Sign up to receive automatic notification of new auction listings. You can call the regional office of a government agency to get on mailing lists for upcoming government asset sales. Each government or contractor website will also have a registration form to receive notices of new auction listings. It is also possible at these websites to create custom email alerts for particular items coming up for auction or categories of listings.
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!
Do the homework, sometimes even ‘bad’ car can be a great deal at an auction. I recently bought a minivan that was listed as having a blown transmission. A little research discovered this is a common problem for that make and year. At the preview, I had my mechanic (whom I trust) on speed dial and got an estimate on the spot to replace the transmission with a new, 5-year warrentied rebuilt one. The bids on the van were low (who’d buy a vehicle with a bad transmission?), and even with the purchase price, the cost of the new transmission and towing to my mechanic, it still came in way below KBB value. And I know it has a worry-free transmission for the next 5 years. So don’t let even a ‘problem’ car scare you off if you’re willing to do the homework and hassle of getting it fixed.
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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.
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Another problem that you might face with local police auctions is finding information related to their occurrence. You can find the information on websites that deals particularly in government auctions. After acquiring the information of its timings, you need to call the local police department, and register your bidder number. Bids only from registered bidders are considered in these seized car auctions. It is advisable to obtain Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) prior to bidding for the car and run it through the Carfax website. It helps in checking the past history and allows you to buy a clean car.
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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.
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.
From our early days as an online police auction site, there was one piece of property & evidence that we did not touch – firearms. However, recently for many states and jurisdictions it has become a requirement, and even mandated, for law enforcement agencies to auction off their seized, forfeited and unclaimed firearms just as they do with other parts of the property and evidence room.
Inspect the items - Before you bid on anything, carefully inspect all of the items first. You would also like to get a better idea of what the items you will be bidding on could be worth. In case you are bidding on an online auction, you will need to rely on the picture and the description of the item. You need to do all of your research in advance, as all of the sales at the police auction are final once they accepted you bid. By doing your research in advance you will ensure that you are buying real bargains and not overpaying for the items that you are bidding on.
"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.
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Sitting on the couch, craft beer in hand, we salivate over the parade of shining classic cars rolling across the auction block at Barrett-Jackson, changing hands for ungodly globs of cold, hard cash. It’s places like this where you can pick up cars like custom built Singer Porsches, old-school hot rods, vintage Ferraris, and soon to be released, serial #001 supercars, and as the drinks get stronger, so too does the bidding.