Federal government auctions. Federal government car sales were once handled by the agency that had the vehicles to auction. For example, the DEA auctioned off both fleet vehicles and cars that were been seized from drug dealers and other criminals. Fleet vehicles are the cars that DEA agents drive as company vehicles. There are numerous agencies that auction vehicles. Recently these vehicles and auctions have been consolidated under a single website. GovSales consolidates numerous government auctions under one roof. It is easy to search by product type as well as type of vehicle. It shows what state the vehicle is located in as well as any available information. Photos are sometimes available, but not always. It often provides links to other sites that have additional information
Private treaty sales – Occasionally, when looking at an auction catalogue some of the items have been withdrawn.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 first known auction house in the world was Stockholm Auction House, Sweden (Stockholms Auktionsverk), founded by Baron Claes Rålamb in 1674. Sotheby's, currently the world's second-largest auction house, 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, was founded by James Christie in 1766 in London and published its first auction catalog in that year, although newspaper advertisements of Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been found.
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.