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As we previously discussed in a recent article here on SurplusBusiness.Com, titled “How Local Police Recieve Military Surplus — The 1033 Program“, the subject of law enforcement agencies receiving military surplus items and equipment via the 1033 program has, as of late, and due to fairly recent events which have made national news, become somewhat of a hot-button issue.
The internet has been awash with public questioning, and, in many cases, outright condemnation of the program. Why, people are asking, do small-town sheriff’s departments — ones which might preside over a town populated by no more than a few thousand people, perhaps — need to acquire fully armored military vehicles, and other such types of combat-style gear and equipment — from the United States Armed Forces? Understandably, with the increasing commonality of such acquisitions recently brought to light, and into the awareness of the public at large, people have been asking if such a program truly does serve the public’s best interests — or, instead, might it be working much more effectively to promote and facilitate the development of an uncomfortably oppressive state of law enforcement?
Well, now, it appears that the President has ordered a review of the programs through which the acquisition of military surplus items — such as weapons and other types of military equipment — by various law enforcement agencies is made possible.
A senior official in the Obama administration has stated that the President has ordered the review in order to assess:
“whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding.”
The official also added that the upcoming review would seek out, and include, the participation and input of agencies such as The National Security Council, The Domestic Policy Council, The Office of Management and Budget, along with the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, The Department of Homeland Security, and the Treasury Department.
For quite some time now many people have been raising concerns regarding what appears to be the ever increasing militarization of local law enforcement agencies throughout the U.S. And, of course, the recent events which took place in Ferguson. Mo., have brought these concerns squarely into the view of many citizens who may not have paid them much attention in the past.
During the public protests taking place in Ferguson, following the fatal shooting of an unarmed Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, citizens involved in the civil unrest were met by law enforcement equipped with armored combat vehicles, military-grade combat body-armor, and some military issue weaponry — all of which was obtained under the 1033 program, of which Obama appears to have now ordered a review.
The decision on the part of the Office of the President to bring forth such a review, of course, should really come as no surprise — seeing as how, as previously mentioned, the subject has drawn such critical attention from the public, and from some public service agencies and watch-dog groups. Back in June of this year, for instance, the ACLU published a report sternly warning of what it perceived to be an excessive and increasingly prevalent move toward the militarization of law enforcement agencies occurring throughout the country.
Online video sharing sites, such as Youtube, are now overwhelmingly replete with citizen captured videos of local police agencies executing over-the-top military style actions and tactics in the serving out of what used to be commonly considered as rather mundane tasks. One doesn’t need to dig very far to view multiple incidents of SWAT divisions from local law enforcement agencies, decked in full combat gear, executing violent no-knock entries for what is, in many cases, somewhat petty infractions.
In today’s article we’re going to feature a quick round-up of some what we believe to be some of the most valuable resources on the internet for anyone looking to take part in the surplus business trade. The resources consist of, in our opinion, many of the best products, services and educational and training information available to individuals. Some are free information resources, and some are paid products and services. But, all, we feel, will be highly valuable to most readers of SurplusBusiness.Com.
So, please, peruse the following surplus business resource list at your lesiure. We’re sure you’ll find something within the listing that you find to be of value.
Government Auctions School — A very handy and information-packed guide for taking advantage of government auctions is available from this resource. However, it mostly focuses on how to obtain vehicles — cars, truck and SUVs at government auctions. But, some information contained within the guide is sure to be of value to those seeking to obtain other types of merchandise at government auctions.
Government Auction Tracking and Listing Service — This site offers an exceedingly valuable service to those looking to take part in government auctions. Of course, knowing just when, and exactly where, government auctions are taking place near you is absolutely key in being able to grab the best deals on government surplus merchandise. This locating and tracking system maintains an exhaustive and constantly up to date list of all of the latest announced upcoming government auctions. The auctions are searchable by area, and the resource maintains a reminder service, so you can be constantly kept abreast of any new government surplus auctions that are scheduled to take place near you — or, in any area you choose.
Auction-Resource.Org — Claims to be the internet’s #1 source for government and police seized, surplus and unclaimed property auction listings. Maintains a database of more than 4,000 live, active and upcoming public auction listings — entirely searchable by area. Along with its extensive government auction listing service, Auction-Resource.Org also offers an extensive collection of training and instructional materials.
The Auto Auction Center — Provides a live, interactive search function enabling users to perform searches for specific vehicles currently up for auction from various government sources, including local, state and federal police agencies, military, and other federal, state and local governmental departments. Also provides access to browsable and searchable lists of all such vehicle auctions.
SherrifAuctions.Org — Includes online listings of country-wide Sheriff’s department auctions for items such as seized and repossessed cars, motorcycles, trucks, SUVs, vans, RVs, and boats. Provides listings of live, ongoing, Sheriff auctions currently taking place online in real-time, as well as listings for Sheriff auctions coming up in your specific, local area.
Ultimate Surplus & Wholesale Guide — For anyone looking to get into the game of making money by snatching up bargains at surplus auctions, or purchasing items at or below wholesale prices from various surplus, wholesale and liquidation sources, this is the ultimate guide which will detail absolutely everything you need to know in order to do it. The guide details exactly where and how to find and purchase surplus, liquidation and wholesale products at prices up to, and sometimes more than, 90% off the product’s regular retail price — and then, turn around and sell those items at a substantial profit.
Wholesale Sources Online — The #1 source on the internet for searching and finding active sources, providers and distributors of wholesale, close-out and liquidation items such as jewelry, watches, designer handbags and fashion accessories, clothing items, and more. Name brands listed include labels like Gucci, Prada, Chanel. Versace, and more — all available at wholesale, or below wholesale prices.
Currently there exists a market which remains somewhat untapped, and, better yet, absolutely primed for taking advantage of. And, to someone with a little experience in the locating and procurement of surplus automobiles, especially, this market carries with it a rather heightened promise for sizable, potential profits. Although, such experience, while greatly beneficial, is not an absolute requirement in order to get into the very lucrative game of exporting cars for profit.
The automobile market in the United States is quite soft at the moment. Those with inventories of automobiles, looking to turn them over, are motivated to move their stock quickly, as the assurance of future sales occurring quickly, and with regularity, is not at all solid given the current market climate. This, of course, translates into a buyer’s market. Those looking to move their vehicle stock are willing to make bigger and better deals in order to clear their inventory.
At the same time that this buyer’s market is occurring in the U.S., a number of foreign markets — mostly in Asia and Europe — are currently experiencing a very strong seller’s market in the automobile trade industry. A number of Asian economies, for example, are booming. As such, many Asian people are gaining new wealth and financial independence, and these people are looking to spend their new wealth. There is, therefore, currently, a high demand for American automobiles in a number of Asian, and other, markets. And, what’s even better, the supply of American automobiles in those markets is currently somewhat limited — especially for in-demand models, like older model American muscle cars, and American made SUVs and pick-up trucks.
Such types of vehicles are practically impossible to find in those markets — yet, there is no shortage of buyers waiting to pounce, and pay top dollar, to acquire any such vehicle that becomes available for sale in those markets — pretty much the very moment one does come up for sale. Over there, it truly is a seller’s market.
So, it shouldn’t take an advanced business degree from Harvard to realize that a buyer’s market here, plus a seller’s market over there, equals the potential for exceedingly healthy profits for anyone with ready access to this buyer’s market that’s looking to make money exporting cars to that seller’s market. Automobiles that are assured to sell quickly, even at top-dollar in those markets can be obtained easily in this market for a fraction of what they can be sold for in certain foreign, overseas markets. All you need is to know where to get these vehicles for resale in the foreign markets, and how to go about exporting them for trade — arranging and conducting shipping/transportation, etc.
Imagine acquiring quality vehicles in the U.S. or Canada at auction, as we’ve detailed on this site in previous articles, for a fraction of what they can be re-sold for even in the American or Canadian markets, but, instead of re-selling them here for a healthy profit, you actually exported them for sale in another market where common prices paid for such automobiles were far, far higher?
There truly is an exceptionally exciting opportunity that has arisen from the current state of the competing auto-trade markets in various countries. And, just about anyone, really, can tap into it and begin making what could very well be exceedingly huge profits exporting cars to these foreign markets. All that is required to begin is an understanding of the exporting process and how to properly engage in it and work it one’s benefit.
One would, of course, need to familiarize themselves with the legalities involved in exporting automobiles for trade to such foreign markets. But, such technicalities are not all that difficult. For example, generally, and contrary to what many people seem to think, no special exporting licenses are required for exporting used automobiles out of the country — although, depending on the destination market, certain import licensing requirements may need to be in place. However, if one knows exactly how to find and work with the proper importing agents in these foreign markets, then acquiring the necessary licensing is not at all difficult — these foreign agents will usually take care, themselves, of all of the legalities required by the government of the destination market.
There is no doubt that there currently exists the potential for truly astounding profits in the vehicle export trade. And, all that is required to tap into this potentially lucrative field is just a small amount of knowledge regarding the specific technicalities of the business. Imagine yourself buying up surplus vehicle stock from auction lists for pennies on the dollar, then getting on the phone and arranging transport of your newly obtained vehicle to an overseas foreign market, to be received at the dock by your foreign market import agent, who will then proceed to put your vehicle on the market in the foreign country — sometimes for as much as the equivalent of five times, or more, than what you obtained it for, in US dollars.
The business of exporting cars to foreign markets can be not only highly, highly profitable, but also extremely fun, exciting, and rewarding. So, how does one learn of the technicalities and legalities involved in such a practice? There’s plenty of information freely available on the Internet to get you started, and studying such should prove adequate to provide you with a basic familiarity of what’s involved. And, we’ll tackle more of the in-depth specifics in an upcoming article here on SurplusBusiness.Com. But, if you really want to jump into the nuts and bolts of it all, learn exactly everything you need to know to try your hand in the business of exporting cars for profit, and get started as quickly a possible, I highly, highly recommend Don Massey’s incredible learning guide for exporting cars for profit — you can click here to check it out for yourself.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to make use of the comment box provided below, and I’ll do my best to respond as time permits. And, please remember to bookmark us here at SurplusBusiness.Com and keep checking back on a regular basis!
Best of luck and success to you!
First of all, in case you’re here looking for information on such, let me be right up front and dispel a myth that some people seem to believe: There is simply no such thing as totally free federal government land available anywhere in the United States, Canada, nor any other Western, industrialized country that I know of. So, if you’ve seen something on the Internet somewhere wherein someone is promising you that if you’ll just send them a certain amount of your money, they’ll then send you information on exactly how to get free land from the government, don’t believe it. They are either misinformed, delusional, or they’re deliberately trying to scam you. Either way, the information they have for you is useless and your money will be wasted if you send it to them.
It’s not the 1800’s anymore. There is simply no longer any such thing as totally free federal government land available in this country. There is, however, still some county and municipal governments that are offering “free” land. Notice, if you’d please, that the word “free” in that previous sentence is in quotes. Why? Because, when I say that this land is “free”, what I mean is that it can, at certain times, and in certain circumstances, be obtained for essentially no actual money. That doesn’t mean, though, that you wont have to expend something in order to take control of this land.
Whenever some governmental body is offering to give away land for essentially no money, they always want something in return — even though that ‘something’ might not necessarily be legal tender cash money.
How to Get Free Land from the Government:
There are municipalities and counties that are in trouble — they are either experiencing fairly rapid population decline, which is leading to an economic crisis in the locality. Or, they are sitting on government held property that is in unusable, unsaleable condition for some reason, it’s costing them to maintain it, and they are willing to hand over title to the land in exchange for an agreement from you that, under your control of the property, you’ll bring the property back to a desirable state within a certain time period, and at your own expense.
In the latter case mentioned above, the scope of such land acquisition is almost always outside of the means of any private individual. It’s usually only corporations who have the means to take advantage of such offers — as, usually, what’s involved in cleaning up the land, in the manner required, is so cost intensive that the current controlling agency — either a municipality, or county, or what have you — is unable, or unwilling, to undertake the expense and burden themselves. So, anyone who would acquire such land under such conditions would need fairly extensive resources, along with the means and will, to make sure that the outlay of such resources stood a good chance of resulting in a net profit somewhere down the road.
For example — in the county in which I used to live, back in the 1960s, a small, start-up energy company became convinced there was oil in a rural area not far outside the small city where I lived. They purchased a plot of about 600 acres from the county and set-up a drilling operation. As it turns out, they were wrong about the oil. Yes, there was some there, apparently. But, not enough to make the company’s efforts significantly profitable. The company scraped by for the better part of twenty years, alternating between years of ending up in the red, and turning a tiny profit. But, overall, not enough to make the long-term operation worthwhile.
In the mid-1980s the company finally went bankrupt and the county seized the property. There was a problem, however. The company had pretty much entirely destroyed the land in their 20 year occupation, and turned it into an environmental disaster area. The entire lot was littered with massive, useless, rusted out, rotting industrial machinery. The site had experienced twenty years of various spills of crude oil and other toxic chemicals at the hands of a company that was constantly struggling not to fail at their investment, and so, were consistently cutting every corner they could — which, of course, included neglecting any expense required to operate cleanly and in a manner not hazardous to the land itself. The land they operated on for two decades was now a bona-fide disaster area. It would cost the county untold millions to clean up the site and make it safe once again. And, that was money that the county just didn’t have.
So, what did they do? They gave the land away — for free! They found a large a corporation who was interested in obtaining that amount of land for some commercial purpose and they signed over title of the property to that corporation in exchange for a legally binding agreement that the corporation, within a period not exceeding ten years, would bring the land back into a state that met with EPA and county specified standards.
Those sorts of free land from the government deals (if you can call them ‘free’) can still be found from time to time. But, as I said before, taking advantage of such offers is likely not within the means of very many private individuals.
Oh, and, by the way — just for interest’s sake — in that specific instance I related above — the corporation that acquired the “free” land were good to their word, as it turned out. They spent what was probably many millions cleaning up the land and completely brought it back into a practically pristine state — far exceeding EPA and the county standards agreed upon in the contract — and, they did it well ahead of schedule. And, once they’d done all the clean-up, the county attempted to exploit a legal loop-hole in the contract to void the agreement and take back control of the land from the corporation. There was a giant legal battle over it that lasted years. The corporation did finally end up winning that battle, however. But, it was in the courts for years, and who knows what tax-payers ended up paying in legal costs to the county because of it — perhaps more than they would have spent had the county originally just undertaken the cost of the clean-up themselves?
So, it would seem that, for the average individual, such is just not a viable means when it comes to how to get free land from the government. Are there any other ways, then? Well, as mentioned above — yes. There actually are. But, as was also mentioned above, the ‘free’ part never really means entirely ‘free.’
For instance, the state of Mississippi has a number of counties that are currently experiencing a population decline. The state, and these counties, are somewhat desperate to increase the population in order to aid the declining economy, and to gain more electoral votes in their districts. So, they’re willing to give away *free* land to just about any takers. And, if you’re interested in obtaining any of this *free* land they might currently have on offer, you can get more information about it by contacting the offices of the Public Lands Division of the Secretary of State of Mississippi. Mississippi isn’t the only state doing this, by the way. There are a few of them — mostly Midwestern — and, the the land available is usually very rural.
However, I’ll caution you to take notice that the word *free*, written in the above paragraph, appears within cautionary asterisks. Yes, there are a number of counties in Mississippi, and other states, that do, from time to time, make available offers of granting land to individuals in exchange for no monetary purchase price. But, there are some things of which you should be aware: Usually, the land on offer is unserviced land — this means there is usually no phone service near the land, no electrical, no county, nor municipal water or sewer service, etc. And, in a lot of cases, in order to obtain title to the land, you’ll be required to enter into a contract with the county wherein you’ll agree to erect a residential structure and set-up residency within a certain amount of time, or else the title to the property will revert back to the county.
What this means, of course, is that you’d either have to be willing to take upon yourself the expense of building a house and actually living in it without running water, modern plumbing, telephone service, or electricity. Or, take on the expense of building a house and paying the county to extend such services into that area. And, such costs are exceedingly expensive.
I can’t say what the costs are specifically in every area today. But, I can tell you that back in 1994 I bought a small parcel of uncleared, unserviced land in a very rural part of Ontario, Canada (purchased in a private sale). I wanted to build a small cottage on the land, and, just for interest’s sake, really, I looked into what it would cost to get service run out the cottage I was planning on building. Just for telephone service, I was quoted a price, by the county, of roughly forty dollars per foot — calculated from the nearest existing telephone line they could run a tap off of. Which, in my case, was a little over three miles away at the time. So, just for telephone service alone, my cost would have been well in excess of a half a million dollars. Upon learning that figure, I abandoned my interest in finding out what electrical would have cost. I’m sure it would have been at least equally as prohibitively expensive.
So, how to get free land from the government, exactly? You can’t, really. It doesn’t really exist, I’m sorry to say. Anyone who tells you it does is handing you a line. That’s just the reality of it. You can, in some cases, get what is *virtually* free title to some sort of property from some governmental bodies. But, there will always be strings attached. And, in many cases, those strings will be very expensive, very thick strings, to say the least.
However your dreams may be dashed in how to get free land from the government in any absolute sense, it might do you good, though, to realize that cheap land from the government, as opposed to free, is another matter entirely. And, in fact, various governmental bodies do actually auction off parcels of land for various reasons that, in certain circumstances, can be obtained at exceedingly attractive prices — quite often at prices significantly below market value. So, perhaps setting your sites on more realistic targets, abandoning the question of how to get free land from the government and, instead, looking into getting land from the government at incredible bargains might be a wiser course of action.
Have a look in the ‘related posts’ area directly below this article to find extensive information on how to take advantage of government land auctions.
In 1990 the United States Congress gave authorization to the Pentagon to begin distributing military surplus items to local and state police departments and law enforcement agencies. The regulations and guidelines for such authorization was laid out in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991. In this act, Congress granted authorization, under what’s referred to as “the 1033 program”, to the Department of Defense, to transfer excess military property to both federal and state law enforcement agencies, for the purpose of helping to fight the war on drugs. In 1997, the program was expanded to allow all law enforcement agencies — even those at local, municipal levels — to acquire surplus military goods from the Department of Defense. The program was expanded with the passing of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997.
With this new expansion, law enforcement agencies were granted the ability to acquire surplus military items which would aid them in carrying out any legitimate police operations — with preference for distribution going to agencies seeking to use such surplus items in order to fight drug trafficking and in assisting in counter-terrorism operations.
In 1995, the overseeing and operations of the 1033 program was placed under the jurisdiction of the Defense Logistics Agency. And, this agency, through the DLA Disposition Service‘s Law Enforcement Support Office, headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, is responsible for overseeing the carrying out of the distribution of such military surplus items to this day.
The military items that have thus far been distributed to various state and local law enforcement agencies through the Defense Department’s 1033 program pretty much run the gamut — from armored military Humvees, to fully automatic weapons, state of the art night-vision gear, and pretty much any other sorts of surplus military equipment you can think of.
The program was started by Congress out of a pressing concern that local and state law enforcement agencies, back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, were finding themselves severely outgunned and out-equipped by drug-trafficking organizations. And so, with a great many of the smaller law enforcement agencies in the country also drastically underfunded and possessing little hope of adequate budget increases necessary for obtaining equipment required to match firepower with such clandestine organizations, Congress passed the 1033 program with the aim of allowing law enforcement agencies the ability to acquire military style weapons and equipment at no cost.
To date, around thirteen-thousand different law enforcement agencies throughout the country have participated in the program, and have used the 1033 program to acquire an estimated four-billion dollars worth of surplus military gear.
In most cases, of course, much of the surplus military gear is used as the originators of the program had intended for it to be used — to help law enforcement agencies fight legitimate crime. And, of course, much of it is also used to directly aid the public. For instance, not all of the surplus military items acquired are offensive in nature — in fact, only a small portion of it, around 5%, according to the DLA, are actually weapons, or offensive equipment — the vast majority of the items received by police agenciesm according to the DLA, are things like military surplus blankets, first aid supplies, and other such items. However, critics are now raising concern that some of the items obtained by local police is being misused — that law enforcement agencies are using the surplus military gear they obtain, the critics say, to militarize their agencies and turn offensive military equipment toward control and suppression of the public.
The recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, in particular, has brought into the public eye this militarization of American police agencies. Critics say that the 1033 program is being abused and used by police and law enforcement for purposes other than it was originally intended — that police are using items obtained through the program not in the public interest, not in suppressing crime, but as tools of public oppression. And, one must admit, the images of military-style cammo-outfitted police officers with sniper rifles trained on crowds of American citizens that have been an all too common site in the news recently is quite disconcerting.
Many critics, and probably rightfully so, are becoming increasingly concerned with this apparent militarization of police forces throughout the country. Representative Hank Johnson, a Democrat Congressman from Georgia, has said that he will introduce legislation before Congress this coming September with an aim to curb the practice and reign in this apparent militarization of local police agencies — making it either more difficult for such agencies to acquire things like assault weapons and military style armored vehicles, or, when acquired, to use such items in ways which the original legislation did not intend.