Pay and pickup. Generally, for transactions of $5000 or less, the full payment is due by the end of the day of sale, whereas for higher sale amounts a large-sum deposit might be required. Payment policies should have been outlined at the time of registration, but contact the auction company for more information. Most vehicles will be released on the day of sale, but in some cases a background check of the buyer will be required to be sure they are not the former owner buying the car back.
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.
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.
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.