FAQ - Agency

Q. Why should an agency use Public Surplus?

A. Public Surplus streamlines the sale and purchase of surplus inventory in four important ways:

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 transactions 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 a day, 7 days a week, an agency's auctions via Public Surplus allow a larger percentage of the community to take advantage of surplus bargains.

Q. What kind of surplus items can be sold on Public Surplus?

A. Almost anything can be sold on Public Surplus including mousetraps, portable classrooms, automobiles, buses, heavy equipment, shop equipment, kitchen equipment, athletic equipment, musical instruments, computers, printers, furniture, etc. Almost everything listed sells, no matter how aged or unusual.

Q. How often can an agency list auctions on Public Surplus?

A. There is no limit. For most agencies, continuous auctions are best. Agencies may list items for internal reallocation or public auction as soon as they are declared surplus, keeping warehouses and inventories streamlined and organized.

Q. How much more revenue do public agencies generate using Public Surplus compared to traditional methods?

A. 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. Because 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. Public agencies are being encouraged 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 motivates us 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 as Public Surplus does.

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 through:

  • 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 world's 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 are provided at no cost to all users of the system. However, Public Surplus is so easy to learn and use that it only requires a short amount of training.

Q. Does becoming a seller on Public Surplus require an RFP?

A. No. The seller is under no obligation when using Public Surplus:

  • Use of Public Surplus is on an at-will basis. No commitment or contracts are required before an organization can sell surplus on our system.
  • Additionally, our fee can be passed on to the buyers. An agency may use Public Surplus without seeking a competitive bid. However, we understand some agencies may still want to go through a competitive process, and we are happy to respond in these cases.
Customer Support: support@publicsurplus.com | Copyright 1999-2022 The Public Group, LLC. | All rights reserved.