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.
Several different federal agencies hold government auctions. The General Services Administration is the granddaddy of them all, because it sells on behalf of other departments. When a federal agency no longer needs something — say, a pickup truck — it reports the truck to GSA, which first offers it to other federal agencies and then to state and local governments or nonprofits. If nobody claims the truck, then the GSA auctions it off to the public, and you get your chance at it.
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.
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.
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