It's Bargain Thursday and we are thinking outside the big box store! Looking for a real deal on a car, boat, house, or some jewelry? Maybe you should turn to Uncle Sam or your local town. Government surplus goods are up for auction every day if you know where to look.
There are several auction sites where local, state and federal governments sell surplus stuff to the highest bidder.
The cars, trucks, and SUV's are probably the most popular items for sale on government auction sites. But we have found jewelry, clothes, boats and even parts from the space shuttle.
Towns like Southaven use online auctions to unload confiscated or surplus goods and make a little money. Southaven Police Chief Steve Pirtle says the auctions are faster and more efficient than the old method of accepting sealed bids. "Such as squad cars...with excess mileage and mechanical . We'll put 'em on govdeals.com. So far every thing we've put on has always sold so it helps us sell property much quicker. It reaches more people and brings in a little extra money for the city."
Each item is up for about 7 days. There is usually a description and you can expect damage if the beginning bid is ultra low but there are deals. We found a 2006 Chevrolet Suburban with tow package and Onstar that was bidding out at $10,000 *less* than it's Kelly Blue Book value of nearly $15,000.
The city offering it is located somewhere in Tennessee and that's a key point. Make sure you only bid on something you can feasibly pick up or the shipping costs will eat up your savings.
You never know what you'll see, I found a lighthouse with 22 hours remaining (to bid) and the price is $35,000.
These government auction sites are ever-changing. Today you might find leftover components from the Space Shuttle or just a slew of boats and jewelry. Tomorrow you might find wild horses or burros.
Bidders have to register and in some cases, put money down to bid. Search by state and do your research before you bid. Make sure to search by special states or someplace you'll be willing to go to that won't cost an arm or leg to get moved or shipped from one place to another or just cruise and dream of that lighthouse on a rock island you could retire to one day.
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