MoD takes eBay approach to selling surplus goods

19 Feb, 2007

Ministry of Defence launches online auction site to dispose of excess equipment, including military uniforms, vehicles and tents.

Forget skulking on eBay for an authentic fancy dress costume or, say, a fire truck, now collectors and penny-pinchers can buy straight from the source - the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD has launched a public online auction site via its Disposal Sales Agency (DSA) to sell-off surplus government equipment, including military uniforms, tents, and vehicles to groups as varied as collectors, scout groups and scrap metal merchants.

Currently on the site, the MoD is selling off assault boots for £30, an armoured Discovery people carrier for £9,500, various aircraft, the RMAS Fiona, a 22-metre ship, for £70,000 and an amphibious load carrier for £175,000 (pictured).

It's hoped that the auctions will return more money to taxpayers by removing the need for a middleman, reducing disposal costs and ensuring the best possible prices.

"The DSA recognises that with more and more transactions being carried out online, we must adapt our approach in order to maximise the return to the Ministry of Defence and to the taxpayer," said DSA spokesman Les Taylor.

The DSA has raised £700m since its inception in 1994 by selling surplus equipment, including warships, aircraft and fire engines. However, no weapons or ammunition will be sold online, and some items will be limited to registered users.

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