The Four Keys to Government Auctions


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Government auctions are one of the best places to purchase nearly new merchandise for as much as 90% off list price. Brand-name merchandise from cars to jewelry is gathered by many different means and by various government entities, which are then stored until the next scheduled auction. Agencies such as the DEA, FBI, Customs, the IRS, and local agencies such as the Police Department and Sheriff’s Department all have scheduled auctions in every city and state in the nation.

Many times these auctions are held monthly due to the cost of storing these items and the need to make room for future items. That is why an auction can be either a great source of wealth or for huge savings on a needed item.

There is a lot of money being made on items purchased through government auctions. Buyers become resellers within online auctions. Did you ever wonder when browsing on eBay, how one seller may have 20 of the same item up for bid? It is a good possibility that they purchased a quantity of that item at a government auction for next to nothing. All over the web you see ads for purchasing cars at huge savings at government auctions. This is a very true statement. Let me give you an example. There was an article in our local newspaper several months ago about a gentleman that purchased a $120,000 dollar Rolls Royce that belonged to a convicted drug dealer. He purchased this luxury vehicle for the mere sum of $400.00. I know what you are thinking; this is an urban legend or some kind of farce. When in fact, the reason he was able to purchase this automobile for such a bargain price, was for the simple reason that he was informed, and the only one that showed to bid. He was as shocked as anyone.

What most people don’t think about when it comes to items being sold at government auctions, is that merchandise available for bid are not always confiscated from some drug raid, or by the seizure of an item due to someone’s unfortunate need to payoff a lien. Many auctions contain merchandise such as computers, printers, copiers, and fax machines used in government offices all over the country. Fleet cars used n day to day activities, old law enforcement cars, etc. These items have to be surplussed, and by most jurisdictional laws, have to go to auction and sold to the highest bidder. These items are often sold by the pallet, but many times are sold individually. Complete computer systems often go for as little as $50.00. There are four basic keys that every auction bidder must be familiar with before buying at a government auction. I call these the four I’s, Inform, Investigate, Inspect, and Initiate.

1) Inform yourself of the various locations of these auctions, the items available within the auction, the time frame available to view the items, the true market value of the items that you intend to bid on, what is the expected means of payment, is there a fee involved with the purchase, are sales final, and who do you contact to ask these questions. Your edge comes from information. Information is power, and power equals success. I cannot stress this enough, gather as much information ahead of time as possible.

2) Investigate the items that you intend to bid on thoroughly. What is the condition of the item? If you are buying a diamond ring, what is the quality of the diamond? If you are buying a car, what shape is the body? What is the mechanical condition of car? Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

3) Inspect the item that you are going to be bidding on. Although you are not suppose to be mislead when bidding on an item at an online auction, it does happen, whether it is intentional or not is beside the point. These people are not necessarily experts. With such diversity in items offered, it would be impossible to be an expert on everything offered. I like to see the items in person. If you are not comfortable with your own knowledge, get an expert to assist you.

4) Initiate the purchase. Once you are comfortable with your decision, do not procrastinate, and do not hesitate. Know what you are willing to pay and stick to it. Be very weary of getting wrapped up in the bidding process and paying more than you originally planned. This is very easy to do.

Good luck and good bidding.

One valuable resource that I recommend to gain the vital information needed to start your road to success, is to visit


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