now browsing by tag
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.
So, you’ve started your own home business or small business — or, at least, you’ve finally made the decision to do so — and now you find yourself in need of all the required supplies. Of course, if you’re just starting out, your budget is quite likely to be somewhat on the lean side, and the cost of acquiring the necessary supplies to get your new small business off on the right foot can be somewhat costly. Luckily, there are methods for obtaining very good quality business supplies for much less than you’d regularly expect to pay — and, I do mean MUCH less! Acquiring such supplies via government surplus is one of the top options available to you.
Acquiring much needed business supplies from government surplus sources has long been a well established means of outfitting a small or home business with exceptional quality items while still managing to save a significant amount of money and, thus, going a long way in helping to keep your business’s budget from creeping into the red.
Practically anything your business might need in order to operate efficiently is regularly sold off by the government through surplus channels — if your business needs it, chances are that some government surplus outlet has it up for sale right now, or soon will. And, practically all of it is sold at or below cost, or below wholesale – sometimes significantly so. Sometimes they even practically give it away.
Whenever some government agency, either at the municipal, state, or federal level finds itself with extra items, supplies or equipment that they no longer require these items will sometimes be destroyed in some fairly rare circumstances, shipped to another government agency that may have use for the items, or, very often, sold off to non-government individuals or entities through public or private sales, or through public or private auctions.
The particular government agency offering surplus goods for sale will utilize different means and methods for selling off these goods. They may hold a public auction which members of the public may attend and place bids on the various items for sale. But, today, more and more, many government branches and departments are turning to on-line, electronic means for conducting such sales — even when their wish is to auction such items to the highest bidder. Some governmental organizations have even been known to use eBay in order to sell their wares. However, most now regularly utilize dedicated, government run services and electronic, on-line, central sales outlets.
The majority of state governments now employ the use of some sort of central auction and/or sales website that members of the public may visit, browse the items currently up for grabsm and place bids on the items they’re interested in. Many municipal governments are now doing the same sort of thing as well. However, with federal government, there is still no such entirely comprehensive, all-in-one, central on-line service maintained by any one central branch. Instead, there are a number of governmental departments responsible for the selling off of surplus goods and items from various areas of government.
The General Services Administration, or GSA, is tasked with getting rid of the bulk of items and property that a number of areas of government find themselves no longer in need of. But, the Defense Department takes care of their own surplus sales and does not use the services of the GSA in most cases. Along with that, various federal level law enforcement agencies also run their own surplus auctions, sales and property disposal.
The following information is already readily available on SurplusBusiness.Com, but we’ll include it here briefly again for easy access. Here’s a quick run-down of some government surplus related Internet sites that you’ll most certainly find exceedingly useful in helping you to save money while procuring the supplies your business requires to operate effectively and efficiently:
Govsales.Gov – This is the official on-line Federal Asset Sales Portal for the United States Federal Government. Operated by the General Services Administration, it contains a comprehensive, searchable and browseable, listing of most surplus items currently available for sale, or at auction, from a vast array of different federal government departments and sources. At any given time you’re likely to find just about anything from soup to nuts being offered up for sale from the federal government on this site — from fully functional helicopters, to pens and pencils. From high-tech medical equipment, to coffee-makers and work boots.
Gov-Auctions.Org – An exhaustive, all-in-one on-line resource comprising the largest single source of all state-level, and federal, US government surplus auctions including government surplus pre-owned and seized cars, trucks, SUVs, boats, real-estate and a wide array of personal property items — all at up to 95% off book-value on many of the individual items being offered.
DispositionServices.Dla.Mil – Home page for the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services. This website makes available surplus items, goods and property obtained from the various branches of the U.S. military. Don’t skip over this valuable resource if you’re not interested in strictly military-style items, however. The military uses a great deal of items that aren’t immediately associated with being strictly military items, and any excess goods that have been owned by any branch of the military and is now available for surplus sale is offered on this site. It is not at all uncommon to find incredible deals on things like office supplies, kitchen supplies, furniture, and much else on this site — along, of course, with all of the standard military surplus fare.
GovernmentAuctions.Org – An incredible and valuable private government auctions listing service. This powerful resource keeps track of all upcoming federal, state an local government surplus auctions and keeps you informed, ahead of time, on all such events that will be taking place in your area, and elsewhere. If you’re thinking of making money by acquiring surplus goods and flipping them for a profit, this resource is absolutely indispensable for providing you with the upper edge you’ll need to maximize your chances of success — get a leg up on the competition by being kept informed of the most obscure of government sales in order to take advantage of the very lowest of surplus prices.
U.S. Marshals Service Assets Forfeiture Service – Home page for information regarding the sales of seized and forfeited property available through the U.S. Marshall’s Service. This Internet site contains listings of currently available seized and forfeited real estate, vehicles and other property that the U.S. Marshall’s Service has available for public auction.
Insider Wholesale & Surplus Products – Government agencies aren’t the only places available to you for acquiring goods, items and property at incredible, far-below wholesale surplus prices. There is a wealth of commercial retail and private sources that you should be informed regarding. This site contains all of the information you’ll need to learn about such avenues and take advantages of the incredible deals available through them.
United States Treasury Real Property Auctions – This website is operated by the U.S. Treasury Department and lists auctions of seized Real Property currently for sale throughout the country. Listings regularly include all manner of both residential and commercial buildings, land and property — including single and multi-family dwellings, commercial warehouse buildings, commercial retail properties, even fully operating businesses that you can purchase and take over.
IRS Real and Personal Property Sales – This website, operated by the United States Internal Revenue Agency lists all items currently up for sale or auction to the public that have been seized due to tax defaults. Items regularly offered include just about anything you can think of — from clothing, to jewelry, to automobiles, office equipment, furniture, artwork, real estate, etc., etc., Anything that has value and has been seized by the IRS can be found offered for sale to the public on this website.
Live auctions, like government and military surplus auctions, offer both an enjoyable and an exciting opportunity for people from all walks of life. All manner of various sorts of items are able to be obtained from live auctions that are going on all over the country all the time — and, very often, the items available at these live auctions can be acquired for prices well less than market value. However, if you’ve never been to such an auction, or have attended only a few, you might not be entirely clear on just how to best conduct yourself in order to maximize the potential for successful bidding. You’re looking for some live auction bidding tips. So, in this article, I’ll try to cover some of the basics, and walk you through a few important do’s and don’ts.
Locating Live Auctions to Attend
The very first step you’ll need to take, of course, is actually finding exactly when and where such auctions are going to be taking place. Doing so will either require some amount of research on your part, or you can use the services of a live auction locating service in order to be informed of exactly when and where live auctions will be happening in your area. Such services (such at the one located at this link) will eliminate all of the research and leg work you’ll need to put in to discovering any upcoming auctions that are available to you.
However, if you don’t wish to take advantage of such a service, you can spend some time looking up local auction houses in your area — either in your local phone book, or on the internet — and then contacting them each individually and asking if they have any auctions coming up that are open to the general public. Sometimes, the auction houses will post information regarding upcoming live auctions to their websites. But, since dates can change, and auctions can sometimes be organized very quickly, a lot of times they wont list every auction on the website, and only an actual phone call to the auction house itself, or a visit there, will assure you of the most up to date and complete information.
Along with this, you’ll want to check your local newspaper’s classified sections often and thoroughly, as notices for upcoming auctions will often be posted there. Also, make sure to check any on-line local classifieds websites for your area and make use of online resources like Craiglist.
The Various Auction Types
When you’ve discovered all of the upcoming auctions that are taking place in your area, are open to the public, and you’ve compiled them all into a list, you’ll need to learn the specific rules for the different types of auctions that you wish to attend. This, again, is another area in which the auction locating service mentioned above proves highly valuable. As, along with listing every auction scheduled to take place in your area, the services will also provide you with precise and complete details regarding the rules for each of the auctions to which it informs you. But, again, if you’re not interested in using such a service, you’ll need to contact the organizers of each of the auctions directly and inquire as to the specifics of the individual auction.
It’s common for some auctions to have limited availability and require pre-registration by a certain date, and you’ll need to register before that date if you wish to take part. Many such auctions operate on a first-come-first-serve basis. So, you’ll want to make sure you get that information and register as early as possible in order to secure yourself admittance.
Some auctions will require an entrance fee. This is usually a relatively small amount, and is usually deductible against any successful bid you place. So, let’s say the entrance fee is $50.00, and you end up winning a bid for an item with a bid of $100.00, the auction house will simply keep your $50.00 entrance fee and require from you just another $50.00 when it comes time to pay for the items you won. They do this because space usually is limited and they want to make sure they fill the limited space with people who are serious about bidding.
Some auctions may require you to enter a larger, entirely refundable deposit as well. This works the same as the deposit described above, except that even if you don’t bid on anything, the money is returned to you at the end of the auction. This is done as a safety measure to guard against people who might obtain the winning bid on an item and, for whatever reason, decide not to pay for it when it comes time to collect the item. Some auctions may require you to provide your credit card information for this purpose, while others may require a cash deposit.
Along with this you may encounter different styles of auctions, and you’ll certainly want to know ahead of time which style the auction you’re attending will be conducted in. The different styles are:
- A traditional, or sometimes called an “English” auction. This is the type of auction that most people think about when they hear the word “auction”. It’s the traditional type, where bids start at a low price and bidders ‘bid each other up’ until people stop bidding. The person with the last and highest bid wins the auction.
- A Dutch Auction. This is sort of the reverse of an English auction. In a Dutch auction the price for an item starts high and gradually lowers over time until someone places a bid. The first person to place a bid wins the item.
- A ‘closed bid’ or a ‘silent auction’. In this type of auction bidders enter the price they’re willing to pay for an item in secret, usually by placing their written bid in a sealed envelope and submitting it. Nobody at the auction knows what anyone else’s bid amount is. After a certain time, the auction stops accepting bids, all envelopes are opened, and whoever submitted the highest price wins the item.
These are the three most common styles of auction you’re likely to encounter. There’s also what’s known as an ‘absolute auction’, which is similar to a closed bid or silent auction, but without any minimum, or reserve, price being set on items.
Live Auction Bidding Tips — Bidding!
One thing you should keep in mind is that, according to the laws in most places, once the auctioneer’s gavel falls, the item is yours. It doesn’t matter if money has exchanged hands or not. When you place a bid and the auctioneer informs you that yours is the winning bid and stops the auction, as far as the law is concerned, you’ve now entered into a legally binding contract with the auctioneer. You now legally owe him the money you agreed to pay, and he now legally owes you the item he agreed to sell you at that price. So, make sure you only ever place a bid if you’re completely willing to pay that amount for that item. Once the auction for an item stops, if you had last bid, then you’re going to have to fork over the money.
The bidding can be conducted very quickly, and it can be confusing for inexperienced attendees. Auctioneers have the right to reject your bid if you seem confused or unsure, and if you’re slow, they wont wait around for you. For this reason it’s advisable that you might want to think about trying to locate a couple of auctions that don’t require non-refundable deposits and where space isn’t very limited, and attend one or two before you even try placing bids, just to get a feel for how things transpire, and for what you can expect when actually bidding.
Depending on exactly what style of auction it is, and a number of other factors, it can be surprisingly easy for an inexperienced auction attendee to overbid. If you don’t have a lot of experience, the process can be somewhat fast paced and confusing, and it’s not difficult at all to get completely caught up in the excitement of it all. Believe it or not, an auction can be very exciting! There may be times when an inexperienced person enters into a competitive mode — it becomes like a game — a competition, and the desire to just win an auction becomes overwhelming. When this happens there is a real danger that you can overpay for an item. It feels good to win, but if you end up paying more for some item than you could have gotten it for had you bought it retail, that feeling wont last for too long after you leave the auction house.
The surest way of avoiding this is to make sure that you do your homework to the best of your ability. A lot of auctions will publish a list of all of the items that will be made available at the upcoming auction. Obtain that list if you can, as far in advance as possible, learn as much as you can about each item you think you might be interested in bidding on, and do some research into what the items would be worth to you and what the highest you’re willing to bid on the item would realistically be. In a good number of cases the auction house might even set a date before the day of the auction wherein interested parties can view the items that will be made available at the upcoming auction. Take advantage of this if it’s offered and take careful note of the condition of the items. Do as much good research as you can into the real value of the items. Use this information to determine a maximum bid for yourself and stick to it.
Above all, just use a little wisdom and common sense and you’ll likely do just fine and have a lot of fun.
Do you have any of your own live auction bidding tips? If you do please consider sharing them in the comment box below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!
In Canada, the organization responsible for overseeing the disposal of all Canadian military assets is the Department of Directorate Disposal, Sales, Artefacts and Loans, commonly refereed to as, simply, the DDSAL. The DDSAL is charged with the responsibility of offloading, through a number of means, all surplus items and most all other Canadian military assets that have fallen into some state of disuse.
This doesn’t just mean that the DDSAL only handles surplus items via Canadian military sales. In fact, they do much more. If the Canadian military holds any sort of tangible asset or item that they wish to get rid of, it is the DDSAL which oversees the entire process. The DDSAL will assess the particular item (or items) which have been marked for disposal, calculate the best mode of disposal for those items, and oversee the process of their disposal. Depending on the particular items in question, this may mean destruction of the items, donations of the items to various individuals, entities or organizations, or sales of items through private or public means.
The DDSAL works on behalf of the Canadian Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces, otherwise known as the DND/CAF and is charged with the responsibility of managing the disposal of military goods and items, creating the policy which directs such actions, and creating the official documentation which governs those actions and processes.
When surplus Canadian military vehicles fall into a state where the DND/CAF decides that they are no longer of use in the service of the Canadian military, the DDSAL will asses the vehicles and determine the best course of action for their disposal. Depending on a number of specifics, this might mean the destruction of such military vehicles, their donation, or, quite often, they will be put up for sale, usually via a surplus auction open to the general public.
When Canadian military vehicles, and other surplus military items, are marked to be put up for public surplus auction, the DDSAL will use the services of the Government of Canada Surplus service — commonly known as GCSurplus. This is the Canadian governmental organization that is charged with conducting the sales of most surplus crown assets.
GCSurplus currently maintains a total of ten offices and eight warehouses which are located throughout Canada. Most of the sales open to the public, which GCSurplus conducts, are now being executed through the GCSUrplus website located at GCSurplus.Ca. Members of the general public are able to bid on items made available through that website — items which include surplus Canadian military vehicles for sale — but pre-registration is required before a person may enter a bid. There is no cost to register with GCSurplus in order to bid on surplus items that become available, but a registrant will be required to have a valid credit card on file with GCSurplus before their registration will be approved.
At the time of this writing, the GCsurplus website is currently listing a total of 105 government surplus vehicles up for auction. Only a small portion of these, however, are actually Canadian military surplus vehicle auctions. The bulk of government surplus vehicle auctions handled through the GCSurplus website are crown asset surplus vehicles sourced through a variety of non-military governmental agencies. So, if using that service to search for Canadian military vehicles for sale, some searching through the listings will be required.
If you’re searching for surplus Canadian military vehicles for sale, you might also want to consult our live surplus vehicle auction listings located at this link, as surplus Canadian military vehicles do appear there from time to time.
At the average customs auction, one is quite likely to locate surprising bargains on a wide array of items, providing that the interested buyer does two things correctly. The first thing, of course, is finding out exactly where and when the customs auction is taking place. The second thing is to know as much as you can about the particular items that you’re interested in bidding on.
Conducting a simple online search, using the right search terms, is sure to bring up a host of websites announcing such upcoming customs auctions — almost all of them being open to members of the public. The problem, however, as I’m sure you’ll find if attempting to locate public customs auctions via this method, is that the vast majority of the information you find will very likely be outdated — announcing ‘upcoming customs auctions’ that have already taken place. Internet search engines are great tools for tracking down information. But, due to their nature, they’re often not great tools for ‘timely’ information.
What is a customs auction?
Customs auctions are pretty much what the term implies. Every day in this country border agencies and other customs services seize a wealth of goods that are being imported into the country. The importers may not have gone through the correct channels, or otherwise not properly followed the correct procedures, when attempting to import certain goods into the country. If the matter can not be settled with the importer, for whatever reason, (and it’s not uncommon that it actually can’t), the customs agency will take possession of the goods through seizure. Every so often they will attempt to clear out their stock of such items. They do this, in large part, by holding public customs auctions where such goods are made available to bidders.
Not too long ago a friend of mine, who regularly attends customs auctions, was able to purchase an entire lot of assorted electric lamps at one of these auctions. He managed to place the high bid on the lot at a price of $950.00. The lot contained exactly one-hundred and fifty electric desk lamps — brand new, right from the manufacturer — that regularly retail for $49.95. His cost, per lamp, was about $6.33. Within a week he found a buyer for the entire lot at a price of $3,800.00 — for a total, quick profit of $2,850.00. He could have made a fair bit more if he had chosen to piece the lamps out instead of selling them off all at once, but the opportunity to move them all at once presented itself and he took it. The lamps were being auctioned off in the first place, it seems, merely because an Asian importer had failed to file the proper paperwork, and had failed to follow up with the customs agency in a timely manner. The customs agency had difficulty establishing contact with the importer and, after a time, the items were put up for bid at auction.
There are so many stories like the one above when it comes to these customs auctions, I could literally fill an entire volume of books just relating them. These customs auctions are going on all the time, and a fair number of people are earning a good living from them — just buying and re-selling items they obtain at these customs auctions for a profit. Oddly enough, however, it seems as though not all that many people, in the grand scheme of things, actually know about them. And, of course, even fewer people are aware of how to locate when and where customs auctions, which the’re able to participate in, are actually happening.
How do you find customs auctions?
A lot of people with a casual interest in attending such customs auctions tend to quickly become frustrated if and when attempting to locate them. Such people might hear about such auctions from various sources, become excited about attending one, and simply hit Google, Bing, or some other such search engine in an attempt to locate a customs auction which might be taking place near them at some time in the future. As mentioned above, however, they quickly discover that they need to wade through a sea of useless, outdated information. They quickly become frustrated and give up — usually thinking that finding customs auctions requires some sort of insider information, or special experience or know-how.
So, how do you find customs auctions that you can attend? By far, the most effective way of locating and keeping apprised of any such upcoming auctions in your area (or, any area you choose to apprised of) is to join a qualified auction listing service. Such services keep constant tabs on all public auctions that are taking place around the country. They use their pool of established contacts to maintain extensive and exhaustive lists and notices of any customs auctions, and other types of auctions as well, that are upcoming. The auction listing service will then provide its members with on-line search functionality that will allow you to perform exacting searches by area, time, location, etc. The better services will even allow you search by the specific type of merchandise you’re interested in bidding on. You can also use the listing service to send out e-mail alerts to you whenever an auction is announced to be coming up within the boundaries of a geographical area you specify.
There are a number of such services currently in operation. Here’s a short list of some of the tops ones, listed in order of our recommendation:
As with most people, it’s very likely that you’ve heard of federal government organizations like the Department of Justice’s U.S. Marshals Service, the IRS, the FBI, the ATF, DEA, and many other such agencies, actually seizing things like automobiles, houses, boats, and all sorts of consumer goods and merchandise and then holding auctions to move these items to the highest bidders at public auction for incredibly low prices. Just about everyone knows this goes on. Ask just about anybody and they’ll tell you that they’re aware that such activities are commonplace. Then, ask them if they know how one might go about participating in such customs auctions and they’ll tell you that they have no idea. This is the common experience of most people. Of course, they’d be very surprised to learn that all that is required is to take advantage of one of these qualified auction locating services that will actually do all of the work for them, and they too could be acquiring incredible merchandise at public customs auctions, and a myriad of other types of auctions, at up to 90% off the regular retail price of such goods.