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Unclaimed Property Auction Underway

Bids will be accepted online through Dec. 11.

The Illinois treasurer’s online unclaimed property auction began Dec. 5 and runs through 6 p.m. Dec. 11.

“We are auctioning off 15,256 pieces of unclaimed property in the Illinois treasurer’s online unclaimed property auction because the rightful owners have not come forward to claim the items in more than five years,” State Treasurer Dan Rutherford said in a prepared statement. “We have a wide variety of interesting items to sell in this auction. You’ll find anything from coins and antique jewelry to old baseball cards—there’s something that appeals to everyone.”

All items for sale have been appraised by an outside vendor. The sale price of each lot must reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value. All of the sales proceeds will be held for the rightful owners.

Buyers are responsible for purchasing their auction winnings with a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. In instances of high-dollar sales that exceed credit card limits, the treasurer’s office may elect to accept money orders or cashier’s checks; however, arrangements must be approved in advance and made prior to the close of five government working days from the date of the award.  In addition, a 2 percent administrative fee will be assessed on all auction sales. Buyers are also required to pay for shipping through the preferred list of shippers.

Rutherford is conducting the auction online because it’s more cost effective than having a live, in-person auction.  

“Using this process will cut auction costs significantly,” he said. Under the previously used eBay auction system, it cost the treasurer’s office approximately $29,000 to sell a similarly appraised amount of unclaimed property. Under Rutherford's online auction system, only $2,000 will be used for the new iBid program to sell approximately $125,000 worth of items. 

“We expect the total savings of this auction to be around $27,000,” Rutherford said. In addition, Rutherford said using this online auction requires less time and attention from salaried employees, plus no physical space, hardware or security expenses.

To participate in the auction, visit www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the link to the auction. One must register to become an active bidder. For more information, call the treasurer’s office at 217-785-6998.

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