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government auctions - Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Breakdown of Government Auctions

by Chris Malta

A Retailer's Bargain Paradise?
No doubt, you've heard about the amazing deals you can find at government auctions - the planes, trains, and automobiles your neighbor's uncle's cousin picked up for a song. But how true are these stories? Are government auctions really a good source for purchasing products for resale? The answer to that is they CAN BE, but to find those good deals, you have to understand what you are doing.

Where Do Government Auctions Get Their Products?
Government auctions are can be held online, live 'in-person' or by sealed-bid. They acquire their products from two main sources:

    1. Goods they seized due to criminal activities or delinquent taxes.

    2. Goods an agency of the government has but no longer needs.
According to Ian Aronovich, president and CEO of GovernmentAuctions.org, there are two reasons these auctions can provide such great deals: "The government either attained the items for free or cheap. And unlike a corporation, the government does not have a traditional profit." They'll sell to the highest bidder even if they're getting less than market value.

Product Sourcing Tip 1: Research Before You Bid
If you source products through government auctions to resell online, make sure you know the market value of the product before you bid. The key to not overbidding is to research the items ahead of time. Most government auctions will publish a list of available items two to three weeks prior to the auction, which is when you need to start your homework.

Blue Books are a great source for researching product value. There are price guides out there for basically anything you are interested in. Some of the most popular ones are:

    • Automobiles - Kelley Blue Book (KBB.com )

    • Electronics - Orion Blue Book (OrionBlueBook.com )

    • Antiques - Kovels Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide (Kovels.com)
Product Sourcing Tip 2: Set a Bidding Limit
Once you figure out the market value of the items that interest you, just subtract the profit you hope to make.

The result is your top bid for the item. You absolutely need to know the maximum amount you are willing to bid on any item before you go to the auction or you may get caught up in the bidding and end up paying far more than the item is worth. Know your maximum bids, and stick to them.

The bottom line in capitalizing on government auctions is that you have to be prepared. Asserts Aronovich, "You make your money when you buy, not when you sell. If you take the time to study things out and know what you're doing, you can walk away with potentially a lot of room to profit."

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...