SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing its efforts to maximize the revenue generated from its ongoing surplus property auctions, the Illinois Department of Central Management Services today announced that online property auctions have generated a landmark $1 million in sales since the website launched in August of 2003. Conceptualized as Illinois government’s equivalent of eBay?, the innovative website at www.ibid.illinois.gov has sold more than 4,000 items to more than 10,000 successful bidders throughout Illinois, across the country and around the world.
Because of the exponential increase in bidders, CMS has improved the resale value of surplus property and brought a higher rate of return to Illinois taxpayers: the State’s live auctions, held on-site in Springfield about six times a year, annually sell more than 100,000 items and return an average $700,000 to the State; while selling far fewer items, the weekly auctions via the I-Bid website deliver annual sales of nearly half that amount.
“Internet auctions have given the State a much bigger bang for our buck in the last three years, as we’ve created innovative ways to reduce our costs and to generate revenue. By auctioning our surplus property online, we’ve enabled thousands of people to place bids, and the greater competition has helped us produce a higher return for Illinois taxpayers,” said CMS Director Paul Campbell.
Among the items the State has sold online are a 1998 Ford Mustang GT Interceptor for $4,310, a University of Illinois locker with signed helmet and football for $435, a laptop computer for $375, a box of Leatherman and Gerber tools for $341, and a 1985 Honda CB 125 motorcycle for $545.
“The State is successfully using technology to make government more accessible to people throughout Illinois. Thanks to the I-Bid website, for example, the state no longer sells its surplus property to a handful of local insiders at bargain-basement prices, but to bidders throughout the country, which helps bring in more revenue,” said State Rep. Lou Lang, (D-Skokie).
Among other items that the State has sold via I-Bid over the past three years are: a 1968 Bell OH-58 helicopter with a winning bid of $250,100, a 1988 Grady 20-foot Overnighter boat, with a winning bid of $5,061, and an electric bass guitar for $146. Additional items sold include furniture, surrendered property recovered from airports, electronic equipment, tractors, snowmobiles, tools, medical supplies, and items that could have niche or mass appeal, including antiques and a Zamboni.
“The very first item we sold on I-Bid was a confiscated 1986 Corvette,” remembered Curtis Howard, CMS manager of state and federal surplus property. “Two online bidders fought over it so furiously that the winner wound up paying about $2,000 over the retail price – but that goes to show you the strength of Internet auctions.”
The weekly online auctions on I-Bid start and end at 9 p.m. CDT on Friday. Interested bidders can visit www.ibid.illinois.gov to view property descriptions and the number of bids, as well as see the current price and place bids. Winners pay for items via credit card (MasterCard or Visa), and must pay shipping expenses.
The success of I-Bid has led CMS to institute additional innovations in surplus property auctions. Last month Illinois became the first state in the nation to extend its live surplus property auction to online bidders via a webcast. This auction generated bids from around the world and doubled the number of bidders who took part in the auction.
In 2005, the state generated more than $1.2 million through its surplus property sales. In addition to its ongoing auctions online, the agency also regularly hosts live auto auctions at the Surplus Property Warehouse in Springfield. To learn more about the Surplus Property Program, visit www.cms.illinois.gov.
About Central Management Services (CMS)
In 2003, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich instructed CMS to streamline the state’s operations, share resources and save taxpayer money while improving the business services of state government. By bringing private-sector discipline to its public-sector mission, the department leads the cost-effective administration of purchasing, property management, information technology, telecommunications, internal audit and outside legal services for the state's executive agencies, personnel and benefits for all state employees and retirees, and the state's employee and vendor diversity programs.
Deloitte Consulting validated that CMS achieved $529 million in savings through its efforts in FY04 and FY05 alone as the agency implemented new technologies, reduced waste and rethought many of the administrative operations of the state.