In some parts of England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries auction by candle began to be used for the sale of goods and leaseholds.[10] In a candle auction, the end of the auction was signaled by the expiration of a candle flame, which was intended to ensure that no one could know exactly when the auction would end and make a last-second bid. Sometimes, other unpredictable processes, such as a footrace, were used in place of the expiration of a candle. This type of auction was first mentioned in 1641 in the records of the House of Lords.[11] The practice rapidly became popular, and in 1660 Samuel Pepys's diary recorded two occasions when the Admiralty sold surplus ships "by an inch of candle". Pepys also relates a hint from a highly successful bidder, who had observed that, just before expiring, a candle-wick always flares up slightly: on seeing this, he would shout his final - and winning - bid. The London Gazette began reporting on the auctioning of artwork at the coffeehouses and taverns of London in the late 17th century.

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.
Once a car has served its time, it’s stripped of all its Police markings, siren, radio, gun box and serviced, before going under the hammer. These vehicles may have done more miles than your average family runabout but, Police Cars are kept in tip-top condition. No expense is spared in keeping these motors immaculate and they receive the best parts, tyres, even oil.
An announcement is released several days before the bill auction to kickstart the process. The announcement includes information such as the auction date, issue date, amount of security that will be sold, bidding close times, participation eligibility, etc. All auctions are open to the public through Treasury Direct or the Treasury Automated Auction Processing System (TAAPS).
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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