What You Can Buy at Federal Government Surplus Auctions
Government surplus auctions are a great way to purchase goods from the government for personal or business use. When federal agencies have equipment that is no longer needed, foreclose a property or seize goods, these items can be sold to the public. The types of items which can be purchased are very diverse. You can find agricultural equipment, boats, computer equipment, construction machinery, furniture, lab equipment, medical supplies, trucks and cars as well as commercial or residential real estate.
It is also possible to find some very interesting or unusual items being sold at government surplus auctions. For example, an old DC-9 airplane that has served as Air Force One has recently been put up for sale. Now that the space shuttle program has ended, NASA is selling many shuttle parts to the public.
The military runs its own surplus auction service through the Defense Logistics Agency. You can purchase hundreds of military surplus items, such as vehicles, radios, camping and survival gear, furniture, etc.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for managing most federal auctions. Other government agencies, like the U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Treasury also run auctions of items that were seized or foreclosed. These agencies maintain websites which makes it easy to see what items are going to be sold at upcoming auctions and where the auctions are going to be held. When you buy surplus government property, you should know that the majority of items are sold “as-is”. This means that there are no guarantees regarding the condition of the item. Successful bidders will usually need to make their own arrangements to pick up and remove the item from the location it is currently stored.