US Government Sales and Auctions

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Longley, Robert. "US Government Sales and Auctions." ThoughtCo, Sep. 5, 2016, thoughtco.com/us-government-sales-and-auctions-3320950. Longley, Robert. (2016, September 5). US Government Sales and Auctions. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/us-government-sales-and-auctions-3320950 Longley, Robert. "US Government Sales and Auctions." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/us-government-sales-and-auctions-3320950 (accessed October 16, 2017).
For sale sign in yard of house
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What does the U.S. government have going for it when it comes to public sales and auctions? Diversity.

  • From Treasury bills to wild horses and houses, you name it and a government agency probably sells it.
  • Best of all from the consumer's standpoint, the government is not out to make a profit, so most items are sold at or below cost or fair market value.
  • Plus, purchasing from the government helps to defer ​the cost of running the government, which saves taxpayers' dollars.

    Personal Property Sales

    Some of the best buys available can be found in government sales of personal property. Boats, cars, planes, jewelry, mineral rights, animals and more. Be sure to visit the GSA's Auction SuperSite.

    Auto Sales

    It's easy and economical to purchase a pre-owned vehicle from the U.S. government. Join the thousands of people who buy at government auto auctions.

    Real Property/Real Estate

    Houses, land, apartments and commercial buildings, farms and ranches. Includes links to information on buying homes from HUD.

    Into the money market?

    Financial Assets

    Treasury bonds, savings bonds, securities, etc.

    Miscellaneous Sales and Auctions

    Stamps, coins, jewelry, collectables, souvenirs and more.

    Buying Advice

    Before you whip out the plastic, there are some important basic tips and information you need to know about buying merchandise or property in government sales and auctions:

    Guide to Federal Government Sales

    This document from the General Services Agency (GSA) delivers the factual information you need to participate in the Federal Government’s various sales and auction programs.

    It also helps combat the many misleading advertisements that offer to sell consumers "inside" information about Federal Government sales and auctions.

    Buying Raw Land

    As the Interior Department says, homesteading is a thing of the past, and you will not find "free" land or land for "A-Dollar-an-Acre," but the federal government does sell land.

    Lands identified as excess to the public's and Government's needs or more suited to private ownership are sometimes offered for sale.

    The federal lands sold by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are generally unimproved rural woodland, grassland or desert parcels located mostly in the western states. The parcels are typically not served by utilities like electricity, water or sewer, and may not be accessible by maintained roads. In other words, the parcels for sale are truly “in the middle of nowhere.”

    Buying Used Government Property

    When items are no longer needed by the federal government, The General Services Administration (GSA) stretches your tax dollar by offering them for sale to the public. GSA sells a wide variety of items that would interest both individuals and businesses. Look here for details and addresses of GSA sales facilities across the nation.

    How to Buy Surplus Military Property

    Various commercial firms sell literature regarding the sale of Department of Defense (DoD) property and/or advertise sales of DoD property, and suggest that DoD sells real estate, jeeps, confiscated and seized properly. DoD does not sell these items. The type of property DoD does sell, how it may be purchased is explained in this pamphlet.