Say goodbye to stuffed storage rooms and time-consuming police auctions
PropertyRoom.com is a Web site that specializes in auctioning lost, stolen, seized and surplus items and vehicles for law enforcement. The Web site was founded by former law enforcement professionals, and it combines expertise in law enforcement procedure, inventory tracking, warehouse logistics, marketing and customer service.
The Web site, based in Mission Viejo, Calif., works with more than 700 law enforcement agencies in the United States to collect, package and sell unreturned, found and seized goods in practically every category, from consumer goods to real estate, cars and boats.
One advantage of using this online consignment tool, according to PropertyRoom.com, is that communities can have seized/abandoned property up for auction 365 days a year, rather than two to four days a year at a police auction.
How many bidders at a typical police auction? A few dozen? Maybe less? PropertyRoom.com maintains a registry database containing 650,000 potential bidders and gets 20,000 unique visitors each day at the site.
Potential revenue to police departments can reach $7,000 per year
The revenue potential and benefit to the city depends on the number of items that the Web site receives from the city or department. The more items that a jurisdiction auctions on PropertyRoom.com, the greater the revenue that the city’s general fund receives. The potential revenue to a jurisdiction can reach $7,000 per year, if the Web site processes one item per day, according to PropertyRoom.com estimates. In some news reports, police estimate that their departments achieve a 50-50 split on proceeds with the Web site.
The Web site offers free pickup of seized/abandoned property from the police department’s storage room. Items are bar-coded, so an audit trail can be maintained from pickup to sale. Items then are cleaned, sorted and digitally photographed. If needed, the merchandise is tested and appraised.
After the winning bidder is identified and payment is received, the merchandise is shipped to the winning bidder with next-day order fulfillment. Net proceeds from the auction are sent in a monthly check to the police department.