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Mon Apr 6 2009 22:43:39

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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The Pennsylvania Treasury Department's continuous eBay auction for unclaimed property has added baseball memorabilia listings in celebration of baseball's opening day. Items up for bid include collectible baseball cards featuring Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra.

The program also helps people find unclaimed property. In 2008, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department reunited nearly 58,000 owners with their unclaimed property, totaling more than $86 million. Treasury is currently seeking the owners of over $1.5 billion in unclaimed property.

Each year, Treasury receives millions of dollars in unclaimed property from abandoned bank accounts, forgotten stocks, checks that have not been cashed, certificates of deposit, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes, hospitals, nursing homes, and other sources. The tangible property items, such as jewelry, collectible coins, and medals, are kept in Treasury's vault. If attempts to locate the owner prove futile, the items are appraised and then auctioned on eBay. The proceeds of the auction are maintained for the owner to claim.

According to the agency, Pennsylvania is the only state to have a continuous eBay unclaimed property auction and has raised over $2.6 million.




Comments (16) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Pa resident

Tue Apr 7 00:29:34 2009

LOL, this is awesome! Great for us PA residents, maybe they'll fix some roads with the $$$$. Now I know where the camera equipment that I never got back after the B&E of my car went!

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: really sad

Tue Apr 7 07:49:41 2009

They didn't do their homework. What a waste of time & money. They would have been better off to have a garage sale, list on Craig's list or their local paper. Ebay is not the way to sell items.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Jim S

Tue Apr 7 09:24:16 2009

Why are they allowed link to off eBay site?

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: A-

Tue Apr 7 17:35:20 2009

Can't wait till they go through the Pay Pal/Ebay runaround.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Pa residentjunktion

Tue Apr 7 19:00:39 2009

Nah, they could never sell on Craigs & have people waiting around to meet goofballs that may not show. Much as I dislike Ebay, This is the most efficient way, and really only takes 1 person to run it. Plus I guarantee the state of Pa doesnt have lots of unpaid bidders:) And no scammer is doing fraudulent SNAD claims to a state agency.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Apr 7 23:01:50 2009

Let's hope this idea catches on like wild fire.

Virtually all law enforcement agencies from local to federal auction off seizure items as well. This frequently includes top of the line vehicles, boats, fine jewelry, designer goods, planes, electronics, and so on.

Other agencies also have live auctions to get rid of outdated equipment, old office furniture, etc.

If local, state, and federal agencies with various types of property to get rid of were to use ebay, imagine what will happen when

-- ebay hides the listings in 'Best Match'

-- ebay hits them with unappealable VERO violations

-- ebay refuses to remove unjustified negative feedback

-- ebay raises FVFs when DSRs aren't up to snuff

-- PayPal starts with the chargebacks

-- ebay refuses to provide anything but robotron customer 'service' email support because the agencies aren't at least gold powersellers

-- the agency's webmaster comes to work Monday morning and finds 5,375 Ask Seller a Question emails

-- another ebay 'glitch' changes listings to include "free shipping"

-- the sell through rate is .003, and the monthly fee bill is in the $1000s

-- another ebay "glitch" overcharges on the agencies' monthly statement

-- customer hacks and takes over a PayPal account, buys a diamond ring, and returns a fake gold cubic zirconia ring with signature confirmation. Customer then trasnfers funds to an offshore bank with no agreement with the federal government

-- ebay tells the government they MUST use PayPal or an 'ebay approved' merchant account

Nothing will get ebay investigated faster than encouraging the government agencies in your area to divest seized or no longer needed property through ebay!!

Death to ebay corp. in 2009.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Joyful

Wed Apr 8 01:54:40 2009

Pennsylvania has been selling on eBay for maybe 5 years. Look up their pocket knife collection offers, for example. The state eBay unit collects what air travelers aren't allowed to carry on planes and then auctions the stuff off in batches.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: shameful

Wed Apr 8 06:24:46 2009

Are penn officials that dumb? eBay is anti-seller , and by listing there you are promoting an unfair platform for selling. Why not TRY YOUR LOCAL PA. Paper, want ad digest, pennysaver, even craig's list is better.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: ming i hope you are right

Wed Apr 8 06:26:18 2009

but don't hold your breath. Nothing is slower that poiliticians doing the right thing...then maybe ebay doing the etical thing.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: pmelcher

Wed Apr 8 07:01:45 2009

They have bids on all but one item currently offered for sale, I do envy that!

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: booger

Wed Apr 8 15:12:44 2009

PAS isn't the only one.  Massachusetts has been selling on Ebay for several years. I suspect they have 'special' representatives at Ebay to take care of their issues and different terms than what the rest of us have to deal with.

@pmelcher:
I suspect that people ptrobably bid on these kinds of auction more because they tend to trust this kind of government seller.  Not that I blame them.  It would be really bad PR for a government seller to scam buyers and no politician wants that kind of thing to happen.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Apr 8 17:04:29 2009

It used to be against FTC regulations for corporations to offer incentives to some but not all its customers.

Since the Reagan administration began the deregulation of business, however, Sherman hasn't been enforced, and most fair trade practices haven't been enforced, either. Rogue, unprincipled corporations soon figured out that they could do whatever they could get with, and the federal government has let them get away with a lot.

Would anyone here be surprised if a corporation who spends a porition of its profits lobbying the CIA would cut a special deal with government agencies that would, in effect, immunize these sellers from the cr@p the rest of us must put up with?

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Herb Rules

Wed Apr 8 17:59:16 2009

"...corporations to offer incentives to some but not all its customers."

Greetings Ming. Well perhaps this is against the rules where you live in Communist China, but here in America practically all corporations I know treat their best customers differently.

In fact, even when selling an item the same price to different people, I sometimes use a special touch or include a little bonus for my best customers. At the other end of the spectrum, the complainers and whiners do not get special treatments; they get booted as fast as possible.

There are multiple States selling on eBay, and as a previous poster pointed out, it seems to be a very effective way to move the merchandise. There are some pretty good deals actually.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Apr 8 20:04:32 2009

Just because a corporation hasn't been investigated and fined doesn't mean it committed no violations.

It simply means that the enforcer has decided not to investigate or enforce which has been the case since 1980 -- especially but not exclusively during Republican administrations.

As usual "Herb's" reasoning is irreparably flawed and his opinions fact free.

If "Herb" spent as much time fixing ebay as he does vainly attempting to discredit ebay critics, there wouldn't be so many ebay critics.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Herb Rules

Thu Apr 9 11:43:14 2009

Well Ming, I thought I stated a simple for you: there's nothing wrong with treating your best customers differently.

Perhaps you prefer your utopic vision of government controlled businesses  with everyone robotically treated the same, but that's not how things actually happen in the real world.

If PA can raise $2.6M, all power to them. It's $2.6M that doesn't need to come from the taxpayers pockets.

Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay   Pennsylvania Treasury Raises $2.6 Million on eBay

by: Scriptorical

Sun Apr 12 12:10:42 2009

Been in the collectible business for years. Have watched and even bought from this Treasury Dept. I think much of their stuff is very pricey which has me wondering. In fact I wonder if employees or distant family members of employees don't bid on these items. How could they possibly stop them.

Also I don't believe for one minute that eBay cuts this Dept a break of any kind. Any and all fees are paid for  from either the item selling and/or the individual if any ever comes forth to claim the dollar amounts. In fact in dealing with  a state agency and having worked for the state it is my opinion eBay probably charges more for the items.

State or federal agencies don't pay on a weekly or even monthly basis. It can take much longer at times to receive payment from a state or federal agency. If eBay has to wait for their funds they are probably charging the Treasury Dept. After all when it all boils down to the tax payer is footing the tab for any of these sales on eBay, and we all how the state or federal governments spend our money. IMHO of course.



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