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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.
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.
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 Before bidding, remember that once a bid is made it cannot be withdrawn.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
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The Romans also used auctions to liquidate the assets of debtors whose property had been confiscated. For example, Marcus Aurelius sold household furniture to pay off debts, the sales lasting for months. One of the most significant historical auctions occurred in the year 193 A.D. when the entire Roman Empire was put on the auction block by the Praetorian Guard. On 28 March 193, the Praetorian Guard first killed emperor Pertinax, then offered the empire to the highest bidder. Didius Julianus outbid everyone else for the price of 6,250 drachmas per guard, an act that initiated a brief civil war. Didius was then beheaded two months later when Septimius Severus conquered Rome.
Auctioneers are normally contracted by the different organisations within their local area. An auction at the centre of London for example, will deal with the assets of companies whose bankruptcy proceedings are being dealt with by courts in Greater London. An auction in Leeds will handle the assets of companies in Yorkshire that are being dealt with by Leeds City Court.