Appleton using eBay to cash in on surplus assets

The city of Appleton has made $2.5 million by using eBay to sell hundreds of surplus properties, vehicles and items seized by the police department.

A Post-Crescent Media report says the city used to hold live auctions once a year, but it took a lot of preparation and the results were mixed. City purchasing manager Jeff Fait says eBay is cheaper and has much broader reach.

The city has sold about 1,500 items on the online auction site since starting the program in 2004. Items on the block this week include a garbage truck and a 2000 Chevrolet Impala.

Profits generally go to the city’s general fund to offset expenses and reduce taxes.

The city of Neenah also has an eBay page. Since 2010 it sold eight vehicles for more than $50,000.