HM Customs & Excise often enter items for auction seized from smugglers, fraudsters and racketeers. Executors may enter the assets of individuals dying in testate (i.e. without leaving a will) or in debt. The official receiver handles the liquidations of companies that have failed. Bailiffs will enter goods into auctions which have been seized for various reasons such as non-payment of bills or failure to keep up payments to finance companies.

These programs are meant to benefit taxpayers as a whole, but could they benefit you, the individual taxpayer? Can you bag a bargain at a government auction? "GSA's goal is to maximize return to the federal government," the GSA spokesperson said. So they're not giving this stuff away. In fact, the government sets "reserves" or minimums for the most valuable property it auctions off. But judging from a wide tour of current government auctions and bids, there are still opportunities to walk away with valuable goods for a great price. Here's a look at who's selling what, where, and for how much.
In some parts of England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries auction by candle began to be used for the sale of goods and leaseholds.[10] In a candle auction, the end of the auction was signaled by the expiration of a candle flame, which was intended to ensure that no one could know exactly when the auction would end and make a last-second bid. Sometimes, other unpredictable processes, such as a footrace, were used in place of the expiration of a candle. This type of auction was first mentioned in 1641 in the records of the House of Lords.[11] The practice rapidly became popular, and in 1660 Samuel Pepys's diary recorded two occasions when the Admiralty sold surplus ships "by an inch of candle". Pepys also relates a hint from a highly successful bidder, who had observed that, just before expiring, a candle-wick always flares up slightly: on seeing this, he would shout his final - and winning - bid. The London Gazette began reporting on the auctioning of artwork at the coffeehouses and taverns of London in the late 17th century.
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. 

To bid, you'll mostly need to go to an auction house on the day and bid in person. However, some auction houses now offer live internet or telephone bidding. You'll have to register to bid with the auction house, whether you're bidding in person or not. You should be able to find out when the next police auction will be held by visiting the auction house's website.


PLEASE READ THESE TERMS OF SALE CAREFULLY, AS THEY HAVE BEEN RECENTLY UPDATED.  THIS IS AN INTERNET-ONLY AUCTION!  AUCTION CLOSING DATE: Friday, March 22nd 11:07 am.  Bidding closes on the first item at 11:07 am, then closes at the rate discussed in these Terms and Conditions of Sale.  INSPECT: Thursday, March 21st 2pm to 7pm    [ View Full Listing ]
... The two auctions differ in terms of payment: In the pay-as-bid auction, bidders pay their actual bids. In the uniform-price auction, bidders pay the market-clearing price for all units won. 2 This paper compares these two commonly 1 In the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which authorized spectrum auctions, the U.S. Congress established the " efficient and intensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum " as a primary objective of U.S spectrum auctions (47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(D)). 2 The cross-country study on Treasury practices by Brenner,Galai and Sade (2009)reports that, out of the 48 countries surveyed, 24 use a pay-as-bid auction to finance public debt, 9 use a uniform-price auction, and 9 employ both auction formats, depending on the type of security being issued; the remaining 6 use a different mechanism. In the United States, the Treasury has been using the pay-as-bid auction to sell Treasury bills since 1929 and to issue notes and bonds since the 1970s. ...

Bidding. Get some information about the type of bidding that normally occurs at these auctions. Feel free to ask the consultant about the expected price of a particular vehicle. When the auction starts, raise your hand and registration number card high in the air so the auctioneer can see you. Bids can be in increments of $100, $250 or even $500. This will be up to the auctioneer's discretion. Before bidding, remember that once a bid is made it cannot be withdrawn. Once the bid is won then the bid cards must be immediately filled out and signed. If this is not done then the vehicle can be re-offered. The government can reject any bid
CWS Asset Management and Sales (CWSAMS) is a nationwide company with expertise in the management, marketing and sales of a wide range of assets, specializing in web-based and live auctions. CWSAMS has provided continuous support to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, its legacy agencies, and other public & private entities for the marketing and sale of real and personal property for the past 26 years. An abbreviated list of clients are: 

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.

MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 303190). The registered office address of both MoneySupermarket.com Group PLC and MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited (registered in England No. 3157344) is MoneySupermarket House, St. David's Park, Ewloe, Chester, CH5 3UZ. MoneySavingExpert.com Limited is an appointed representative of MoneySupermarket.com Financial Group Limited.
Each type of auction has its specific qualities such as pricing accuracy and time required for preparing and conducting the auction. The number of simultaneous bidders is of critical importance. Open bidding during an extended period of time with many bidders will result in a final bid that is very close to the true market value. Where there are few bidders and each bidder is allowed only one bid, time is saved, but the winning bid may not reflect the true market value with any degree of accuracy. Of special interest and importance during the actual auction is the time elapsed from the moment that the first bid is revealed to the moment that the final (winning) bid has become a binding agreement.
GAUK Police Auctions & Sales category lists everything you need in an easy to read page outlining all the details of Police Auctions within the UK. In an attempt to stop the lost and found departments becoming crammed and to reduce the number of items stored in the Police Property Store UK police forces sell consignments of stolen and recovered and seized goods through a Police Auction. These sales include vehicles, bicycles, clothing, electronics, furniture and many other items, which end up in the police property room.

The first known auction house in the world was Stockholm Auction House, Sweden (Stockholms Auktionsverk), founded by Baron Claes Rålamb in 1674.[12][13] Sotheby's, currently the world's second-largest auction house,[12] was founded in London on 11 March 1744, when Samuel Baker presided over the disposal of "several hundred scarce and valuable" books from the library of an acquaintance. Christie's, now the world's largest auction house,[12] was founded by James Christie in 1766 in London[14] and published its first auction catalog in that year, although newspaper advertisements of Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been found.[15]


No-reserve auction (NR), also known as an absolute auction, is an auction in which the item for sale will be sold regardless of price.[36][37] From the seller's perspective, advertising an auction as having no reserve price can be desirable because it potentially attracts a greater number of bidders due to the possibility of a bargain.[36] If more bidders attend the auction, a higher price might ultimately be achieved because of heightened competition from bidders.[37] This contrasts with a reserve auction, where the item for sale may not be sold if the final bid is not high enough to satisfy the seller. In practice, an auction advertised as "absolute" or "no-reserve" may nonetheless still not sell to the highest bidder on the day, for example, if the seller withdraws the item from the auction or extends the auction period indefinitely,[38] although these practices may be restricted by law in some jurisdictions or under the terms of sale available from the auctioneer.
An announcement is released several days before the bill auction to kickstart the process. The announcement includes information such as the auction date, issue date, amount of security that will be sold, bidding close times, participation eligibility, etc. All auctions are open to the public through Treasury Direct or the Treasury Automated Auction Processing System (TAAPS).
By the end of the 18th century, auctions of art works were commonly held in taverns and coffeehouses. These auctions were held daily, and auction catalogs were printed to announce available items. In some cases these catalogs were elaborate works of art themselves, containing considerable detail about the items being auctioned. At this time, Christie's established a reputation as a leading auction house, taking advantage of London's status as the major centre of the international art trade after the French Revolution. 

Banks base all short-term interest rates on the Fed funds rate. A low prime rate helps companies expand and create jobs. Low mortgage rates help people afford more expensive homes. The Fed wanted QE to revive the housing market. Low interest rates also reduce returns on bonds. That turns investors toward stocks and other higher-yielding investments. For all these reasons, low interest rates help boost economic growth.


The District of Columbia now auctions its surplus property online through GovDeals, a Liquidity Services, Inc. marketplace. The district awarded the contract for the management of the inventory, appraisal, sale and shipping of the city's surplus property to Liquidity Services Inc. LSI conducts auctions of city assets such as vehicles, police automobile accessories, computer equipment, radios and other communications equipment, office furniture and other supplies through its online marketplace. The auctions are expected to improve data tracking and financial oversight of the city's surplus asset disposition activities.
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