On Wednesday February 17 at 11am a huge online auction begins. The auction is a huge nationwide sale of merchandise that was unclaimed and/or abandoned at port sites! There are 36 different lots of goods being auctioned off and it is quite and exciting group of deals! From leather jackets, footwear, imitation jewelry, and leather sandals, to Scion hoods and trunks, gasoline drill hammers, aircraft parts and ball pen ink, there is quite an eclectic group of items up for sale! Some neat highlights from the auction are a really nice looking 2007 Mercedes Benz that looks like it was abandoned by its owner starting at just 1 dollar and some expensive medical equipment also starting a a super low $1. These type of abandoned merchandise auctions are a great chance to get great deals on good stuff that was left behind by its owner. Each lot is like another hidden gem filled with great stuff. This auction ends Thursday February 18 at 11am (all times listed are in Eastern Time) and then it is no more. Check out all the other lots up for auction and place your bid by clicking here to head over to www.governmentauctions.org and sign up for your FREE 3 day trial!
In our last blog post we began our discussion of the various government agencies and their functions by talking about one of the oldest, but perhaps least well know agency, The United States Marshals Service. Now we will continue our discussion of government agencies and how you can profit from them. Here we will be focusing on the United States Customs Service.
What is the U.S. Customs Service?
The U.S. Customs Service exists to make sure that anything entering the United States is legal and that any import, levy or tariff that is due is paid. This government agency basically serves as the gatekeeper for all goods entering the United States. There are hundreds of trade and import restrictions and laws on the books, and it is this agencies’ duty to make sure those laws are followed. The U.S. Customs Service has the power to seize assets and arrest any individuals who violate the law. Working closely with other agencies, Customs seizes billions of dollars worth of assets every year.
Where does the agency get stuff it auctions off?
A surprising number of people try to smuggle things into the United States. When most people think of smuggling, they think of someone going through the airport with an illegal substance in their luggage. However, a large percentage of smuggling occurs when goods are transported in shipping containers overseas. Others, who are not attempting to smuggle, either cannot afford to pay the import duties on things they are trying to bring into the country or just forget and leave stuff at the port. Either way, the seized assets, including electronics, tobacco, food, large machinery, and anything else you can imagine, are sold off to the public through auctions.
A lot of the assets seized by customs come from drug trafficking, which is why they have a large inventory of cars, trucks, boats, and planes. You can find some excellent deals on these types of assets at customs auctions, because the inventory is plentiful.
What you need to know?
- At customs auctions, cash, certified checks, and major credit cards are usually accepted.
- Customs requires that some assets be sold only for export. That means that if you are the winning bidder, you must immediately have a way to export the asset out of the country, otherwise you will forfeit the asset.
- Some of the cars and boats that you will find at these auctions have all sorts of hidden compartments that were used to smuggle drugs and other illicit materials. When these assets are sold the hidden compartments have to be dismantled or destroyed at the buyers expense. The changes must be made before you can get a clear title, and there is usually a time requirement for completion. Keep this in mind when bidding, because alterations came take some time to make.
Look out for our future blog posts where we will be discussing one of the largest sources of surplus property from the U.S. government, the General Services Administration (G.S.A).
Start checking out United States Customs and other auctions by activating your free trial account right now!
We often receive inquiries from customers about who exactly is selling all this “stuff” they see on our website. We’re going to address that question in detail in a six-part blog series about the various government agencies that dispose of sized and surplus assets. You will learn about what each agency does, where and how it gets its assets, and of course how to acquire those assets for yourself. Let’s dive right in and begin our discussion with The United States Marshals Service.
The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is on of the oldest law enforcement agencies in America. You can think of them as the police department for the Federal Government. The agency has grown considerably in size and scope since it was founded in 1789. In addition to apprehending federal fugitives, housing and transporting federal prisoners, and operating the Witness Security Program, the agency also happens to be responsible for managing and selling seized assets acquired by criminals through illegal activities.
The Marshals Service manages various types of assets, including real estate, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, vehicles, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft. It obtains these assets from various Federal agencies, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Some of these agencies can seize and sell assets on their own, but typically they will turn them over to the United States Marhsals Service. According to the USMS, the value of the assets they had on hand as of Sept 2013 was around $2 billion. Wow that’s a lot of stuff!
Things you can get at U.S. Marshals Auctions
Cars: It’s no surprise that a large percentage of the assets the USMS handles are cars. Like a mouse to a delicious piece of cheese, criminals seem to be drawn to fancy, new cars even though it could eventually be what takes them down. The types of vehicles you will see here run the gamut from old and rundown to expensive luxury vehicles. The vehicles are sold “AS IS” so it would be wise to take that into account when placing your bids. Set your bid limit at a significant discount to what the market value really is for that vehicle. The good news is that the cars come with a “free and clear” Federal title, so you should have no problems registering with the DMV.
Boats: You definitely won’t see boats as often as you will see cars, but from time to time they do come up. We suggest bringing a mechanic with you, because many times these boats sit for a while before they are sold, and will have some mechanical problems as a result.
Planes: The USMS isn’t the best place to look for airplanes. We will suggest some good alternatives in an upcoming blog post.
Jewelry: If you’re looking for jewelry you’ve come to the right place. The USMS get’s tons of jewelry from the same place it gets its seized cars; criminals and lawbreakers. The jewelry is sold by weight, and you can often get a significant discount from the appraised value. Bringing someone who knows how to value jewelry may help somewhat, but the degree of inspection allowed is quite limited, so you will mostly be relying on the auctioneer’s description.
Miscellaneous Items: In addition to the specific items we discussed above, the USMS has a lot of general items lying around that don’t fit neatly into these categories. When someone’s property is seized, they typically lose EVERYTHING. This includes whatever they have in the house like computers, ipads, cell phones, art, rugs, and anything else you can think of.
What You Need to Know
1. You must be 18 years old to bid
2.You will be required to sign an affidavit, if you are the winning bidder, that you are not acting on behalf of the defendant. Additionally, United States Department of Justice employees and their immediate family members may be prohibited from purchasing or using assets forfeited to the United States government.
3. The winning bidder must sign a Forfeited Property Sales Certification form and make payment within 2 days of winning the auction. Acceptable payment terms vary from one auctioneer to another, but most accept cash, cashiers check, wire transfer, and some take credit cards, too.
In the weeks ahead, we’ll be exploring other government agencies such as the General Services Administration (G.S.A) and United States Customs Service.
Start looking for stuff from the United States Marshals Service by activating your free trial account right now!
Currently up for online auction with just 6 days and 4 hours, and 19 minutes to bid, is this lovely single family residence located in Fountain, Colorado. Built back in 2004, this home has a total of 1,248 square ft of living space, a basement size of 1,232 square ft, and an attached garage that has 530 square ft. Inside this one story home you’ll find 5 rooms in total; 3 spacious bedrooms, and 2 bathrooms. There’s also a kitchen with breakfast area, dining room, living room, and full sized finished basement. Located just 13 miles south of downtown Colorado Springs, this home is situated near schools, shops, and places of commerce. The current asking price for the home is just $55,000 with just 4 online bids already placed. Click here now in order to not only activate your 3 day free trial, but to also find more about this exciting deal!
Check out this next great deal for a John Deere, model STX 38 (serial# M00 STXC218570) lawn tractor now currently up for online bid. This riding lawn mower measures approximately 60″ long x 35″ wide x 38″ high. A key is included in the sale. The mower sports a 12.5 horsepower and 9.3 KW Kohler motor, model CD12.5S (Serial number: 2403901968). The rear tires measures 18 x 9.50 and the front tire size is 13 x 6.50 – 6. It’s in good condition except for a cracked engine cover, ripped seat, and flat rear tires. The fluids have been drained so it is strongly recommend that you inspect this lawn tractor prior to bidding on it. The current price for it is just $55 with 6 bids already placed. This auction ends in exactly 1 day, 2 hours, and 48 minutes so be sure to activate your 3 day free trial before this amazing deal passes you by!
Currently up for online auction is this surplus special service patrol boat known as Marion. This boat was previous used by the U.S. Coast Guard, but now has been declared as surplus and is being sold to the general public. Built in 1979, this vessel, weighs 26,000 lbs, has an aluminum hull with fiberglass cabin, and is equipped with Twin 6 CTA 8.3 Cummins engines that are 340 horsepower at 2800 RPM. The boat has a 500 gallon fuel capacity, not to mention that is had a Furuno Navnet electronics package was installed in 2004, making it perfect for those long trips on the high seas. The Marion was in commission was 1979 to 2001 and was serviced regularly between 200 to 250 hours, not to mention that in 2003 it has new port/starboard engines and marine gears installed. The current price for this vessel is $29,025 with 5 online bids already placed. This auction ends in 11 days, 2 hours, and 32 minutes so hurry up and activate your 3 day free trial before it’s too late!
Check out this next item currently available to the general public. This 2008 International 4000 dump truck is now up on the auction block and is awaiting your bid. This vehicle sports a medium blue exterior, 6 cylinder engine, 2 wheel drive, A/C, power steering, power brakes, vinyl seating interior, AM/FM radio, and a whole lot more. The best part is, this vehicle has under 20k miles! It appears to be in great condition both inside and out and there is no mention of any serious damage. So not only does this vehicle have under 20k miles, but it looks great and drives great too! As of right now, the current price for it is up to $25,200 with 2 online bids already placed. This auction will be ending in 4 days, 23 hours, and 48 minutes so hurry up and activate your free 3 day trial right now before this amazing deal is gone forever!
One look at this first auction deal of the day and you’ll fall in love. We guarantee it. Currently up for online bid, is this gorgeous home located in Bridgeton, Missouri. This spacious property has a very nice layout with open floor plan as well as 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. The living room is enormous, has a fireplace and floor to ceiling windows with window treatments. The kitchen was recently refinished and includes countertops and stainless hardware. The master bedroom is on the first floor and has a huge bathroom with his/her sinks and a tub. The second floor has two bedrooms, a bath, and a lovely loft area overlooking the living room. The basement has a rec room as well as a laundry room. The two car garage has epoxy floor finish and look fantastic. The current price for this property is just $10,000 with 1 online bid placed. To learn more about this property and how to go about bidding on it, be sure to click here in order to activate your 3 day free trial account.
Next up on the auction block is this very cool deal for an actual lighthouse in Long Island, NY! Built in 1899, the Orient Point Lighthouse is located in Plum Gut between Long Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay, which is approximately 0.4 nautical miles offshore from the Town of Southold, New York. This historical landmark consists of a brick lined cast iron plated tower section, a base section that is concrete filled, and a cast iron caisson. The Orient Point Lighthouse stands approximately 45 feet tall and is made up of six levels, including two watch decks and three stories of living quarters. The current price for this lighthouse and the property around it is just $10,000 with no bids as of yet. If you want to learn more about this landmark and how to go about bidding on it, then be sure to click here in order to activate your 3 day free trial.
Take a look at this charming property located in Augusta, Georgia that’s now currently available for online bid. Built in 2005, this three bedroom, two bath home sits upon 1,838 square feet of living space. It features a spacious eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, carpeted living room with electric fireplace, a laundry room, large master bedroom with a tray ceiling and ceiling fan. Additional features include a two-car garage that has painted drywall walls with a textured ceiling, a 50 gallon electric water heater, and drop stairs for attic access. The home is conveniently situated next to schools and shops so it’s in a great location. The starting bid is just $90,000 and the auction will be ending in just a couple of weeks so be sure to click here to activate your free trial and find out more about it!