Washtenaw Community College

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

WCC Sells Surplus Property on eBay

WCC has stuff—lots and lots of stuff.  What do most people do who have extra stuff? They put it on eBay.

“We sell at least 200 computer systems every year, not to mention keyboards, mice, and other computer-related items,” said Kim Tom, user support services manager. “Before we used eBay we would have sales for the faculty, staff, and students, which were hard to organize, time consuming, and then there were after-sale service issues we had to deal with.”

In May 2005 the Shipping and Receiving department lost close to half its space to accommodate the advanced manufacturing lab. That meant there was no extra room for the disposition sales, and the idea of eBay as a sales tool was born.

“It was important for us to find a way to continue the life cycle of the goods that the College no longer needed,” said Martin Thomas, manager of campus services. “We wanted the community to be able to buy these items at an affordable price because it was the community that helped us buy them in the first place.”

WCC now has someone dedicated to selling items on eBay. Lindsey Gourley has been at WCC for almost 10 years and when she took over the site, she had never used eBay.

“I learned how to use eBay by talking to people on campus who had used eBay before,” said Gourley. “I’m surprised by the items that people actually want to buy.”

Besides computers, WCC has sold beakers from the science labs, lots of books, file cabinets, old rusty trash cans, jewelry from lost and found, and even vehicles. Cars and automotive parts are some of the most popular items on eBay.

“Selling our used automotive parts is a great way to get rid of stuff that is just hanging around that we no longer use,” said Mike Myers, lab tech in the auto body repair program and self-proclaimed eBay guru. “We’ve sold engine pieces, sheet metal, and parts left over from custom builds. There’s always someone out there who wants our stuff.” Myers estimates that the College has made about $10,000 from automotive parts sold on eBay.

According to Thomas, items sold through eBay raised a total of about $61,800 during the last year. That’s higher than normal because WCC sold some fleet vehicles during the year. All money from eBay sales goes into the College’s general fund.

Gourley is quick to point out that although most items on eBay eventually sell, there are some items that end up being recycled, donated, or scrapped. Through her hard work the College has a very good reputation as a seller on eBay, with a 98.9 percent feedback rating from buyers.

WCC employees who would like to sell College property on eBay can find property disposition forms online.

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