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.

But ordinary folk typically don’t have the means to attend high-end events like these, so we have to settle for the local auction block, with all of its police impounded “perp-mobiles,” abandoned clunkers, and donated jalopies. But regardless of what kind of crap is being auctioned off, there are diamonds in the rough that can be unearthed, and as a bidder, you stand a chance of getting one for pennies on the dollar.
My name is J.D. Roth. I started Get Rich Slowly in 2006 to document my personal journey as I dug out of debt. Then I shared while I learned to save and invest. Twelve years later, I've managed to reach early retirement! I'm here to help you master your money — and your life. No scams. No gimmicks. Just smart money advice to help you get rich slowly. Read more.
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.
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.
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.

"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.


Copyright © Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the BIZFLUENT.COM Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material appearing on BIZFLUENT.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional financial and/or investment advice. BIZFLUENT.COM does not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the website.
After registering for the auction of your choice, begin to figure out a budget. Setting a budget helps relieve anxiety and stress that can come along with auto auction participation. Know your budget and stick to it no matter what the circumstance. When the budget is set, you can start to look into your finances. If you are going to need a loan, determine who or what will be your financial lender. Some auto auction firms provide pre-approved loans; if that is a route, you are comfortable taking. Banks and credit unions are other options for obtaining a car loan.
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.
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.
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.
This is an immediate liquidation of all items. Every single lot starts at just $1.00. EVERYTHING MUST GO. Another month is here and we need to liquidate our entire warehouse. Some really great items have hit our floor and Seized Assets Auctioneers currently has over 1,100 new lots in its possession. Look for a strong mix of Jewelry, Vintage Coins, Sports & Celebrity Autographed Memorabilia, Fine Art, Land/Property, Sports Cards, Rolex Watches, Vintage Automobiles and even an Elvis & Disney Merchadise. More auctions will follow. Keep on the look out for more Siezed Assets Auctions.
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.
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. 

All diesel vehicles and equipment operated in California may be subject to the California Air Resources Board (ARB) regulation to reduce emissions of air pollutants. Therefore, these items could be subject to exhaust retrofit or accelerated turnover requirements to reduce emissions of air pollutants. For more information, buyers may visit the ARB website at http://.arb.ca.gov/dieseltruck. Compliance with these regulations and all cost associated with meeting ARB requirements shall be the sole responsibility of the buyer.
LARGE PUBLIC AUCTIONSATURDAY, MARCH 16, 20199:00AMKIRBY LYONS AUCTION FACILITYBLDG. #2 (White Building) 5317 Sebring-Warner Rd., Greenville, Ohio 45331Doors open at 8:00AM*PREVIEW DAY IS FRIDAY, MARCH 15th FROM 12:00PM TO 5:00PM* 1999 MAZDA MIATA CONVERTIBLE – ALUMINUM UTILITY TRAILER – 4-WHEEL SCOOTER – ANTIQUE & MODERN FURNITURE –   [ View Full Listing ]
The bidder, whether acting as principal, agent, officer or director of a company or otherwise, in any capacity whatsoever, and the company he represents, both jointly and severally agrees to indemnify and save harmless Auctioneer and its officers, directors, employees, agents, attorneys and its consignors, from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, damages, costs, and losses of any nature, including injury and death, arising from the purchase or use of any items, or the attendance or participation of bidder, his/her agents or employees, at the auction and/or on the auction site whether before, during, or after the auction.
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."
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.  
 Our 1st sale today is  ESS @ 9:30 AM at 1204 28th St. Grand Rapids, MI  We then proced to ESS @ 10:30 AM at 4438 Spartan Industrial Grandville. Next is ESS @ 1:00 PM at 3512 Martin Luther King Blvd. Lansing, MI  After Lansing is Mt. Clemens & then Shelby MI .GO TO our Web Page www.tateauctioneers.com click HOME Page for all Auctions Listings, the click MONTHLY Auction Tab for this month's up-coming Auction Sales.The goods to be Sold are...
The Auction Catalog has been prepared as a guide, and should be used as a guide only. Although the descriptions are believed to be correct its accuracy cannot be guaranteed or warranted. The Bidder acknowledges that all auction items are available for inspection prior to the auction and it is the Bidders responsibility to have inspected the item before bidding. No sale shall be invalidated; nor shall auctioneers be liable as a result of defects or inaccuracies of any lot.
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 ]
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.
Although car auctions might help you in buying a dream car within your budget, it is a fact that these events are not publicized to larger extent. Experts feel that if there is an increase in the number of bidders at these auction, the final bid price will be affected. Again, dealership sale also gets affected with such flocking and it always slides down. Henceforth, you should expect that the auction information will always be hidden from the public. You should try to catch such data on websites that work as search engines for car auctions.
Impound Vehicle Auction Wednesday, March 13th @ 12:30 PM AUCTION LOCATION: 330 Colfax Street, Rochester, NY 14606 Selling impounded and confiscated vehicles for the City of Rochester Police Department. Retail purchasers and Dealers Welcome. Preview at Noon. Vehicle list available as no later then Noon on Tuesday. Terms: CASH, no credit cards, no checks, full cash payment due   [ View Full Listing ]

Easy Payment: Pay manually or use Auto Pay! Manual payment allows you to choose which card you want to use on every transaction. Auto Pay is set up through your account details. By keeping a valid payment method on file, your auctions will be processed automatically so that you never miss a payment! Special discounts are available to customers choosing Auto Pay.
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.
×