Ready, Set, Bid: Government and Online Auctions
With the upcoming premiere of Baggage Battles, we were inspired to find out how we could score some serious treasures for discounted prices by bidding in auctions -- just like the auctioneers. We discovered that not only can you attend government, airport and freight auctions in person, but also, many happen online! Whether you're looking for an old Toyota, a vintage diamond ring, a super-fast jetski or a new DVD player, these auctions may have a deal for you. Check out these 10 websites that will help you find local auctions or give you the opportunity to place a bid right from the comfort of your living room.
makes it easy for the public to find government assets for sale. Updated daily, the items include everything from land and jewelry, to propellor plans and tractor-trailers. When you find something you like (maybe a pool table, or 2) you will be connected to the seller's site to buy or bid on the item.
works with police departments across the country to auction off the items they have seized or recovered. All of the items are examined by experts and anything that is fake is destroyed. PropertyRoom.com gives a portion of the proceeds from the auction back to the police department's local community. Many of the items on the site start at $1 with no reserve.
US Department of the Treasury
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.
is an online marketplace for the sale of the Department of Defense’s surplus material to the public. You can bid online for some items, but others require an in-person meeting.
Ever dreamt of owning your own fire truck or a set of antique post office boxes? You can find them both on GovDeals
-- a site that allows government agencies to put surplus and confiscated items up for bid.
helps you navigate government-sponsored auctions across the country. You can find out where auctions will be held, search for specific items, or research foreclosures. There is a monthly fee to be a member.
Robertson Auto Auctions
Robertson Auto Auctions
is a partner of the Department of Justice and US Department of Homeland Security that executes auctions all over the country for vehicles acquired in the Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Program. On this site you can preview items going up for public auction and do some online bidding.
The Key Auctioneers
execute auctions for those who are dealing with foreclosures, mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, divestitures and Chapter 11 proceedings. Visit their website to learn about upcoming auctions -- everything from restaurant equipment to office buildings.
Marcus Barela and Fr8Auctions
This auction depot
in Atlanta allows bidders to browse and test items up for auction by the major trucking lines -- items that were over-shipped, damaged or lost in transit.
is run by a private company and is not affiliated with the government. It provides information and links to government-run auctions, but the site itself is part of the wholesale liquidation auction market. Items are sold as is and sometimes there are fees. You have to register to bid and get information, but it doesn’t cost anything to join the site.