But the competition at county auctions is brutal and it's only getting stronger. "Taxi companies want the old cruisers to use as cabs," Lang says. "And often there are government employees who are going after a vehicle that they used on the job and grew fond of. A lot of the school buses and trucks get bought by brokers looking to ship them overseas to poorer countries that will use them for public transportation. These are guys who go to government auctions all the time, know what to pay and know a lemon when they see it. You won't be the only bargain hunter out there."
To bid, you'll mostly need to go to an auction house on the day and bid in person. However, some auction houses now offer live internet or telephone bidding. You'll have to register to bid with the auction house, whether you're bidding in person or not. You should be able to find out when the next police auction will be held by visiting the auction house's website.
Boulder, Colo., police started using PropertyRoom.com in 2007, mainly to unload property that couldn't be traced back to the owners. Before items are put up for auction, they are posted on the police department’s Web site for four weeks. Previously, the department had been stuck holding onto items for up to three years, said spokeswoman Sarah Huntley.
Bidding. Get some information about the type of bidding that normally occurs at these auctions. Feel free to ask the consultant about the expected price of a particular vehicle. When the auction starts, raise your hand and registration number card high in the air so the auctioneer can see you. Bids can be in increments of $100, $250 or even $500. This will be up to the auctioneer's discretion. Before bidding, remember that once a bid is made it cannot be withdrawn. Once the bid is won then the bid cards must be immediately filled out and signed. If this is not done then the vehicle can be re-offered. The government can reject any bid
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