State’s Unclaimed Property Auction nets $146,522 with nearly 99 percent success rate

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (R) has announced the success of the Illinois Treasurer’s Online Unclaimed Property Auction, which ran Sept. 17-21.

This auction listed 12,116 pieces of unclaimed property and sold 12,045 of the items for a nearly 99 percent success rate,” Rutherford said. “I am also pleased to note that we had more than 323,000 page views and more than 93,000 unique users explore our auction.”

The treasurer’s office hosts 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.

We sold a wide variety of interesting items in this auction, with total sales at $146,522, well above the nearly $112,000 appraisal value,” Rutherford said. “The items ranged from a diamond ring to 24-carat gold butterfly pin to a 1934 $500 bill.”

All items sold in the auction were appraised by an outside vendor. The sale price of each lot was required to reach at least 75 percent of the appraised value.

Rutherford chose to conduct this unclaimed property auction online because it was more cost effective than having a live, in-person auction.

Using this process cuts auction costs significantly,” Rutherford 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 was used for the new iBid program to sell auction items.

In addition, Rutherford said using the online auction required less time and attention from salaried employees, plus no physical space, hardware or security expenses.

The next online auction hosted by the Illinois State Treasurer will be Nov. 26-30. To learn more about the Unclaimed Property Division, visit For questions, contact the treasurer’s office at (217) 785-6998.

Posted Oct. 16, 2012

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