Q:

What can you buy at government auctions?

A:

Quick Answer

The public can purchase real estate and vehicles at government auctions. Shoppers can also buy vessels, aircrafts and art. Additionally, they can find antiques and collectibles at government auctions.

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Full Answer

Government agencies sell various items including commercial equipment, jewelry, computers and furniture. Agencies sell the seized or forfeited belongings of criminals. They also sell property that people gave up due to nonpayment of federal income taxes. Some of the merchandise is available for sale because the agencies no longer need them. The Department of the Treasury Executive Office for Asset Forfeiture auctions property seized due to the violation of federal laws.

The government sometimes sells lands that it identifies as excess to the needs of the public or government. It offers the land to other federal agencies and states. Unsold lands are available to the general public.

The first category of property, real property, consists of developed land with buildings. The federal government usually acquires real property for a specific purpose. The second category of property, public land, refers to undeveloped land with no improvements. The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management is responsible for public lands.

A number of government agencies sell items through live and virtual auctions. Such auctions often allow the public to buy government-owned assets. The government uses revenues from the auctions to provide restitution to victims of fraud and to support law enforcement activities.

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