Reverse auctions are becoming popular among government agencies wanting to drive down prices on products including technology and pens and pencils, according to Federal Times.
FedBid, a Vienna, Va.-based company, offers an eBay-style bidding process for contractors hoping to provide goods to various agencies.
In these auctions, the lowest bid wins.
Agencies are not required to pick the lowest bidder and some consider factors other than price, Steve Kelman, a former federal procurement official and FedBid board member, told reporter Sarah Chacko.
FedBid saw $1.4 billion in sales on its site last year, nearly double the amount spent there in 2007.
The Army, FBI, Navy and the departments of Homeland Security and State all use FedBid, according to the report.
FedBid reverse auctions on average saved 13.5 percent of what products and services would have cost through open competition and 12 percent of what agencies would have spent had they used the federal supply schedule, Chacko reported.