse, 1145 S. Warren Ave., every other Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Students can sign up for the online auction by logging on to http://pacs.web.arizona.edu/surplus/home.html.

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