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Government and police auctions are regulated at different government levels. Within the federal government, information about government auctions is generated and collated by the US General Services Administration (GSA). However, different departments of the federal government have their own auction programs. If you contact one federal agency (for example, the local office of the department of agriculture), they should be able to tell you when their next auction is taking place. Each agency sets its own rules and regulations for their own auctions, so contact the agency ahead of time if you plan on going to an auction. Police auctions function in a similar fashion, with local police department overseeing their own auctions.
Government auctions are held for a huge number of goods every year. Agencies, like the Department of Agriculture, sell things like trucks, ambulances, computers, lab items, and cars. The Department of Defense sells clothing, vehicles, computers, and air conditioning systems. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) sells failed banks and loans at auction and real estate lost through foreclosure. The US Office of Property Disposal sells real property, from land to buildings, throughout the USA, at auction. Government Printing Offices sell the government's used printing and binding equipment. The Office of Housing and Development sells housing that has been lost through mortgage foreclosure. The Bureau of Land Management will occasionally sell federal lands, but since 1976, many of these lands have been protected.
The revenues from government and police auctions go directly to the federal and local governments. Since the government began conducting some of its auctions over the Internet, revenues have increased sharply. In the year 2000 alone, the federal government made over 3 billion dollars from online sales. While the profits sound huge, the auctions themselves are very fair. Since the federal government is not technically concerned with always turning a profit, many of its goods are sold either at cost or at fair market price. In a sense, government auctions are a way for the federal government to recoup losses from surplus and help finance law enforcement efforts. Police auctions profit in a similar fashion. Goods are sold at cost to finance law enforcement.
Information About Government and Police Auctions is readily available from many sources. The most logical way to find out about government auctions is to check with your local government. Your city government or county seat should be able to tell you when their next auction is taking place, and what goods will be offered for sale. Information on police auctions can be obtained from the same source, or by contacting your local police force. Information on government auctions can be found through the US General Services Administration which manages federal auctions. Auctions may also be announced in local periodicals. Information about police and government auctions in your area is easily obtainable online -- all it takes is a quick Google search.
Most people are completely unaware of the bargains that can be found in the most unlikely of places: the government! Government auctions offer a unique opportunity to the right person--purchases at bargain basement prices which you can turn around and sell at a profit! You name it! Houses, cars, jewelry, yachts, government farm equipment, computers, firewood--it's there for the bidding… and the buying! And, eventually--the selling for profit! Check with your local government offices for information on dates and times.
There are many government and police auctions online, but you need to be careful. Many websites will advertise that they have inside information on government or police auctions. This is a sure sign of fraud. Information about government and police auctions is public record and is readily available from the offices of federal and local governments. If you do decide to enter an online police or government auction, you should check first with the police department or agency to be sure that the agency is affiliated with the auction. Remember, if the prices sound too good to be true, then they probably are. Most items sold at government and police auctions are sold at a fair market prices. Beware of scams that advertise such items as airplanes and cars for ludicrously low prices.
The goods sold at police auctions usually consist of assets seized from criminals. Police auctions also sometimes sell surplus and decommissioned police equipment. At auction you can find vehicles, such as cars, boats, and occasionally planes, that have been seized from criminals. Also at auction are land, homes, and general goods (from furniture to stereo equipment) that have been seized. Surplus goods, too, such as old computers and office supplies,are often sold at police auctions. Occasionally, decommissioned police vehicles are also sold, although this is rare.
The goods in government auctions come from a variety of sources. Some of the goods come from customs seizures. If a person tries to bring goods in to the US without declaring them, customs agents can seize the goods and then sell them at auction. Goods at government auctions also come from federal law enforcement. When US Marshals, FBI, or ATF agents seize the assets of criminals, these goods are put up for government auction. The government also often puts up surplus goods for auction. If a government department no longer needs tools from a construction project or is decommissioning vehicles, these items are sold at government auction. The government also frequently auctions off items like the rights to federal lands, unused federal property, and bonds and treasury bills. Police auctions generate goods in the same way that government law enforcement auctions do. They consist of assets seized from criminals.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|