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Government Sales and Auctions

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For sale sign in yard of house
Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty Images
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 cost of running the government, which saves taxpayers' dollars.
Best Bargains?

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.

Location, location, location -- Real Estate

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.

The Government Flea Market

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

How to Buy Federal Land
As the Interior Department says, homesteading is a thing of the past, and you will not find 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. This brochure can help explain the procedures and where to go for details.
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.

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