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That depends on what you're trying to purchase. There are many services that promise to connect you with great deals on seized jewelry, surplus vehicles, or even abandoned homes. Instead of having to visit the local courthouse or visit a far-flung warehouse somewhere, you can use your computer - or even your smartphone - to browse auction listings, bid on items, and even submit payment.
Why do people buy from government auctions? Most of them are looking for a great deal on new and used merchandise. And, not many shoppers are aware of the available resources to connect them with the goods on offer by various local, state and federal agencies. These governmental offices aren't trying to make a profit: more often than not, they just want to clear out their warehouses and get what they can, especially for items that are used or in less-than-perfect condition.
Thursday, July 29th
Government Auctions doesn't have the slickest website, but don't let that get in the way: this platform is the most reliable and thorough available today, allowing you to easily find all of the best deals on abandoned cars, foreclosed homes, and seized property. Browsing the site is free, and you can get full access with a free three-day trial before you make a decision on becoming a paid subscriber. Plus, the BBB gives Government Auctions a perfect "A+" grade over nearly 20 years in operation. This site should be at the top of your list for reputable, easy-to-use government auction resources.
Police Auctions has come a long way since our last review, moving from the bottom to nearly the top of the rankings. That's largely due to the service's improved reputation, demonstrated by an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB and numerous positive customer reviews. You'll find that the site is weighted fairly heavily towards non-governmental auctions, but a paid monthly subscription fee does give you access to a nice range of governmental ones as well.
Want to bid on government auctions without any membership fees or access costs? Gov Deals is the site to use. You might have a hard time tearing yourself away from all of the possibilities, especially in high-inventory categories like Automobiles. This service sources government auctions from around the country and puts them all in one place, at no cost to you. Sounds great, right? We think so too, but a recent downgrade in Gov Deals' reputation at the Better Business Bureau has us feeling a little cautious. Be sure to read all of the fine print of the T&C before bidding on items you find through this service.
GSA Auctions is a free-to-use listing of federal surplus items: you won't find anything from local police departments or state governmental offices here. (It's also probably the only government auction site where you can find a category for NASA/Hubble!) Because this naturally limits the available inventory compared with similar services, you'll likely wind up using a government auction database that includes a wider range of agencies. GSA Auctions probably won't have much of what you're looking for, unless you're specifically trying to bid on vehicles or furniture.
Auction Resource seems to be what every customer would want from a government auction website, with thousands of live and online auctions from a range of local, state and federal agencies. Unfortunately, there's no way to preview what's on offer: you'll have to buy an annual membership at $39.95 to see for yourself, and with email-only customer service behind their promised 60-day refund policy, it could be tricky to get your money back if the listings are a disappointment. All of that plus no listing with the BBB lands Auction Resource towards the bottom of our rankings.
Gov Planet caters primarily to people who want heavy-duty equipment: kitchen appliances for restaurants, military trailers, even Humvees! You don't have to create an account to browse the site, and the only fees you'll pay are on winning bids. Unfortunately, Gov Planet has a horrible reputation -demonstrated by their "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau. The average consumer won't find anything they need on this government auction site, and the ones who do are often left disappointed by the actual condition of the items they purchase. This service gets our lowest ranking.
However, no two government auction sites are the same. Some act strictly as a clearinghouse for federal agencies, while others carry both government-auctioned items and overstock deals from other sources. And, while some sites give you access to these listings at no cost, you may find that the more robust platforms expect a membership fee in exchange for providing you with the most updated lists of government auctions around the country.
How can you tell which government auction site to use? Here are several criteria to factor in when deciding on the service that's right for you:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best government auction sites on the internet today. We hope this information helps you find all of the merchandise you're looking for - at bargain prices!
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