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.
But the competition at county auctions is brutal and it's only getting stronger. "Taxi companies want the old cruisers to use as cabs," Lang says. "And often there are government employees who are going after a vehicle that they used on the job and grew fond of. A lot of the school buses and trucks get bought by brokers looking to ship them overseas to poorer countries that will use them for public transportation. These are guys who go to government auctions all the time, know what to pay and know a lemon when they see it. You won't be the only bargain hunter out there."
Log onto PropertyRoom.com, a Web site which auctions stolen property that law enforcement agencies were unable to return to the rightful owner. The auction is run much like eBay, and its product mix is arguably just as eclectic. Thanks to the criminal mind, the inventory, unfortunately, is endless. Stereos, guitars, laptops, jewelry, bicycles and designer clothes are all available for a fraction of the original value.