Government Surplus Auctions – How To Cash In on These Incredible Opportunities

Government Surplus Auctions

Attending city, municipal, county, or other government surplus auctions is likely the greatest method that the average person can employ to save a significant amount of money when buying goods. Surplus auctions can be an extremely powerful tool for locating high quality items; often at prices that are far less than the fair re-sale value of the goods found. However, since government surplus auctions very often present a wide and varied selection of merchandise — and almost always at such huge savings over regular market value — there is often no shortage of people looking to take advantage of these incredible opportunities.

In many cases, those attending government surplus auctions are there with the intention of purchasing undervalued merchandise in order to re-sell said items for profit. Many of these people do this on a professional basis, and are able to earn a significant and steady amount of revenue doing so — some exceedingly so. If you’re looking to try your hand at re-selling items for profit that you acquire at such surplus auctions, it is imperative that you possess at least a reasonable understanding of exactly what sorts of items people might be interested in later purchasing from you. You’ll need to know exactly what types of merchandise you can turn around quickly, and at the highest possible returns. Too often novices to the surplus auctions game will waste money by bidding on lots or goods that they perceive to be undervalued, only to find later — after they have won the auction — that while they may have indeed gotten a good price on some item, there isn’t really a market for re-sale currently available. So, it’s important to know your markets.

The good news is that just attending these government surplus auctions can, very often, be both a fun and quite rewarding experience. And, even if you’re not looking to turn this into a full-time business, surplus auctions can still be a very enjoyable way to find good bargains for your own, personal needs. Many people attend these government surplus auctions merely because they find the experience to be quite enjoyable, and they aren’t really looking to turn huge profits — to them, they spend an afternoon at a surplus auction for much the same reasons as someone else might spend an afternoon playing golf, or fishing. There can be a real “treasure hunt” aspect to surplus auctions which many people find very enjoyable.

Surplus Auctions: What you must know in order to be successful

Government, or other types of surplus auctions usually have just a couple of requirements that you must meet in order to take part. Participants, normally, must be eighteen years of age, or older. Usually, in order to bid on the items that come up for auction, you will be required to have and show a valid driver’s license, or some other form of state-issued photo-ID when registering for the surplus auction before it begins.

At some of these auctions, there will be a small registration fee involved that will be required to be paid up front. At many of these surplus auctions, the organizers will limit the number of bidders they allow to attend the auction, and this registration fee is to make sure that you’re serious about bidding, and to ensure your place at the auction. The fee is usually minimal, and often, the registration fee that you pay to attend the surplus auction will be deducted from the amount of any successful bid you make.

If the surplus auction that you’re attending is being conducted by an auction firm which has been contracted by the governmental, or other, organization that is auctioning off their surplus goods, you will want to investigate any specific rules, requirements or policies which that specific auction firm might have in place. You’ll want to do this before the surplus auction takes place in order to eliminate any potential problems that might arise on the day of the surplus auction. With some of these private auction houses, for instance, they will require you to have a valid credit card on file with them in order to ensure payment for any successful bids you might make. So, be certain to check with auction house before-hand in order to apprise yourself of any requirements you’ll need to fulfill in order to take part in the surplus auction. Many of these auction coordinators will have a website available that will list their upcoming surplus auctions, and make available any rules, requirements and special policies they may have in place.

What Types of Goods Can Be Found at Surplus Auctions?

A lot of people don’t really understand exactly what the term “surplus” actually means in terms of government surplus auctions. It seems common that a lot of people assume that government surplus refers only to overstocked items. This however, is only part of the story. When dealing with government surplus auctions, the term “surplus” may refer to any and all goods or property for which the current owner no longer has need. In the case of government surplus auctions, a governmental agency may be auctioning off items that have been overstocked, items which are old, outdated or obsolete, items which have been replaced by updated equipment, or any number of other reasons. The governmental body that is holding the surplus auction may just need to clear room in their storage facilities, or a department may have been shut-down and their assets may need to be liquidated.

Government Surplus AuctionsAt times, the merchandise offered at these surplus auctions need to be auctioned off because the agency holding the auction is in possession of remainder materials from some project that has been completed, or, perhaps, they have overestimated the required  quantities on a purchase order, and are left with an overstock of items that had been intended for a particular use. It also may be that agency now holding the surplus auction has recently updated outdated items or equipment, and while their old stock may still have value and be of use to others, it has become redundant to that particular agency. Whatever the case, the agency holding the surplus auction has items for which they no longer have need, and they wish to turn these items into quick liquid assets and/or create room in their storage facilities.

Attendees to these government surplus auctions can usually expect to discover practically anything of value waiting for them to offer up their bids. Just about any sort of item that is no longer wanted or needed will be offered up for sale to the highest bidder. It’s impossible to predict exactly what you might find at the next surplus auction. Items that regularly come up for auction at these events often include things like automobiles — including all sorts of cars, truck, and even things like all terrain vehicles — boats, office furniture and equipment, computer hardware, various types of electronics and electrical equipment, building materials and construction equipment and supplies, and much, much more. There are times when even fully functional aircraft have been known to be offered up at these government surplus auctions!

Due to the fact that most governmental agencies and organizations are made up of many smaller departments, the variety of the goods that you’re likely to find at these surplus auctions is often extensive. And, there will be times when you’re able to locate some more unusual sorts of items. A few of the more unusual sorts of things that do, from time to time, come up for bidding at government surplus auctions include things like street signs or traffic signs, sporting equipment, change room lockers, playground equipment, school supplies and equipment, janitorial and cleaning equipment, cafeteria or lunch/break-room supplies and equipment, and a whole host of other things.

Aside from the fact that government surplus auctions commonly provide exceptional deals to those attending these functions, a surplus auction will also generate funds which will be returned to the public through the operations of that particular governmental agency. By generating the supplemental revenue obtained through holding surplus auctions, a municipal government, for instance, will be able to increase the buying power of its available revenue earned through more traditional means. And so, with these extra funds earned through the surplus auction available to the municipality, the city can then more ably support public programs and services, and perhaps even engage in new ones, or  expand the scope of existing ones.

It is not often that an average member of the public will be able to locate a better means of obtaining valuable, quality goods and merchandise at exceptional bargains than at a government surplus auction. After attending a few of these, you will find yourself wonderfully surprised at the breadth of variety of items that are often available — and you’re sure to be absolutely stunned with the amazing values that much of this merchandise ends up being sold for.

Where to find Government Surplus Auctions

Of course, one of the complaints that we most often hear from people interested in attending government surplus auctions is that these auctions can be difficult to locate. This seems odd considering that these surplus auctions are taking place practically every day in this country. There truly is no shortage of them. The problem is that the bargains available at these government surplus auctions are often so great, that those who attend them are often reluctant to share their information. The last thing they want is for more people showing up at the surplus auctions they’re attending and driving up the bids on the bargains they hope to get for themselves.

Luckily, for those who know how to find them, there are a number of services available to help members of the public locate these government surplus auctions — and, keep them update with any such auctions which may be upcoming in your specific area. The largest and most comprehensive of these services is GovernmentAuctions.Org, which can be located by visiting their website here.

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