"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.
U R G E N T Be sure that you have read and understand all rules regarding shipping and handling PRIOR to placing a single bid. See shipping table below! TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE - Please Read! **Auctioneer has final discretion on sale of an item. His word is final.** PLEASE READ - PRIOR TO BIDDING, BE SURE THAT YOU ARE READY, WILLING & ABLE TO PAY FOR ALL ITEMS THAT YOU BID ON. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT ANY ITEM, CONTACT US PRIOR TO BIDDING. IF YOU ARE STILL UNSURE, HAVE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE ENJOY THE AUCTION BUT DO NOT BID! All items must be paid for within (5) working days by the respective purchaser. All items will be shipped within 7 days or receiving payment. We will accept most major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard & American Express, as well as certified check/money orders and personal checks. We no longer accept PayPal payments, but we do use Intuit Merchant Services for safe and reliable credit card transactions. Please remember that in addition to the cost of the item, you will have to pay a buyer's premium, shipping charges, and if you live in CA - 9.25% Sales Tax. We will email you an invoice upon completion of live auction. Payment details and corresponding contact information will be provided. Once paid in full, winning item will be shipped to its winning bidder with insurance and delivery confirmation. SHIPPING TABLE SHIPPING & HANDLING TABLE - Shipping Prices are for both Shipping and Handling. Shipping prices are not indicative of actual shipping costs. Small items, Cards, Coins, Jewelry, $12.95 each item, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Baseballs, Mini Helmets, Loose items - $36.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Full Sized Helmets, Footballs, Basketballs, Baseball Bats, Shoes, Boxing Gloves etc. - $64.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Small Framed Items (12"x12") - $44.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Medium Framed Items (30"x30") - $64.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Large Framed Items (50"x50") - $84.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Over-sized Framed Items - $116.00, will not combine purchases to save on shipping. Will Call of items is not allowed. Coming to our offices to view items is also not allowed. ***INSURANCE INCLUDED IN ABOVE PRICES*** ***IMPORTANT*** BECAUSE INSURANCE IS INCLUDED; YOU MAY NOT BUNDLE ITEMS TOGETHER AND COMBINE SHIPPING COSTS FOR MULTIPLE PURCHASES!! If item is over $500.00, please add $0.50 for each $100 of your winning bid. - Should expedited shipping be requested, additional fees will apply. - We reserve the right to adjust shipping charges. - Additional fees apply when shipping Internationally. - All items are shipped insured. Please be sure that you understand our shipping policies prior to bidding. If you are unclear, please contact us at questions@seizedassetsauctioneers.com for clarification. If you are still unsure, please enjoy the auction however, please do not bid.

As the action at public auctions has grown hotter, the cars have grown shadier. "I've personally seen cars with over 300,000 miles on their clocks rolled back to 120,000 and sold as 'Miles Exempt' meaning no guarantee of mileage," he says. "Most of the cars at a public auction are the worst trade-ins or very rough repos." And as in a government auction, you can't drive a public auction vehicle before you bid on it.
The majority of the vehicles found at local auctions will need some work done to them in order to be deemed “road-worthy.” Knowing this before you ever set foot on the grounds is a major part of deciding if this is the right way for you to source an automobile. A low bid on a crappy car has the potential to leave you stranded on the side of the road, so if you aren’t a savvy DIY wrencher, you’d better have one hell of a trustworthy mechanic.
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Visit websites of government agencies that hold public auctions. At the federal level, you can find auctions online or listings for live auctions held across the country by visiting the GovSales.gov website. GovSales.gov has consolidated listings of assets for sale across the federal government. A variety of state and local government agencies also hold public surplus property auctions. Links to many local government auction sites are listed at USA.gov, under Shopping.
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The government and local law enforcement agencies will seize all forms of real estate. Houses, undeveloped land, businesses, commercial property can all find its way to government seizure auctions. And much like other property it can be had for well below market value. When real estate or house is seized everything inside the building and everything it contains has to be dealt with as well. This can be another great way to furnish your home for a lot less than the retail price. Plasma TVs, Xbox's, Wii, Playstations, stereo equipment, couches, dining room sets, and just about any other household item you can think can be purchased at big discounts like art work, antiques, jewelry, and designer clothing. There is no shortage of stuff to bid on at an auction. People who run afoul of the government soon find all their stuff being auctioned off at the seized auctions events, including the clothes off their backs. It is the government's way of recouping money that otherwise would fall on the taxpaying public.
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There are a few simple, but necessary, steps to take for anyone interested in purchasing a vehicle through a local public car auction. It is important to know that most auto auctions required registration and corresponding fees. It is usually not free to attend a public car sale. This is to thwart people with non-serious inquiries. Once you have determined where to register, be sure to read the guidelines if it comes with any. Some auctions have their own unique set of instructions to follow.
Ideally, go to one or two auctions just to get a feel for how the bidding goes. Usually they'll start off with a fairly high number stated by the auctioneer. Do not jump in then. In my case, nobody was putting out the first bid for a couple of minutes — which felt like hours — and the auctioneer finally asked for a starting bid. I put out $5,000 to start. In hindsight, I wish I hadn't because it seems like the first one to open their mouths always loses. But if there's no starting bid, the auctioneer will let the vehicle go without bidding since they're moving through these vehicles at a rate of about 15 per hour. I didn't want to lose this baby.
Removal of all items shall be the sole responsibility of the purchaser. Loading assistance is provided as a courtesy; however, purchaser assumes all risk and responsibility for loading and removal of purchases. Auctioneer reserves the right to require proof of adequate insurance coverage from any purchaser items requiring dismantling, rigging or hot cutting. Purchaser agrees to indemnify and save harmless both, consignor and Auctioneer, its officers, directors, employees, agents, and attorneys against any damage caused by the acts of purchaser. All items must be removed from the auction facility within 2 days after the auction date. If for any reason purchaser fails to remove any purchase within the time specified, the purchase shall be deemed abandoned, and Auctioneer at its sole discretion may resell the items. Purchaser shall be liable for any rent incurred or damages suffered by Auctioneer because of purchaser’s failure to remove any item. Failure to remove items will result in a rental / storage fee of not less than $25 per item per day.
Check out the vehicles at the auction house. There should be a pre-viewing session for the auction the day before. At the pre-viewing, you can start the vehicle but you can't test drive it. (Although my son did accidentally put a car in drive and move it a few inches. He was so embarrassed, he thought they were going to kick him out.) Do all the things you ordinarily would when buying a used car: check underneath for fluid spills, pop the hood, bring a friend that knows more about cars than you do.
The majority of the vehicles found at local auctions will need some work done to them in order to be deemed “road-worthy.” Knowing this before you ever set foot on the grounds is a major part of deciding if this is the right way for you to source an automobile. A low bid on a crappy car has the potential to leave you stranded on the side of the road, so if you aren’t a savvy DIY wrencher, you’d better have one hell of a trustworthy mechanic.
If you are in the market for a replacement vehicle, consider a local public car auction. Auto auctions are especially great for people on a budget because vehicles can run up to ninety percent less than where their market values are listed. Public car auctions are great resources for car buyers on a budget, but first timers should educate themselves. Catch up on how to take advantage of public car auctions if you are unfamiliar with the industry and its process.
People were on their cellphones taking bids from afar, others were desperately eyeing the cars to see if the panels and bumper covers were in decent enough shape to make some cash at the current bidding price. Though there were only a handful of folks at this little auction, the dynamic—the subtle things people did to make sure they made a sound buying decision—was enthralling.
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.

www.clintonautoauction.comCLINTON AUTO AUCTION CONDUCTS AUCTIONS 1st, 3rd, and 5th (if there is a 5th Saturday) SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH. THESE AUCTIONS CONSIST OF IL STATE POLICE DRUG SEIZED VEHICLES, REPOSSESSED VEHICLES AND PUBLIC AND DEALER CONSIGNMENTS. CLINTON AUTO AUCTION IS PURELY A CONSIGNMENT AUCTION WITH VEHICLES IN ALL PRICE RANGES. USUALLY CONSIGNMENT VARIES BETWEEN 150-250   [ View Full Listing ]
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U.S. Marshal's Service Auctions : And finally, the U.S. Marshal's service auctions off some true bling as part of its mission to "combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises" and "depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity." Once again, there is real estate, but also businesses, cash cars, collectibles — and more.
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