Business owner giving back to schools

San Francisco small-business owner Melissa Rich has donated over $4 million back to Bay Area schools through her business Interschola.

What does Interschola do? It’s a service to school districts and other public entities that helps them manage and sell their surplus goods. We manage, research and post eBay listings.

Why list them on eBay? School districts and public agencies have a requirement that any item they are turning over has to be sold at public auction. EBay is the perfect forum, as it’s the world’s largest public auction.

What are your most common items for sale? We sell school furniture, student desks and chairs. We also sell a lot of food-service items such as Hobart mixers, vending machines, stoves and ovens. These items sell very, very well.

How many school districts or public entities have you helped?
We’ve sold about 20,000 items since we started. We help school districts all over the Bay Area, including San Francisco Unified School District. We also help school districts throughout California, Pennsylvania and now Florida.

How much money have you given back through these sales? [About] $4 million, but we think that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It saves districts on labor and storage costs and even disposal costs. We find buyers to pay them and it comes with the privilege of the buyer coming to take it away.

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