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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the procedure for departments when disposing of surplus property?
  2. What is GovDeals, Inc?
  3. Who determines what items should be surplused?
  4. Are departments allowed to sell modular furniture through GovDeals?
  5. Can departments offer surplus property to state employees prior to placing items with the online auction service?
  6. What are the procedures for using GovDeals's services?
  7. What should we do with items that are trash, are not eligible to be sold as surplus property with GovDeals, or do not sell after being listed online?
  8. Who is responsible for wiping clean computer hard drives?
  9. What are the charges or fees for disposal of surplus property by GovDeals?
  10. After items have been sold at auction, is the department responsible for any warranty, liability or guarantee?
  11. Where are proceeds from auctioned items deposited?
  12. What if surplus items and equipment were purchased with federal funds?
  13. What is the minimum starting bid for an item(s)/equipment?

Q1:What is the procedure for departments when disposing of surplus property?

A1: A department has the following options to dispose of state surplus property:

  • Transfer surplus property to another state department, when the receiving department has a business use for the surplus property.
  • Sell surplus property through the state's contracted vendor. The vendor currently on contract is GovDeals.

If the surplus property does not sell after the second time at auction, it may be donated to a not-for-profit organization with coordination and approval handled through DAS.

Q2:What is GovDeals, Inc?

A2: GovDeals (www.govdeals.net) is an online auction service for city, county and state governments or agencies. Specifically, GovDeals is designed to enable public entities and their agencies the ability to sell surplus and confiscated vehicles, assets, property and equipment over the Internet. GovDeals also supports the redistribution of excess assets within public institutions.

Since 2004, GovDeals has assisted Iowa governmental agencies in selling more than $980,000 of surplus or seized property. The State of Iowa is joining more than 3,100 government agencies nationwide and 13 other municipalities and public agencies in contracting with GovDeals’ online auction solutions.

Q3:Who determines what items should be surplused?

A3:Department directors are responsible for declaring items as surplus property. A director may designate a representative from his or her department to fulfill that responsibility.

Q4:Are departments allowed to sell modular furniture through GovDeals?

A4:Yes.

Q5:Can departments offer surplus property to state employees prior to placing items with GovDeals?

A5: No. State employees are eligible (like other members of the public) to bid on items once they are posted in the online auction, so long as they do NOT bid while on duty and do not use state resources to do so.

Q6:What are the procedures for using GovDeals' services?

A6: See the Procedures for the State of Iowa Surplus Property Program page.

Q7:What should we do with items that do not sell after being listed online twice with GovDeals?

A7: Proper disposal depends on the type of item in question. Please see the guidelines below.

Trash – If the item(s)/equipment has been listed twice on auction and did not sell, the department will need to complete an e-DAS to request pick up of those items.  The Service ID category is #4451, Disposal of State Surplus. The department will be responsible for disposal cost.  For items containing hazardous materials or items for which recycling fees are assessed (e.g., refrigerators, copiers, etc.), the department disposing of these items will be charged any additional disposal fees issued by an outside vendor to DAS.     

Bad/broken monitors, computers, printers, etc. – Inoperable computer monitors and televisions may be eligible to sell through auction. Please consult with GovDeals first. Monitors that are not eligible or do not sell must be disposed of through a recycling vendor. The State of Iowa contract is with A-TEC. Contact Larry Young at (1-515-244-7357 or www.A-TEC-Recycling.com).  Agencies will be charged $3.00 per broken/damaged monitor if A-TEC picks it up.  If the agency can deliver it to A-TEC, the charge will be $2.70 per monitor.  The address for A-TEC is:

A-TEC
5745 NE 17th Street
Des Moines, Iowa  50309 

Broken and or damaged CPUs and printers will be picked up at a cost of 3 cents per pound or you may deliver it to A-TEC at a cost of 2.5 cents per pound. 

Please note there is a $100 minimum pick-up fee for A-TEC. There is no minimum fee if items are dropped off at their facility.

Expired mace/pepper spray –Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for these products should explain proper procedures for disposal of mace or pepper spray after reaching expiration dates. Otherwise, contact the vendor from which it was purchased for proper disposal procedures.

Q8:Who is responsible for wiping clean computer hard drives?

A8:Ensuring the security and confidentiality of all surplus computers auctioned online is the responsibility of each department.

Q9:What are the charges or fees for disposal of surplus property by GovDeals?

A9:A "buyer's premium" fee of 7.5% of the final winning bid will be charged to each winning bidder and a “seller’s premium” fee of 5% will be retained by GovDeals for auctions conducted online.

Q10:After items have been sold at auction, is the department responsible for any warranty, liability or guarantee?

A10:No. All surplus property sold online is sold on an "as is" basis.

Q11:Where are proceeds from auctioned items deposited?

A11:Currently, Iowa Code section 8A.324 specifies that all proceeds from the sale of state surplus property are to be deposited into the General Fund. DAS has established an account through the Department of Management to transfer these proceeds and reconcile with GovDeals.

Q12:What if surplus items and equipment were purchased with federal funds?

A12:Some federal programs require proceeds from the disposal of assets purchased with federal dollars to be returned to the federal program on a proportional basis. You will need to work with the appropriate federal granting agencies to determine the specific requirements regarding the disposal of assets and how to manage proceeds.

Q13:What is the minimum starting bid for an item(s)/equipment?

A13:There is a minimum starting bid of $5 on all items sold through GovDeals in order to pay for the sellers' premium fee (5% or $5/item or lot).

Updated: August 12, 2010