Surplus program returns $1 million-plus to BGSU
The Bowling Green State University postal service has adopted a better way to conserve University resources, netting more than $1 million in total sales through the GovDeals program, a liquidity services marketplace that allows BGSU to sell surplus items online.
BGSU began its partnership with GovDeals in 2013 after deciding it needed to change the way it disposed of surplus items that were either no longer in use or obsolete. Traditionally, the University had spent a considerable amount of time facilitating a live auction, which typically recouped just $30,000 a year.
However, in its first year with GovDeals, the University was able to recoup more than $156,000 in fiscal year 2013, then more than $304,800 by 2014 and now over $1 million in sales since the start of the program.
“I think it’s fantastic for the University to be able to keep these funds here and to see money coming back into the budget,” said Jeremy VanTress, assistant director of business operations, who oversees the BGSU postal service.
“It was a decision that the University made because we realize that holding this auction process wasn’t generating the revenue we wanted, and we wanted to offer the community the option to purchase those items,” he said.
GovDeals allows sellers at the University to post items for the general public to purchase by taking pictures, writing descriptions and uploading relevant information to its website.
As a result, GovDeals reduces the labor force necessary to move items to a central location and affords buyers the ability to purchase items from the comfort of their own home. The proceeds from each sale are returned to the originating department, minus any fees or operating expenses.
“Not only have we been able to keep over $1 million from leaving the University, we've also been able to provide new life to items that may have been destined for a landfill — a win we feel is beneficial not only to the University, but to society as well,” VanTress said.