Inspect the vehicles. Attend the preview times (sometimes a day or two before the auction or earlier that day), and check out the vehicles that fit your interest. During these times, you can carefully look at the car's interior and exterior, and you can start the engine but not go out for a test drive. In all cases, the vehicles are sold as-is, so take into account the possibility of costly mechanical problems. The auction company will sometimes provide information only if it's critical to the safety of the vehicle, but all vehicles in these auctions are deemed roadworthy. It might be a good idea to take your trusty mechanic along to the preview so you can get his or her gut feeling about the vehicle.
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.
Private treaty sales – Occasionally, when looking at an auction catalogue some of the items have been withdrawn.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.
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.