IL holds surplus auction online

But extra premium for online winning bids may dampen interest in cyber-bidding.

Years after the rise of eBay, Illinois state government is getting hip to the potential of online auctions. This week, for the first time, the state government will conduct its surplus property auction live over the Internet, the State Journal-Register reports.

"We see expanding markets for the state's surplus property as an opportunity to generate additional revenues for state government," said Justin DeJong, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, which conducts the auctions.

About 100 items will be offered for sale si- multaneously at the Springfield warehouse and at www.bidspotter.com under the CMS auction listing.

Under the state's deal with Bidspotter and a local auction company, the state receives 100% of the purchase price, and winning bidders will pay a "buyer's premium" to the auctioneers on top of their bids. That hardly sounds like an appealing deal for online bidders.

"We are doing this as a demonstration project," Howard said. "We didn't list the entire contents of our surplus warehouse, but we wanted to give a representation of the type of property that does cross our thresholds from time to time.

"Mostly what we're interested in doing is learning from our experience," he said. "We want to evaluate specifically what the benefits will be. We know we're going to see an increase in revenue."