District's old items auctioned
A local school district is cashing in on a popular Internet auction site. For the past few months, the Ada-Borup (Minn.) School District has been selling its old band equipment on eBay. So far, the band department has made $8,000, which has gone ...
A local school district is cashing in on a popular Internet auction site.
For the past few months, the Ada-Borup (Minn.) School District has been selling its old band equipment on eBay. So far, the band department has made $8,000, which has gone toward such things as a new drum set, a camcorder for the band and sound equipment.
"I've been revamping some of my concert band stuff that I probably wouldn't be able to do in a normal year, so it's been really incredible," said Richard Tuttle, Ada-Borup band director. "After a while, I just started looking for stuff."
The school makes hundreds of dollars on broken, decrepit instruments. An old tuba that was missing parts sold for $200. A bass violin - in pieces - went for $400.
"These old instruments, you can't get a dime for them when you trade them in for new instruments," said Ada-Borup Superintendent Ollen Church.
The supplies have been sent all over the world, Tuttle said. Some became decorations. Others turned out to be vintage collectors' items.
"We've just had a lot of fun with it," Tuttle said. "I've become an eBay junkie watching the bids."
As of Friday afternoon, with one day of bidding left, a repairable glockenspiel was going for $2, eight people had bid a torn vinyl sousaphone case up to $23.04, but after seven days on the virtual auction block there were still no bids on an unknown percussion stand.
The band director turns the equipment over to Ada eBay consignment company 315 West Main LLC, which takes a percentage of the profit based on the sale.
Bob Blair, who owns the company with Richard Gill, said he has been more than a little surprised by how well the old equipment has sold.
"We were shocked, actually," he said. "We knew some of them were decent and they'd sell for good money, and then there's some things we thought, kind of laughingly, that they wouldn't even get a bid and all of a sudden they sold for three-, four-, five-hundred dollars, so, there's a real market out there."
Selling old equipment on eBay is not something many school districts are doing. But the idea has been so successful in Ada-Borup, the superintendent wants to see if other discarded supplies can turn a profit.
"In the past, where we've just had a local auction to get rid of this stuff, you basically give it away," Church said. "Now with these eBay sales, we might make some good money."
The School District plans to clear out its storage bin this May and sell stuff like old desks and shelves on eBay.
"We've kind of got eBay fever now," Tuttle said.
"There's potential at any school that has excess stuff lying around," Blair said. "They might as well capitalize on it."
- View band director Richard Tuttle's web site at: ada.k12.mn.us/ High%20School%20Websites/RichardT/index.htm
- For a list of items for sale by 315 West Main LLC, go to: search.ebay.com /W0QQfsooZ1QQfsopZ1QQsassZ315westmainllcQQsbrsrtZl
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