Banking on the Internet for the highest bidder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Banking on the Internet for the highest bidder

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -- E-Bay is a great way to make a few bucks off the "treasures" in your attic. But Sheriff Tony Thompson is banking on the online auction site to, hopefully, make the Black Hawk County taxpayers a few thousand bucks. On September 1st, the county will begin an online auction for three used squad cars.

"I think it's valuable for us to reach out to as many customers and as many participants as we can, because it's obviously going to continue to help drive the value up in the equipment that we're selling," said Thompson.

Usually when squad cars are ready for retirement, the department will sell them in bulk to a car dealer or hold a live auction. But here's the thing -- when a dealer buys them, they pay wholesale. And generally only two or three people show up to bid in person. Long story short -- the department is not getting as much money as they could.

"If you're talking the difference between $4,000 return or a 6 or even $8,000 return, that's considerable," said Thompson.

If this auction goes well, you might see a variety of county-owned items online in the near future.

"Anytime we can take something from a drug dealer, and we can turn around and use it to catch more drug dealers, I'm interested in doing those kinds of things too," noted Thompson.

But just a heads up to a potential buyer -- you'll have to pick your new car up in person, and bring cash.

"E-Bay has PayPal, we're not doing any of those kinds of things!" he added.

Money generated from the squad car auction will go into the county's general fund. Any profit from items seized through a drug raid are placed in a separate fund which aims to prevent drug use and criminal activity.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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