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GSA Auctions' First Year Nets More Than $17.6M

GSA # 9921

January 17, 2002
Contact: Deborah K. Ruiz, (202) 501-1231
deborah.ruiz@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON, DC - There's no question that its first year has been anything but quiet. Since its debut last January, the U.S. General Services Administration's auction Web site, GSAAuctions, has established itself as a huge e-success, achieving sales of collecting more than $17.6 million from the sale of items ranging from airplanes to yachts as well as common use items such as office furniture and clothingmilitary surplus to goods seized in drug raids.

A year after the launch of GSAAuctions, public enthusiasm remains strong for GSA's concept of Web-enabled auctions and over 36,728 active registered users continue to use the service to bid electronically on a wide array of federal assets. The GSAAuctions Web site has been viewed more than 3 million times. As of today, 10,751 auctions have closed for a total dollar amount of $17,683,193 in proceeds. The proceeds collected from the auctions are allocatedsplit between between GSA GSA, which retainsand other federal agencies. While GSA retains a portion of the proceeds to cover operating and overhead costs, and the federal agencies that initially reported the property to GSA.

In its freshman year, GSAAuctions typically saw items such as surplus vehicles and office furnishings among its featured items; however, a number of more exotic items occasionally crossed its path, including an Italian-made helicopter, a 3-carat diamond, a 1979 Bentley Rolls-Royce and a Coast Guard cutter.

Marking its first anniversary today, the site continues to represent a significant - and wildly successful - change in the agency's strategy for disposing of personal property the government no longer needs. The agency has historically used traditional auctions to dispose of surplus and excess property, but by taking the process online, GSA quickly noticed an escalating interestaverage 30 percent increase in Internetparticipation in government auctions. Within four months of its launch, the site attracted 19,000 registered usersbidders and realized salesaised of more than $1.5 million.

"GSAAuctions has been successful because we have combined the personal computer, the power of the Internet and the adventure of the Saturday morning garage sale and placed it within the convenience of the home. It's designed for the public and built on the premise that we must serve all taxpayers well. Where else but at GSAAuctions� can you bid on government personal property items 24 hours a day, seven days a week?"What may have contributed to the success of the GSA Auctions Web site is our understanding that John Q. Public does not have 24 hours a day, seven days a week to hang out at auctions, see the merchandise and make bids," said Victor Arnold-Bik, GSA Chief of Sales.

"By using the online format, we've made it easier for prospective bidders to see pictures of the items, get information and make bids at 3 a.m. if they so choose." Part of GSA's Federal Supply Service, the Property Management Division launched the GSAAuctions Web site to cocomplete GSA's transformation to an all-electronic asset management system.

GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA, comprised of 14,000 associates, provides services and solutions for the office operations of over 1 million federal workers located in 8,300 government -owned and leased buildings in 1,600 U.S. communities.