Archive for July, 2007

Welcome to InterSchola’s Blog!

July 23, 2007

Welcome to our InterSchola Blog.  Here, members of our organization will share information about how public school and local public agencies can maximize the value of their no longer needed surplus items – such as food service items, technology assets, vehicles, maintenance equipment, school supplies, classroom fixtures, sports equipment, musical instruments, shop equipment (woodshop and metal shop), portable classrooms, office equipment etc.

InterSchola is fast becoming the most sought-after provider of turn key services and solutions for buying and selling SURPLUS education property (durable goods) though our online marketplace for such products. In a nutshell, InterSchola is helping education institutions sell their surplus assets on eBay. We are seeing phenomenal results of auctions of surplus goods on behalf of these institutions and we have a great deal more demand to work with other education and non education institutions as well as buyers of all of our asset categories – technology, food service, vehicles, facilities and maintenance equipment, shop equipment, sports equipment etc.

As budget challenges and demographics cause significant shifts in the education landscape, it becomes increasingly important for school districts to keep a close eye on their budget resource allocations. Extracting extra dollars from no longer needed district assets through the public sale these assets is one way to supplement limited education budgets. The InterSchola marketplace further provides a means for local schools and districts to sell excess or idle equipment and supplies to other school districts nationwide that are forced to meet new and existing standards with limited increase in overall funding.

To date, InterSchola has returned almost over $1M to our school clients and helped them save countless more dollars that were previously spent on labor, storage and waste disposal costs thus allowing them to use this money to fund other education expenditures to improve the learning environment for K-12 students!

InterSchola understands that education and public agency personnel must focus on their respective core missions to provide public services to their constituencies. InterSchola relieves the burden of managing the disposal/sale of surplus assets for our clients in compliance with relevant regulations to enable our clients to focus on their primary day-to-day responsibilities while creating a valuable new source of revenue for these same clients.

InterSchola’s corporate mission as a full service provider of surplus asset management helps K-12 schools and districts realize the benefits of a more efficient educational inventory management/ procurement process, incorporating best practice business solutions through the creation of a secondary market for education assets. The creation of an effective secondary market will generate new K-12 school revenues.

Further social benefit will be gained through the reduction of premature disposal of assets. InterSchola’s eBay market solution as well as our scrap and recycling channels will extend the lifecycle of these assets and greatly reduce the volume of materials that have historically been sent to local landfill due to lack of existing resources to handle effective disposal by other means.

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Effective Surplus Disposal Eases San Jose USD’s Burden

July 20, 2007

Patrick Day, then the Director of Purchasing and Contract Management of San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD), faced a familiar problem for education institutions – surplus disposal. His district was paying too much money to have its surplus items taken to a local dump. For the remaining surplus equipment that did have value, such as pianos, food service equipment and swimming pool pumps, the district had no effective model to capture the remaining value in these items. As a result, surplus items were piling up in his warehouse. Moreover, Day knew that with a number of school closings pending, the surplus pile – and its associated problems – would soon be growing.

In March 2004, Day attended a presentation by InterSchola at the Santa Clara County Office of Education. InterSchola offered a full-service solution to help school districts dispose of surplus assets, using eBay – the world’s largest auction marketplace – as its primary sales channel. InterSchola understood that most school districts have neither the time nor the proper resources to effectively manage surplus asset sales. Moreover, InterSchola demonstrated how existing venues for surplus disposal did not maximize the value of school districts’ excess property. To Day InterSchola seemed the perfect fit for SJUSD’s surplus needs.

An InterSchola representative visits the SJUSD’s warehouse to perform a complete inventory of surplus items, at the district’s request. InterSchola evaluates assets for feasibility of sale, tests equipment, takes digital photographs and gathers item-specific details. After sending documentation to ensure that SJUSD posts necessary public notice in accordance with California Education Code, InterSchola lists the items for public bid on eBay. Upon auction close, InterSchola collects payment from buyers and returns to the district to package and ship sold items or meet buyers for local pickup.

InterSchola’s services have become an essential part of SJUSD’s warehouse operations. In any given month, InterSchola may work with items from the district’s Transportation Department, Food Service Department, and/or the Buildings and Ground Department. A sample of items sold through InterSchola include 34 upright pianos, multiple pallets of salt (formerly used as water softener in the district), and a large quantity of kitchen equipment declared surplus when the district centralized its food service operations. “Our work with InterSchola started out as a new venture,” says Kelly Cefalu, SJUSD Supervisor of Operations and Warehouse, “and now it is a well-oiled machine.”

In two years, InterSchola has sold over $100,000 worth of surplus items on behalf of SJUSD. “InterSchola’s services have freed up my district staff to focus on more pressing items”, says Day, now SJUSD’s Director of Maintenance/Operations/Purchasing/Contract Management. “We don’t want to be experts at selling stuff. We want to be experts at educating kids, and InterSchola allows us to focus on the bigger picture.”

Letter from the President – June 2007

July 7, 2007

June 16, 2007

Greetings from the floor of eBay Live, eBay’s annual user conference in Boston Massachusetts.  Several members of the InterSchola team were in Boston June 14-16th to share stories with eBay executives and eBay community members about InterSchola and to gain valuable strategies and selling tips from 3 days of live seminars taught by eBay staff.  We got a lot of great information to share with our buyers and sellers to further improve our selling results and our client and customer experience.  

 I wanted to share a few of the highlights from our eBay Live experience with you, our clients.The business and industrial, technology and vehicles (eBay motors) categories on eBay are seeing tremendous growth in terms of both supply AND demand on eBay.  These categories include many of the asset categories that InterSchola sells on behalf of our clients (maintenance and operations equipment, buildings and grounds equipment, food service equipment, facilities supplies, office equipment, technology, maintenance vehicles, buses and passenger vehicles). 

These trends bode very well for InterSchola clients that have these items to sell. There was significant discussion regarding listing strategies, start prices and eBay psychology.  Economists and psychologists agree that the strategy of setting low opening prices to spur interest is a significant factor in increasing sell through rates and final values in the online auction environment.  InterSchola has certainly seen the benefits of listing strategies using lower start prices and we encourage our clients to allow InterSchola to use these strategies to the fullest! 

InterSchola received strong accolades regarding our success to date as an eBay Top Seller (top .001% of the eBay seller community.)  We also received great praise regarding our positive feedback rating, our high average selling prices and our stellar average sell through rates (>70% on eBay)! 

My colleagues and I had ample opportunity to meet with senior executives of the eBay community during the 3 day conference to share information about our unique model of working with schools and other local government agencies.  There is tremendous support and praise for the work we are doing to help schools convert idle assets into much needed cash.  We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with eBay to the benefit of our clients!

Melissa Rich