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"As our police business has grown, we've been approached by other liquidators," Bellomo said. "This downturn has put 3,000 brick-and-mortar retail stores out of business. There is distressed merchandise all over the United States. Brand-new jewelry and watches, authentic sports memorabilia, fine art. Liquidators are coming to us and saying, 'Can you work with us the way you work with police agencies. Can you turn this excess inventory into cash?'
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.
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.
"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.
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.
If you're looking for a good deal, you'll find it at online auction websites. Cars, jewelry, clothing, books, homes, and land are all available at bargain prices at these bidding sites with their amazing variety and choice. Collectors — from Star Wars to Disney — will also appreciate these websites, because frequenting them is a great way to increase your collection without breaking the bank.