The process begins several days before the scheduled auction when the Treasury announces the details of the upcoming issue, including the amount to be auctioned and the maturity date. When you participate in an auction, you have two bidding options – competitive and noncompetitive. TreasuryDirect allows noncompetitive bidding only. Noncompetitive bidding is limited to purchases of $5 million per auction. Bidding limits apply cumulatively to all methods (TreasuryDirect, banks, and brokers) that are used for bidding in a single auction.
The US Department of the Treasury auctions off “seized and forfeited” general property (fancy a Rolex watch or a Fender guitar?), cars (how about a pimped-out Escalade?) and boats. Visit the Treasury’s website to find more information on where and when these auctions are held, plus sign up for alerts and research how much money items have sold for in the past. In addition, the Treasury has real property (RP) auctions for real estate seized through IRS-Criminal Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the US Secret Service.
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.
I wasn't aware that the TSA sold all of the stuff it confiscated! That's cheap goods right there! My mom works for a cruise line, and they don't confiscate stuff, but people do tend to forget all kinds of things they bring on the ship, so every once in a while the company has a big flea market available to employees. I find it funny when my mom comes home with watches and bracelets she wouldn't have otherwise bought.