Government auctions are a great way to snag a retiring cop cruiser on the cheap, and being owned and run by the feds, you better believe it’s going to have records of every oil change, spark plug, and water pump that went into the damn thing. Nevertheless, it’s always best to remain objective, because even though it’s being sold by the United States government, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been thrashed. The competition at these things can also be pretty fierce at times (cab companies love old Crown Vics), so if cop cruisers and confiscated drug trafficking cars aren’t your thing, there are probably other options out there for you, like public auctions.
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.
Attending an inspection period is also a good opportunity to view the vast array of vehicles available for auction. A potential buyer can explore his options and see the starting prices of the cars. There are many choices for the public regarding models, colors, and types of cars including SUVs, coupes, sedans, trucks, and so on. An added benefit is that these auctions are held regularly and can even be found locally. The information is available both online and in local and national newspapers.
Cars at public auctions are often those that wouldn't sell at wholesale dealer auctions. Yes, some are flood vehicles, and Hurricane Irene should still be fresh in your mind. Some are cars quickly reconditioned in dealership shops to fill in slow periods when there's otherwise little work to be done. And many are just flat out junk. "A car that goes across the block at a public auction that isn't spewing smoke is often packed with thick racing oil to ensure it doesn't," Lang continues. "Everything at a public auction looks shiny, but shiny doesn't mean much about the quality of the car."
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.
Watch the mood and trend of the crowd in the bidding before your vehicle comes up for sale. I've noticed that at auctions there are frugal crowds and there are spendy crowds. I don't know why this is. I've seen furniture, tools, and kitchen cabinets sell for 10% of retail. But I've also seen them sell at what you'd pay for full retail in a store at the same auction house on different days. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Always be prepared to walk away. There'll be another auction in a week or two.
Bid4Assets is proud to celebrate our 20th anniversary. It has been an honor to pioneer online auctions for over 100 federal and county clients nationwide these past 20 years. During that time, we have continuously strived to improve our platform and create a better experience for all Bid4Assets users. To read our thoughts on this occasion, and several new features coming to Bid4Assets in 2019, visit the B4A Happenings page in the footer below.
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.
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.
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.
If a dealership sends a car to auction, it’s because they decided the necessary repairs needed to make it “dealer-standard” were too expensive-often the car will looks outstanding and pass a visual inspection, and then when you get it home, you’ll find out it had a bent frame or some other major repair which can make the car quite dangerous. Dealers are in the business of making money, and if they think the car wasn’t good enough to sell, why on earth would you think it was a good bet? There’s a reason these cars go for half price at auction.
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.
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.
We are a premier full-service private auction company liquidating property seized by police and federal agencies, property from abandoned safe deposit boxes, seized bank assets, bankruptcies, financial institutions, business inventory liquidations, and other consignors. Our firm conducts traditional live auctions throughout the year at various locations across the country, as well as auctions on the Internet. Please see our schedule of upcoming auctions for further details.
The U.S. government auctions off thousands of surplus items and forfeited property every day to the public through online and live auctions. Anyone can bid on items like computers, equipment, vehicles, real estate, furniture, jewelry, designer clothing and more. State and local governments also hold auctions throughout the year. You can access government auction listings directly online or by signing up to receive notices of upcoming auctions by email or mail. You can gain access to auction listings free of charge.
This is about auctions where the cars are the most ordinary of ordinary vehicles: Ford Crown Victorias coming off six years of patrol duty with the county sheriff's department. Toyota Tercels with so much mileage that their odometers have worn off the printed numerals. Plain sedans, base model pickups and early '90s Pontiac Firebirds confiscated in drug stings. Cars you can get cheap—maybe.
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.