The state is trying the Internet e-Bay auction site to try and unload some of its surplus items like printer toner. Clint Schmidt of Iowa Prison Industries is looking to sell the toner and he says previous regulations kept him from making the surplus available to the public.

Schmidt says the law only allowed him to sell to qualified customers of I-P-I, such as governments, non-profit groups and schools. He says a change allows him to look for the best ways to sell items and save taxpayers money. Schmidt says the law changed two years ago to allow him to sell to the public. Schmidt says it’s too early to tell how effective the internet is in selling the surplus.

Schmidt says they just started selling a couple of weeks ago, and so far things have been slow. The state is selling the toner on e-Bay for $11.95 a carton. The idea of selling state surplus on the internet site isn’t new. Washington State has used e-Bay to sell items such as boats that were used on Puget Sound.