The word "auction" is derived from the Latin augeō, which means "I increase" or "I augment". For most of history, auctions have been a relatively uncommon way to negotiate the exchange of goods and commodities. In practice, both haggling and sale by set-price have been significantly more common. Indeed, before the seventeenth century the few auctions that were held were sporadic.
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.
Consignee and consignor - as pertaining to auctions, the consignor (also called the seller, and in some contexts the vendor) is the person owning the item to be auctioned or the owner's representative, while the consignee is the auction house. The consignor maintains title until such time that an item is purchased by a bidder and the bidder pays the auction house.
Additional government sites. There are a few additional sites that can provide tips on government auctions. Guide to Federal Auctions gives a rundown of the various agencies. It provides information about what they sell as well as the departments' websites. GSA supplies information about auction sources. Auctions can be searched by state or auction house
At times, customs may decide to not only seize goods but detain the passenger as well. This can happen for a number of different reasons. One reason is if, as mentioned above, a passenger has not declared the item(s) or if they have been declared falsely. Another reason would be if an individual carried with them over 200 grams of tobacco or a very large amount of alcohol.