The U.S. government unloads billions of dollars worth of inventory every year and by law we as citizens are supposed to get first crack at buying it. What can be purchased at government auctions covers a tremendous amount of merchandise including business furniture, luxury cars and boats, personal items seized in drug busts, and commercial and residential property. All information about the items being sold is free information and easily obtained if you know where to look.
Browsing the following government sites will get you started in finding out where and when auctions are held.
GSA Auctions offer federal personal property assets ranging from commonplace items, such as office equipment and furniture to more select products like scientific equipment, heavy machinery, airplanes, vessels, and vehicles. The system's online capabilities allow GSA to offer assets located across the country to any interested buyer, regardless of location.
You can also look in your local phone book (blue pages) and contact the regional office nearest you to get on the GSA mailing list to keep you informed of regional auctions.
For information on property that is currently available for sale and for sales locations, dates, and other pertinent information check the National Sellers List or check the classified section of your local newspaper.
- J.A. Farley Building, 380 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10199
- 2970 Market Street, Room 531A, Philadelphia, PA 19104
- 443 E. Fillmore Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55107
- 730 Great SW Parkway SW, Atlanta, GA 30336
- P.O. Box 7837, San Francisco, CA 94120
Sale participants are required to register prior to each sale. Just bring a government-issued photo ID to register and receive your bidder number and catalog. Registration is free. The catalog contains a listing of merchandise to be sold and important information about the Terms of Sale is available. For dates and locations you can browse their website or check the classified section of your local paper.
Caution: Before you participate in a government auction verify with the applicable agency that the auction is affiliated with them. There are many auctions out there that illegally represent themselves as being government sponsored.