Buyers use eBay to sell unwanted items

1 October 2012

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1 October 2012 | Anna Reynolds

When asked: ‘Is procurement involved in the disposal of used goods at your organisation?’ SM’s latest poll of 100 buyers found the vast majority – 67 per cent –were.

Gareth Hill, purchasing manager at Aquaculture, said: “We have a clearance store on eBay. We have been running it for around six months now and it generates around £1,500 a month in revenue from items that would never have sold.”

Susan Davis, service manager at ERF Electrical Wholesalers, runs a similar process: “We work out a write-down value, collate the stock in one location and sell it through a dedicated eBay site. Stock that cannot be sold is stripped down and sold as scrap. We also use liquidation companies for selected products.”

For organisations where procurement is not currently involved in the disposal of goods (33 per cent), most said it was something they would like to help with.

Nykolas Bromley, head of procurement at Henderson Global Investors, said: “Procurement is a newly established function here. Obsolete mobile phones are donated to charity. In a previous organization, we had success generating revenue by e-auctioning redundant IT equipment.”

Martin Blake, head of corporate procurement at the London Probation Trust, said that furniture was something that frequently needed to be got rid of, but the trust hasn’t yet found a suitable outlet for it. It had, however, managed to find environmentally friendly options in the past.

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