California “eBaying” unclaimed property

California “eBaying” unclaimed property
You gotta love it. The state of California, whose controller, Steve Westly, used to be an eBay vice president, is auctioning off unclaimed property on eBay. Brilliant! According to an article in, there are currently 15 items up for bid, including a Dale Evans wristwatch (it doesn’t work) and a watch with ten cut diamonds (bidding begins at $275).

Under state law, institutions must hand over to the state controller property stored in deposit boxes whose owners have not paid their fees for at least three years. In recent years, the controller has auctioned off Cartier jewelry and art deco paintings, fetching tens of thousands of dollars at traditional, offline auctions.
The state can’t actually use the money it gets from these sales. It goes into a trust account that’s held for the owners to eventually claim. Westly proposed the idea, because it’s cheaper to auction the items online than using traditional auctions.

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