As a public employee, how do I purchase or sell surplus property for my agency or non-profit organization?

The state of Oregon's Surplus Property Program sells personal surplus property to and from qualified state, city, county, school and special district agencies, as well as qualified non-profit organizations.

 

Purchasing Property

How do I determine if my government agency qualifies to purchase surplus property?
How do I determine if my non-profit organization qualifies to purchase surplus property?
My agency doesn't qualify. What can we do?
What is an "authorized signer"?
Once qualified, how do we purchase items for our agency?
What is a "Donee"?
What is a "SASP"?
What is the difference between "State" property and "Federal" property?
Can I purchase surplus property for myself, using my agency credentials?
I need to get approval from my supervisor, but I don't want to lose the item I want to purchase.
I put a "hold" on a piece of property, and another agency was able to purchase it. Why?
I am not authorized to purchase, but my supervisor (who is authorized to sign) told me to purchase a surplus item. How do we get this done?
You don't have what I need. Can you get it?
I saw what I need, but it's on "eBay". Can I still get it?
Can I bid on items for my agency through "eBay"?
Why is it called "Donation" property? Why is there a "service charge"?
How are the prices determined for both State and Federal property?
Where does all this property come from?
What is a "Form 97"?
What is LESO?
Who administers the LESO program?
What is the difference between the "1033" and "1122" Programs?
What is the benefit to our program by participating in the LESO program?
What is the charge for my agency to participate in the "LESO" program?
I am being told the property I am trying to purchase cannot be sold to my agency/organization. Why?
I would like to use my agency credit card to purchase property. Is this acceptable?
What happens to this property if it does not sell to an agency?
What does "Compliance" mean, and how does it affect the property I receive?
What kinds of "Compliances" are there?
I received a letter, stating I am due for a compliance audit. What does this mean?
I would like to get a piece of property, and cannibalize it to make another item useable. Can I do this?
The Federal item we got does not run, or would be too expensive to make operational. Is there anything we can do?


Selling Property

I would like the Surplus Property Program to sell my items. What do we need to do?
I need a certain amount for my item. Can you sell my item for no less than the amount I specify?
What will Surplus Property charge me to sell my item?
What does Surplus Property do to sell my item?
What happens if my item doesn't sell to another agency?
What happens if my item doesn't sell online?
In the case of vehicles, what happens with the title?
How and when will I be reimbursed for the sale of my items?
I just need for my items to go away, and don't expect any proceeds back from the sale of my items.
How do I get my items to you, in order for you to sell them?
There is no way I can get my items to you for you to sell. Any suggestions?
I have no way of loading at my location (Forklifts, loading docks, etc). What do we do?
What can't Surplus Property sell?
Why are items described as "yellow metal" and "clear stones"?
Does Surplus Property have items appraised and/or authenticated?
My items are (or have the potential) to be high value. What steps are taken to ensure their safety/security?
 

Q: How do I determine if my government agency qualifies to purchase surplus property?
A: If you are a governmental agency within the borders of Oregon, or are just over the border in another state, your agency most likely qualifies to be able to purchase. A governmental agency includes a state, city, county, school district, water district, etc. From there, it is a matter of completing your eligibility paperwork, and assigning people authorized to sign an invoice. Click here for a list of eligibility criteria.

Q: How do I determine if my non-profit organization qualifies to purchase surplus property?
A: The first (and most important) consideration is if your non-profit organization is listed as a 501(c) with the Internal Revenue Service. If so, the next step is to see if you meet one of the criteria set by the Federal government. Click here for a list of eligibility criteria.

Q: My agency doesn't qualify. What can we do?
A: It may be that your agency or organization does not qualify to purchase Federal Donation property. However, you may qualify for "state only" eligibility, where one could purchase state and other local government property. Contact our Eligibility Specialist to see if you would qualify for this.

Q: What is an "authorized signer"?
A: An authorized signer is an individual or individuals that have been assigned by your agency or organization to be able to sign an invoice when purchasing property.

Q: Once qualified, how do we purchase items for our agency?
A: When you find property you want to purchase for your agency or organization, we will generate an invoice for the item(s). We will then send a bill to your billing department, and they will pay off that invoice.

Q: What is a "Donee"?
A: Once your agency or organization becomes eligible to purchase, you become a Donee. Since Federal property is called "Donation" property, the Federal government is the "Donor". The term "Donee" refers to an agency or organization, either as an individual or as part of a collective, that purchases property from the Surplus Property Program.

Q: What is a "SASP"?
A: "SASP" is an acronym for "State Agency for Surplus Property". Most states have a SASP, and it is where the State and Federal Surplus Property Program is administered and located.

Q: What is the difference between "State" property and "Federal" property?
A: State property is identified as having originated from a state agency, or from an agency that has an existing Intergovernmental agreement with the state, for purposes of selling certain property. Federal property is typically identified as "Donation" property, and comes from any number of different Federal agencies, and is made available for purchase. There is always a physical and clear separation of the two properties at the property disposition center, and each with their own set of rules of acquisition.

Q: Can I purchase surplus property for myself, using my agency credentials?
A: No. Property made available is for qualified agency use only. Acquisition or use by private individuals is strictly prohibited.


Q: I need to get approval from my supervisor, but I don't want to lose the item I want to purchase.
A: You can place a 5 day "Hold" on an item, that will freeze that property from being purchased until an invoice can be generated. The 5 day limit is strictly enforced, and if no contact is made within the 5 days, the "Hold" becomes null and void.

Q: I put a "hold" on a piece of property, and another agency was able to purchase it. Why?
A: This can happen when an agency shows a clear and present emergency need for the property. Also, there is a hierarchy to agency preferences; State agencies have preference over all, then cities, counties, etc., then non-profit organizations. This hierarchy is very seldom used, and has very rarely ever created an inconvenience to another agency or organization.

Q: I am not authorized to purchase, but my supervisor (who is authorized to sign) told me to purchase an item. How do we get this done?
A: It is a strict rule that no property can leave the facility without a signed invoice from an authorized signer. That being said, we understand that an authorized signer cannot always be present to sign an invoice. There are two instances that will substitute for this; A Donee can bring a letter of authorization on their agencies letterhead, signed by an authorized signer stating that it is okay for the bearer to purchase on their behalf, or we can generate an invoice and fax to an authorized signer for signatures. Click here for the only exception to this rule.

Q: You don't have what I need. Can you get it?
A: If you are looking for a specific item, we can put you on a "Want List", and contact you when something comes in. Also, we can "screen" for an item you need during our normal screening processes, and notify your agency when we find something. Facilitating this may involve a commitment from your agency to purchase so that we may screen and eventually be allocated the item.


Q: I saw what I need, but it's on "eBay". Can I still get it?
A: Yes. We are able to terminate an auction on eBay, but not with less than 12 hours left in the auction.

Q: Can I bid on items for my agency through "eBay"?
A: You can, but we should be able to terminate an auction and sell the item outright rather than your having to bid on an item.

Q: Why is it called "Donation" property? Why is there a "service charge"?
A: This is called "Donation" property, because the Federal Government offers this property to us at no charge. The reason you pay a "Service Charge" is because we have funds tied up in the acquisition of this property: staffing, shipping expenses, warehousing, record-keeping, etc.

Q: How are the prices determined for both State and Federal property?
A: Federal property service charges are determined by employing several different matrices, including acquisition (what the Federal government originally paid for the item, shipping costs, market pricing, etc). The prices for state items are determined by historical data (What similar items have sold for in the past), as well as market pricing.

Q: Where does all this property come from?
A: Federal property can come from virtually any Federal agency, but most often comes from disposal sites located at military installations. State property comes from any state agency located within the state of Oregon, and IGA (Inter-Governmental Agreement) property is supplied to us from cities, counties, school districts, police departments, special districts, etc., that use us to sell their property for them.

Q: What is a "Form 97"?
A: The Federal government owns and operates literally thousands of automobiles, trucks and pieces of heavy equipment. To have a title for each piece of property would be a logistical problem. When one of these is sold, the Federal government issues the purchaser a "Form 97", which releases ownership and gives it to the purchaser. The Form 97 serves as a type of Bill of Sale. The purchaser would take this to their local DMV when they apply for a title.


 

Q: What is LESO?
A: LESO stands for Law Enforcement Support Office, and is an agency of the Federal Department of Defense. There are two individual programs (the "1033" and "1122" programs) that are administered by the Surplus Property Program.

Q: Who administers the LESO program?
A: The State Surplus Property Program employs a governor-appointed official to administer this program.

Q: What is the difference between the "1033" and "1122" Programs?
A: The "1033" program is one in which eligible Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA's) can screen and acquire, free of charge, Federal Department of Defense property to be used in their respective agencies. The "1122" program allows eligible LEA's to purchase using Federal government contracts.

Q: What is the benefit to our program by participating in the LESO program?
A: Both of these programs are valuable in that they help LEA's to stretch small or downsized budgets, and also supply LEA's with resources they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Q: What is the charge for my agency to participate in the "LESO" program?
A: There are dues charged for participating in these programs. The number of sworn officers in an LEA is what determines what dues to pay. Participants in these programs state that the savings to their agencies more than offset any dues assessed.

Q: I am being told the property I am trying to purchase cannot be sold to my agency/organization. Why?
A: You must be able to show how purchasing an item for your agencies use is appropriate. For instance, if a non-profit daycare purchases a fire suit to be used as a costume for a Halloween party, this would be classified as inappropriate usage. On the other hand, if a fire department were to purchase a fire suit, it would be quite obvious what the usage would be, and it would be appropriate for them to purchase.

Q: I would like to use my agency credit card to purchase property. Is this acceptable?
A: Yes. In fact, this is the one exception to being an authorized signer. It is the understanding that if a person is responsible enough to have an agency credit card, that they are responsible enough to make purchases without being an authorized signer. As with any credit card, discretion should be used, as very large purchases are often questioned by inquiring auditors.

Q: What happens to this property if it does not sell to an agency?
A: If "State" property does not sell to an agency, it is made available to the public, either through the "General Store", or online on "eBay". Federal Donation property is made available to agencies for 1 year. If it is not purchased by an agency within that year, it is made available to the public through "GSAauctions".

Q: What does "Compliance" mean, and how does it affect the property I receive?
A: When your agency signs up to be able to purchase Federal Donation property, you are agreeing to use the property as it was originally intended, and within a certain time frame.

Q: What kinds of "Compliances" are there?
A: There are four different types of compliance: 12 month, 18 month, 60 month and perpetuity. A 12 month compliance states that you will put the item you are purchasing into use within 12 months, and will keep it for 12 months. An 18 month compliance is the same as the 12 month, but you must keep the property for 18 months, and typically applies to items with an acquisition of $5,000 or more, or an item that requires licensing/titling, including watercraft. A 60 month compliance is the same but must be kept for at least 60 months, and applies to anything over 50' (typically large watercraft) and general aircraft. A perpetuity compliance means that the item can never be sold, and usually involves night vision equipment, bullet-proof vests, large demilitarized aircraft and watercraft, etc. A compliance audit is done once a year on perpetuity items, and on a random basis (either by mail or in person) for the other compliances.

Q: I received a letter, stating I am due for a compliance audit. What does this mean?
A: This means that you have to be able to show that the property you acquired is being used for the purposes it was originally intended. If an audit is done by mail, you would need to indicate how and where the item in question is being used. If done in person, you must be able to physically show how and where a particular item is being used.

Q: I would like to get a piece of property, and cannibalize it to make another item useable. Can I do this?
A: Yes, but only with expressed written consent of the coordinator of the Federal Surplus Property Program.

Q: The Federal item we got does not run, or would be too expensive to make operational. Is there anything we can do?
A: The Federal Property Program will allow returns of property with prior authorization only. If the property is returned within 30 days of acquisition, the agency will receive a 100% refund. If returned within 31-60 days, the agency will receive a 50% refund. Unfortunately, there is no return policy for state or IGA property.

Q: I would like the Surplus Property Program to sell my items. What do we need to do?
A: If you are a state agency, everything is set for us to sell your property. If you are other than a state agency, you will need to complete an Inter-Governmental Agreement (aka "IGA", see sample here) that surplus property supplies. This is a basic contract that spells out what each parties responsibilities will be during the sale (or sales) of properties.

Q: I need a certain amount for my item. Can you sell my item for no less than the amount I specify?
A: We can. While this is unusual, we can set minimums (or in the case of an online auction, a "Reserve"). If the item does not reach the reserve price, you will be contacted to determine whether you would like surplus property to relist with a lower reserve, or no reserve at all. Please be aware that there are extra charges for conducting a reserve auction, as there are additional charges to surplus property for doing this. Due to the delicate nature of reserve auctions, it is best to use this tactic for
very special or unusual items.

Q: What will Surplus Property charge me to sell my item?
A: Currently, our rates are in the process of being re-evaluated. A high level answer would be somewhere between 7% and 20%, depending on the commodity being sold, the agency it came from, etc. This information, in exact form, is available upon request.

Q: What does Surplus Property do to sell my item?
A: If an item is brought to our facility for us to sell, it will be contained in a secure lot if it is a vehicle, heavy equipment, or outside item. If it is an item that needs to be kept dry, it will be stored inside a climate controlled warehouse. If it is a small and/or valuable item, it will be stored in a fenced area inside the warehouse. If it is a small very valuable item, it will be stored in a fire-proof safe. In all cases, the facility and perimeter are secured by an alarm system. We will then market your items; we will take digital images, test and describe them, advertise them, provide viewing, conduct all sales (collect the money, handle disputes, pay seller fees, ship, track, etc).

Q: What happens if my item doesn't sell to another agency?
A: If an item does not sell to an agency, or if it is an item that an agency wouldn't normally use, we will determine the correct venue to sell, and immediately put that item in the flow to be sold to the public.

Q: What happens if my item doesn't sell online?
A: It is a very rare occurence that an item does not sell. If for some reason your item does not sell, we will simply relist it until it does sell. If an item does not sell within three auction cycles, we will usually contact the agency and ask them what they would like to do.

Q: In the case of vehicles, what happens with the title?
A: When you turn in a vehicle or piece of equipment that carries a title with it, you will need to sign off on that title (click here for instructions on how to do this), and when the vehicle sells, we will provide the title to the new owner, so they can get the item registered and titled in their name.

Q: How and when will I be reimbursed for the sale of my items?
A: Your agency will be reimbursed by check, and typically takes 1-2 weeks from the time your item is paid for.

Q: I just need for my items to go away, and don't expect any proceeds back from the sale of my items.
A: This is called a "Donation". We will do all the regular marketing to sell the item, but we will keep all of the proceeds.

Q: How do I get my items to you, in order for you to sell them?
A: You can make the arrangements to have your items brought in (your truck, a moving company, etc), or surplus property has a truck and driver and, for a fee, can arrange to have your items taken away.

Q: There is no way I can get my items to you for you to sell. Any suggestions?
A: Sometimes, whether due to the size of the item, the geographic location, etc., it becomes difficult or impossible to bring an item to the Property Disposition Center for us to sell. In this situation, we can sell your items on-site. You would need to make someone available to answer questions, show the items to prospective bidders, take digital images and write descriptions to allow our posting staff to list the items online.

Q: I have no way of loading at my location (Forklifts, loading docks, etc). What do we do?
A: This is good information to relay to the surplus property staff, so we can make this clear in the listing description. We can stipulate that the items are "as-is, where-is", which places the burden of loading onto the successful bidder. This applies to any special circumstances that might affect the sale, and makes for a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Q: What can't Surplus Property sell?
A: There isn't too much that surplus property can't sell. Currently, surplus property cannot sell weapons or ammunition, unprocessed computer equipment (we currently have a sub-contractor that processes all electronic items, and surplus property has an outlet store for computers), counterfeit items (i.e., fake Rolex watches), and common sense-type items (hazardous waste, radioactive items, etc), .

Q: Why are items described as "yellow metal" and "clear stones"?
A: Surplus property does not make any statements regarding an item containing gold, diamonds, and so on. Likewise, we typically do not have items appraised. If a turn-in agency wishes to have items appraised, they are certainly welcome to do this (at their expense), and we will pass this information along to the bidders.

Q: Does Surplus Property have items appraised and/or authenticated?
A: In rare instances, we may have items authenticated or appraised to determine if we can sell it or not, or if it is a truly unique item. An instance where we might have an item authenticated would be in the case of a "Rolex" watch. We cannot sell counterfeit items, and if it was deemed authentic, the item would then be sellable, and we could then maximize the value by marketing accordingly.

Q: My items are (or have the potential) to be high value. What steps are taken to ensure their safety/security?
A: Items of high value are stored in a fire-proof safe, in a fenced area, inside a building with a 24 hour alarm system.

If there are any questions you need answered that have not been addressed here, please feel free to contact Surplus Property personnel by email, or by phone at 503-378-6020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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