What Types of Items Can You Buy at Government Auctions?


Quick Answer

Some types of items that people can buy at government auctions include property, vehicles, clothing and collectibles. Many auctions also sell antiques, original artwork, computers and other electronics as well as furniture and commercial equipment. All of the items sold at live or online government auctions were once owned by the U.S. government.

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Full Answer

Government agencies decide to sell such property and items for many reason. Typically, government agencies and departments with an excess of owned real estate or equipment auction off the surplus because they are no longer in need of them. Additionally, the government often sells items forfeited by individuals because of not paying federal income taxes. Property and items seized from criminals by law enforcement may also be sold in auction.

Certain agencies have their own websites and auctions, either locally or online. For example, agencies that sell real estate property include the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Fannie Mae and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Marshals Service and U.S. Department of the Treasury Auctions might also sell some items. GSAAuctions.gov and GovSales.gov are two websites that frequently sell other types of items not related to housing and property.

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