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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.
This month the Canadian Province of Alberta becomes the latest in North American governmental agencies to turn to electronic, online means for selling off their surplus goods at auction. This has been, as should be expected in current times, becoming more and more of a trend among various governmental departments and agencies throughout North America.
The new website which has been launched by the Provincial government of Alberta will feature auctions for surplus merchandise from various governmental departments and agencies, hospitals and post-secondary learning institutions — all open to being bid on by the general public.
Surplus goods from the Alberta government have already been available at auction to the general public for quite some time, of course. Up until now, the public was able to attend various auctions, that were held somewhat sporadically, where such merchandise was put up for grabs. Along with these auctions, the government maintained a number of sales outlets in both Edmonton and Calgary. It should be noted, however, that these live auctions and sales will not be halted by the Alberta government now that the new auction website has arrived. In their launching of the new surplus auction website, they are merely providing to the public another option for acquiring government surplus goods. Although, as it appears, not all items actually available at the live auctions or through the sales outlets will actually make it to the online site. However, the selection of goods available online promises to be robust.
The Alberta government surplus auction website was launched into full service on December 4th of this year, and, at its initial appearance, offered a wide array of goods such as surplus computer equipment, office furniture, various types of industrial equipment, various electronics, medical equipment and supplies, and even surplus government vehicles, among other things.
The Province of Alberta reports that they auction off more than one-hundred thousand surplus items each year and in so doing generate more than two and a half million dollars per year in revenue for the Province. The addition of the online auction system is expected to bring benefit through allowing a wider section of the public easier access to the Province’s surplus auctions, as well as helping to relieve associated costs involved in transporting the available goods to the sites where live auctions are held, or to the Province’s surplus sales outlet locations. The items sold through the new surplus auction website are sold on an ‘as-is’ and ‘where-is‘ basis, and must be retrieved at the expense of the successful bidder.
The new online government surplus auction website is operate and overseen by Service Alberta, and is available by visiting this link. At the time of the writing of this article, the auction site is featuring such items on its front page as: A five drawer stainless-steel map/plan cabinet with an opening bid amount of $25.00, A rotating magazine stand with an opening bid amount of just $1.00, an Arctic Cat BearCat 440 snowmobile with an opening bid price of $500.00, and a Yamaha Big Bear Quad 4X4 ATV with an opening bid price of $1,000.00. (All prices, of course, are given in CAD)
There are currently, as of this writing, however, a total of 119 separate items up for bid on the site, and all offerings are fully searchable or browsable via the website’s functionality. Members of the public are able to place bids on items 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the new website. Payments using Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted.
There’s no doubt that if you’re interested in saving cash on any sort of goods, property or items, the bargains that can be obtained at local or federal seized property auctions are positively unparalleled. Everyone knows, or has heard, about people managing to snag incredible deals at such seized property auctions. Yes, a lot of people know this — but, not a lot of people seem to be regularly taking advantage of the low prices for quality goods that these local, federal or state seized property auctions offer. Why is this?
Most people, when in the market for some sort of high-priced item, having heard of seized property auctions, spend a token amount of time investigating them. And, as is regularly the case, quickly become frustrated because finding such seized property auctions proves difficult. They try once, don’t have much luck finding any seized property auctions, and from then on they never try again. From then on, their opinion is that what they’ve heard about seized property auctions and the deals that are available at them is just some sort of hype, or that actually finding seized property auctions is really more trouble than its worth.
If you’re like most people who have looked into taking advantage of such state, federal or local seized property auctions, chances are extremely good that you’ve had a similar experience. The truth of the matter is that taking advantage of seized property auctions, finding them, and actually obtaining amazing deals on items that you’re interested in acquiring is much easier said than done.
Traditionally, government seized property auctions are not well advertised and promoted. There’s two main reasons for this: The first reason is that, counter to what might be intuitive, the government agencies that operate these seized property auctions actually want to keep the competition amongst bidders to a minimum. This attracts the big players — the professional liquidators and other such business professionals that buy and buy and buy, and have the means to drop huge amounts of money on the big lots.
If such pros are constantly dealing with a swarm of (what they consider to be) gnats (the little guy — the private, independent individual), they’ll go elsewhere. The real pros view this as an inconvenience and an impediment to their ability to do business smoothly. The operators of government seized property auctions welcome all bidders, big and small — they have to. But, if they had their way, they’d limit the seized property auctions to just the big fish — the big time business players that will think nothing of dropping $10k on a lot of, say, 500 assorted pieces of office electronics, or a lot of 50 industrial arc-welders. The big players have big money. And that’s very attractive to the government agencies operating seized property auctions. And, the big players with the big money don’t like the annoyance of having to compete with a bunch of little players.
The second reason is that there really is just no pressing incentive to advertise seized property auctions widely, while there most certainly is incentive to keep costs to an absolute minimum. Remember, the whole shtick behind seized property auctions — what makes them so attractive to the big bidders — is that the merchandise is available for ridiculously low cost. Advertising is an added cost for the operators of seized property auctions — an added cost that, if incurred, reduces the profit able to be made by the auctioning department from the already razor-thin profit margins obtained on the individual items or lots.
The big players that fuel the seized property auctions don’t need advertising to know when and where these seized property auctions are taking place — it’s their business to know. They’ve usually spent years in developing the right professional contacts and putting a system in place to effectively keep abreast of upcoming seized property auctions.
Seized Property Auctions — The Where and When
So, if you’re not one of these big players, where does that leave you? How can you find these local, state and federal seized property auctions? Luckily, it’s not as difficult as it may at first appear.
The best way, hands down, is to take a page from the big players themselves. One of the methods the pros employ is to use the services of a government seized property auctions locating service. There are companies out there who act as service bureaus to auction buyers and interested parties looking to score deals at private and government seized property auctions. One such service is GovernmentAuctions.Org. However, there are a number of these companies currently in operation. Information on another popular seized property auctions locating service can be found at this link. And, yet another is located here. Yet another can be found at this link.
These locating services do all of the work in finding these unadvertised government seized property auctions that are coming up all across the country. You simply inform them of the locations you’re interested in — the locations you have easy access to — and when one of these seized property auctions is scheduled to happen, they’ll inform you regarding all of the information you need so that you can attend and take full advantage. It’s an invaluable service for anyone looking to obtain hefty bargains at seized property auctions. If you’re actually thinking about perhaps getting into a full-time, or just a side business, or revenue generating hobby buying low at seized property auctions and selling high, then a quality auction locating service such as one or more of the ones mentioned above is an absolutely indispensable tool!
By now, I believe just about everybody in America has probably seen the television show Storage Wars. It’s a very entertaining show and has become quite popular over the last few seasons. Before the show aired, storage unit auctions were somewhat of a little secret that not a whole lot of people generally knew about. Of course, now, everybody knows about them and there’s a flood of people wanting to try their hand at bidding on storage units that have come up for auction. A lot of people are suddenly asking themselves things like: How do you find out about storage unit auctions? Where and when are storage unit auctions held in my area? How can I go to a storage auction?
With all the popularity that the Storage Wars television show has enjoyed, it’s still not widely known among the public exactly how to locate storage unit auctions. Which is a little strange, seeing as even before the show began airing, storage unit auctions were experiencing a trend of rapidly increasing in frequency. Indeed, the self storage industry itself has seen a huge increase in recent times. More people are storing more things — which means, more storage locker auctions are taking place.
I used to go to storage unit auctions much more regularly than I do now — I attended my first one some time in the late 1990’s. The last storage auction I attended was about eight months ago. It wasn’t one of my better experiences with storage auctions. There were ten units up for grabs at this particular storage locker auction. All of them were small, except one — the one the auctioneers kept for last. A silly mistake on their part, if you ask me. That last one was a huge 20’X40′ locker — giant! The auctioneers had limited the attendance to just 20 people, and every spot was taken. But, the storage lockers were going cheap — everybody was assuming there would be a bidding war on that last locker, the price would be run up on it, and nobody wanted to blow their money on the smaller lockers — none of which appeared all that great anyway.
For this reason, as I said, the small lockers were going cheap. One of them went for five dollars! The auctioneer started the bidding at $25.00, but nobody would bid on it. The auctioneer finally said “Ok, how about $10.00?” There was silence. “How about $5.00, then? Would someone give me $5.00?” A woman said “Alright, I’ll give you $5.00 for it.” Unfortunately, I never found out if she got her money’s worth or not. From the look of the locker, I’d say it definitely wasn’t a certainty that she did.
I managed to win a bid on one of the small lockers myself. I got the high bid at just $90.00. There really wasn’t anything in it of any value, other than one really nice full-length leather jacket. I sold it on eBay for $210.00. A profit of 120 bucks — nothing spectacular, but you can’t complain about profit.
Out of the nine small storage units up for grabs that day, the highest price paid for any one of them was $350.00. I dropped out of the bidding on that one with my last bid of $275.00 — it didn’t look like it was worth the risk for anything more than that. I had set my limit on that unit at below $299.00, and I stuck to it. I wasn’t going to pay $300.00 or anything higher for that paticular storage locker. And, like everyone else, I didn’t want to get to that last, huge locker and not have enough money left to buy it if it turned out to be something great. I had come to that auction with $5,000.00 in cash on me. Huge lockers like that one can sometimes have nice cars in them, or other high-value, large items. It was far from guaranteed that that locker would go for less than the $4,910.00 I had left.
How Do You Find Out About Storage Unit Auctions? (Cont’)
So, the first nine small lockers had all been sold. The crowd gathered around the door of the last, huge locker in anticipation. This was the moment everyone was waiting to get to through the rest of the day’s events for. The lock was cut on the door. The auctioneer’s assistant bent down and lifted the door, finally revealing the contents…
An old, worn out, mildew encrusted cat scratching post. That was it. The entire locker was empty except for that cat scratching post! Whoever owned that locker had cleaned it out and, knowing nothing of value was in it, I guess, just let it go to auction instead of coming to pay their bill. Everybody laughed — a couple of people used some foul language — Auction staff closed the door, and the auction was over. Storage locker auctions go like that sometimes.
I thought it silly, upon reflection, that the Auctioneer would leave the big locker until last — knowing that doing so would most likely cause the bids on the preceding smaller lockers to be reduced. But, perhaps they were worried that if they auctioned off the big locker first, a lot of people might just go home after that. Who knows? I didn’t ask.
Nevertheless, it was actually fun. Storage unit auctions usually are. There’s just something exciting about bidding, winning, and then claiming the prize — not really sure if you’re going to hit the jackpot or not. Sometimes you do, and sometimes you don’t. You can make money at it, and it’s fun — those two things always pair exceptionally well together.
But, how do you find out about storage unit auctions? How do you know when and where they’re happening in your area? There are a number of ways. The most tedious of which, of course, is to locate all of the storage facilities in your area. Phone them and ask them when they have auctions coming up. You should also locate all of the auction services and auction houses in your area. The storage facilities usually hire out to a third party auctioneer or auction company to conduct the actual auctions. Many of these will maintain a mailing list that you can ask to be included on. When they have an auction scheduled, you’ll get an e-mail notice. So, contact them and ask if they ever handle storage locker auctions and if they maintain a notifying service of some sort. If they do, ask to be put on their notification list.
Going this route, as I said, can be tedious. Some such auction facilities and services don’t maintain such lists, or aren’t very good about sending them out with consistency. Also, there are almost always a number of auction services in any given area that are contracted by the local storage facilities. So, you’ll have to find and contact them all, and hope that all of them are reliable with sending out their notices if you want to be sure of not missing any of the really good storage unit auctions that may be coming up. It can be tedious keeping contact and keeping track of mailings yourself from so many different parties.
How Do You Find Out About Storage Unit Auctions? – The best way.
The most effective way to make sure you stay on top of the best and potentially most profitable of all the storage unit auctions which may be happening in your area, is to take advantage of a dedicated auction locating service. These services are run my companies with experience in locating auctions. They maintain a list of all upcoming auctions throughout the country, and will tailor notices to any specific area you wish. The auction houses use them to make sure as many people as possible know about their upcoming auctions. If you contact an auction service and ask to be put on their notification list, you’re just one person. They’ll notify you if they can — if they remember to do so. If they forget, or don’t get around to it for one reason or another, well, that’s just one person who wont be showing up to their auction — space at storage locker auctions is usually limited to a certain number of participants, and there’s almost always more people wanting to attend than there is available space. If the auction house forgets to notify the auction listing service, however, it could mean that almost nobody shows up at their auction — so, they make it an absolute top priority to make sure the listing service knows about all of their upcoming auctions. And, even if they don’t, the listing service itself is constantly engaging in pro-active efforts to make sure their lists are complete and up to date.
If you’re asking yourself how do you find out about storage unit auctions, the best and easiest way is to take advantage of a reputable, third party, auction listing service, such as the one located at this website, or the one located here. Those are two of the biggest in the country. There are others as well, however, this webpage, and the one located at this link will provide more information on a couple of other such services.
So, if you’re one of the many people who have been asking themselves how do you find out about storage unit auctions, now you know. Locate and contact all of the storage facilities in your area, and all of the auction houses and services in your area and ask them when they might have storage locker auctions coming up in the future. Also, be sure to keep an eye on the classifieds section of your local newspaper — such storage unit auctions are often advertised there. Or, you can do what the pros do to get an advantage over the other bidders and use a dedicated auction listing and notification service.
It used to be that if you wanted in on the incredible bargains available at government surplus auctions, you had to do an awful lot of footwork. Just locating government surplus auctions and figuring out where and when these auctions would be held was quite a chore, as they tended not to be very well advertised. Then, of course, once you found an upcoming government surplus auction, you had to actually, physically go to the location in order to take part.
Today, however, we’re living in the electronic age and, as with many things, government surplus auctions have now moved into the online world. Government surplus online auctions have become exceedingly more popular over the last decade. No longer does an interested buyer need to spend the time or gas money to actually travel to the government surplus online auction they once did — all of your auction bidding can now be done in front of a computer, right from the comfortable surroundings of your very own home.
Actually knowing where on the internet one needs to go in order to take part in one of these government surplus online auctions isn’t knowledge that everyone has, however. Even in this age of the internet, it still takes a fair amount of searching. Fortunately, there are services available such as the one offered by GovernmentAuctions.Org, and AuctionPass, which act as both government surplus online auction, and more traditional, offline government auction locating services. The more reputable of these services, such as those mentioned above, are truly invaluable tools if you’re looking to get a leg up and really snag the absolute best deals on things like federal government surplus vehicles, or local or state government surplus automobiles, government surplus equipment, surplus furniture, government surplus ammo, machinery, clothing, government land auctions, and just about anything else you can think of. GovernmentAuctions.Org also offers auction locating services for both American and Canadian government surplus auctions, as well as repo auctions, police auctions, military government auctions and much more.
Of course, if you’re someone who is interested in purchasing quality government auctions cars, you will probably want to check out our very own, updated hourly, live surplus vehicle auction listing that’s located here. Be sure to bookmark that page and check back every so often, as the best deals quite often get snatched up soon after being posted. If you’re in the market for more general military government auctions goods, or other non-military general government auctions surplus items, you’ll probably also want to check out our other listings located here and here as well. Live listings for military surplus items are located here.
With all of that said, it should be clear that while the modern electronic age has made locating such government auctions of surplus goods much, much less of a chore than it once was, it’s still not an entirely simple task for many people. The truth of the matter is that many of these government surplus online auctions just aren’t advertised or promoted all that well. Internet search engines can often make the task of locating government surplus online auctions fairly difficult as, recently, there has been a trend for the major search engines to favor commercial websites willing to dump money into the search engine’s advertising schemes. This pushes the actual government surplus online auctions information that you’re probably looking for deep down into the search results and brings advertisers who just want to sell you something up to greater prominence in the returned results. The effect, of course, is that you’ll need to spend time and effort hunting through those results in order to find the information you’re looking for.
In fact, you’re probably on this page right now because you’ve become frustrated in trying to locate the information you need and are looking for tips on how best to go about doing so. There does certainly seem to be a lot of talk on the internet about these great government surplus online auctions taking place all the time, but there doesn’t really seem to be very much direct information regarding where they are and how to find them exactly. That’s why we offer our live, updated-hourly surplus auction listings. And, if you’re truly interested in maximizing your ability to find the absolute best government surplus auctions — ones taking place both online and offline — your best bet really is to take advantage of a competent government auction locating service like the ones mentioned above.
There really are an absolute ton of amazing bargains to be had at these auctions — bargains that most people just don’t know about. And, while it can still be somewhat tricky to locate these government surplus online auctions by yourself — even in this age of instant information via the internet — there are services available to you that will give you a remarkable advantage in both finding the auctions you wish to take part in, or even teaching you the information you need in how to find government surplus online auctions on your own — whether you happen to be looking for either American or Canadian government surplus online auctions.
Government Surplus Auction Websites:
- General Services Administration Government Auction Listings.
- Canadian Federal Government Surplus Auction Website.