Pelham see unusual success with online auction

Published 2:25 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2019


The city of Pelham sold a tractor/trailer generator originally purchased several years ago for backup power at the Pelham Sewer Plant but was never used. Easily surpassing the reserve price of $40,000, the generator sold at online auction for $170,000.

The city had invested less than $50,000 in the generator.

“It’s pretty unusual for a municipality to profit on used equipment,” says auctioneer/project manager Andrew Pearce of Alabaster-based Pearce and Associates. “We had registered bidders from multiple states and foreign countries including several other United States municipalities bidding in the auction.”

City officials attribute much of their success with selling surplus equipment and vehicles during the past six years to their decision to transition from in-house auctions to contracting with Pearce and Associates.

“For a number of years, the city of Pelham conducted its own local auctions. This proved to be very labor intensive with disappointing auction results,” said City Clerk and Treasurer Tom Seale. “Now it’s not uncommon to see bids three to four times higher because of the national exposure of the equipment auctions through Pearce and Associates.”

Pearce and Associates is a MarkNet Alliance-affiliated auction firm that conducts liquidations of assets nationwide. They have been conducting auctions for more than 35 years. Their clients include many cities and government agencies, including United States Bankruptcy Courts, Alabama Power Company, KBR International Construction Company, SPIRE, banks, small business owners and individuals.

Pearce and Associates conducts thousands of online auctions each year, selling a wide variety of assets including land, homes, farms, vehicles, equipment, business assets and estates. MarkNet Alliance is a national auction franchise with more than 60 auction companies located throughout the United States.