Regardless of their mileage or whether they’re running properly or not, most vehicles at auctions tend to get labeled “as is” in order to prevent any headaches for the auction house down the line. So don’t go in expecting warranties or the ability to sue someone for selling you a total piece of crap. Auctions are like gambling in a lot of ways, and the only way to win is to pay to play.
Policeauctions.com is run by a private company and is not affiliated with the government. It provides information and links to government-run auctions, but the site itself is part of the wholesale liquidation auction market. Items are sold as is and sometimes there are fees. You have to register to bid and get information, but it doesn’t cost anything to join the site.
These programs are meant to benefit taxpayers as a whole, but could they benefit you, the individual taxpayer? Can you bag a bargain at a government auction? "GSA's goal is to maximize return to the federal government," the GSA spokesperson said. So they're not giving this stuff away. In fact, the government sets "reserves" or minimums for the most valuable property it auctions off. But judging from a wide tour of current government auctions and bids, there are still opportunities to walk away with valuable goods for a great price. Here's a look at who's selling what, where, and for how much.
Treasury Department Auctions: The other agency very active in holding auctions is the Treasury Department, with roughly 300 sales per year. Treasury often offers in-person previews in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Treasury auctions off "property forfeited as a result of violations of federal law enforced by the Department of Treasury or nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes," according to its website. There are many categories of goods, including concrete items like antiques and coins but also less tangible property like stocks and patents.
You can find some information online, on government websites which will let you search your area for a particular vehicle. These sites are not limited to cars, either. You can find SUVs, trucks and motorcycles on many of them too. Doing a ZIP code search and choosing a specific model will show you all the vehicles within a certain distance from you. Police specific auctions can be found by other websites like gov-auctions, which tells you when and where the local auctions will take place.
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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.
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.
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GovDeals is the official portal to government auctions, which range from land to computers to cars. The site's categories include surplus and confiscated items from various government agencies. The rules and regulations vary depending on the participating agency, and you deal directly with the agency after you are awarded your bid. The deals are great, but be sure to inquire about packaging and shipping of an item before you place your bid because most sellers do not ship, pack or palletize. You may be responsible for picking it up or paying someone to transport it.
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 ]