PropertyRoom.com works with police departments across the country to auction off the items they have seized or recovered. All of the items are examined by experts and anything that is fake is destroyed. PropertyRoom.com gives a portion of the proceeds from the auction back to the police department's local community. Many of the items on the site start at $1 with no reserve.
You could tell that most people knew each other. It felt like these few dozen bidders were part of an exclusive network of junkyard owners and flip-artists who have been bidding on cars against each other for years. Every now and then, when one guy outbid another, you’d see the losing bidder lean over to a friend and talk shit on the winner. “He just buys cars for the sake of buying them. He probably makes no money,” I heard one guy whisper. Police auctions are full of mysteries and secrets.
Boulder, Colo., police started using PropertyRoom.com in 2007, mainly to unload property that couldn't be traced back to the owners. Before items are put up for auction, they are posted on the police department’s Web site for four weeks. Previously, the department had been stuck holding onto items for up to three years, said spokeswoman Sarah Huntley.
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF SALE CAREFULLY, AS THEY HAVE BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED. THIS IS AN INTERNET-ONLY AUCTION! AUCTION CLOSING DATE: Tuesday, March 19th, beginning at 11:07 am Bidding closes on the first item at 11:07 am, then closes at the rate discussed in these Terms and Conditions of Sale. INSPECT: Thursday, March 14th, 10 am - 2 [ View Full Listing ]
To bid, you'll mostly need to go to an auction house on the day and bid in person. However, some auction houses now offer live internet or telephone bidding. You'll have to register to bid with the auction house, whether you're bidding in person or not. You should be able to find out when the next police auction will be held by visiting the auction house's website.
But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t good deals to be had at local auctions, because as intimidating as it may sound, there’s a reason dedicated bidders still show up to these things every week. You just have to remain skeptical and attentive if you want to take home the right ride, because you never know what might show up, and by using these 10 tips, you might land a gem.
"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.
This site advertises auctions of seized Real Property for sale throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and includes single and multi-family residences; commercial and residential land; commercial buildings and warehouses; and operating businesses. These properties have been seized and forfeited due to violations of federal laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Participating enforcement agencies include: IRS-Criminal Investigations Division, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service. All proceeds from the sale of property are deposited in the U.S. Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund. This fund helps support continued law enforcement efforts and provide restitution to crime victims.
Depending on the agency, the government may use revenue from auctioned items to support crime-prevention programs, pay restitution to crime victims or purchase new equipment the department needs. "By providing agencies with the ability to dispose of excess assets, GSA benefits taxpayers by eliminating the need to maintain and store the unneeded property while also raising more than $300 million in revenue in just the last two years," a GSA spokesperson said.
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.