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.
The following link will take you to the sale list for the next abandoned & confiscated vehicle auction. Be advised that some of these vehicles will not be present on the day of sale, as owners/lien holders will have reclaimed the vehicles. You must be present at the sale preview to know what remaining vehicles will be offered and to view vehicle conditions.
In economics we tend to think of auctions as a good way to get at the true price of an object. Of course, it isn’t quite perfect as there’s still problems with information asymmetries, and people can get a winner’s curse because the people who err in thinking the car is worth more than it actually is are the ones who are likely to win. On the other hand, the price can go lower if there just aren’t enough people at the auction for that to happen– you need at least two people over-valuing the object and willing to pay for it for one of them to over-pay.
If a bidder is logged into the bidding page, a message will display on screen OUTBID. If you are logged out of the system, you will receive an email with the subject “You were outbid”. Within the email is a link to place another bid. If you have downloaded the CWS Auctions App on your phone, you will also receive a text alert when you’ve been outbid.
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.
It is strongly recommended that you attend the open houses/inspections that are scheduled prior to sale. The bidder is invited, urged, and cautioned to inspect the property prior to submitting a bid. Failure to inspect property shall not constitute cause for cancellation of sale. Property will be available for inspection only at the times specified. At their own expense, potential bidders may have property inspectors examine the property during regularly scheduled open houses.
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.
Webstore.com is an auction site that is supported by donations and advertisements, so costs are kept low, and there are no membership fees. Although not everything is sold at auction at this site, the site's online auctions are highly rated for rare and collectible merchandise and state-of-the-art electronics. Auction categories include cameras, art, music, sports memorabilia, real estate and more.
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.
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Identify contractors authorized to hold government auctions. You can obtain auction listings directly from contractors authorized by many government agencies to carry out public auctions. For example, one of the largest online public auction contractors for Federal, state and local government agencies is Bid4Assets, which auctions off surplus property, seized and tax-forfeited assets.
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.
A well-maintained car will always have a clean dipstick when you check the oil or transmission fluid, so if it’s anything other than light and transparent, be careful. Also be sure to inspect the coolant overflow tank and shine a flashlight inside the radiator. If it looks like someone accidentally dumped chocolate milk in there it’s time to walk away, because that’s the sign of a blown head gasket.
The bidding started out fairly tame. Individuals there bought a beat up Impala for $525, a Chevy Astro van for $425, and the shittiest Chrysler PT Cruiser I have ever seen for $300. As for the awesome Ford Escort wagon? Well, it didn’t do so hot, in part, Kevin told me, because it’s so light and has low scrap value, and because parts are in low demand:
Private auctions are held on-site at your dealership. Each vehicle is driven either underneath the tent in front of a self-contained mobile operations unit. In some cases we can even transform a building at your dealership into an auction arena. These dealer only auctions are conducted live by an auctioneer and are designed to sell 40-200 vehicles. Operated much like a conventional auto auction, these private auctions are easily adapted to the specific needs of your dealership, with even simulcast sales available.