Where you can save big money on cars, trucks, boats, gifts in Central Florida

Government putting surplus items up for auction

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – If you are looking for a discount car, truck, sunglasses or even office equipment there is one place to find it all.

A quick look at the George Gideon Auctioneers website reveals many of the local governments in Central Florida use them to sell their surplus items.

Right now a 2012 Dodge Charger from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is going for $1,025, a kayak from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is going for $3, Seminole County Public Schools is offering several school buses that have not been bid on yet.

Volusia County is selling a 2018 ambulance. The current bid is $1,000.

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Pam Wilsky is the Purchasing and Contracts Director with Volusia County. She joined Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on Florida’s Fourth Estate to talk more about how the surplus program works.

She said the items people buy from the county through the auctioneer website may have a few miles on them but are well maintained.

“We try very hard with this program to keep the lifecycle good so that what we are sending still has residual value when we get ready to send it to auction, so it’s not broken down, it’s not beat up,” Wilsky said. “It’s not to say that there will not be some things wrong with it, but everything within the county is maintained on a regular basis, so it probably is a good value as far as a vehicle to somebody.”

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She said there have been some interesting finds at the auction and that the county once re-sold a mosquito control helicopter.

“They actually had one that for whatever reason had been disassembled and they wanted to sell it. The appraised value was $350,000,” Wilsky said.

She said a firm in Montana sent a truck to pick it up and used it to fight wildfires out west.

Austin said he also noticed some drones on the auctioneer’s website going for as low as $27 after Gov. Ron DeSantis made it illegal for counties to use ones from China.

Wilsky said Volusia County dealt with the situation differently, but “a lot of law enforcement and things like that had a lot of these and it was a big impact so I’m not surprised you saw them.”

Aside from providing a savings opportunity for customers, Wilsky said putting surplus items up for auction also helps the county’s bottom line.

She said last year the program brought in about $1.7 million in revenue.

Learn more about the program and how you can score some good deals by checking out Florida’s Fourth Estate. You can download the podcast from wherever you listen to podcasts or watch it anytime on News 6+.

You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below:

About the Authors:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 3:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

Emmy Award-winning anchor Matt Austin joined the News 6 team in June 2011 and has been the evening news co-anchor since December 2013.