The buyer’s bonus at Loudoun County’s ‘scratch and dent’ sale? Protecting the environment

Gently used items being offered at auction by Loudoun County, Virginia, include office chairs, desks, sofas, tables, computers and printers — there’s even a workout machine.

“The beauty of it is, we’re done with the product and it’s a scratch and dent sale; if they’re willing to take that — then they can turn it into something useful,” said Ernie Brown, director of Loudoun County’s Department of General Services.

The county holds surplus auctions to avoid throwing still-usable items into the landfill.

“Our landfill is recognized as a landfill of environmental excellence,” Brown said. “From our perspective, it’s a stewardship of the public resource, the public trust.”

Some examples of what’s for sale: The opening bid for a fire extinguisher, $1. A couch, $1. A children’s wooden coat locker, $1. An early bid on a Jacobs ladder exercise machine was $158.05 – while a quick internet search found the item new in the $3,000 range.

You can see all the items for sale on the auction website.

The county adds a 9.75% “buyer’s premium” to all purchases.

You don’t need to fill out anything to browse available items, but you do need to register to place bids. Once you’re registered, you can bid in surplus auctions held elsewhere, such as in Fairfax or Prince William Counties or in Maryland.

The auction closes Dec. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

Top bidders will need to wear a mask and practice social distancing when picking up items at 14 Cardinal Park Drive, Suite 106, in Leesburg. The same applies for folks attending scheduled previews of items.

The dates for items to be picked up are noted on each listing. Appointments must be scheduled and are available 9 a.m. to noon, or 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Loudoun County’s website has more information about the auction.

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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