In 2009, founder Robert Barber became highway superintendent and a volunteer fireman for a small municipality in New York State. It didn’t take long to figure out that selling declared surplus equipment and purchasing used equipment was not as easy as it may seem in both the Highway Department and at the Fire Dept.

We all at times have machinery that we need to purchase or need to sell and update. Over the first 5 years, we just accepted what we got at auctions whether it was online or we hauled it to a live auction site. When it came to purchasing equipment it’s always an agonizing bid process to go thru. I personally was not happy with auction results or what dealers offered due to our specialty lines of equipment. I knew I could do better for our Department and ultimately for my taxpayers. As an elected official it was important for me to get the most I could for the money we had budgeted.

In 2015, I went to my local County officials and asked them to advertise the available equipment that municipalities and fire districts had so we could purchase amongst each other (town to town) without going thru the bid process because of adopted Procurement Policies.

Their response was they could not do it because it would get too big, and they would not be able to manage their website. They were also afraid the neighboring county officials would want to advertise to try and move their surplus. At this time it was frustrating knowing we had a problem and we could do better for our taxpayers and not auction sites making large commissions or dealers throwing low ball numbers out there saying that there is no demand for our equipment and they would have to sit on it for a long period of time.

I found that there are a lot of towns or fire districts that don’t buy new equipment. My personal experience in 2017 gained our town $20,000 more for our piece surplus equipment than brought at auction, and $55,000 more than what dealers were willing to offer. I was not happy with the auction results, so I declined acceptance and kept the truck. We ended up selling to another township looking for that same piece of equipment which was a win for them and a win for us.

With realizing the problem of no place to advertise our surplus equipment and realizing that I could do better for our community. I decided that if I could save our town money so could many others with a place for our officials to advertise their surplus equipment. I designed this as a tool for any organization maintaining a Procurement Policy to see what is available. Only organizations following Procurement Policies can advertise on Govtrader.co to insure that what they see online is available to them without possibly going thru the long tedious task of the bid process if your adopted policy allows it. Many states have inter-municipal agreements and many allow purchasing from another government agency due to that particular piece has already gone thru the bid process. Always know your policies and get fair market values for your equipment.

As an elected official in my town, I have found that getting re-elected has been much easier after the word gets out that I have tried to get the most for our tax money. I believe Govtrader.co can do the same for other elected officials not accepting low ball offers and negotiating a fair price that is good for both parties.