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"Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Auctions Surplus Goods Online"


 
Friday, April 16, 2004

Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Auctions Surplus Goods Online
The Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram


Computer-savvy bidders in search of first-class bargains are gobbling up
auction items considered secondhand scrap at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

More than 7,300 people from around the world have placed bids in the
online sale, which ends at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The time-worn treasures include pickups, giant lawn mowers and computers
considered outdated even though they're just a few years old.

Also on display are hundreds of smaller items unclaimed from
lost-and-found -- compact disc players, snowboards and a gently used
Britney Spears poster.

Interest in the auction has clogged the computers at McKinney-based Rene
Bates Auctioneers. More than 1.5 million people have visited the site in
the past 30 days, some from as far away as Argentina and the Ukraine.

Even the U.S. military has put in bids.

"We are astounded at the level of response we have received," said John
Wesley White, D/FW vice president of procurement.

He expects the bidding to be fierce in the final days.

"We can't explain the fascination other than the site is like eBay,
which gets a lot of play these days," White said. "It's like reality TV.
People get excited."

By law, D/FW Airport can't donate old stuff. The auction was a way to
generate a little money, instead of hauling the goods to the scrap yard.
So far, $220,000 has been pledged.

"This is a smart way for D/FW to reduce its surplus and produce
additional non-airline revenue," said Kevin Cox, D/FW chief operating
officer.

White says he hopes charitable groups find deals -- perhaps a set of
four used car seats for $40.

SEEING BEFORE BIDDING 

Here's a tip for bidders in search of an edge: Auction items may be
viewed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at D/FW's salvage yard, 2400 E.
Airfield Drive. Kick the tires on those baggage carts before making an
offer.

ONLINE: To reach the auction, visit www.renebates.com. For more
information, visit www.dfwairport.com or call (972) 574-3310.


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