OAKLAND — Garrett County is now on eBay for a “test run” of using the online auction site as a way to provide public auctions for seized vehicles.

“We have the ability to dispose of our surplus on eBay,” Brian Bowers, county purchasing agent, said. “There was a law in Maryland that changed. ... It wouldn’t allow us, based on some requirements to sell on eBay.”

Bowers said the purchasing department is only offering vehicles seized through the Garrett County Narcotics Task Force for bid on the Web site.

Sgt. Rob Corley of the Garrett County Sheriff’s Office said there is the possibility for more profit by using the Internet as a means to conduct the auction.

“There is potential there for greater sales and more public to bid on it,” Corley said. “In a public auction, there is no option but to go to it, but in the future, any vehicle we seize through the task force will be (on eBay).”

Corley said one of the vehicles was won by a woman in the Terra Alta, W.Va., area, despite the fact people from across the country could have bid on it.

However, Bowers said as the county only just listed its first vehicles with eBay, no decisions have been made as to whether they will include items or vehicles from other county departments in the online auction.

Bowers said with eBay, there are certain expenses, like initial listing fees and a percentage that comes off the bid. If the county conducts a public auction, the cost for the auctioneer is taken from the bid. However, he said if something is replaced early in the year, the county does have to store such items until the next scheduled auction.

He said until they can prove it is more financially beneficial to go through eBay, the county will likely continue to hold traditional public auctions. The option to use eBay and the county’s user name, gcpurchasingdept, will remain.

Corley said in the future, vehicles seized through the narcotics task force will be listed through the online auction.

“Instead of waiting on a public auction, they can start listing vehicles on eBay,” Corley said. “We can get with the times a little bit.”

In Allegany County, C3I already does some eBay auctions. A March auction of two Harley-Davidson motorcycles on the same site brought in $17,100.

Contact Sarah Moses at smoses@times-news.com.

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