By Kyle Woosley
Purchases and Stores is auctioning off amenities from the recently closed Brockton Apartment units on ebay.
Desks, cabinets, water heaters, chairs and a recliner are among some of the items being auctioned off online. Some items are being sold in bulk per apartment unit.
“They were scheduled for demolition, but we thought we would generate a little money,” said James Zabawa, assistant director of Purchases and Stores.
With the decision to demolish a portion of Brockton Apartments, Zabawa said there was a two-fold plan behind choosing to sell items from the apartments: to generate money for housing and to keep the materials out of the landfill.
“We decided to try to sell the stuff out of Brockton because if we demolish the buildings, that stuff would have ended up in a landfill somewhere,” Zabawa said.
The time at which the auctioned items are being kept on the website vary, but demolition is having an impact.
“We keep stuff up longer if we think we can generate more money and shorter if we need to get rid of it,” Zabawa said. “In this case, I think we kept the items on seven business days because we know they’re eager to get started on demolition.”
This process is also cheaper and requires less labor for the university than the previous method, which was to having a parking lot auction.
“It really saves you from having to get personnel to get it, pack it up and ship it off,” said Kenna Middleton, director of University Housing. “It’s not costing anything really.”
Housing is considered an auxiliary department, which means it is financially independent from the university. The funds brought in from the ebay auctions would go back into Eastern Housing.
“We exist on student rentals and revenue we can bring in,” Middleton said. “You don’t know if you’re going to get $50 at the end of the day or $5,000.”
Eastern has been using ebay to auction off surplus items for six years. Some of the items sold are old vehicles and agriculture equipment from the farm.
“Anything declared surplus has to be sold in an auction process,” Zabawa said. “The state of Kentucky even uses Ebay to auction some of their surplus.”
Once the items have been purchased, the bidder would be responsible for collecting the items from the apartment.
“Everything has been disconnected as far as water and power, so they [bidders] can take it out of there,” Zabawa said. “It’s our junk, but I guess it’s another man’s treasure.”