Buying the confiscated goods either from the TSA or individual states is done in auctions 90% of the time. Some confiscated items are put up directly for sale though, and you can find it on the websites for direct purchase. The state surplus auctions are held regularly, and if you're planning to show up for it, it's definitely best to check if you have to register beforehand. Several states require this.
On-site auctions – Sometimes when the stock or assets of a company are simply too vast or too bulky for an auction house to transport to their own premises and store, they will hold an auction within the confines of the bankrupt company itself. Bidders could find themselves bidding for items which are still plugged in, and the great advantage of these auctions taking place on the premises is that they have the opportunity to view the goods as they were being used, and may be able to try them out. Bidders can also avoid the possibility of goods being damaged whilst they are being removed as they can do it or at least supervise the activity. 

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Depending on the agency, the government may use revenue from auctioned items to support crime-prevention programs, pay restitution to crime victims or purchase new equipment the department needs. "By providing agencies with the ability to dispose of excess assets, GSA benefits taxpayers by eliminating the need to maintain and store the unneeded property while also raising more than $300 million in revenue in just the last two years," a GSA spokesperson said.


Internet auctions typically last seven days, and operate like eBay auctions. Each listing links to the auction house website where bids can be placed. From that site, bidders are asked to register in order to bid on a vehicle. Live auctions are public auctions held at a specific date and location and are usually published in newspapers in addition to the online listing at GovSales.


In the United States, a primary dealer is a bank or securities broker-dealer that is permitted to trade directly with the Federal Reserve System ("the Fed").[2] Such firms are required to make bids or offers when the Fed conducts open market operations, provide information to the Fed's open market trading desk, and to participate actively in U.S. Treasury securities auctions.[3] They consult with both the U.S. Treasury and the Fed about funding the budget deficit and implementing monetary policy. Many former employees of primary dealers work at the Treasury because of their expertise in the government debt markets, though the Fed avoids a similar revolving door policy.[4][5]

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.
The New York City Police Department regularly holds online auctions to dispose of seized, unclaimed property and vehicles. The Property Clerk Division works with an outside auctioneer, called Property Room, which specializes in items seized by law enforcement agencies across the country. Online auctions include many high-end items, such as jewelry, rare coins, brand-name clothing, and consumer electronics. Vehicles are also available. Participation in online auctions is free and open to the general public. 

Age and nationality requirements. A bidding individual must be at least 18 years old to participate in government car sales. Unlike private auctions, which sometimes require a license to bid, a government car auction is generally open to the public. No special license is needed. However, in order to transact business with the federal government, a social security number or tax identification number is needed. If purchasing the vehicle for a company, then a Power of Attorney certificate is required


The goods found at Police Auction can be brand new or graded from A down in used condition. Goods may be slightly marked a good example would be high quality push-bikes which still retain a good value. All items listed in any Police Auction are available for viewing and inspection prior to the sale. If faulty or damaged the fact is clearly mentioned on the item and faults will be outlined by the auctioneer during the auction. If this is an Online Police Auction the description should be clear and accurate. These auction events are a prime location for bargain hunters. Many of the goods will be sold for extremely low prices and almost always under market value. Remember, these goods are at auction TO BE SOLD, the police forces need to clear their stores regardless of how low the highest bid for the items at the Police Auction.
In early 2015, we made the decision to help our clients auction this piece of property & evidence through innovative solutions that not only fulfills this requirement for many agencies, but also supports public safety as in many jurisdictions the proceeds from these auctions can be used to purchase products like wearable body cameras, tactical gear and more.
Treasury Department Auctions:  The other agency very active in holding auctions is the Treasury Department, with roughly 300 sales per year. Treasury often offers in-person previews in California, Florida, New Jersey and Texas. Treasury auctions off "property forfeited as a result of violations of federal law enforced by the Department of Treasury or nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes," according to its website. There are many categories of goods, including concrete items like antiques and coins but also less tangible property like stocks and patents.
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It is important to have realistic expectations when attending a government car auction. While you can find some good bargains, you are not going to find a brand new BMW for $100.00. Government auctions sell both fleet cars and vehicles that have been impounded by government agencies. The conditions of these vehicles can range from great to not running. Set your expectations and budget realistically.
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