Framingham Online News

State Auctions 1000 Items on eBay

Filed under: Uncategorized by Randy Harris at 11:37 pm on May 20, 2010

18K GOLD NECKLACE sold for $1,875.00

BOSTON, MA - In the old days, when Massachusetts State government had items to auction off they would publish a public notice in several major newspapers and mail out a list to a few hundred in-the-know auction hounds, junk dealers, surplus buyers and collectors of all sorts of things.

The state would then take sealed bids for larger items, and arrange public auctions  where a real live auctioneer would call out, "Who'll give me $5.00?, ...$4.00? $3.00?" ...the bidding would start -- and then usually end just as quickly -- with many valuable items selling for pennies on the dollar.

Times have changed and now the State aims to get the most they can for each and every item.  To get the best price, the State now uses the auctioneer with the largest pool of potential bidders -- eBay.

MA State Treasurer Tim Cahill setup an eBay seller account, ("state.treasurer.cahill"), and there are currently about 400 auction lots listed in the account.  Cahill is running his "Abandoned Property eBay Auction Live" from April 24th through July 3rd, 2010. So far he's listed about 1000 lots, (approximately 600 of the auctions have already ended).


Gold Bracelet with 32 Charms Sold for $1,913.99

The majority of the items are better quality jewelry and U.S. coins -- items which usually attract a lot of eBay bidders.

A quick search of completed auctions shows some items have brought in close to $2000 each!

The two items that sold for the highest amounts (so far) were an 18K GOLD NECKLACE, (which sold for $1,875.00 on May 07, 2010 with 24 bids, eBay Item #160428804067), and a GOLD BRACELET WITH 32 CHARMS, (which sold for $1,913.99 on May 09, 2010 with 31 bids, eBay Item #160429095725).  Many others items have sold for as little as $1.00 went for even less.

One of the more interesting upcoming items is a lot of U.S. pennies and two-cent coins which date to the 1820's.  Bidding was already up to $197.50 with 16 bids already placed and 12 hours to go. The lot is eBay Item #160434654494, "US LARGE PENNIES, AN 1823 & 23 TWO CENT COINS", and will close on May 21, 2010 at approximately noon (EST).


US Large Pennies, an 1823 & 23 Two-cent coins

Most of the items appear to be listed as standard eBay 7-day auctions. At the time this article was written there were 400 items listed and schedule to end during the next week.

I noted that most items were listed around noon, (so those auction will end 7 days later at the same time of day).

On eBay buyers can leave feedback after purchasing an item, (positive, neutral or negative feedback).

Most buyers seem happy with the items they receive.

Of the 489 feedbacks Cahill has gotten in the past 12 month, only  (3) were negative feedback comments. One of those was later retracted by the buyer -- and the other two were both from the same buyer, someone with the eBay used ID: "bigbabette".

It appears bigbabette won two items then complained separately about both the SINGLE CULTURED PEARL BEAD for which she paid $3.25, and a lone BASE METAL EARRING for which she paid another $3.25 --- the wrote saying they were [both] damaged in shipping and looked smaller in real life than the photos online, excessive shipping costs, etc.


eBay Item #160428800962 - a PAIR OF PLASTIC ENAMEL EARRINGS, (Sold for $0.65 on May 07, 2010 with 3 bids)

I did note in bigbabette's profile where she mentions she, "lives with 17 cats and kittens found living in [her] hedges last year" statistics would prove that everyone who has won items in the MA State property eBay auctions over the past 12 months, (except those who live more than a dozen and half cats), are satisfied with what they get for their money.

Check the MA State Treasurer's auction listings at:


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