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GSA Auctions Review

Saturday, July 31st

2021 Government Auction Site Reviews

GSA Auctions Review 3 Star Rating

GSA Auctions

3 Star Rating
  • Clearinghouse for surplus federal assets only
  • Free to create a user account
  • "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau
  • Limited inventory

Of all of the government auction sites we evaluated, GSA Auctions is the only one with a .gov website - making it clear that this is actually part of a Federal Government system. You'll only find "surplus federal assets" here, and as such, be prepared to provide your Social Security number when you register your free account for auction bidding.

Unimpressive Inventory

You probably won't be overly impressed with the inventory on offer through GSA Auctions. When we made our most recent visit to the site, there were approximately 700 items on auction, most of them being vehicles (271) and furniture (155). We did get a little excited when we saw "NASA/Shuttle/Hubble" in the list, but unsurprisingly, the inventory count there was 0. Because this service is strictly limited to federal surplus, you won't see the types of merchandise you see with local and state auctions.

Browse By Location

Browsing what's on offer can be fun, especially since most items have a low minimum bid of just $10 or $25. Just be sure to check location details before you enter a bid; otherwise, you could wind up driving a long way to pick up that "bargain" of a desk chair. Consider using the "Browse by Location" dropdown, so that you're only looking at merchandise that you're willing (and able) to pick up within the required timeframe.

Best Government Auctions

Sold As-is

Be sure to read all details very carefully: most of the government auction items are sold as-is and not warranted. For example, on a listing described as "MISC COUCH", the listing said that it was usable, but repairs may be required and parts may be missing. You can schedule an inspection prior to bidding, but that might not be reasonable if you don't happen to live within a short drive of where the item is being held.

Lower BBB Rating

We weren't thrilled to see that GSA Auctions has a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau (and, frankly, we were surprised to learn that a governmental service can actually have a BBB listing and grade). There were only two complaints registered there, and only one of them had gone unanswered, but that was enough for the BBB to give GSA Auctions a lower rating.

Find More Elsewhere

From our perspective, GSA Auctions gets an average ranking. We love government auction sites that are free to use and that make it easy to see all of the available details about the items listed there. But, because this service only features federal surplus items, it doesn't have as much to offer as our higher-rated government auction sites. There's no risk involved with using GSA Auctions for browsing to see what's out there, but in the end you'll probably find more with a service that includes local and state auctions as well.

Which Site is the Best Resource for Finding Government Auctions?

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.

The Best Government Auction Sites Compare Government Auction Sites Compare Government Auction Site Reviews What are the best Government Auction Sites Best Government Auction Site Reviews

Government Auction Site FAQ

That depends! Sometimes items come when an office closes or gets downsized. Other auctions feature seized or abandoned property. And, some merchandise is simply surplus: more was bought than what was needed in the end, so the agency tries to recoup some of the taxpayers' money by auctioning off the extra items.
More accurately, is there anything you can't buy? While vehicles and furniture tend to be the most commonly-found products listed in government auctions, you might spot anything from a topaz ring to a military tank!
Yes. That's the point of buying items through an auction, after all. But, like any other kind of option, it's up to you to do the research first. Otherwise, you might wind up with a not-so-good deal if you fail to read the fine print on the item's condition or actual value.
Sometimes. Many sites will allow you to browse for free, but to place a bid you'll need to become a paying subscriber to the service. But, there are a few sites that let you browse and bid at no cost; they usually make their money through buyer fees once the auction has been completed.
Definitely not! Government auctions now are almost exclusively online.
Read the details on each auction before entering a bid. Smaller items might be available for shipping, and even bigger ones like cars and boats may be delivered for a (sizeable) fee. On the other hand, you may have to pick up your auction wins - so keep an eye on the location of anything you're bidding on.
That's one of the most common complaints you'll find with some government auctions. Again, read the fine print to determine if there's been an inspection of your item, and/or if the auction site warranties the condition of the item (especially if you take delivery and it doesn't match what was stated in the inspection).
Most government auction services have been around for many years, just taking what used to happen at the courthouse and city hall over to the internet for convenience. However, there are some sites that offer little more than cheap jewelry and a handful of government auctions on the site. Check the reputation of a service before creating an account or entering your payment information!
Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

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:

  • Types of Auctions/Merchandise. Does the auction site include a wide range of auction types, or is it limited to just federal, state, or local sources? Can you find the type of merchandise you want to buy as you browse the site?
  • Access. Do you have to create an account to look through the different auctions? Will you have to pay for continued use of the service? How easy is it to get information about the items being auctioned off?
  • Customer Service. Can you reach a representative if you have questions? Some government auction sites provide a toll-free number, while others give you a generic email address or online form and make you wait for a response.
  • Reputation. Is the government auction service listed with the Better Business Bureau? What do other bidders say about their experience with the auctions they found through the site?

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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