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Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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City of Baton Rouge uses efficient, online method to turn a profit

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BATON ROUGE - Have you ever wanted to shop for a decommissioned police unit, an old fire truck or a Harley-Davidson from the comfort of your own home?

Thanks to the City of Baton Rouge, now you can.

"We have heavy duty tractors, we have dump trucks, we have copiers, we have file cabinets, just a wide range, we even have jewelry out there this time," said Patti Wallace, the City of Baton Rouge's Director of Purchasing.

Those items are available from Municibid.com, an auction web site tailored for government entities to get rid of their surplus.

"We're not being charged a fee," said Wallace.  "Generally, on-site auctions range from a fee of five to twelve percent, and the city is not being charged at all."

Most of the money goes back to the budget of the department the equipment came from, minus a small administrative fee.

The site offers some user-friendly features as well, such as a chat option and the ability to prevent auction "sniping" by extending auction times when a bid is placed in the waning seconds.

"We do get feedback. Our current percentage rate is about ninety-seven percent positive feedback from the use of the online auction site," said Wallace.

The auction draws bidders from across the country, including some construction companies and small business owners.

The city expects a hefty return from the current auction, which ends Januray 28 and includes 188 items.

The first Municibid auction, held in April 2012, allowed the city to rake in more than $123,000.

To see the Baton Rouge selection of items up for auction, click here.

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