Depending on the agency, the government may use revenue from auctioned items to support crime-prevention programs, pay restitution to crime victims or purchase new equipment the department needs. "By providing agencies with the ability to dispose of excess assets, GSA benefits taxpayers by eliminating the need to maintain and store the unneeded property while also raising more than $300 million in revenue in just the last two years," a GSA spokesperson said.


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. 

Private treaty sales – Occasionally, when looking at an auction catalogue some of the items have been withdrawn.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.
Silent auction is a variant of the English auction in which bids are written on a sheet of paper. At the predetermined end of the auction, the highest listed bidder wins the item.[43] This auction is often used in charity events, with many items auctioned simultaneously and "closed" at a common finish time.[43][44] The auction is "silent" in that there is no auctioneer selling individual items,[43] the bidders writing their bids on a bidding sheet often left on a table near the item.[45] At charity auctions, bid sheets usually have a fixed starting amount, predetermined bid increments, and a "guaranteed bid" amount which works the same as a "buy now" amount. Other variations of this type of auction may include sealed bids.[43] The highest bidder pays the price he or she submitted.[43]
... The two auctions differ in terms of payment: In the pay-as-bid auction, bidders pay their actual bids. In the uniform-price auction, bidders pay the market-clearing price for all units won. 2 This paper compares these two commonly 1 In the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which authorized spectrum auctions, the U.S. Congress established the " efficient and intensive use of the electromagnetic spectrum " as a primary objective of U.S spectrum auctions (47 U.S.C. § 309(j)(3)(D)). 2 The cross-country study on Treasury practices by Brenner,Galai and Sade (2009)reports that, out of the 48 countries surveyed, 24 use a pay-as-bid auction to finance public debt, 9 use a uniform-price auction, and 9 employ both auction formats, depending on the type of security being issued; the remaining 6 use a different mechanism. In the United States, the Treasury has been using the pay-as-bid auction to sell Treasury bills since 1929 and to issue notes and bonds since the 1970s. ...

Internet auctions – With a potential audience of millions the Internet is the most exciting part of the auction world at the moment. Led by sites in the United States but closely followed by UK auction houses, specialist Internet auctions are springing up all over the place, selling everything from antiques and collectibles to holidays, air travel, brand new computers, and household equipment.
Private sources. In addition to these free government sites, you can use private sites. These sites provide information about federal and local government auctions. Gov-Auctions gives you access to both federal and state auctions. The sites charge a one-time fee of $39.00 for access to their information. Having all auctions on one site can be helpful. If you are launching a serious car search or buy auction cars on a frequent basis, paying to use this site might make financial sense
An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, and then selling the item to the highest bidder. The open ascending price auction is arguably the most common form of auction in use today.[1] Participants bid openly against one another, with each subsequent bid required to be higher than the previous bid.[2] An auctioneer may announce prices, bidders may call out their bids themselves (or have a proxy call out a bid on their behalf), or bids may be submitted electronically with the highest current bid publicly displayed.[2] In a Dutch auction, the auctioneer begins with a high asking price for some quantity of like items; the price is lowered until a participant is willing to accept the auctioneer's price for some quantity of the goods in the lot or until the seller's reserve price is met.[2] While auctions are most associated in the public imagination with the sale of antiques, paintings, rare collectibles and expensive wines, auctions are also used for commodities, livestock, radio spectrum and used cars. In economic theory, an auction may refer to any mechanism or set of trading rules for exchange.
Buyout auction is an auction with an additional set price (the 'buyout' price) that any bidder can accept at any time during the auction, thereby immediately ending the auction and winning the item.[29] If no bidder chooses to utilize the buyout option before the end of bidding the highest bidder wins and pays their bid.[29] Buyout options can be either temporary or permanent.[29] In a temporary-buyout auction the option to buy out the auction is not available after the first bid is placed.[29] In a permanent-buyout auction the buyout option remains available throughout the entire auction until the close of bidding.[29] The buyout price can either remain the same throughout the entire auction, or vary throughout according to rules or simply as decided by the seller.[29]
... Bourjade (2009) modified the uniform-price auction rules in allowing the seller to ration bidders and proved that this rules provide a strategic foundation for underpricing when the seller has an interest in ownership dispersion and then many of the so-called "collusive-seeming" equilibria disappear. Brenner et al. (2009) investigated the revealed preferences of the issuers by surveying the sovereign issuers that conduct auctions and found that the majority of the issuers/countries in our sample use a discriminatory auction mechanism for issuing government debt, and they also concluded that market-oriented eco- Technological and Economic Development of Economy, 2015, 21(1): 96-117 nomies and those that practice common law tend to use a uniform method while economies who are less market oriented and practice civil law tend to use discriminatory price auctions. Holmberg (2009) characterized the Nash equilibrium in a pay-as-bid, divisible-good, pro- curement auction, and compared the offer curves and mark-ups of the derived equilibrium to the results for the SFE of a uniform-price auction. ...
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Going, going, gone! Live auctions are always exciting and entertaining whether you're the bidder or not, and government auctions are no exception. Make sure you don't miss your cue to bid. If you're not clear on how bidding progresses, ask one of the auction company officials. Some items will have an undisclosed set minimum bid (reserve), while most items will be offered without reserve. Most auctions will also accept in-absence, written bids if the bidder follows special procedures and the bid is received more than a day before the auction.
The District of Columbia now auctions its surplus property online through GovDeals, a Liquidity Services, Inc. marketplace. The district awarded the contract for the management of the inventory, appraisal, sale and shipping of the city's surplus property to Liquidity Services Inc. LSI conducts auctions of city assets such as vehicles, police automobile accessories, computer equipment, radios and other communications equipment, office furniture and other supplies through its online marketplace. The auctions are expected to improve data tracking and financial oversight of the city's surplus asset disposition activities.
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