Most people wouldn’t look at local government agencies and see big cash, but that’s exactly what Greg Berry, founder and CEO of Municibid
, has done. While serving on the Pottstown council, the former CEO of Jonestown-based PointSolve
discovered municipalities were losing considerable money by putting their out-of-use items up for "sealed bid." His online competitive bidding platform currently serves 800 government agencies across the country; its annual merchandizing value is growing 300 percent every year. He's looking to hire experienced sales reps to approach a largely untapped market of 90,000 agencies selling $2.5 billion of merchandise annually.
"[Pottstown council] would sell an old police car worth $3,000 for about $300, then we struggled to come up with $1000 to pay for something else," says Berry. "Very few people knew the items were for sale. This same problem was, and still is, affecting tens of thousands of local government agencies."
When Municibid customers trade their classified ads for online bidding, they recover considerable money on valuable items, including police vans, tractors, walky-talkies, cafeteria tables, plate makers and traffic signal heads—even a plane recovered from a drug trafficking operation. The small town of Mansfield, Maine exceeded expectations for their annual auction
by $85,000. Baton-Rouge, Louisiana made $125,000
in their first round. Municibid has been reeling in an average of 25 new clients per month and Berry believes they’ll reach 5,000 clients in five years.
"Bidding used to be limited to those in the know," says Berry. "Now, more and more, we’re seeing parents buying cars for their teenagers through Municibid. We have found a way to better engage the general public."
Greg Berry, Municibid
For more of Greater Philadelphia's latest and greatest, sign up here to receive Flying Kite in your inbox for free every week.