State Surplus Property Auctions for State Agencies to Sell

FAQs

  • What is PublicSurplus.com?
    Answer: PublicSurplus.com is an auction website specifically for government agencies to sell their surplus property.
  • Can anyone get onto the Public Surplus website to post and claim for state agencies?
    Answer: No.  Only employees who have been given authorization by their agency and provided a special link and code can post and claim for state agencies.  Contact your agency’s Fixed Asset Dept. or Business Office for more information.
  • I already registered but I didn’t put my agency name in my profile or my contact information has changed. How can I change my profile to reflect these changes?
    Answer: If your actual profile doesn’t have your agency listed above your address:
    1. Log  In to Public Surplus
    2. Go to the ‘My Stuff’ tab
    3. Go to the ‘Profile’ tab
    4. Click on that to bring up your profile information.  
    5. Make the 1st line of the Address Section your Agency name and use the 2nd line for the street address.
    6. Make any other changes to your profile that are needed.
    7. Save
  • Can state agencies buy items on the Public Surplus website?
    Answer: Yes, but they must follow their agency’s purchasing procedures.  Whoever is bidding on the item must be signed up as a State Agency Buyer (Post & Claim) and be prepared to pay using a P-Card.
  • Can employees get on and purchase items for themselves from Public Surplus?
    Answer: Yes, employees can register as individuals and log on from home and register as a citizen (not with the same log in they use for work) and purchase items on Public Surplus.
  • Can we set aside an item that another state employee is interested in and handle a sale without going through Public Surplus?
    Answer: No. Any items the state is getting rid of can be bid on in the auction process by any person.  This makes it a level playing field for all. When items are ‘set aside’, it give employees an unfair, unethical advantage.
  • What should we be putting on Public Surplus?
    Answer: Everything except vehicles (unless specifically discussed with the DAS State Surplus Property Unit), CPU’s, CRT monitors (tube style) and/or broken electronics.
  • What should we do with our computers and broken electronics?
    Answer: Computers cannot be sold on Public Surplus even if they are in good condition.  Computers, laptops and the old CRT (tube) monitors should still be listed on the PDC site so they can be offered to other state agencies, municipalities and non-profits and if not claimed can still go through the electronics recycling vendor process with no problem.  Broken electronics should be posted on the PDC system as scrap to go through the process for electronic recycling, as well.  Good electronics, such as flat screen monitors, keyboards, mice, speakers, etc. are sold on Public Surplus.
  • What should we do with our vehicles?
    Answer: You should refer to the Vehicle Instructions, located at www.DAS.ct.gov/surplus
  • Where should I post trailers?
    Answer: Trailers can be posted on PublicSurplus.com or through the vehicle process.  We prefer you use PublicSurplus.com to sell trailers, however.
  • Are items like tractors considered property or vehicles?
    Answer: Tractors and equipment without registration are considered property and should be auctioned on PublicSurplus.com. Remember, you can upload videos of the items running and moving to post on the auction, as well as pictures. This usually yields higher sales.
  • What if I don’t think my items are worth anything? Do I still have to make an auction for them?
    Answer: Yes, you still have to create an auction for your items.  The policy states that anything purchased with state funds or donated to the state (which becomes state property once the donation is accepted) must go through the disposal process before being disposed of.  This is the way to go through that process and get your disposal authorization, regardless of whether the item is tagged or not.
  • What do we do with Scrap items?
    Answer: You will create and post the auction and in the title put **SCRAP** at the beginning and in the description, Please Scrap, and put the reason why this is a scrap item.  See the Step by Step Instructions for specific details. If it gets immediately scrapped you will see the auction close quickly and a notation will be made in the notes section giving you permission to scrap it, using the Auction # as the Authorization number.  You will also receive a scrap ticket via email from the DAS State Surplus Unit staff.
  • What if I or another employee want an item that is deemed ‘Scrap’?
    Answer: If anyone wants an item that already has a scrap ticket issued, please contact the DAS State Surplus Unit so we can adjust the scrap ticket and create a new auction so the person can bid on it, just like anyone else.
  • Where can we enter our tag number(s) and what if we have multiple tags in one auction?
    Answer: You can put multiple tag numbers in the section for Item Code/Tag up to an 80 character limitation. Separate them with a comma and space. If you have more than 80 characters to enter, make a note to ‘See Description’ in that section and put your tag #’s in the description. This means the report by Item Code/Tag # will pull that item because it sees something listed there.
  • Is there an easier way to create auctions?
    Answer: You must create an auction to start the process.  Once you have an auction that has been approved by the DAS State Surplus Unit (released from the HELD section), locate the auction you want to copy (either in Current or Closed auctions).  Open the auction.  On the right hand side there is an option for COPY ITEM.  Click on [Copy Auction] and the same auction will populate.  Now you only need to make minor changes to your auction (DAS Sate Surplus Unit staff adds a disclaimer to each auction description, which is a summary of the Terms and Conditions.  Please do not delete this summary when revising your auction.) and at the bottom, instead of clicking ‘Save’ you will click ‘Copy’.  A new auction number will be generated.  You can now do this for each auction you post.
  • What is a Dutch auction?
    Answer: A Dutch auction is one auction listing with multiples of the same item in similar condition which can be sold all to one buyer or separately to multiple buyers.  (Ex.:  (10) 5-Drawer File Cabinets all in the same color and condition – Buyer can bid on all 10 starting at $1.00 each or buyer can bid on 5 starting at $1.00 each and another buyer could bid on the remaining).
  • Do I have to put a picture with my auction?
    Answer: Yes, your auction will not be released without a picture.  This includes SCRAP auctions.
  • I am trying to post a picture and I don’t have the link to upload. What’s wrong?
    Answer: You may be operating with an old version of Adobe.  Contact your IT Department and ask them to load Adobe Flash, or another recent version of Adobe.  When that is complete you should be able to upload your pictures with no problems.
  • What if I make a mistake when I create my auction?
    Answer: You can review and revise your auction at any time.  If the auction has already been released it will create an addendum to the auction so perspective buyers can see the change you made.
  • Why does my auction go to Held and how do I get it out of there?
    Answer: Your auction goes to Held as a safety feature.  It then gets reviewed by DAS State Surplus Unit staff.  If all information is there and there are no questions Surplus staff will release it.  If there are questions or missing information you will be contacted and asked to revise the auction to include the missing information.
  • Do I have to ship to buyers?
    Answer: No, our Terms and Conditions state that the buyer is responsible for picking up the items or arranging to have a shipping company come to collect the items, package them and ship them out.  The shipping company would also sign off on the receipt to acknowledge the item was in the condition advertised.
  • Do I have to answer questions potential buyers may ask?
    Answer: No, you do not.  It is posted in our Terms and Conditions that the State of CT does not answer questions.  If you have a potential buyer ask you a question it is up to you whether or not you want to answer it but you are not required to.  If you choose to answer a question, please revise the auction to include the information. That puts all buyers on the same playing field with known information.
  • What if my agency isn’t listed on the Departments page? What if it is listed incorrectly?
    Answer: If your agency is not listed on the Departments page, please email Veronica Coty so she can add it.  If your agency has merged and is now listed incorrectly, please do the same thing.  If there are agencies listed that should not be any longer, please also contact Veronica so she can remove them.
  • I can’t find my Pickup Location. How do I get it?
    Answer: You can refer to the Public Surplus Instructions (Step by Step), Section 2: Pickup Locations.
  • How can I get a Bill of Sale for an item that has been claimed and what do I do with it?
    Answer: A Bill of Sale should only be used for Internal Reallocation Pickups (state agencies, municipalities and non-profits). You can print out a Bill of Sale from the Closed Auction tab.  In the Closed Auction tab, enter your auction number as the keyword to locate your auction. Click the Printer Icon . This will bring up a Bill of Sale that you will have the claimer sign when they pick up their item(s). The claimer needs to provide ID when they pick up their item(s). It is suggested that you scan the ID on the Bill of Sale to be uploaded to your closed auctions for your records.
  • What do I do with the Bill of Sale once it is signed?
    Answer: Scan it in and add it as an attachment to the notes section of your closed auction and then file it as above.  This creates easy closure and follow up if you ever need to pull the paperwork.  For specifics, please refer to the Public Surplus Instructions (Step by Step), Section 5.
  • A buyer called or emailed me to say they are tax exempt and want the tax removed from their auction invoice. What do I do?
    Answer: If contacted via email, reply to the buyer and CC Veronica Coty. Direct the buyer to contact her via email and she will collect the necessary paperwork to remove the tax.  We do not want them to pay until the tax has been removed. If contacted via phone call, ask the buyer for their email address and send an email to Veronica Coty, CC the buyer, and be sure to give the auction number that is being referenced. Veronica will then take care of getting all needed info. from the buyer to remove the tax, prior to the payment being made.
  • How can I get a Receipt for an item that has been purchased and what do I do with it?
    Answer: You can print out a Receipt from the Closed Auction tab.  In the Closed Auctions locate your auction and click the PAID icon Paid Stamp Icon. This will bring up the payment screen.
    1. Scroll down to the bottom and click on the Print Rcpt button.
    2. It brings up a receipt with signature areas as well as a list of auctions and quantities. Print it out. The claimer needs to provide ID when they pick up their item(s). It is suggested that you scan the ID on the Bill of Sale to be uploaded to your closed auctions for your records.
  • What do I do with the Receipt once it is signed?
    Answer: Scan it in and add it as an attachment to the notes section of your closed auction and then file it as above.  This creates easy closure and follow up if you ever need to pull the paperwork. For specifics, please refer to the Public Surplus Instructions (Step by Step), Section 5.
  • What if a person comes to pick up the item they purchased and they don’t want it when they get there?
    Answer: All our items are listed on the website as being sold ‘As is, where is’, which is why we insist on pictures so the buyer has a good idea of what they are getting. It is also why descriptions should include any know faults or damage of an item. If the person says they do not want it, ask them to write a note on the receipt and upload it to the auction and contact the DAS State Surplus Unit staff stating that they do not want the item and are requesting a refund. 
  • What if they refuse to sign?
    Answer: If the customer refuses to sign they cannot pick up the item. PublicSurplus.com will need that paperwork to defend the state if the customer decides to cancel their payment for any reason. It is also part of your audit trail when you dispose of items.
  • What if they sign for their item and turn around break it?
    Answer: If they have already signed for their item, it is theirs.  They should pick up the pieces and take them away.
  • If a buyer pays for their auction on the website, but never comes to pick it up, what do I do?
    Answer: Per our Terms and Conditions, the buyer has 5 days from the date they pay for an item to pick up.  Often, our schedules do not permit a date that works for both parties in that timeframe, but we would like to hear from the buyer within those 5 days and schedule it.  If you do not hear from them, you can contact the buyer yourself (make notes in the Closed Auction Notes section every time you correspond with the buyer and once a pickup date/time is established).  If you do not wish to contact them yourself, or more than 1 week has passed, please email Veronica Coty and Philip St. Amand to let us know so DAS can send a ‘Last Chance’ email.  If you do not hear from the buyer by the deadline given in the email, it is your responsibility to let DAS staff know so we can relist the auction to the appropriate next step.  DAS State Surplus Unit staff are the only ones authorized to send an official ‘last chance’ email. 
  • How can I look up an auction for a tagged item if the auditors want to see it?
    Answer: Go into your Closed Auction section and at the top of the page is a search box.  You can enter the Tag # into the Keyword section and make sure you have an appropriate date range selected.  Click SEARCH and you should get your auction.  This only works if you have put the tag number into the ‘Item Code/Tag’ section or the title of the auction.  If searching by the Tag # doesn’t work, you can try to do a search using the item and then sift through the results until you find the correct one.
  • How can I run reports?
    Answer: Log In and go to ‘Tools’.  Under ‘Tools’ are several options.  Click on ‘Reports’.  There are several reports to choose from or you can choose a customizable report to capture whatever specific information you are looking for.  Remember to change the dates to reflect the timeframe you are interested in.
  • How long do we need to keep paperwork for?
    Answer: Refer to the CT State Library Records Retention Schedules for appropriate time to hold records.  You can also speak to your agency’s RMLO (Records Management Liaison Officer).
  • How does our agency get the money generated by the auctions?
    Answer: The money generated by Surplus Sales goes into the general fund under your agency’s Dept. ID. This means that when it is being determined who is contributing to the General Fund, your agency will show up as contributing for surplus sales, as long as it is coded correctly. If DAS Surplus does not have coding for your agency, we will contact you when it is needed.

    A sample of revenue created by auction sales is as follows:

    Sample Revenue
    Fund Dept SID Progr Acct
    11000 DAS23924 18010
    44321