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University News

Web Sites Offer Goods and Services

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BY PAMELA MCLAREN
From Dateline (August 19, 2004)

Cal State Fullerton is more than a marketplace of ideas – now there are goods and services too.

There are two new ways to purchase items online. For campus members seeking or offering recommendations on services, or trying to sell or purchase items such as a used desk lamp or a second-hand book, there’s CSUF Marketplace – located at http://mtweb.fullerton.edu/csufmarketplace.

For departments and indi-viduals who wish to purchase a piece of surplus state property, there’s Physical Plant’s new surplus sales site at http://pp.fullerton.edu – where items are auctioned on eBay.

CSUF Marketplace came to fruition through the efforts of Rahul Bhaskar, associate professor of information systems and decision sciences, based on a proposal by Barry Pasternack, chair and professor of information systems and decision sciences. The coding and design came from three graduate students under Bhaskar’s direction: Hao Lu, Sarpay Oner and Scott Graves.

“This has been a goal for our department – a way to display the work of our students,” notes Bhaskar. “It’s just like the classified section in the local newspaper, only free. And it’s to a select audience – only people on campus.”

The process, says Bhaskar, is simple: first-time users – either buyers or sellers – register to use the site; then they can enter the site and search for an item, read recommendations on services, or post something for sale. Items are usually posted for up to 14 days, but if the seller wishes, merchandise can remain on the Web site for up to two months, he adds. People interested in purchasing something can e-mail the seller and the transaction occurs between the two individuals.

“This is truly a service to the campus community,” says Bhaskar. “It’s a way for faculty, staff, students and alumni to reach like-minded individuals – to share knowledge in the types and quality of services available in the local area or to sell or purchase an item.”

The university’s Assets Management Office has sold surplus state property for years – usually through annual bid-sales, but that meant storing items in the corporate yard, notes Terry Jarmon, manager of asset management.

“In addition to creating a need for lots of storage space and extra work hours to cover the annual sale, some items were damaged, thereby reducing their value,” Jarmon says. “EBay sales occur on an ongoing basis and interested individuals can shop from their desktop computer, rather than trekking out to the corporate yard. We also reach a much broader audience – people from across the country can purchase items via eBay.”

Department officials who spot something on the Web site that can be used on campus, may simply contact the Assets Management Office. Individuals seeking items for personal use, can take part in the eBay auction process. Information regarding how to get on and make the purchases can be found on the Web site.


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