How To Make Money with Government Surplus Auctions
Have you ever found yourself with a curiosity about making money by purchasing items at auction at low prices and then re-selling those items at a profit? It is, in fact, somewhat surprising just how popular this notion appears to be. In fact, to a fairly large number of people, the thrill of obtaining interesting items at auction for low prices, just in itself, seems like both a fun and interesting endeavor. And, if truth be told, flipping those items that you manage to acquire at auction for a profit is a good way of making money — one that you could even easily turn into either a lucrative part-time, or even full-time business for yourself.
Indeed, there are quite a number of people out there, right now, who are earning substantial incomes doing just that. They attend government surplus auctions, bid on the items up for grabs, and actually have loads of fun doing it. They then turn around and flip the items they’ve won through channels like eBay, or even through local classified advertisements, or a number of other channels. Not everyone has the time to attend government surplus auctions — nor the know-how required in locating them, or how to participate in them. So, if you can obtain items by placing winning bids at, say, a 500% discount over what the fair-market resale price is for such a used item (which isn’t all that difficult to do at a government surplus auction) you can mark-up the item by, say, 400% over your bid price, and still sell it off to a buyer for, what would be to them, a substantial discount.
For the purposes of illustration, using the above the figures, let’s say you managed to obtain the fictional product of a ‘widget’ at auction. A used widget in good condition regularly sells for about $1,000.00. You, however, won your widget for a 500% discount below that price. That means you will have spent only $200.00 to acquire your widget. You then mark-up your resale price by 400% and advertise your widget for sale at a price of $800.00. A buyer, paying your full asking price, would still be purchasing your widget at a savings of $200.00 below what they could normally find used widgets selling for. And, you’ve still made a profit of $600.00! The reason for this is because the ‘fair-market resale value’ of used merchandise is based, for the most part, on the prices of used items that have originally come from retail sources — not from surplus sources. And, retail sources begin with a higher cost for most merchandise.
The used widgets, in our fictional example, that most people are used to seeing for sale, are priced on average at $1,000.00, because almost all of these widgets are being re-sold by people who originally purchased the widgets at retail — not through surplus auctions. The bulk of those widgets being resold, therefore, are being resold for less than what the seller actually paid to acquire the widget in the first place, and the seller is attempting to recoup as much of their original purchase price as they can. This is what dictates the average resale value of a used widget.
So, how can you get involved in making money with government surplus auctions? Of course, the very first thing you’ll need to do is to actually find such auctions that are taking place in your area. Practically anywhere you might live, there are most likely many such auctions taking place relatively close to you on a regular basis. The problem is — and this is one of the reasons why not a lot of people take part in these auctions — is that the auctions usually aren’t well publicized. And, there’s a reason for that. The entire thing about these auctions is that the people who do attend them are looking for great deals — and the agencies that hold such auctions are looking to dump their surplus inventories quickly. That’s exactly why they sell this stuff through an auction format — their primary concern is to get rid of the stuff fast, and they do this by selling it all in one go, at auction, for very little money. Of course, doing it this way, however, while it does work to unload their surplus inventory quickly, it doesn’t result in huge profits for the agency when each auction is assessed individually. So, the agencies have an interest in keeping costs low in order to maximize their returns. And, publicity for the auctions cost money.
It’s not bad for them, however, because there are a dedicated group of regulars who attend these auctions, who will put forth the effort to hunt down the auctions and find them. And, that’s all the agencies really need — just this dedicated group. Because, of course, this dedicated group are made up mostly of re-sellers — so, they buy and buy and buy. If you get into attending these government surplus auctions on something of a regular basis, one of the first things you’ll notice is that you’ll see the same faces at many of these auctions, over and over again. And, by actually not widely publicizing government surplus auctions, it works out better for the agencies holding the auctions.
Remember, the primary concern of the agencies that are holding the government surplus auctions is to unload their surplus inventory quickly in order to make room for new inventory, and to rid themselves of the associated costs and efforts in storing their surplus goods. If the auctions are well publicized, a lot of regular folk will attend and that will drive the prices up. More people attending means more bids — more bidding wars. Which means the individual auction lots end up selling for more money. It’s kind of counter-intuitive, I know. You may think that would be desirable for the agency selling the items. But, it’s not! The higher prices drive away the professional buyers.
The professional buyers are there to acquire stuff cheap for the purpose of turning a profit — they’re there to acquire LOTS of stuff. If they can’t obtain the items at prices that make it worth their while, they’ll go away, and the agencies will be left with a room full of average joes looking to spend a hundred bucks or so to get their hands on one or two items. The agencies don’t want that. They want professional buyers who have business channels set-up to quickly move all the items they can get their hands on. Because, even though these professional buyers will buy more cheaply on a per-item basis, they still buy, and buy, and buy, and buy. And, they will buy items that casual buyers just wont bid on — pallets full of industrial machine parts, and what have you — because the professional buyers have the contacts and the means to resell such items. Casual buyers — members of the general public — just don’t. They have no interest in acquiring such things.
So, if by over publicizing such auctions the agency drives away the professional buyers and are left with a room full of average people — people who merely saw an ad somewhere and decided to go and try to grab a bargain or two on some piece of merchandise they might want to acquire for their own use, there’s a much greater chance the auction is going to conclude and that the agency conducting the auction, while, on a per-item basis having received higher prices on the items that did sell than they otherwise would have, are left stuck with a ton of excess goods that didn’t move. And, this is exactly what the agency doesn’t want. They want rid of the stuff. They don’t want to have to deal with it any longer. They need to make room. That is their primary concern.
Due to this tendency to under-publicize these auctions, most people don’t have time, dedication and know-how that’s required to hunt them down and discover exactly when and where these auctions are taking place. They might attend one if they, by chance, happen across a small notice in their local paper, or something. But they wont go out of their way to actually seek out the information — which is what is required, really, if you wish to attend these auctions on anything approaching a regular basis.
So, what must you do to put forth the effort in actually locating these auctions? Well, there really are two methods. You can do all of the footwork yourself — keep browsing the classified sections by daily routine in local papers, find and contact auction services that handle such auctions on a regular basis and ask them to notify you of any scheduled auctions, and do the same with the government agencies directly. Or, you could incorporate the services of an organization that does all of that work for you. Services such as the one located here.
Such a service will provide you with a comprehensive and frequently updated database of all upcoming government surplus auctions that are scheduled to take place in your specific area. You can set the service to notify you through e-mail whenever a new auction, in any area you specify, has been scheduled. Or, you can search through their database any time you choose. Their service will provide you with dates, times, locations, contact information for representatives involved in running the auctions, and in most cases even detailed and comprehensive listings of the specific items that will be available for bidding on at those auctions. You can even browse the auction listing by state, or conduct searches based on Zip code and choose to have results returned based on a specific radius in which you’re willing to travel to in order to attend such government surplus auctions.
The particular government surplus auction locating service mentioned above, that you can visit by clicking here, will even allow you to search by a specific item that you’re interested in and will then return results for any upcoming auction that is selling that item — it will provide you with the date, location, information you need to know about the auction itself, and specific, detailed information regarding the particular item that’s up for sale. Along with that, they maintain a nationwide database of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure properties — if you’re interested in purchasing real-estate at surplus auction prices. They also provide a wealth of educational materials — including a library of videos of actual surplus auctions being conducted — in order to familiarize you with the process of taking part in a government surplus auction. They maintain a list of recent surplus auction results and sale prices — providing you with an idea of what to expect to pay in order to actually win bids at any auction you might be interested in attending. A good auction locating service, such as the one linked to above, will provide all of these features and more.
There’s no doubt at all that making money with government surplus auctions is a very workable avenue toward real revenue generation for just about any individual. And, there’s also no doubt that taking advantage of a qualified locating service is practically a must for anyone with an interest in really making money with government surplus auctions on a regular basis.