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. 

Cars at government and public auctions sell on visual inspection alone. So look at everything and look for telltale signs of repairs such as paint overspray, less than smooth sheet metal, puddles under the vehicle, scored brake discs, an uneven stance and a million other details. Use your nose, hands and legs, too. If a car smells musty or the carpeting is wet, run away.
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."
The Department of the Treasury has designated CWS Asset Management & Sales (CWSAMS) as the prime contractor responsible for the maintenance and sale of seized and forfeited real property throughout the U.S. Our website is incorporated into the official Treasury site, http://www.treasury.gov/auctions/. CWS is not affiliated with any other auction information services, seminars, or publications, and we never charge a fee to access these auction listings.
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. 

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As you browse the government auction sites above, you'll notice some link you to additional sites run by private contractors. These contractors have legitimate relationships with the government, but bidder beware: other private companies will try to make their auctions seem like government auctions as a marketing ploy. Always start with the legitimate links provided by the government itself. Good luck!
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF SALE CAREFULLY, AS THEY HAVE BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED.  THIS IS AN INTERNET-ONLY AUCTION!  AUCTION CLOSING DATE: Thursday, March 14th at 1:07pm  Bidding closes on the first item at 1:07pm, then closes at the rate discussed in these Terms and Conditions of Sale.  INSPECT: Tuesday, March 12th 8am to 4pm REMOVAL:   [ View Full Listing ]
Some items are being offered for sale to out of state or out of country bidders. Bidders are hereby notified that a VIN Stop has been filed with California DMV prohibiting the vehicle/equipment from being registered in California. Purchaser will be required to sign an ARB Out-of-State Verification Form acknowledging their intent to move the vehicle/equipment out of California, and an Out-of-State Sales Agreement indicating that the Buyer will inform future buyers that the vehicle cannot be registered and operated in California unless compliant with Section 2022.1(b). Bidders purchasing Out-of-State items must be registered as an out of State buyer with Bar None Auction prior to bidding.

8 Cassettes on the following 8 topics: 1. Introduction to Government Auctions 2. Government Surplus Auctions 3. Government Seizures and Confiscations Auctions 4. Government Foreclosures and Repossession Sales 5. Government Real Estate Part 1 6. Government Real Estate Part 2 7. Unclaimed, Abandoned and Specialty Auctions 8. How to Participate in Auctions
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.
Treasury Department Auctions:  The other agency very active in holding auctions is the Treasury Department, with roughly 300 sales per year. Treasury often offers in-person previews in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Treasury auctions off "property forfeited as a result of violations of federal law enforced by the Department of Treasury or nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes," according to its website. There are many categories of goods, including concrete items like antiques and coins but also less tangible property like stocks and patents.
Are you ready to save big with online auctions? Shop LC adds new items daily, providing you hundreds of reasons to bid. Find the right jewelry auction for you as you browse the same incredible selection of rare gemstones found in standard Shop LC listings. And, unlike other bidding websites, you know you’ll always find low cost value when shopping with Shop LC.
PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF SALE CAREFULLY, AS THEY HAVE BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED.  THIS IS AN INTERNET-ONLY AUCTION!  AUCTION CLOSING DATE: Thursday, March 14th at 1:07pm  Bidding closes on the first item at 1:07pm, then closes at the rate discussed in these Terms and Conditions of Sale.  INSPECT: Tuesday, March 12th 8am to 4pm REMOVAL:   [ View Full Listing ]
This site advertises auctions of seized Real Property for sale throughout the United States and Puerto Rico and includes single and multi-family residences; commercial and residential land; commercial buildings and warehouses; and operating businesses. These properties have been seized and forfeited due to violations of federal laws enforced by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Participating enforcement agencies include: IRS-Criminal Investigations Division, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Secret Service. All proceeds from the sale of property are deposited in the U.S. Treasury Asset Forfeiture Fund. This fund helps support continued law enforcement efforts and provide restitution to crime victims.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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