Philadelphia going in reverse to save money with bidding


The city of Philadelphia is moving toward a different type of auction to cut supply costs. 

It’s called a reverse auction and Philadelphia Chief Administrative Officer Rebecca Rhynhart said it could save Philadelphia millions of dollars.

“A reverse auction is the opposite of a site like eBay,” Rhynhart said. “A reverse auction involves one buyer, which is the city, and multiple sellers, and the sellers compete with one another for the lowest price.”

The city is working to find a provider in order to run the reverse auctions for many different commodities, she said.

“For purchasing pencils or paint or food supplies for the prison, anything that is actually a material is something we could successfully use this service to do,” she continued.

The reverse auctions could begin as soon as June.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal