Ever wonder how you can get your hands on something the government doesn't want anymore? Municibid is your best bet. This is an auction website for government agencies, schools, authorities, and utilities to sell their surplus and forfeitures directly to the public. Auction items include cars, boats, furniture, computers, kitchen equipment, and much more.
As you browse the government auction sites above, you'll notice some link you to additional sites run by private contractors. These contractors have legitimate relationships with the government, but bidder beware: other private companies will try to make their auctions seem like government auctions as a marketing ploy. Always start with the legitimate links provided by the government itself. Good luck!
Always take a photo of the vehicle identification number (VIN) toward the base of the windshield on cars you want to bid on at auctions. After that, walk around and check places like door jams, under the hood, and inside trunk lids, where stickers with this number may also appear. If the numbers don’t match up, or are missing entirely it’s best to move on, because there’s probably a really bad reason why it’s like that.
In economics we tend to think of auctions as a good way to get at the true price of an object. Of course, it isn’t quite perfect as there’s still problems with information asymmetries, and people can get a winner’s curse because the people who err in thinking the car is worth more than it actually is are the ones who are likely to win. On the other hand, the price can go lower if there just aren’t enough people at the auction for that to happen– you need at least two people over-valuing the object and willing to pay for it for one of them to over-pay.
Remember, you aren’t allowed to drive these vehicles, but you are granted access to them prior to the auction, and getting up close can reveal all kinds of hidden maladies. Look for things like paint overspray, uneven sheet metal, compromised suspension components, undercarriage rust, and anything else that looks out of place. Interior aroma is another major thing to watch out for, so be wary of things like gasoline aromas and mildew, because even though they may dissipate eventually, there’s a strong chance they represent a much larger issue.
Almost every day law enforcement agencies from all across the country seize a wide range of properties that are connected to criminal activities. After the property has been used as evidence for the criminal trial and has been processed, the government will no longer need to hold this property, those properties are auctioned off to raise the money for administrative works and development. Seized auction are also resulted due to custom seizures, tax seizures and criminal seizures. For instance, when a trafficker's or drug dealer's home is raided by the government authorities, their possessions are confiscated as a result of being obtained from illegal activities. When a person doesn't pay tax as well, his/her possessions such as real estate, jewelry and cars are also confiscated and they are auctioned off to meet the outstanding tax liability. Similarly people who smuggle into the country without paying any kind of import duty or the items people are failed to prove as theirs when returned from foreign countries are also seized by the government and placed in the auctions.
Any dispute arising as to any bidding shall be settled by Auctioneer at his sole discretion, and Auctioneer may put the lot in dispute up for sale again. Auctioneer reserves the right to refuse any bid, which it considers to be an insignificant advance over the preceding bid. No person shall bid on any lot of which he is the Consignor, agent, associate, or on behalf of the Consignor.
"At a government auction it's, say, a county that has 30 or 40 police cruisers it needs to get rid of. And they want to sell all of it," Lang says. "All the vehicles have known histories—how they were maintained, used and fixed, and their mileage is virtually always honest. You'll know what you're getting." Still, you don't get to drive a car before you bid on it. So you'd better have a sharp eye. Make that a sharp, trained, cynical, wary, pessimistic and rabidly suspicious eye.
First, read the property information and Terms of Sale on the website for the specific property you are interested in. Attend a scheduled open house. Register to bid at the auction location the day of sale during the registration period. You must bring a valid government issued photo ID and the required cashier’s check deposit to register. A bidder number will be issued upon completion of registration. Click here to view the bidder registration form. This form can be printed out and completed prior to the auction. You do not need to mail or fax the completed form, just bring it to the auction to register. Forms will also be available at the auction. You should read and understand the Terms of Sale before you bid. Sales personnel at the auction site can answer any questions you may have.
Lot: 1 - ST. LOUIS CARDINALS MULTI-SIGNED HALL OF FAMERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS MULTI-SIGNED HALL OF FAMERS HOME PLATE WITH PITCHING RUBBER Home plate signed by 7 St. Louis Cardinal HOFers including Jack Buck ('87), Stan Musial ('69), Bob Gibson ('81), Enos Slaughter ('85), Lou Brock ('85), Red Schoendienst Lot: 2 - CHRIS CARPENTER ST. LOUIS CARDINALS SIGNED 2006 CHRIS CARPENTER ST. [ View Full Listing ]
A well-maintained car will always have a clean dipstick when you check the oil or transmission fluid, so if it’s anything other than light and transparent, be careful. Also be sure to inspect the coolant overflow tank and shine a flashlight inside the radiator. If it looks like someone accidentally dumped chocolate milk in there it’s time to walk away, because that’s the sign of a blown head gasket.
"There are two types of public auctions," explains Steven Lang, who runs a used car dealership in the Atlanta area and once owned a dealer auction (not open to the public). "There are government auctions and there are public auctions." Both are full of potential pitfalls. Here's a quick rundown on both and 10 tips for getting the most out of either. That is, if you dare to venture into the auction pit.