SEABROOK — The town has brought in nearly $70,000 in the year since it started using an online auction service to dispose of surplus equipment.

“We got rid of a boat we didn’t use that we got for free from military surplus,” said Shaylia Marquis, Seabrook’s chief procurement officer. “It sold for $41,299.99. That’s gone to Florida.”

Marquis is amazed at the selling prices for some of the items the town has sold through the service, Public Surplus. 

In the past, she said, Seabrook traded in its old police cruisers when buying new ones, yielding only about $5,000 each. Sales of old cruisers at publicsurplus.com are bringing in more than twice that.

Two cruisers recently sold at prices that surprised Town Manager Bill Manzi. 

A 2014 Ford Interceptor — an Explorer-type vehicle — with more than 55,000 police miles on it sold for $12,000, Marquis said, and another with 66,000 miles went for $12,350. A third is up for bid now.

“It’s another 2014 cruiser with 60,000 miles,” she said. “It’s up to $9,000. It has a cracked windshield, and I disclosed that, but we’ve had 19 bids so far. We even sold a 2008 Crown Victoria with 80,000 miles for $2,565.”

The town buys three cruisers annually, selling off the three oldest vehicles in the fleet. Seabrook uses the state’s bid process to buy its cruisers, she said, and this year the price was $25,800 each. 

“I love that we’re getting rid of 2014 cruisers and getting back almost half of what new cruisers are worth,” Marquis said.

The town gets every cent of the auction price without spending a penny, she said. 

Listing is free, and Public Surplus receives its share by assessing winning bidders a 10 percent buyers premium. The company handles all details, Marquis said, cutting the town a check that is deposited in the general fund. And buyers make all the delivery arrangements to get the items purchased, she said.

Marquis said she has sold old microfiche, buckets and an old copier that was taking up space. There were no public ads to buy or bid envelopes to open – just money to make.

Those interested can access Public Surplus through a link on the town’s website by clicking the “procurement” listing on the home page at www.seabrooknh.info. It pulls up a list of any item Seabrook is selling.  

 Angeljean Chiaramida can be reached at 978-961-3147, at achiaramida@newburyportnews.com, or follow her on Twitter @achiaramida1.

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