From our early days as an online police auction site, there was one piece of property & evidence that we did not touch – firearms. However, recently for many states and jurisdictions it has become a requirement, and even mandated, for law enforcement agencies to auction off their seized, forfeited and unclaimed firearms just as they do with other parts of the property and evidence room.
Private treaty sales – Occasionally, when looking at an auction catalogue some of the items have been withdrawn. Usually these goods have been sold by 'private treaty'. This means that the goods have already been sold off, usually to a trader or dealer on a private, behind-the-scenes basis before they have had a chance to be offered at the auction sale. These goods are rarely in single lots – photocopiers or fax machines would generally be sold in bulk lots.

I returned home wishing I had never gone to this auction, because as someone trying to get over his junky-vehicle hoarding tendencies, I’m not strong enough to handle this kind of temptation. Sure, many of these cars were junk, but they were dirt cheap. And since most were impounded for some sort of driving infraction, there’s a decent chance they move under their own power.

The bill auction accepts competitive bids to determine the discount rate to be paid on each issue. A group of securities dealers, known as primary dealers, are authorized and obligated to submit competitive bids on a pro-rata share of every Treasury bill auction. The winning bid on each issue will determine the interest rate that is paid on that issue. Once an issue is purchased, the dealers are allowed to hold, sell, or trade the bills. The demand for bills at auction is determined by market and economic conditions.


Government, bankruptcy and general auctions are amongst the most common auctions to be found today. A government auction is simply an auction held on behalf of a government body generally at a general sale. Here one may find a vast range of materials that have to be sold by various government bodies, for example: HM Customs & Excise, the Official Receiver, the Ministry of Defence, local councils and authorities, liquidators, as well as material put up for auction by companies and members of the public. Also in this group you will find auctions ordered by executors who are entering the assets of individuals who have perhaps died in testate (those who have died without leaving a will), or in debt. One of the most interesting bodies to look out for at auction is HM Customs & Excise who may be entering at auction various items seized from smugglers, fraudsters and racketeers.
Whenever bidders at an auction are aware of the identity of the other bidders there is a risk that they will form a "ring" or "pool" and thus manipulate the auction result, a practice known as collusion. By agreeing to bid only against outsiders, never against members of the "ring", competition becomes weaker, which may dramatically affect the final price level. After the end of the official auction an unofficial auction may take place among the "ring" members. The difference in price between the two auctions could then be split among the members. This form of a ring was used as a central plot device in the opening episode of the 1979 British television series The House of Caradus, 'For Love or Money', uncovered by Helena Caradus on her return from Paris.
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